Dec. 10, 2002
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IRISH TRAVEL TO JOE LOUIS ARENA FOR SINGLE GAME VS. WAYNE STATE
* The Series: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-6-2/6-6-0) at Wayne State (5-9-0/1-3-0 in CHA)
* Date/Site/Times: Sat., Dec. 14 – Joe Louis Arena (19,983) – 1:35 p.m.
* Broadcast Information: Notre Dame hockey will be simulcast live on 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.
TAKE THE HIGHWAY: Notre Dame takes to the road this weekend for a single matinee game versus the Wayne State Warriors on Sat., Dec. 14. The Irish and Warriors will tangle in a 1:35 p.m. contest at Joe Louis Arena in the final game for the Irish prior to breaking for finals and the Christmas holiday. After a home weekend sweep of Bowling Green on Dec. 7-8, Notre Dame plays its next seven games on the road. The Irish next play at home on Jan. 17, 2003 when the Irish face Yale at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame is now 7-6-2 on the year and 6-6-0 in the CCHA, good for 12 points and a tie for sixth-place in the league standings. Wayne State is coming off a trip to Alaska where the Warriors were swept by Alaska Fairbanks, 6-2 and 8-2 last weekend. For the year, Wayne State is 5-9-0 overall and 1-3-0 in College Hockey America (CHA). The Warriors won the CHA last season after going 21-11-4 overall and 15-3-2 in conference play. Following the Wayne State clash, the Irish will break for two weeks for finals and Christmas before returning to play at the Ledyard National Bank Tournament at Hanover, N.H., on Dec. 28-29. The Irish will face tourney host Dartmouth in the opening game at 7:05 p.m. The second night’s contest will be versus either Vermont or UMass-Lowell. Game times on Dec. 29 are 4:05 p.m. or 7:05 p.m. depending on which game the Irish play.
IRISH VERSUS WARRIORS: Notre Dame and Wayne State meet for the second time in the all-time series this weekend. The series started on Oct. 17, 2000 at the Joyce Center with the Irish taking a 2-1 overtime win. Rob Globke and Connor Dunlop scored for Notre Dame in that game. Wayne State coach Bill Wilkinson, now in his fourth season behind the Warrior bench, is no stranger to Irish hockey fans. He served as the head coach at Western Michigan from 1982-1999 and owns a 21-11-1 all-time record versus the Irish.
A LOOK AT THE WARRIORS: Wayne State, now in its fourth season as a Division I program, brings a 5-9-0 overall record into Saturday afternoon’s game with the Irish. The Warriors have lost three straight and are 2-4-0 in their last three series. They are 1-3-0 versus CCHA teams so far this season as they own a split at Ferris State (losing 4-1 and winning 5-4) and were swept at Alaska Fairbanks last weekend, 6-2 and 8-2. Offensively, Wayne State is led by senior forwards Dustin Kingston (4-7-11), Maxim Starchenko (6-2-8) and Jason Durbin (4-4-8). In goal, senior David Guerrera (4-7-0, 3.92, .880 sv%) has played 11 of the team’s 14 games. The Warriors average 2.79 goals-per-game while giving up 4.29. Their power play has converted 12-of-67 chances (17.9%) and the penalty-killing unit has surrendered 21 power-play goals in 82 chances (74.5%). For more information on the Wayne State Warriors, check their website at www.WSUAthletics.com.
IRISH AT THE JOE: Notre Dame will be playing its 11th game all-time at Joe Louis Arena when the Irish face Wayne State on Dec. 14. This will be the first time that the Irish have played at “the Joe” in a non-CCHA tournament game or in the Great Lakes Invitational. All-time, the Irish are 3-7-0 at Joe Louis Arena. Notre Dame’s last win there came on March 13, 1982 when the Irish beat Bowling Green, 8-5, in the CCHA semifinals. Irish coach Dave Poulin was a captain of that Irish team. Notre Dame also won the Great Lakes Invitational that season. Since winning its first three appearances at “the Joe,” the Irish are 0-7 in their last seven games visits to the home of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. .
BOWLING GREEN RECAP: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.) had a six-point weekend (two goals, four assists) and senior left wing John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.) had five points (two goals, three assists) to lead the Irish to a sweep of Bowling Green by 6-3 and 5-2 scores. Goaltender Morgan Cey (So., Wilkie, Sask.) stopped 87 of 92 shots on the weekend to pick up wins both nights. In Saturday’s 6-3 win, sophomore right wing Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) had a career-best three-point game (2g, 1a) and Nielsen added a goal and two assists to lead the Irish offense. Notre Dame scored on four-of-six power-play chances while holding the Falcons scoreless on six power plays of their own. McLean scored both his goals on the power play while Rob Globke (Jr., West Bloomfield, Mich.) and Brett Lebda (Jr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.) added solo power-play goals. Yan Stastny (So., St. Louis, Mo.) had Notre Dame’s sixth goal of the game. The Irish peppered Bowling Green goaltender Jordan Sigalet with a season-high 50 shots on goal with Sigalet stopping 44 of them. Cey made 40 saves of his own on the night and picked up his first career assist on Nielsen’s third-period goal. On Sunday, Wroblewski led the Irish attack with two goals and an assist and Nielsen chipped in his second three-point game (1g, 2a) on the weekend. Cey made a career-high 47 saves on the night, including 20 in the final period. Globke got his CCHA-leading 14th goal of the year to give the Irish a 1-0 lead just 20 seconds into the game. Bowling Green took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period before the Irish scored four unanswered goals. Nielsen got the game-tying goal at 14:00 of the second and Michael Chin (Sr., Urbana, Ill.) notched the eventual game-winning goal at 15:35 of the second. Wroblewski insured the win with a pair of goals in the third period. The Irish outshot Bowling Green, 49-45, on the night.
ON THE SIDELINES: Freshman forward Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) will be out of the Irish lineup indefinitely as he was diagnosed with mononucleosis on Nov. 24. Walsh missed the first 10 games of the season with a broken jaw suffered in the Oct. 4 preseason game with the University of Toronto. He returned to action and played in Notre Dame’s 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23. Junior center Aaron Gill (Rochester, Minn.) injured a shoulder in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green on Dec. 7 and is out of the lineup indefinitely.
IRISH OVER FALCONS: With the two wins over Bowling Green, the Irish have now won four straigh versus the Falcons and five of the last six over the last two seasons. In the last 10 meetings, Notre Dame is 8-1-1. At the Joyce Center, the Irish have won seven straight games versus Bowling Green and are 8-0-1 in the last nine meetings since the 1997-98 season.
FIRING THE BISCUIT: Notre Dame recorded a season-high 50 shots on goal in the Dec. 7 game with Bowling Green. The last time the Irish had 50 or more shots in a game was March 1, 2002 versus Bowling Green at the Joyce Center.
FLIPPING THE SWITCH: Notre Dame’s power play came to life versus Bowling Green on Dec. 7, converting four-of-six chances in the game. That snapped a 2-for-41 (4.9%) dry spell over the previous eight games. The four power-play goals marks the second time this season that the Irish have scored four power-play goals in a game. They turned the trick on Oct. 19 when they scored on four-of-seven chances in an 8-5 win over Western Michigan. On the year, Notre Dame now has 14 power-play goals on 82 chances for an 17.1% success rate.
JUST CALL HIM THE CAPTAIN: Defenseman Evan Nielsen turned in the best weekend of his career versus Bowling Green collecting two 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. For the season, the senior is third on the Irish in scoring with two goals and 11 assists for 13 points. That ties him for second in scoring among CCHA defensemen.
GOALS FOR GLOBKE: With 14 goals on the season, Rob Globke leads the CCHA in goals and ranks fifth in the nation among goal scorers. He leads the CCHA in goals during league games with 11 goals in 12 contests. With 14 goals and nine assists this season for 23 points, the 2002 second-round pick of the NHL’s Florida Panthers has already surpassed last year’s point totals of 11-11-22. Globke’s 23 points ranks him fifth in the CCHA’s overall scoring race. In league scoring he is third with 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points.
MORE GLOBKE: With a goal and an assist in each game versus Bowling Green, Rob Globke has now recorded two-or-more points in a game for five consecutive games. The talented right wing has a five-game point and goal streak with seven goals and five assists for 12 points. On the year, Globke has four games with three-or-more points and seven 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 14 multiple-point games and eight multiple-goal games.
ALWAYS SEN(CEY)TIONAL: Irish goaltender Morgan Cey stopped 87 of 92 (.946) shots in the sweep of Bowling Green, including a career-high 47-save game in Sunday’s 5-2 win. Since Nov. 1, when he backstopped the Irish to a 3-3 tie with then #3-ranked Boston College, Cey is 4-4-1 with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He started eight of those nine games (came on in relief of Tony Zasowski at Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 30). Since turning Notre Dame’s season around last Feb. 8th when he helped the Irish go 7-2-0 over their last nine games, Cey is 13-7-2 with a 2.33 goals against and a .912 save percentage.
GETTING IT DUN(LOP): Senior center Connor Dunlop has recorded two-point games in four of the last five games he’s played. His two-assist night on Dec. 8 gave him eight points in the last five games. For the season, Dunlop ranks second on the team with 14 points with all of them coming on assists. For his career, the CCHA’s premier playmaker now has 19 goals and 75 assists for 94 career points. He needs just six more points to become the 39th player in Notre Dame history to reach the 100-point plateau. He now has 23 multiple-point games for his career. That includes two with four points, five with three points and 16 with two points.
“A” FOR EFFORT: Notre Dame left wing John Wroblewski turned in his best series of the season in the Bowling Green sweep as he picked up two goals and three assists for the weekend. Wroblewski had a pair of assists in the Dec. 7 win. He then followed that with his second three-point game of the season and the third of his career in the 5-2 win with two goals and an assist. The two-goal game was also his second of the season and the third of his career. 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 six goals and six assists for 12 points in 15 games this season.
CHIN WINNER: Senior left wing Michael Chin snapped a seven-game scoreless streak when he scored his third goal of the season, the eventual game winner, in the 5-2 win over Bowling Green. Chin has three goals and four assists for seven points in 13 games this season.
CORY’S STORY: Sophomore right wing Cory McLean has become Notre Dame’s sniper on the power play as he picked up two more power-play markers in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green. For the season, McLean now has four power-play goals to lead the team. For the year, McLean has career-highs in goals (6) and points (8). As a freshman, he had just one goal and four assists for five points during the 2001-02 season.
BACK ON THE BOARD: Sophomore left wing Yan Stastny snapped a five-game scoring slump with a goal and an assist on Nov. 30 versus Alaska Fairbanks. He scored his second goal in as many games in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green on Dec. 7 and then had a pair of assists in the 5-2 win on Dec. 8. For the year, Stastny is tied for second on the team with six goals to go with four assists for 10 points. His current three-game point streak has netted him five points (1-4-5).
FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Freshman forward Matt Amado (Surrey, B.C.) picked up the first goal and assist of his Notre Dame career in the weekend series at Alaska Fairbanks. He added an assist in the win over Bowling Green for a three-point scoring streak (1-2-3).
PENALTY SHOTS: Irish goaltender Morgan Cey faced the second penalty shot of his career in the 4-2 loss to Michigan on Nov. 9, stopping Milan Gajic at 12:36 of the third period. As a freshman, Cey stopped Bowling Green’s Greg Day on Dec. 8, 2001 in a 4-2 loss to the Falcons.
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 sixth overall in the CCHA after giving up 14 ppg’s on 77 chances for a 81.8% success rate.
SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s series sweep of Bowling Green gives the Irish two CCHA series sweeps this season. Earlier this year (Oct. 18-19), the Irish swept a home-and-home series with Western Michigan. 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. Notre Dame’s streak of three consecutive regular-season series sweeps came to an end versus Ferris State when the Bulldogs took 5-2 and 4-1 verdicts from the Irish on Oct. 25-26.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) is having a career-year offensively on the Irish blue line. Through the first 15 games of the season, Komadoski is tied for fourth in team scoring with a goal and 11 assists for 12 points. The 11 assists and 12 points are career-highs for Komadoski. Among CCHA defensemen, Komadoski is fourth in scoring.
Goaltender Morgan Cey stopped 87 of 92 shots in the sweep of Bowling Green.
ROAD WARRIORS: The two road losses at Alaska Fairbanks dropped the Irish to 3-3-1 on the road this season. Since Feb. 9, 2002, the Irish are 8-4-1 over their last 13 road games. Last season, Notre Dame was 10-8-3 on the road.
SHORT-CIRCUITED: Notre Dame gave up its fourth short-handed goal of the season in the 4-3 win versus Michigan (Nov. 23) when 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 in games six 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 four times the Irish have pulled the goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker they have failed to score.
FIT TO BE TIED: The 3-3 tie versus Boston College (Nov. 1) was Notre Dame’s second tie of the season and they are 0-0-2 in those games. Since the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 5-2-22 in overtime games.
THE BROTHERS GILL: Notre Dame’s brother combination of Aaron Gill and Tony Gill saw their first action of the season together on the same line versus Miami (Nov. 8). 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.
NHL DRAFTEES: Notre Dame had three players selected in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft last June. 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, 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.
CENTRAL SCOUTING REPORT: The National Hockey League released its Central Scouting Services preliminary rankings for the 2003 Entry Draft Nov 25. On its list of 42 collegiate players (37 skaters and five goaltenders), 11 CCHA players were ranked. Ranked 12th among collegiate players is Irish right wing Tim Wallace (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska). Wallace has played in all 13 games for the Irish with two goals and two assists for four points.
GILL THE THRILL: Junior center Aaron Gill has provided his heroics twice for the Irish this season. The Rochester, Minn., native scored with 42 seconds left to give Notre Dame a 3-3 tie with third-ranked Boston College on Nov. 1. Earlier in the season (Oct. 19), Gill recorded the first hat trick of his career in Notre Dame’s 8-5 win over Western Michigan. Gill scored two power-play goals and had the game-winning tally among his three lamplighters.
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.
NO BULL: Notre Dame will face teams with the nickname Bulldogs eight times this season. The Irish opened the season with two games versus the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. They will face the Ferris State Bulldogs four times this season as members of the CCHA. In January, the Irish will play host to the Yale Bulldogs with one game (Jan. 17) at the Joyce Center and one game (Jan. 18) at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
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, the Irish went 16-0-1 over the final 17 games when they led after two periods. This season, the Irish are 4-0-1 when they lead after two periods of play. Since Jan. 9, 1998, the Irish are 62-2-10 when leading after two periods of play. During that period, Boston College has handed the Irish a loss and a two ties.
WOW ZOW: Notre Dame goaltender Tony Zasowski (Sr., Darien, Ill.) made his first start since Dec. 1, 2001 in the second game of the weekend series at Minnesota-Duluth (Oct. 12). After giving up two first-period goals, Zasowski stopped 30 of 31 shots over the final two periods for the 5-3 win. On the night, Zasowski made 39 saves, the second highest total of his career. Zasowski made 29 saves in his second appearance of the year, a 4-1 loss to Ferris State on Oct. 26.
IRON MEN: Senior center Jake Wiegand saw his consecutive games streak of 79 straight games snapped on Oct. 25 versus Ferris State. The 6-3, 218-pound forward went down with a sprained left knee in Notre Dame’s 8-5 win at Western Michigan (Oct. 19). Junior center Aaron Gill had his 62-game streak snapped on Dec. 8 when he missed the Bowling Green game with a separated right shoulder. Defenseman Evan Nielsen (Sr., Evanston, Ill.) now has the team lead having played in 90 consecutive games. Junior defenseman Brett Lebda has played in 86 of 90 career games at Notre Dame. The lone games he has missed came between 12/28 – 1/5 of last season while he was playing for the U.S. Junior National Team in the World Junior Championships. The Notre Dame record for consecutive games played is 103 and was set by Ryan Dolder over three seasons.
Current Notre Dame consecutive game streaks:
Evan Nielsen – 90 games
John Wroblewski – 88 games
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 15 games this season, Wallace has two goals and two assists for four points 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.
An all-CCHA and all-American candidate this season, Dunlop was 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-SATIONAL: 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 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.
THE CAPTAINS: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen will serve as team captain for the second consecutive season in 2002-03. He is the first two-time captain since Steve Noble handled the job in 1996-97 and 1997-98. He becomes the 12th two-time captain in the program’s 35th season. One of the CCHA’s top returning defensemen, Nielsen had a career season during 2001-02 with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points while being +5 on the year. Serving as alternate captains this season will be senior center Connor Dunlop and junior center Aaron Gill. Dunlop served as an alternate captain in 2001-02 and had the best season of his career. Dunlop had nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points with the assist and point totals being the most for a Notre Dame player since 1991-92. An honorable mention all-CCHA performer, Dunlop was fourth among CCHA scorers overall and finished second in 28 league games with nine goals and 27 assists for 36 points. Gill has been a steady performer in his first two seasons with the Irish. He is coming off an eight-goal, 14-assist season. Known for his non-stop hustle, Gill is one of the teams top faceoff men and penalty killers. John Wroblewski was appointed the team’s third alternate captain on Nov. 20. One of the top defensive forwards in the CCHA, Wroblewski had his best season offensively in 2001-02 when he scored 10 goals with 11 assists for 21 points. All three totals were career highs.
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), while 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. Notre Dame’s NHL connection doesn’t stop there.
Sophomore forward Alexander “Newsy” Lalonde (Newmarket, Ont.) also has NHL lineage as he is a distant relative of NHL pioneer and Hall of Famer, Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde. Lalonde played for the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Americans between 1917 and 1927 for a total of six seasons in which he scored 124 goals and 41 assists for 165 points in 99 games.
ALL IN THE FAMILY, PART II: Two freshmen hockey players – Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh have fathers who 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 their ninth brother combo in the program’s history.
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.
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.
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.
RIVALRY CLUSTERS: The CCHA starts its new scheduling format this season as the league’s 12 teams are grouped in “rivalry pairings.” In the new pairings, Notre Dame is paired with Bowling Green. The league’s other pairings include Michigan-Michigan State, Miami-Ohio State, Lake Superior State-Northern Michigan, Ferris State-Western Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks-Nebraska-Omaha.
The conference will continue to use the 28-game three-cluster format that was implemented three years ago to determine the regular-season champion. The teams will be divided into three clusters made up of two of the above pairings with each team playing the other three members of its cluster four times (twice at home and twice on the road). Each team hosts two teams and visits the other two from each of the other clusters. While the schedule is designed for two-game weekend series, some teams have taken advantage of the option to play home-and-home series when geographically possible.
In 2002-03, Notre Dame will play Bowling Green, Ferris State and Western Michigan four times with two games at home and two away. The Irish will also host two-game series with Lake Superior State, Miami, Michigan State and Ohio State while traveling for two games to Alaska Fairbanks, Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan.