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It's Time To Play Hockey!

Oct. 4, 2001

Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will play host to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Joyce Center in a preseason tune-up for both teams. Opening face-off is set for 7:05 p.m.

For the Irish, this game will be the lone preseason game on the docket before the regular season starts with a Thurs.-Fri. series on Oct. 11-12 versus the Union College Dutchmen of the ECAC. Both those games will start at 7:05 p.m.

The Irish are ready to put last season’s disappointing 10-22-7 season behind them and coach Dave Poulin is ready to start the season.

“I’m really looking forward to getting the season started. We’ve had good practices this past week and I know the players are ready to play a real game,” says Poulin.

Notre Dame is one of three Division I teams that the University of Toronto will face during the preseason. The Varsity Blues will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. on Sunday (Oct. 8) to face Western Michigan and will then travel to Buffalo, N.Y. on Oct. 13 to face-off against Canisius.

Toronto started its preseason last Tuesday, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to York University. Last season, the University of Toronto was 13-10-1 and finished first in the Mideast Division of the 19-team Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Conference and advanced to the finals of the Conference playoffs.

The Blues are led by leading scorer George Trifon and have one of the best goaltending tandms in the OUA in two-time team MVP Jamie Bruno and former American Hockey League goaltender Dave Lemanowicz.

Notre Dame will be looking for big things from its top three returning scorers – sophomores Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Aaron Gill (Rochester, Minn.) and Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.). Lebda was a CCHA all-rookie team selection on defense and finished second among all CCHA defensemen in scoring with seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points. Gill and Globke were honorable mention CCHA all-rookie selections. Gill had 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points while Globke is top returning goal scorer for the Irish after notching 17 last season.

Six freshmen are expected to be in the lineup for the Irish. Goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.), defenseman Derek Smith (Marysville, Mich.) and forwards Brad Wanchulak (Edson, Alb.), Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.), Yan Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) and Alex Lalonde (Newmarket, Ont.) will see their first game action at Notre Dame.

Tickets for Friday’s game as well as for the entire season are available at the Notre Dame ticket office (219) 631-7356.