March 4, 2003
- Date/Site/Times: Fri.-Sat., March 7-8 – at Berry Events Center (3,902) – 7:05 p.m.
- Broadcast Information: Radio coverage will be provided by WDND South Bend’s ESPN Radio 1620 and WDNV 1490 with Mike Lockert calling all the action. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at www.und.com.
IT COMES DOWN TO THIS: Notre Dame takes to the road for the final regular season weekend as the Irish travel to Marquette, Mich., to face the Northern Michigan Wildcats on March 7-8. The two teams are among four teams tied for fifth place in the battle for home ice in the first round of the CCHA playoffs. The Wildcats come into the weekend needing just a split with the Irish to lock up one of those spots while the Irish will need to get at least three points versus the Wildcats to have a shot at one of the two home berths still available. Notre Dame comes off a split with Western Michigan as the Irish lost on Friday, 4-2 at Kalamazoo and then took a 5-2 win at the Joyce Center on March 1. The Irish are 14-14-6 on the year and 12-11-3 in CCHA play for 27 points. Northern Michigan split two games with Ohio State, winning 5-2 on Friday night and losing 4-1 on Saturday. The Wildcats are 17-15-2 on the season and 13-12-1 in the league for 27 points. Joining the Irish and Wildcats in the four-way tie for fifth are Western Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks as both teams also have 27 points. Western is 13-12-1 while UAF is 10-11-7 on the year. The Nanooks have played their 28- league games and cannot get home ice since the first tiebreaker is league wins. Western has a home-and-home series with Michigan State to close its regular season. The fourth team in the running for home ice is the Miami RedHawks.
They open the weekend in ninth place with an 11-12-3 record for 25 points. They host Lake Superior State this weekend and with two wins could jump over the four teams ahead of them. Following this weekend, the CCHA playoffs will begin on Friday, March 14 at six campus sites. The first round is a best-of-three series to determine the six schools to move on to the CCHA Super Six at Joe Louis Arena the following week.
TIE BREAKERS: The CCHA tie-breaking procedure follows these steps.
1. League wins
2. Head-to-head records
3. Goal differential between tied teams
4. Record versus teams in league starting with first place team.
5. Coin Toss
The Irish will finish ahead of Alaska Fairbanks on the basis of league wins. They are 3-1 versus Western Michigan, 1-1 vs. Miami and have not played Northern Michigan. Miami has the goal differential (4-3) in that series after beating the Irish 3-1 before losing 2-1 the following night. Northern Michigan is 2-0 versus Western Michigan and 0-2 versus Miami. Western Michigan is 2-0 versus Miami and the RedHawks are 1-1-2 with Alaska Fairbanks. Miami has a 10-7 goal differential with the Nanooks.
IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: The two schools have met 24 times in the all-time series with Northern Michigan holding a 13-7-4 advantage. Last season, the two teams played five times with the Wildcats taking the series, three games to two. During the regular season, the two teams split four games with each winning once on the others home ice. The fifth game of the series was in the CCHA Super Six as Notre Dame fell 3-1 to the Wildcats at Joe Louis Arena in the play-in round. At Marquette, Mich., the Wildcats have a 4-2-2 edge in the all-time series. Over the last 10 meetings, Northern holds a 6-2-2 edge versus the Irish.
WESTERN MICHIGAN WRAPUP: The Irish and Broncos split the home-and-home series with both teams taking wins on their own home ice. On Friday night at Kalamazoo, Jeremy Cheyne and Jeff Campbell (ENG) scored third-period goals to snap a 2-2 tie to give Western Michigan a 4-2 win at Lawson Areana. Notre Dame scored the lone goal of the first period when Rob Globke (Jr., West Bloomfield, Mich.) scored his 19th of the season at 10:41 as the Irish outshot the Broncos 11-6 in the opening period. The second period was all Western Michigan as the Broncos fired 14 shots at goaltender Morgan Cey (So., Wilkie, Sask.), scoring twice. Ben Gagnon tied the game at 2:26 and Trevor Cook gave the Broncos a 2-1 lead at 13:15. Notre Dame was held to just three shots on goal in the period. In the third, Yan Stastny (So., St. Louis, Mo.) tied the game when he jammed his own rebound past Scott Foster at 5:11. Cheyne would score on a 2-on-1 at 8:21 and Campbell got his empty-netter at 19:28 for the win. Western Michigan outshot the Irish 30-26. Cey finished with 26 saves while Foster had 24 for the Broncos.
On Saturday night, Notre Dame’s Senior Night, senior goaltender Tony Zasowski (Darien, Ill.) made just his fifth start of the season, making 25 saves in a 5-2 Irish win. Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Aaron Gill’s (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) 10th goal of the season. The lead would grow to 2-0 as Kyle Dolder (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) scored his second goal of the year and second point of the game just over four minutes into the period. Western Michigan would score twice on the power play as Vince Bellisimo (deflection) and Dave Cousineau evened the score at 2-2 heading into the second intermission. The third period belonged to the Irish as Matt Amado (Fr., Surrey, B.C.), Connor Dunlop (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) and John Wroblewski (Sr., Neenah, Wis.) closed the scoring. The Irish outshot Western Michigan 30-27 in the game.
SENIOR SHOWCASE: Irish head coach Dave Poulin elected to start his six seniors on Senior Night and got great results from the Class of 2003. Goaltender Tony Zasowski made his first start since Jan. 18 versus Yale and got his first win since Oct. 12 at Minnesota-Duluth. Forwards Connor Dunlop and John Wroblewski each scored goals and defenseman Evan Nielsen (Sr., Evanston, Ill.) set up Matt Amado’s game-winning goal. Senior left wing Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.) assisted on Dunlop’s third-period insurance goal and left wing Jake Wiegand (Northville, Mich.) started the game on defense for the first time in his Irish career.
DOLDER GETS IT DONE: Junior left wing Kyle Dolder turned in the second two-point game of his career in the 5-2 win over Western Michigan. Dolder set up Aaron Gill’s opening goal of the game and then scored his second on a breakaway early in the second period to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. For the year, Dolder has equalled his career high with five points on two goals and three assists.
PENALTY SHOTS: Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey faced his third penalty shot this season in the Feb. 28, 4-2 loss at Western Michigan. Referee Steve Piotrowski awarded Bronco Vince Bellisimo a penalty shot at 14:06 of the third period after calling the Irish for covering the puck in the crease. Bellisimo was stopped by Cey, giving him stops on all three penalty shots this season and on all four in his career. His second penalty shot this season came in the 3-3 tie with Michigan State. With the Spartans leading 2-1 in the second period, MSU’s Jim Slater was awarded a penalty shot at 16:23 by referee Brian Aaron. Cey appeared to get a piece of Slater’s wrist shot with his glove before it went off the crossbar. On Nov. 22 at Michigan, Cey stopped Milan Gajic at 12:36 of the second period in a 4-2 loss. His first penalty shot stop came on Dec. 8, 2001 when he stopped Bowling Green’s Greg Day in a 4-2 loss to the Falcons.
FIRST GOALS: The Irish dropped their first game of the season after scoring the first goal in the Feb. 28 game at Western Michigan. The Irish were unbeaten in the 12 games (9-0-3) that they had scored first. They got the first goal again on Saturday in the 5-2 win and are now 10-1-3 when scoring first.
KOMADOSKI BREAKS 20: With a pair of assists in the 5-2 win over Western Michigan, Irish defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) now has 21 assists for the season, a career-high. He becomes the first Irish blueliner to get 20 or more assists in a season since the 1987-88 season when three Irish defensemen had 20 or more – Pat Foley (26), Kevin Markovitz (24) and Lance Patten (24). In years that Notre Dame has been a member of the CCHA, Komadoski is just the fifth Irish defenseman to record 20 or more assists. He joins John Schmidt (81-82; 34), Joe Bowie (81-82; 24), Sean Regan (81-82; 21) and Mark Benning (82-83; 24).
CLUSTEROLOGY: The Irish finished the season with a 7-4-1 record versus the three other teams in their cluster. Notre Dame was 4-0 versus Bowling Green, 3-1-0 versus Western Michigan and 0-3-1 versus Ferris State.
BREAKING THE DROUGHT: Junior right wing Rob Globke snapped an eight-game goal less drought with his first-period goal on Feb. 28 versus Western Michigan. He had not scored a goal since Jan. 18 versus Yale. Globke now has 19 goals on the season to lead the Irish.
GOING FOR 20: Rob Globke’s next goal will give him 20 on the season and will make him the first Notre Dame player to score 20 or more goals in a season since Aniket Dhadphale scored 25 in the 1997-98 season.
CEY AND SAVES: Sophomore goaltender Morgan Cey ranks third in the CCHA in saves with 890 after playing in 30 of the team’s 34 games this season. He trails Ferris State’s Mike Brown (933) and eight ahead of Nebraska-Omaha’s Dan Ellis (910). Nationally, Cey ranks sixth with his 890 stops.
MR. FEBRUARY: Irish goaltender Morgan Cey enjoys playing in February. In his last 10 starts since Feb. 8, 2002 at Michigan State, Cey is 7-3 with a 1.80 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.
CEY HEY: During Notre Dame’s four-game winning streak, goaltender Morgan Cey played in all four games. He was 4-0-0 in the streak, having given up nine goals while stopping 110 of 119 shots for a 2.25 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.
WINNING STREAKS: Notre Dame’s four-game winning streak that was snapped versus Western Michigan on Feb. 28 was its longest of the season. The Irish have also had a pair of three-game winning streaks (10/12 – 10/19 and 12/7 – 12/14). The four-game CCHA streak is the longest for the Irish since a five-game CCHA winning streak that ended last year’s regular season (2/8 – 3/2, 2002). That streak was also the last time that the Irish won back-to-back CCHA series as they beat both Bowling Green and Lake Superior, the same two teams they recorded the series wins against this year.
IRISH INJURY REPORT: Sophomore defenseman Derek Smith (Port Huron, Mich.) remains sidelined with a high-ankle sprain suffered at Nebraska-Omaha. He has missed 14 games.
GETTING IT DUN (LOP): Senior center Connor Dunlop recorded a season-high four-point game in the 6-3 win over Lake Superior on Feb. 22. For Dunlop, it marked the third, four-point game of his career. He is currently third in team-scoring with six goals and 23 assists for 29 points. On the year, he has eight multiple-point games, one with four points, two with three points and five with two points.
CRACKING THE CENTURY MARK: With a first-period assist in the Jan. 10 game with Ferris State, Connor Dunlop became the 39th player in Notre Dame history to reach the 100-point mark in his career. Notre Dame’s third-leading scorer this season with six goals and 23 assists, Dunlop had four points last weekend in the Irish sweep of Lake Superior State. He is now 33rd on the all-time scoring list with 109 career points (25 goals and 84 assists).
A LITTLE HELP FOR HIS FRIENDS: With 84 career assists, Connor Dunlop has moved into 20th on Notre Dame’s all-time assist list. With 23 assists this season, Notre Dame’s premier point producer is tied for 11th in the CCHA in assists.
OFFENSIVE DEFENSE: Notre Dame’s defense has had a major hand in creating offense for the Irish this season as the Irish have four defenseman with 10 or more points. Junior Neil Komadoski leads the Irish defensemen in scoring with one goal and 21 assists for 22 points. Right behind him is senior captain Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.) who has scored three goals and added 17 assists for 20 points. They rank fifth and ninth in scoring among CCHA defensemen. Junior Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) is ready to join the top-10 as he has six goals and 13 assists this season for 19 points. Rounding out the group is junior Tom Galvin (Miller Place, N.Y.) as he comes into this weekend with three goals and seven assists for 10 points.
IRON MEN: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen became Notre Dame’s all-time “Iron Man” during the Bowling Green series as he played in his 104th consecutive game on Feb. 15. Nielsen’s streak is now at 108. That moves him past former team captain Ryan Dolder (1997-01) who held the Irish record with 103 consecutive games. Right behind Nielsen is senior left wing John Wroblewski who now has played in 107 consecutive games over the past three seasons.
Current Notre Dame consecutive game streaks:
Evan Nielsen – 108 games
John Wroblewski – 107 games
ALL-TIME GAMES LIST: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen is on pace to finish among the top three players in Notre Dame history for games played in his career. Going into this weekend’s action with Northern Michigan, Nielsen has played in 150 career games. That moves him into a tie for third on the all-time games played list. Dan Carlson (’97-’01) is the all-time leader with 158 games played.
THE SPECIALIST: John Wroblewski continues his impressive senior season. He added his career-high 16th goal of the year and eighth on the power play in the 6-3 win over Lake Superior on Feb. 22. For the season, he leads the Irish with eight power-play goals and two shorthanded tallies among his 16 goals (second on team to Rob Globke’s 19). His eight man-advantage goals are the most by an Irish player since the 1999-2000 season when Ben Simon had 10 on the year. For the year, Wroblewski has career highs in goals (16), assists (16), points (32), power-play goals (8) and shorthanded goals (2).
WROBLEWSKI – THE HUMANITARIAN: Notre Dame senior left wing John Wroblewski is one of 15 college hockey players nominated for the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award that is presented annually to college’s hockey’s finest citizen for their efforts away from the rink in the community. The awarded is presented at the Frozen Four along with the Hobey Baker Award. Wroblewski has been involved with Notre Dame’s Community Service programs during his four years with the Irish. He has also been nominated for the CCHA’s Mike and Marian Ilitch Community Service Award.
IRISH STREAKS: Senior left wing John Wroblewski has a three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) and points in five of his last six games (3-4-7).
Rob Globke has a three-game point scoring streak (1-2-3).
Senior left wing Michael Chin has scored points in five of his last six games (1-4-5).
Defenseman Brett Lebda has points in four of his last five games (2-3-5).
STREAKY STASTNY: Sophomore center Yan Stastny’s goal on Feb. 28 versus Western Michigan was his first since scoring a goal versus Michigan State on Jan. 25. Stastny owns Notre Dame’s team-best eight-game point-scoring streak (7-5-12) from Nov. 30 through Jan. 4 at Nebraska-Omaha. The talented center has picked up points in four of his last six games (1-3-4). He is currently third on the team with 14 goals and his nine assists give him 23 points that put him fourth on the team’s scoring list.
FRESHMAN FIRST: It took freshman left wing Mike Walsh 14 games to get on the scoreboard, but his first collegiate goal proved to be the game-winning goal in the 3-2 win over Lake Superior. A 2002 fourth-round draft pick by the New York Rangers, Walsh has had a long season. He missed the first 10 games of the season after breaking his jaw in the preseason game versus Toronto. He returned to the lineup on Nov. 23 at Michigan, helping the Irish to a 4-3 win. On Nov. 24, he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and missed the next six weeks. He returned on Jan. 4 at Nebraska-Omaha.
CAREER YEAR FOR GLOBKE: Junior right wing Rob Globke scored his career-high 19th goal of the season in the February 28 loss to Western Michigan. He comes into this weekend’s series ranked seventh among CCHA goal scorers. Globke now has career-highs in goals (19), assists (14), points (33) and game-winning goals (3) this year. His previous best came as a freshman when he had 26 points (17g, 9a).
THE SHOTMAKER: Michael Chin equalled a career-high with nine shots on goal in the Feb. 21 win over Lake Superior State. Chin’s empty-net goal in the 6-3 win on Feb. 22 sealed the victory. He now has points in five of his last six games (1-4-5). For the year, Chin has four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 26 games played this season. His nine assists are a career-best for the senior left wing.
FIRING THE BISCUIT: The Irish peppered two Lake Superior State goaltenders with 106 shots in last weekend’s series at the Joyce Center. On Saturday, the Irish had a season-high 56 shots on Terry Denike. That followed a 50 shot game against Matt Violin the previous night. On the season, the Irish have had three games with 50 or more shots. (Dec. 7 vs. Bowling Green was the other).
POWER-PLAY PERFORMANCE: After not getting any power-play chances in the Feb. 21, 3-2 win over Lake Superior, the Irish scored three times on five chances in the 6-3 win on Feb. 22. The three power-play goals were the most for the Irish since a four-power-play goal outbust on Dec. 7 versus Bowling Green. The Irish also scored four power-play goals on Oct. 19 at Western Michigan.
CCHA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Goaltender Morgan Cey was named the CCHA’s defensive player of the week for the week ending Feb. 16 as he led Notre Dame to a pair of wins at Bowling Green. Cey stopped 65 of 69 shots (.942) on the weekend and was selected the Perani Cup first star of the game in both contests. This marks the first time that Cey was named defensive player of the week. He was a two-time rookie of the week during the 2001-02 season.
DOUBLE THE FUN: Notre Dame’s sweep of Bowling Green was the first CCHA sweep for the Irish since winning Oct. 18-19 in a home-and-home series with Western Michigan. The last time the Irish swept a CCHA team on the road was Feb. 22-23, 2002 when they took two at Lake Superior State.
ON THE HOME FRONT: The Feb. 21 win over Lake Superior snapped a six-game winless streak (0-4-2)for the Irish at home. Prior to that win, the last Irish win at home was on Dec. 8 versus Bowling Green. The Irish are now 3-3-2 in the last eight games at the Joyce Center and are 7-6-3 at the Joyce this season.
ROUGH MONTH: The Irish finished January of 2003 with a 1-5-3 record. Over the past three seasons, Notre Dame is 4-15-6 during the month of January (’00-’01: 1-6-2; ’01-’02: 2-4-1; ’02-’03: 1-5-3). The last time the Irish had a winning January came in the 1999-2000 season when they were 4-2-3.
STRONG FINISHERS: While the Irish have struggled in January over the past three seasons, the Feb.-March stretch run has seen them finish strong. Over the past three seasons, the Irish are 14-7-2 to close out the year (’00-’01: 4-3-2; ’01-’02: 5-3-0). The Irish are 5-2-0 in February and March of this season.
BLUELINE BOOSTERS: The Notre Dame defense features two of the top scoring defensemen in the CCHA. Junior defenseman Neil Komadoski (1-21-22) and senior Evan Nielsen (3-17-20) are tied for fifth and ninth respectively in scoring by league defensemen. For Komadoski, the 22 points are a career- high as are the 21 assists. Nielsen’s 17 assists are a career-high and his 20 points equal his career-high set last season (7g, 13a). Nielsen (16g-50a) is 14 points shy of cracking the Notre Dame top-10 list for career points by a defenseman (Steve Curry, 19g, 61a) and could join 1999 All-American Benoit Cotnoir (28g-60a) as the only players on that top-10 defenseman scoring list since ND rejoined the CCHA in 1992.
FIT TO BE TIED: The 3-3 tie with Ohio State on Jan. 31 was Notre Dame’s sixth overtime game this season with all six ending in ties (0-0-6). Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 33 overtime games and are 5-2-26 in those contests. The last time Notre Dame won an overtime game during the regular season was on Jan. 25, 2002, a 4-3 overtime win for the Irish at Miami. The Irish had two postseason games last year decided in overtime (a 3-2 double overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha and a 2-1 win versus the Mavericks).
POWER-PLAY SPECTACULAR: Notre Dame faced a season-high 11 power-play chances by Ohio State in the Jan. 31 game with the Buckeyes. The previous high was eight by Ferris State on Jan. 11. The Irish held Ohio State off the scoreboard on 10 of the 11 chances in the game. For the weekend, the Irish killed 15 of 17 Buckeye power-play chances (88.2%). Notre Dame had its share of power plays on the weekend as the Irish were two-for-14 with the man-advantage, including 2-for-6 in the 3-3 tie and 0-for-8 in the 2-0 loss.
JUST CALL HIM THE CAPTAIN: Defenseman Evan Nielsen turned in the best weekend of his career versus Bowling Green (Dec. 7-8), collecting a pair of three-point games with a goal and two assists in each. The three-point games equal Nielsen’s career best as he has now recorded four three-point nights in his career, highlighted by a career-best five-game point scoring streak (2-7-9) from Nov. 30 to Dec. 28.
CENTRAL SCOUTING REPORT: The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting lists 10 CCHA players in their mid-season rankings. That list includes Notre Dame’s Tim Wallace who is ranked 122nd overall. Wallace has played in all 30 games for the Irish and has four goals and five assists for nine points.
GILL FACTOR: For the first time this season, Notre Dame’s brother tandem of Aaron Gill and Tony Gill (Fr., Rochester, Minn.) scored points in the same game. Older brother Aaron scored via the power play versus Michigan State (Jan. 25) while Tony picked up his first collegiate point in the same game when he set up Tim Wallace’s game-tying goal. The brother combination played on the same line for the only time this season on Nov. 8 versus Miami. Aaron scored Notre Dame’s only goal while getting five shots on goal with a +1 rating. Tony collected one shot and was also +1 for the evening.
“A” FOR EFFORT: Notre Dame left wing John Wroblewski turned in his best series of the season in the Ferris State weekend (Jan. 10-11) as he scored three goals and three assists for six points. For the year, he now has five, three-point games to lead the team in that department. Wroblewski was named an alternate captain for the remainder of the 2002-03 season on Nov. 20. In making the announcement, head coach Dave Poulin said, “John has emerged as an integral part of this team with his leadership and strong communication skills. He adds to an already strong captain’s group on this year’s team.” Wroblewski now has 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points in 33 games this season.
ALLSTATE ARENA NOTES: The Jan. 18 game with Yale was played at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and drew a crowd of 5,091. It was the first collegiate hockey game played in the Chicago area since Illinois-Chicago dropped its program following the 1995-96 season. For Notre Dame, the crowd of 5,091 was the largest “home” crowd for the Irish in their hockey history. The previous top attendance for the Irish in a home game was 4,787 at the Joyce Center and occurred twice – 1/27/73 versus Michigan State and 2/24/73 versus Wisconsin.
NO MORE BULLDOGS: The Irish have finished eight regular season games versus team’s nicknamed “Bulldogs” with a 1-5-2 record. For the season, the Irish were 1-0-1 versus the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, 0-3-1 versus the Ferris State Bulldogs and 0-2-0 versus the Yale Bulldogs.
CORY’S STORY: Sophomore right wing Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) has become a key performer on Notre Dame’s power play, as he picked up two power-play markers in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green. For the season, McLean now has four power-play goals and is second to team leader John Wroblewski (8). For the year, McLean has career-highs in goals (9) and points (13), while equalling his career-high in assists with four. As a freshman, he had just one goal and four assists for five points during the 2001-02 season.
IRISH AT THE JOE: Notre Dame’s win over Wayne State on Dec. 14th at Joe Louis Arena was the first for the Irish at “the Joe” since March 13, 1982 when Dave Poulin led Notre Dame to an 8-5 win over Bowling Green in the CCHA semifinals. After that, the Irish lost seven straight at “the Joe” in CCHA or Great Lakes Invitational play. The win over Wayne State was the first non-CCHA tournament or Great Lakes Invitational game for the Irish at Joe Louis Arena. Notre Dame now has a 4-7-0 record all-time at Joe Louis Arena.
MORE GLOBKE: With an assist on Connor Dunlop’s game-winning goal versus Wayne State (Dec. 14), followed by a goal in the 6-4 loss at Dartmouth, Rob Globke ran his season-best point scoring streak to seven games (8-6-14). In the first five games of the streak, Globke recorded at least two points in each game. On the year, Globke has four games with three-or-more points and eight multiple-point games overall. He started the season with a four-point game (3g, 1a) at Minnesota-Duluth (Oct. 12) and a three-point game (2g, 1a) at Western Michigan (Oct. 18). The last time a Notre Dame player scored five goals over a two-game period was during the 1994-95 season when Tim Harberts scored four goals in a game versus Waterloo (Oct. 21) and then scored a single-goal versus Lake Superior (Oct. 28). The last time a Notre Dame player had seven points in a two-game span was last season when Connor Dunlop (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) had two goals and five assists in a weekend series versus Alaska Fairbanks (Feb. 1-2, 2002). For his career, Globke now has 15 multiple-point games and 10 multiple-goal games.
FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Freshman forward Matt Amado (Surrey, B.C.) picked up the first goal and assist of his Notre Dame career at Alaska Fairbanks (Nov. 29-30). He added an assist in the win over Bowling Green (Dec. 7) for a three-point scoring streak (1-2-3).
NHL DRAFTEES: Notre Dame had three players selected in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft last June. Current junior Rob Globke led the way as he was selected in the second round, 40th overall, by the Florida Panthers. That is the highest any Notre Dame hockey player has ever been selected in the NHL Draft. In the fifth round, incoming freshman Mike Walsh was selected 143rd overall by the New York Rangers. The third member of the Notre Dame roster picked was sophomore Yan Stastny who was selected in the eighth round, 259th overall, by the Boston Bruins. They join senior Evan Nielsen (Atlanta Thrashers, 8th round, 2000 Draft) and junior defenseman Neil Komadoski (Ottawa Senators, 3rd round, 2001 Draft) as Notre Dame players selected by the NHL.
OUCH: Notre Dame surrendered four power-play goals on six chances to Alaska Fairbanks in the 5-4 loss to the Nanooks on Nov. 30. The last time the Irish gave up four power-play goals in a game came on Feb. 15, 1997 at Michigan in a 6-1 loss. Prior to the UAF game on Nov. 30, the Irish penalty-killing unit had killed 29 of 32 opponent power-play chances. Notre Dame’s penalty killers got back on track versus Bowling Green (Dec.7-8) when they killed 12 of 13 Falcon power-play chances. For the season, the Irish are fifth overall in the CCHA after giving up 29 ppg’s on 163 chances for an 82.1% success rate.
SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s series sweep of Lake Superior State (Feb. 21-22) gave the Irish four CCHA series sweeps this season. Earlier this year, the Irish swept a home-and-home series with Western Michigan (Oct. 18-19) and a home series with Bowling Green (Dec. 7-8). The last time the Irish won more that two CCHA series was in the 1998-99 season when they swept four weekend series. The Irish sweep of Western Michigan earlier this year gave the Irish three consecutive CCHA series sweeps going back to the 2001-02 season. The Irish ended the season by sweeping Lake Superior at Sault Ste. Marie and then Bowling Green at the Joyce Center. That marked the first time in Notre Dame’s 11 years in the CCHA that the Irish won three consecutive league series. The last time Notre Dame won three consecutive weekend series was during the 1990-91 season with sweeps versus Mercyhurst, Alabama-Huntsville and UMass-Boston.
SHORT-CIRCUITED: Notre Dame gave up its fourth short-handed goal of the season in the 4-3 win at Michigan (Nov. 23) as Dwight Helminen scored a man down at 6:45 of the first period. Last season, the Irish gave up just four shorthanded goals in 38 games.
PULLING THE GOALTENDER: The Irish have pulled the goaltender 13 times this season and have been successful in getting the tying-goal twice. The Irish converted their first two attempts getting game-tying goals versus Minnesota-Duluth and Boston College. On Oct. 11, Yan Stastny performed the heroics versus Minnesota-Duluth. With Morgan Cey on the bench, Stastny scored with 57 seconds left to tie that game at 2-2. Aaron Gill got the game-tying goal with 42 seconds left and Cey on the bench Nov. 1 to send the Boston College game into overtime at 3-3. The last seven times the Irish have pulled the goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker they have failed to score (Ferris State scored (1/10) to seal a 6-3 win).
HAT TRICKS: Junior center Aaron Gill scored three goals for the Irish in the 8-5 win at Western Michigan on Oct. 19. The hat trick was the first of his collegiate career and marked the second time in the first four games that Notre Dame recorded a hat trick. Rob Globke scored three times in the 5-3 win at Minnesota-Duluth. This marks the first time since the 1994-95 season that two Notre Dame players have recorded hat tricks in the same season. Tim Harberts (four goals) and Ben Nelsen each had hat tricks in October of 1994.
EIGHT IS GREAT: The eight goals scored by the Irish in the 8-5 win at Western Michigan are the most goals scored by Notre Dame in a game since Nov. 20, 1998, in a 9-5 win over Western Michigan. That covers a span of 150 games.
NOT SO GREAT EIGHT: Ferris State’s Chris Kunitz scored eight points in the weekend (Oct. 25-26) series versus the Irish. The senior left wing recorded two goals and two assists in each game. The last time Notre Dame gave up eight points in a CCHA series was during the 1981-82 season when Western Michigan’s Ross Fitzpatrick recorded six goals and two assists on Feb. 26-27, 1982. Fitzpatrick had three goals and one assist in each game.
Closing The DeaL: After seeing their 50-game unbeaten streak (42-0-8) when leading after two periods stopped in the second game of last season (2001-02), the Irish went 16-0-1 over the final 17 games of 2001-02 when they led after two periods. This season, the Irish are 8-1-3 when they lead after two periods of play having lost at Nebraska-Omaha on Jan 4 after leading 3-2 going into the third period. Since Jan. 9, 1998, the Irish are 66-4-12 when leading after two periods of play. During that period, Boston College has rallied from second-intermission deficits to hand the Irish a loss and a two ties.
WOW ZOW: Notre Dame goaltender Tony Zasowski (Sr., Darien, Ill.) made his first start since Nov. 30 at Alaska-Fairbanks in Notre Dame’s 3-1 loss to Yale at the Allstate Center on Jan. 18. In that game, he made 301 saves. It was his fourth appearance of the season. He is 1-2-0 with a 3.82 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage.
WASTING LITTLE TIME: Freshman right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) wasted little time scoring his first collegiate goal in the 2-2 tie at Minnesota-Duluth. Wallace scored the first goal of his career for the Irish on the first shot of his collegiate career. The goal came at 9:12 of the first period and tied the score at 1-1. He added his second career goal in the first period of ND’s 8-5 win over Western Michigan. That goal snapped a 1-1 tie and put the Irish ahead to stay in the game. Through 24 games this season, Wallace has two goals and four assists for sixpoints in his rookie season.
CENTER OF ATTENTION: Irish center Connor Dunlop is coming off the best season of his career and the best year for a Notre Dame hockey player since 1991-92. Dunlop capped his junior year by leading the Irish in scoring with nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points. The 36 assists were the most since Curtis Janicke recorded 38 in 1991-92 and the 45 points were the most since Janicke’s 50-point campaign in ’91-’92.
Dunlop finished fourth overall among CCHA scorers and third in assists. In the 28-game regular season league rankings, Dunlop was second in points (36) and assists (27).
An honorable mention all-CCHA selection in 2001-02, Dunlop turned in a seven-point (two goals, five assists) weekend series versus Alaska Fairbanks (Feb. 1-2) including his second four-point game of the season. For the year, Dunlop recorded two four-point games, three with three-points and 13 multiple-point games in all.
SEN-CEY-TIONAL: Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey was among the top freshmen netminders in the country during the 2001-02 season. Cey turned in a 15-14-3 record with a 2.72 goals against average and a school-record .910 save percentage. He also equalled a Notre Dame mark with two solo shutouts. Over the final nine games of the year, Cey was 7-2 with a 1.77 goals against average. Cey backstopped the Irish to their playoff series win at Nebraska-Omaha. In three games covering 208:49 minutes, Cey gave up five goals, while stopping 99 of 104 shots for a 1.49 goals against and a .951 save percentage.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Three current members of the Notre Dame hockey program – senior center Connor Dunlop, junior defenseman Neil Komadoski and sophomore forward Yan Stastny – hold a unique connection, as each of their fathers enjoyed lengthy careers in the National Hockey League.
Blake Dunlop played 11 seasons in pro hockey (’73-’84), including NHL stints with the Minnesota North Stars (’73-’77), Philadelphia Flyers (’77-’79), St. Louis Blues (’79-’83) and Detroit Red Wings (’83-’84), totaling 130G-274A in 550 career NHL games.
Neil Komadoski, Sr., played eight NHL seasons as a defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings (’72-’78) and the St. Louis Blues (’77-’80), totaling 16G-76A and 632 penalty minutes in 501 career games.
Peter Stastny played 15 seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques (’80-’90), the New Jersey Devils (’90-’93) and the St. Louis Blues (’93-’95). He is currently the 23rd all-time scorer in league history with 450 goals, 789 assists and 1,239 points in 997 games. A six-time NHL all-star, Stastny is the highest scoring European-born player in NHL history and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. The 1981 NHL rookie-of-the-year, Stastny is currently a special assignment scout for the St. Louis Blues.
ALL IN THE FAMILY, PART II: Two freshmen hockey players – Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh – have fathers who also attended Notre Dame. Rory Walsh’s father, Brian (’77), was an all-American hockey player for the Irish. A center, the elder Walsh is Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer after recording 234 career points on 89 goals and 145 assists. Mike Walsh’s father, Max, (’74) was an offensive lineman on the Notre Dame football team and a member of the 1973 national championship team. Adding to the Irish family theme, sophomore left wing Yan Stastny’s (St. Louis, Mo.) younger sister, Kristina, is a freshman with the Notre Dame women’s tennis team while junior Aaron Gill’s younger brother Tony gives the Irish program its ninth all-time brother combo.
Academic All-AmericanS: Notre Dame saw its streak of five consecutive Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans snapped in 2001-02. Senior right wing David Inman (Toronto, Ont.) was selected as a District V selection for the At-Large team but did not make it to the national team. Prior to 2001-02, four Irish hockey players made the team over a five-year period:
2000-01: Dan Carlson (3rd team)
1999-00: Andy Jurkowski (3rd team)
1998-99: Forrest Karr (2nd team)
1997-98: Steve Noble (1st team)
1996-97: Steve Noble (2nd team)
CCHA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: David Inman was named to the CCHA’s nine-man 2001-02 all-Academic Team, making Notre Dame the CCHA’s only school to produce an all-Academic honoree in each of the last seven seasons. Inman finished second for the Irish in scoring with 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points and was also an honorable mention all-CCHA selection. Inman turned in a 3.54 grade point average in finance during his Notre Dame career. The Irish have produced eight previous first team CCHA All-Academic selections since rejoining the CCHA in ’92-’93: Curtis Janicke and Carl Picconatto (’92-’93), Garry Gruber (’95-’96), Steve Noble (’96-’97, ’97-’98), Forrest Karr and Aniket Dhadphale (’98-’99), Andy Jurkowski (99′-’00) and Dan Carlson (2000-01). During that 10-year span, only Western Michigan (11) has produced more CCHA All-Academic selections than Notre Dame’s 10.
HOMETOWNS: The 2002-03 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states and hree Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia and Saskat-chewan. In the seven-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, the Notre Dame hockey letterwinners have hailed from 20 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
2002-03 ND Hockey – By State/ Province:
Illinois (5): Michael Chin, Brett Lebda, Evan Nielsen, Tony Zasowski, Joe Zurenko
Michigan (5): Rob Globke, Jake Wiegand, Derek Smith, Chris Trick, Mike Walsh
Minnesota (3): Kyle Dolder, Aaron Gill, Tony Gill
Missouri (3): Connor Dunlop, Neil Komadoski, Yan Stastny
Alaska (1): Tim Wallace
Alberta (1): Brad Wanchulak
British Columbia (1): Matt Amado
Maryland (1): T.J. Mathieson
Massachusetts (1): Rory Walsh
New York (1): Tom Galvin
North Dakota (1): Cory McLean
Saskatchewan (1): Morgan Cey
Wisconsin (1): John Wroblewski
PATRIOTIC GROUP: Notre Dame’s current roster includes eight players who have past experience with USA Hockey, as members of the National Team Development Program (NTDP) and/or the National Junior Team. Notre Dame ranks second with 10 NTDP alums, one behind Michigan State (11), while Minnesota has nine. Notre Dame’s contingent includes seniors Michael Chin, John Wroblewski and Connor Dunlop, juniors Rob Globke, Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda, sophomore Derek Smith and freshman forward Tim Wallace.
Former Irish players Brett Henning and Paul Harris also were members of the Developmental program prior to playing at Notre Dame.
Globke and Lebda also played for Team USA at last year’s World Junior Championships. For Globke, it was his second appearance for Team USA and he scored two goals with one assist in helping the U.S. team to a 4-1-2 record and fifth place. Lebda made his first appearance and scored a goal in seven tournament games. The Irish have had at least one player on the National Junior Team in each of the last six years:
NOTRE DAME PLAYERS ON U.S. JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM – (since ’96-’97):
Ben Simon – 1996-97, 1997-98
Joe Dusbabek – 1997-98
Dan Carlson – 1998-99
Brett Henning – 1999-2000
Connor Dunlop – 1999-00, 2000-01
David Inman – 1999-2000
Rob Globke – 2000-01, 2001-02
Brett Lebda – 2001-02