Jan. 13, 2004
Notre Dame (11-7-2/8-6-2) at #4/#4 Wisconsin (14-5-5/8-3-5)
- Date/Site/Times Sat.-Sun., Jan. 17-18, 2004 – Kohl Center (15,237) – 705 p.m. (CST)
- Radio All Notre Dame games can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1620, South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” calls all the action with Tom Nevala handling the color commentary. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at www.und.com.
Notre Dame takes to the road for its final non-conference games of the season as the Irish travel to Madison, Wis., for a weekend series versus the #4/#4 Wisconsin Badgers. This series will be played Sat.-Sun., Jan. 17-18 with game times both nights at the Kohl Center set for 705 p.m. (CST). This is the first meeting between the former WCHA (1971-81) rivals since Oct. 2, 1998 when the Irish spoiled the Badger’s Kohl Center opening with a 2-1 win over the Badgers. Wisconsin leads the all-time series with a 36-15-6 record. At Madison, Wisconsin has a 21-8-1 record versus the Irish. In Notre Dame’s last two trips to Wisconsin (1997-98 and 1998-99), the Irish have won twice (4-2, 2-1). Notre Dame comes into this weekend series with an 11-7-2 overall record and is in third place in the CCHA with an 8-6-2 mark, good for 18 points. That puts the Irish just one point behind first-place Michigan and Miami. Notre Dame is 3-2-0 in it’s last five games. Wisconsin sits atop the WCHA standings with an 8-3-5 record, good for a one-point lead over North Dakota (21-20) with the Fighting Sioux having four games in hand. Wisconsin is 14-5-5 overall and ranked fourth in the nation in both the USA Today and U.S. College Hockey Online polls. The Badgers are 2-1-2 in their last five games. Notre Dame returns to CCHA play next week with a weekend series at Northern Michigan (Jan. 23-24).
AT IT AGAIN
For the fourth time this season, Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) has been honored by the CCHA. After being chosen as the league’s rookie of the week three times (Oct. 20, Nov. 3, Dec. 1), Brown was named the CCHA defensive player of the week for the week ending Jan. 11. He took defensive honors after recording his Irish-record fourth shutout of the season as he made 32 saves in Notre Dame’s 3-0 shutout win over Bowling Green. The shutout was Brown’s second 3-0 shutout of the Falcons at Bowling Green this season. The other came in a 40-save performance on Oct. 18th at the Bowling Green Ice Arena.
TEAM USA REUNION
This weekend’s series between Notre Dame and Wisconsin will serve as a U.S. National Developmental Team reunion of sorts. Between the two teams rosters, their are 14 former members of the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 teams. The Irish have eight players with ties to the program – seniors Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.), Neil Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), junior Derek Smith (Marysville, Mich.), sophomore Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) and freshmen Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.). Wisconsin’s roster features sophomore Tom Sawatske and freshmen Jake Dowell, Robbie Earl, Jeff Likes and Ryan Suter. Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves served as coach of the Under-18 team from 2000-02. Smith, Wallace and Babin were coached by Eaves during his tenure as head coach with the Under-18 team. Eaves was head coach of the U.S. Junior National Team that won the gold medal at the recent World Junior Championships.
BOWLING GREEN RECAP
The Irish split last weekend’s series with Bowling Green, dropping a 5-4 overtime game at Bowling Green on Jan. 9 before winning 3-0 on Saturday (Jan. 10) at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center. In Friday’s game, the Irish surrendered three two-goal leads (2-0, 3-1 and 4-2) with Bowling Green tying the game at 1408 of the third period. The Falcons got the game winner with 28 seconds left in overtime on a centering pass that went in off an Irish defenseman. Brett Lebda (first-period power play) and Josh Sciba staked the Irish to a 2-0 lead by the 837 mark of the second period. D’Arcy McConvey cut the lead to 2-1 at 1027 of the second only to see Notre Dame’s Aaron Gill (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) answer with a power-play goal 35 seconds later at 1102. Kevin Bieksa cut the lead to 3-2 with a four-on-four tally at 1326 but Jason Paige (Fr., Saginaw, Mich.) gave the Irish a 4-2 lead with his fourth goal of the season at 1802. Brett Pilkington scored on the Bowling Green power play with 10 seconds left in the second to make it 4-3. Steve Brudzewski’s power-play goal at 1408 of the third tied the game at 4-4 and James Unger was credited with the game winner at 432 of overtime. Bowling Green outshot the Irish 34-32 on the night. Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) made 29 saves in the loss while Jordan Sigalet had 28 for the Falcons. Both teams were 2-for-8 on the power play.
MORE BOWLING GREEN RECAP
On Saturday night, the Irish returned home looking to even the season series with Bowling Green at two games each. Freshman goaltender David Brown took care of that as he kicked out all 32 shots he faced to blank the Falcons 3-0. Jason Paige, Josh Sciba and Brett Lebda (ppg) contributed all the offense in the Irish win. Notre Dame outshot the Falcons 40-32 on the night. Jordan Sigalet made 37 saves in the loss. Notre Dame was 1-for-9 on the power play while BG was 0-for-7.
END OF THE LINE
Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) saw his consecutive minutes of scoreless hockey come to an end at 15853 when D’Arcy McConvey scored at 1027 of the second period on Jan. 9. The streak was the longest of Cey’s career, passing his previous best of 14917 (set between Mar. 14-20, 2003 in the CCHA playoffs). Cey’s 15853 is the second longest in Irish history behind David Brown’s mark of 19327 set earlier this season.
FIT TO BE TIED
Notre Dame’s 5-4 overtime loss to Bowling Green (Jan. 9) was the first regular-season overtime loss for the Irish since Jan. 6, 2001, a 3-2 home loss to Ferris State. Since that game, the Irish have recorded one other OT loss, a 3-2 double overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha in the 2002 CCHA playoffs. Since Jan. 6, 2001, Notre Dame has played 21 overtime games with a 2-2-17 record. Two of those overtime games (a win and a loss) have been in the playoffs. The Irish were 0-0-6 in 2002-03 and had eight straight overtime games end tied during 2002-03 and 2003-04. Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 36 overtime games and are 5-3-28 in those contests. The last time regular-season overtime win for Notre Dame came on Jan. 25, 2002, a 4-3 overtime win at Miami.
Prior to last season’s CCHA playoffs when Morgan Cey recorded back-to-back shutouts versus Miami, Notre Dame had never recorded back-to-back shutouts. Since Cey did it last March, both freshman David Brown (three in a row) and Cey have turned the trick this year. Notre Dame’s six shutouts are a single-season school record. The previous best was 1999-2000 when the Irish had three shutouts (Tony Zasowski had two and Jeremiah Kimento had one). THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT Notre Dame’s freshman class had its best weekend of the season in the Bowling Green series as the seven skaters combined for four goals and four assists and the goaltender threw in a 32-save shutout. Left wing Josh Sciba led the way with two goals and an assist. Center Jason Paige added two goals, including the game winner in the 3-0 shutout. Right wing Matt Williams-Kovacs (Calgary, Alb.) had a pair of assists and defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) set up Paige’s game winner. David Brown stopped all 32 shots for his fourth shutout of the year.
THE CEY HEY KID
Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) returned to the Irish lineup on Dec. 28 at the Everblades Tournament and proceeded to make 32 saves in a 1-0 win over then third-ranked Maine. It was his first action since Nov. 7 when he lost a 3-1 decision at Michigan State. Following that game, Cey had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and missed the next seven games. He missed the first five games of the season after having knee surgery on the same knee in July. His 1-0 shutout versus Findlay gave him a school record six during his first three seasons. In his last eight starts, (going back to March 15 of last season), Cey is 5-3-0 with four shutouts. In 48059, he has given up 10 goals and made 242 saves for a 1.25 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage.
Senior defenseman Brett Lebda continues to make his move on the top 10 scoring spot among Irish defensemen. With power-play goals in each of Notre Dame’s games versus Bowling Green, Lebda now has four goals and eight assists for 12 points on the season. That leads all Notre Dame defensemen. For his career, Lebda now has 24 goals and 49 assists for 73 career points. Notre Dame has had 10 defensemen in its history record 80 or more points in their careers. Lebda needs just seven more points to catch Steve Curry (1970-74) who had 80 points (19g, 61a). Benoit Coitnoir (1995-99) is ninth with 88 points (28g, 60a).
ON THE SIDELINES
Notre Dame defenseman Derek Smith (Jr., Marysville, Mich.) is sidelined indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome. He suffered a concussion on Jan. 4, 2003 at Nebraska-Omaha and has not played since.
CENTURY MARK FOR GLOBKE
Senior right wing Rob Globke became the 40th player in Notre Dame hockey history to go over 100 points in his career with two assists versus Western Michigan (Dec. 6). He now ranks 36th on the all-time points list with 60 goals and 44 assists for 104 points. He is just the 18th player in school history to score 60 or more goals in his career. On the year, Globke has 11 goals and nine assists for a team-leading 20 points. This season, Globke has three games with two or more goals and has 13 for his career. He opened the season with a hat trick in Notre Dame’s 5-2 win at Ohio State. The hat trick was the second of his career. He has added two-goal games versus Lake Superior (Nov. 21) and Northern Michigan (Nov. 29).
With his game-winning goal versus Findlay (1/3), Rob Globke now has four game winners for the Irish to lead the team in that category. He is first in the CCHA and tied for first in the nation with the four game winners. His game winner versus Findlay gives him 12 for his career at Notre Dame and moves him into a tie with David Bankoske (1988-93) for third on the all-time list. He is just one behind school leaders Brian Urick and Dave Poulin who each had 13 in their careers.
With Rob Globke reaching the 100-point mark in his career, next on the list is senior center Aaron Gill. Gill is second on the Irish with six goals and 13 assists for 19 points to tie Globke for the team lead in scoring. The Rochester, Minn., native comes into this weekend’s games with 33 goals and 59 assists for 92 career points.
BACK AND FORTH
Through the first 13 games of the season, Notre Dame’s team defense was tops in the CCHA. In the first 16 games, the Irish gave up 26 goals for a 1.97 goals-against average. Games 14-16 saw the Irish give up 18 goals over three contests, moving the goals-against average to 2.59. After games 17-18, (both shutouts), the Irish lowered their team goals-against average to 2.44. Going into this week’s action, the Irish are back on top of the CCHA in all games with a 2.42 goals-against average. Ohio State is second with a 2.48 goals-against mark.
BEATING THE BEST
Notre Dame’s 1-0 shutout win at Boston College on Oct. 24 came versus the Eagles while they were ranked first in the nation in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll. The last time the Irish beat a top-ranked team came on Jan. 3, 1999 when they won 4-3 at North Dakota.
The last time the Irish faced a top-ranked team prior to Oct. 24 was on Nov. 10, 2000 when they played Boston College. Notre Dame lost that game by a 5-3 score.
RISING TO THE OCCASION
With Morgan Cey sidelined for all but five games this season, freshman goaltender David Brown has played in15 games for the Irish and had a strong first half. In 13 starts, Brown is 7-4-2 with a 2.36 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. Four of his seven wins have been shutouts. He had an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2) snapped on Dec. 6 in a 6-4 loss at Western Michigan. During his streak which covered nine games, Brown had a 1.96 goals against (17 goals in 52130 minutes and a .932 save percentage (232 saves). Included in those nine games were three consecutive shutouts between 10/18 and 10/31. For good measure, Brown also threw in a fourth shutout on Nov. 14 versus the U.S. Under-18 team that does not count in the statistics. He was also named CCHA rookie of the week three times and was named the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) national rookie of the month for October.
Irish defenseman Neil Komadoski (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.) is one of 14 nominees for the prestigious College Hockey Humanitarian Award that goes to college hockey’s “top citizen.” The award for community service and leadership is presented along with the Hobey Baker Award at the NCAA Frozen Four each year. Komadoski has been involved in Notre Dame’s community service programs since his freshman year. He is a member of the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for three years and is chairman of the SAAC community service sub-committee since the fall of 2002. He represented Notre Dame at the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Leadership Conference last May. His community service work has included His community service work has included participation in SAAC’s Pediatric Christmas Party in all four years since joining the Irish hockey program. He has also participated in Christmas in April (2001, 2002), Habitat for Humanity (2003) and the Downs Syndrome Buddy Walk in the fall of 2002 and 2003. He has also worked with the Robinson Community Learning Center’ Children’s Ice Skate Day in the fall of 2002 and 2003.
GOING FOR 300
The Jan. 10 win over Bowling Green improved Notre Dame’s home record to 7-1-1 this season. The Irish were 7-6-3 at the Joyce Center last year. The seven home wins are the most by the Irish since the 1999-2000 season when they were 11-7-3. The win was also the 298th at the Joyce Center, putting Notre Dame just two away from the 300-win mark. In 36 seasons at the Joyce, the Irish are 298-245-41 (.547).
Notre Dame’s 11-7-2 record is its best since starting the 1998-99 season with a 12-6-2 record after 20 games. The 8-6-2 record in CCHA play is the best for the Irish since starting the 1998-99 season with a 10-5-1 mark after16 league games.
Notre Dame’s 4-0 loss to Cornell was the first time that Notre Dame had been shutout since Feb. 1, 2002 when Ohio State’s Mike Betz blanked the Irish, 2-0, at the Joyc Center, a span of 27 games. In those same 27 games, Notre Dame goaltenders recorded six shutouts of their own.
IN THE CLUTCH
Sophomore Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) recorded his third game-winning goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Maine. That ties him for third in the CCHA behind Rob Globke and sixth in the nation in game-winning goals. His eight goals are a career-high for Walsh. For his career, Walsh has scored nine goals with four of them being game-winning goals.
The Irish have now scored power-play goals in four consecutive games and in 13 of their last 14 games. They had a nine-game streak that was snapped in the 4-0 shutout by Cornell (12/27).
CCHA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Notre Dame goaltender David Brown has been named the CCHA’s rookie of the week three times this season. The most recent honor came on Dec. 2 after he led the Irish to a weekend sweep of Northern Michigan (5-1, 4-2) by stopping 44-of-47 shots (.936 save percentage) and giving up just three goals (1.50 goals-against average). He was also named rookie of the week for Oct. 19 and Nov. 2.
In 20 games this season, Notre Dame defensemen Brett Lebda, Tom Galvin (Sr., Miller Place, N.Y.), Neil Komadoski and Wes O’Neill have combined for eight goals and 33 assists for 41 points. Lebda leads the group with four goals and eight assists, Galvin has 11 assists, Komadoski has two goals and eight assists for 10 points and Wes O’Neill has two goals and six assists for eight points on the year.
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS
Notre Dame has killed 77 of 89 opponent power-play chances this season. Of the 12 power-play goals surrendered, eight have come in four games (two in each game). Over the remaining 16 games, the Irish have given up just four power-play goals. Notre Dame has killed 86.5% of opponent power plays this season.
MR. STEADY – CORY’S STORY
Cory McLean (Jr., Fargo, N.D.) ranks third on the Irish in scoring with seven goals and eight assists (career high) for 15 points. His career-high 17 points came last season (10g, 7a). On the year, he has scored in 13 of Notre Dame’s 20 games. He has had a pair of four-game point streaks this season. As a freshman, McLean had just one goal and four assists for five points.
PUTTING THE “P” IN POWER
Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) is quickly becoming one of the top power forwards in the CCHA. On top of that, he also has a knack for scoring in the clutch. Walsh believes that the quickest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line as he barges and charges to the net. After battling through an injury and illness filled freshman year, Walsh has become a key contributor to the Irish attack. With eight goals and six assists, he ranks fourth on the team with 14 points. Three of his eight goals this season are game winners.
Notre Dame and Western Michigan combined for 14 goals (8-6 Bronco win) on December 5. The last time the Irish played in a game that both teams combined for 14 goals was on November 20, 1998 when the Irish downed Western Michigan, 9-5. Coming into the Dec. 5 game with Western, the Irish had surrendered just eight goals in their last five games. The last time the Irish gave up eight goals in a game was Jan. 27, 2001 in an 8-2 loss at Yale.
IRISH VERSUS HOCKEY EAST
For the first time since Hockey East started in 1984-85, Notre Dame has recorded a pair of wins over Hockey East conference teams. On Oct. 24, the Irish defeated Boston College at Chestnut Hill, Mass. On Dec. 28, Notre Dame took a 1-0 decision versus Maine at the Everblades College Classic. In both 1-0 shutouts, sophomore left wing Mike Walsh got the game-winning goal.
The Notre Dame-Bowling Green series ended in a 2-2 split for the rivalry partners. The Irish are now 5-2-1 versus their four-team cluster that includes Northern Michigan and Lake Superior. The Irish are 2-0 versus Northern Michigan and 1-0-1 versus Lake Superior. A year ago, the Irish were 7-4-1 in their cluster that included Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Ferris State.
HCA ROOKIE OF THE MONTH
Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown was selected as the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) national collegiate rookie of the month for the month of October. Brown had an October to remember as he recorded a Notre Dame school record three consecutive shutouts in his first four career starts and a school-record shutout string of 19327 consecutive minutes. His three shutouts also set a Notre Dame record for shutouts in a season. For the month, the 5-11, 188-pound puck stopper was 3-2-0 with a CCHA-leading 1.15 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage to go with the three shutouts. Among his three shutouts was a 1-0, 27-save performance on Oct. 24 versus the top-ranked Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The three shutouts came versus Bowling Green (10/18), Boston College (10/24) and Nebraska-Omaha (10/31). He has been selected as the CCHA rookie of the month three times this season (10/19, 11/2, 12/1) and defensive player of the week once (1/12).
CENTRAL SCOUTING RANKINGS
The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Central Scouting has released it’s preliminary rankings for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft next June. Irish defenseman Wes O’Neill is ranked third among U.S. College players behind North Dakota’s Drew Stafford and Boston College’s Adam Pineault. He is tops among the 14 CCHA players ranked. Notre Dame goaltender David Brown is ranked second among collegiate goaltenders behind Michigan’s Al Montoya. Four of the five ranked goaltenders are from the CCHA.
DOWN BY TWO
Prior to the Nov. 29 comeback versus Northern Michigan (the Irish trailed 2-0 in a 4-2 win), last time the Irish rebounded from a two-goal deficit to win a game was on Oct. 12, 2002 when the Irish fell behind Minnesota-Duluth, 2-0, and rallied for a 5-3 win at Duluth.
IRISH ON CSTV
Notre Dame has made three appearances on CSTV and now has a 2-1-0 record after the 4-0 loss to Cornell on Dec. 27. The Irish have wins over Ohio State (10/10) and Boston College (10/24). The Irish are also schedlued to appear again on CSTV on Friday, Feb. 27 versus Michigan. Face off is set for 805 p.m.
Sophomore defenseman Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.) recorded his first collegiate goal in the Nov. 28, 5-1 win over Northern Michigan. He made the most of it too, as the goal came short-handed in the second period and proved to be the game winner. Trick came out of the penalty box after a Northern Michigan centering pass eluded the point men. Trick beat Craig Kowalski with a backhander for his first goal in 35 career games.
DIRECTOR’S CUP STANDINGS
The University of Notre Dame stands 12th in the 2003-04 United States Sports Academy Division I Director’s Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (formerly known as Sears Directors’Cup). Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 199 points. Michigan is first (413 points), followed by UCLA, Stanford, Maryland, BYU, North Carolina, Penn State, Washington, USC, and Wake Forest round out the top 10.
Senior defenseman Neil Komadoski has scored two goals this season with both coming on the power play. His lone goal in 2002-03 was also a power-play goal. In 2002-03, he led Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with one goal and 23 assists for 24 points. He now has seven goals in his career with three coming on the power play.
Notre Dame has three players on the 2003-04 roster that have been selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft. Senior Rob Globke was a second-round choice of the Florida Panthers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Selected 40th overall, Globke’s selection was the earliest any Notre Dame player has ever been chosen. Senior defenseman Neil Komadoski was selected in the third round of the 2001 draft by the Ottawa Senators. Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh was selected in the fifth round in 2002 draft by the New York Rangers.
Senior center Aaron Gill will serve as the team captain for the Irish in 2003-04. As a junior, he finished fourth in scoring with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. Four of his 13 goals came on the power play and he recorded his first career hat trick on Oct. 19 in an 8-5 win over Western Michigan. Serving as alternate captains this season are senior right wing Rob Globke and senior defenseman Neil Komadoski. Globke led the Irish in scoring last season with 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points. Komadoski was Notre Dame’s top scorer from the blue line last year as he scored a goal and added 23 helpers. His 23 assists and 24 points were career-highs for the veteran defenseman.
Senior defenseman T.J. Mathieson (Clarksville, Md.) is a candidate for Rhodes, Mitchell and Marshall Scholarships for postgraduate studies. Mathieson owns a 3.812 grade-point average in aerospace engineering in Notre Dame’s School of Engineering. He is a two-time winner of Notre Dame’s Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award. He spent the past summer working at General Electric Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati. There, he worked doing stress analysis of high-pressure turbines for commercial aircraft engines.
Morgan Cey’s back-to-back shutouts (1-0 and 5-0) versus Miami in the first round of last season’s CCHA playoffs made him the fourth goaltender to turn the trick. The others are
Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey has faced four penalty shots in his Irish hockey career, including three last season. On Feb. 28, in a 4-2 loss to Western Michigan, Cey stopped Bronco VinceBellissimo at 1406 of the third period. A month earlier, Jan. 25, in a 3-3 tie with Michigan State, Cey stopped Jim Slater at 1623 of the second stanza. His first stop in 2002-03 came on Nov. 22 at Michigan, in a 4-2 loss to the Wolverines. There, he stopped Milan Gajic at 1236 of the second period. The first penalty shot Cey faced came during his freshman season when he stopped Bowling Green’s Greg Day on Dec. 8, 2001. That stop came in a 4-2 loss to the Falcons.
After having as many as four players whose fathers played in the National Hockey League, only one remains for the 2003-04 season. That would be Neil Komadoski, Jr. (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.), whose father, 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.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Two Irish sophomore hockey players – Rory Walsh (So., 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 iceman, 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.
The Irish have developed a pipeline with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United State’s Hockey League. Three members of the current Notre Dame team have played in the Land of Lombardi. Junior defenseman Joe Zurenko (Arlington Heights, Ill.) played there during the ’00-’01 season and freshmen blueliners Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Wes O’Neill were teammates there last year. Assistant coach Layne LeBel also spent the past two seasons with the Gamblers.
GOLD MEDAL ASSISTANT
Irish assistant hockey coach, Andy Slaggert, served as an assistant coach with USA Hockey’s gold-medal winning Under-18 Select Team in August at the World Under-18 Select tournament in the Czech Republic. The 11-year assistant at Notre Dame has been involved in coaching with USA Hockey since the 1996-97 season. This was his first time for coaching on the international level.
Notre Dame’s 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23 was the first regular-season win for the Irish at Yost Arena since they returned to the CCHA in 1992-93. Prior to that, the last time Notre Dame won in Ann Arbor was Oct. 22, 1982, a span of 14 regular-season games. The Irish did win a CCHA playoff game at Yost in the 1998 playoffs. In the regular season, Notre Dame is now 1-14-1 in the last 16 meetings and since 1992-93, the Irish are 2-18-1 versus the Wolverines at Yost Arena. Over the last three meetings, the Irish are 1-1-1 when playing in Ann Arbor.
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. Since the program began, the Irish have had a total of 13 NTDP alums grace their roster. The current contingent includes seniors Rob Globke, Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda, junior Derek Smith (Marysville, Mich.), sophomore Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) and freshmen Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.)
Former Irish players Brett Henning, Paul Harris, Michael Chin, Connor Dunlop and John Wroblewski are all alums of the U.S. Developmental Program.