Jan. 9, 2003
ROAD ROLLS ON: The Notre Dame hockey team (9-8-3, 7-7-0 CCHA) concludes its seven-game road stretch this week with a challenging series at CCHA frontrunner and #11-ranked Ferris State (15-5-0, 10-2-0 CCHA), with the games slated for Jan. 10-11 (7:35 and 7:05 p.m. EST). The Irish – who split a pair of 5-3 games last week at Nebraska-Omaha – are slotted sixth in the tightly-bunched CCHA standings, as five points separate third-place Michigan and co-8th-place teams WMU and UNO. Ferris State – a 2002-03 CCHA “cluster partner of ND, Bowling Green and Western Michigan – posted a pair of three-goal decisions at Notre Dame on Oct. 25-26 (5-2, 4-1). The Irish – who have son three of their last four CCHA games – took a three-game winning streak into holiday tournament action but dropped a 6-4 game to host Dartmouth and skated to a 3-3 tie with Vermont, at the Ledyard National Bank Tournament (that followed a 14-day break for finals and the Christmas holiday).
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Ferris State is one of the nation’s biggest surprises thus far in 2002-03, after being picked to finish ninth in the CCHA preseason polls. FSU’s formula for winning includes often dominating goal differentials (+50 in 20 games this season), most recently a 15-2 margin in two non-conference wins over Niagara last week. The Bulldogs lead all CCHA teams with 4.65 overall goals per game (second with 2.15 goals allowed/gm) while both FSU specialty-team units rank third among the conference’s teams (25.3% power-play, 86.2% penalty-kill). Senior Chris Kunitz ranks third in the nation for points per game (1.90; 14G-24A) and at +22 is one of five FSU players who sit atop the CCHA plus-minus charts. Sophomore Jeff League (14G-14A) checks in as the CCHA’s third-leading overall scorer while his classmate Derek Nesbitt is seventh (7G-18A). Mike Brown – a CCHA all-rookie team pick last season – narrowly trails Ohio State’s Mike Betz atop the CCHA overall goals-against average charts (2.16 to 2.10) but it the league’s runaway leader in save percentage (.928). For more information on the Bulldogs, see www.ferris.edu/sports.
STRANGE SERIES: Many aspects of the ND-FSU series present some unique scoring combinations, as current Irish defensemen have accounted for a large portion of the goals and assists in recent games between the teams (see chart). Junior Rob Globke – currently the CCHA’s leading goalscorer – has totaled just one goal and no assists while playing only three of six games vs. Ferris State during the past three seasons (due to the World Juniors his freshman year and a game DQ last season). The second-leading goalscorer on the current Irish squad, sophomore Yan Stastny, has played in just one of four previous ND-FSU games his career (with no points).
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT?: The Notre Dame hockey team is making its first visit to the Ferris State campus since early in the 1999-2000 season, just five games into the freshman season of the current senior class. Since that game on Oct. 23, 1999 (a 5-3 FSU win), the Irish have not made a visit to Ewigleben (due to the change in scheduling format and neutral-site games). The second game of the 1999-2000 series was played at Van Andel Arena while the last 10 games of the series all have taken place at the Notre Dame Joyce Center.
FRESHMAN MEMORIES: Three of the meetings in the strange 10-game stretch of consecutive ND-FSU Joyce Center matchups came in a 2000 CCHA first-round playoff series (under the old 10-team postseason format), when the current seniors were freshmen. The Irish won the first game (4-3) but had to regroup after a 6-1 loss, winning the decisive third game by a 4-2 count. Notre Dame was the No. 5 seed that season and likely still had to face upstart Bowling Green (No. 8 seed) two days later in the “play-in game” – but 7th-seeded UNO matched BG with its own upset (UNO beat #4 NMU in three games while BG had swept two at #3 LSSU). That left the Irish as the third-highest seed still in action and set off a celebration in the lockerroom – as Notre Dame stunningly was headed to Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA semifinals.
GLOBKE CLAIMS CCHA GOALSCORING LEAD: Junior LW Rob Globke’s two goals in the 5-3 win at UNO give him 17 for the season, edging ahead of Ohio State’s R.J. Umberger (16) for first in the CCHA (he is tied third in the latest NCAA national goalscoring rankings, with 1.50 goals per game) … Globke now has five multiple-goal games this season and 10 in his ND career.
STARTING STRONG: The early goals by Yan Stastny and Rob Globke in last week’s 5-3 win at UNO marked just the fourth time this season that ND had scored multiple goals in the first period (now 18 total, in 20 games) … ND scored three 1st-period goals in both wins over WMU (4-2, 8-5) and had two 1st-period scores in the 5-4 loss at UAF (with eight scoreless first periods).
STASTNY STREAKING: Sophomore C Yan Stastny carries an eight-game point streak into the Ferris State series (7G-5A) while junior LW Rob Globke has points in eight of the last 10 games (10G-6A) … senior C Connor Dunlop has points in seven of the last 10 games (1G-12A).
TOP LINE: The line of junior center Aaron Gill (4A), sophomore Yan Stastny (3G) and senior John Wroblewski (1G-2A) combined for four goals and six assists in last week’s series at UNO (the rest of the team totaled four goals and five assists).
PENALTY-KILL UNIT BOUNCES BACK: After suffering through a forgettable night in the 5-4 loss at Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 30 (the Nanooks converted 4-of-6 power plays), the Notre Dame penalty-kill unit responded by stopping 26 of 29 opponent power plays in the next five games (90.0 pct., with that stretch snapped when UNO scored two PPGs en route to its 5-3 win). The Dec. 7-8 sweep of Bowling Green featured a 12-for-13 showing from the PK unit while the Irish stopped all 10 opponent power-play chances at the Dartmouth tournament (7-for-7 in the tie with Vermont) and 2-2 in the win at UNO.
NOT DONE YET: Senior C Connor Dunlop continues to move up on the ND career assists list (23rd, with 79), needing 19 more to reach the top 10 on that list … Dunlop’s 3A in the 5-3 win at UNO moved him past Jack Brownschidle, Brent Chapman and Bill Rothstein on the ND career assists list … next up is 1990 grad. Tim Kuehl and former teammate Dan Carlson (both with 80) … since 1993, only Carlson, Jamie Ling (102, ’92-’96) and Ben Simon (86, ’96-’00) have totaled more assists for the Irish than Dunlop’s 79.
BLUELINE BOOSTERS: The ND-Ferris State series will feature three of the point leaders among CCHA defensemen. Notre Dame senior Evan Nielsen (2G-13A) and junior Neil Komadoski (1G-13A) rank fourth and sixth on the list for points by CCHA defensemen, with the Michigan State senior tandem of Brad Fast (8G-9A) and John-Michael Lilies (5G-11A) making MSU the only other CCHA team with multiple defensemen who have totaled 14-plus points this season. Ferris State senior Troy Milam (4G-12A) is the CCHA’s third-leading point scorer among blueliners while UNO senior All-American Greg Zanon’s 19 points are tops among CCHA defensemen. Nielsen (15G-46A) is 19 points shy of cracking the Notre Dame top-10 list for career points by a defenseman 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.
IRISH CLOSE 2002 WITH UNLIKELY OFFENSIVE PRODUCERS: Notre Dame’s seven goals in last week’s action included contributions from some unlikely sources, as freshman center Matt Amado and sophomore defenseman Tom Galvin both scored their second goals of the season while senior left wing Jake Weigand scored twice in the Dartmouth game (after scoring just one goal in the previous 16 games this season). Junior defenseman Brett Lebda also chipped in with his third goal of the season. The other goals included the 15th of the season from junior right wing Rob Globke (the CCHA’s leading goalscorer) and the seventh from sophomore center Cory McLean, who scored just one goal in his rookie season. Lebda (2), Galvin, Amado and Weigand also had assists in the tournament action. … Wiegand also scored in the 5-3 loss at UNO, giving him more goals this season (4) than in the previous three seasons combined (3).
BACK IN THE MIX: Freshman forward Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) returned to the Irish lineup in the UNO series, missing the previous seven games after being diagnosed with mononucleosis on Nov. 24. Walsh’s hard-luck rookie season also saw him miss the first 10 games due to a broken jaw suffered in the Oct. 4 preseason game with the University of Toronto. Walsh – who could help spark the Irish offense in the second half of the season – made his first return to action and played in the 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23.
ND-UNO RIVALRY CONTINUES TO PICK UP STEAM: The last five ND-UNO games have featured two OT games (3-2 UNO in double OT, 2-1 ND), ND’s clinching 2-1 win in the 2002 CCHA playoff series and last week’s pair of 5-3 games that were capped by empty-netters. UNO holds a narrow 7-5-1 series lead but ND has the series scoring edge (39-38) and the series is even at the Omaha Civic Auditorium (4-4-1).
FULL ROSTER: For the first time since the 1995-96 season, Notre Dame went into the Christmas holidays with a full roster (except for injuries) since the Irish have no players on the 2002-03 U.S. Junior National Team. Since the 1996-97 season, Notre Dame has had eight different players appear on the team in that seven-year period – Ben Simon (’96-’97, ’97-’98), Joe Dusbabek (’97-’98), Dan Carlson (’98-’99), Brett Henning (’99-’00), Connor Dunlop (’99-’00, ’00-’01), David Inman (’99-’00), Rob Globke (’00-’01, ’01-’02) and Brett Lebda (’01-’02).
CORY’S STORY: Sophomore right wing Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) 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 (7) and points (9). 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.
COMING AND GOING: Junior forward Aaron Gill (Rochester, Minn.) returned to the Notre Dame lineup at the Ledyard National Bank Tournament. He missed the previous two games with a shoulder injury suffered versus Bowling Green (Dec. 7). Sophomore left wing Alex Lalonde (Newmarket, Ont.) has left the team to play Major Junior Hockey in Canada. He had a goal and 12 minutes in penalties in 12 games this season.
THE ST. LOUIS CONNECTION: Notre Dame’s St. Louis connection played a vital role in the Irish win at Wayne State. Sophomore center Yan Stastny recorded two goals in the game (the second two-goal game of his career) while Connor Dunlop scored the game-winning goal. The third member of the trio, defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.), made the key play on Dunlop’s goal has he kept the puck in the Wayne State zone and made the pass to Globke at the side of the net for an assist on the play.
DUNLOP DELIVERS: Connor Dunlop snapped a 19-game goal-scoring drought with his game-winning goal versus Wayne State on Dec. 14. The goal was the first of the season for the Irish playmaker, who now has a goal and 18 assists on the season. The previous time Dunlop scored a goal was on March 2, 2002 in the regular season finale versus Bowling Green. He then went without a goal in four postseason games last year and the first 15 games this season. Dunlop also scored the game-winning goal versus Wayne State in the first-ever meeting between the two schools in Oct. of 2000. That goal was an overtime game winner in Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over the Warriors.
CENTURY CLUB: Connor Dunlop comes into the Ferris State series needing just one point to become the 39th player in Notre Dame hockey history to score 100 points in his career. Dunlop currently has 20 goals and 79 assists for 99 career points (he needs 19 assists to crack ND’s top-10 list for career assists).
DEFENSIVE DEMOM: Notre Dame defenseman Evan Nielsen (Sr., Evanston, Ill.) continues to be one of the steadiest defensemen in the CCHA. The senior blueliner leads the Irish with a +8 this season. Offensively, Nielsen ranks fourth among CCHA defensemen in scoring with two goals and 13 assists for 15 points. In the nation, only five other defensemen had more points than Nielsen (as of mid-Dec.).
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 recent four-game point scoring streak (2-6-8). For the season, the senior is fifth on the Irish in scoring with two goals and 13 assists for 15 points. GOALS FOR GLOBKE: With 17 goals on the season, Rob Globke leads the CCHA and ranks third nationally among goalscorers. He leads the CCHA in goals during league play with 13 goals in 14 games. With 17 goals and 10 assists this season for 27 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 25 points tie him for fourth in the CCHA’s overall scoring race. In league scoring he is tied for second with 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points (Ferris State’s Chris Kunitz is first, at 10-14-24). Globke has three game-winning goals this season which are the most by a Notre Dame player since Dan Carlson had five in the 1999-2000 season. The junior right wing’s previous best season came as a freshman when he had 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points.
MORE GLOBKE: With an assist on Connor Dunlop’s game-winning goal versus Wayne State (Dec. 7-8), 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, with no points in the tie vs. Vermont). 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.
HOT IRISH (Point Streaks)
- Yan Stastny has an eight-game point-scoring streak (7-5-12)
- Rob Globke had a seven-game point scoring streak (8-6-14) before being held without a point in the 3-3 tie vs. Vermont. He then scored twice in the 5-3 win at UNO and heads into the Ferris State series with points in eight of the last 10 games (10-6-16).
- Connor Dunlop has points in seven of his last 10 games (1-12-13).
- Neil Komadoski had scored points in seven of his last nine games (0-7-7) before being held off the scoresheet in the UNO series. His four-game streak from Nov. 9-29 was the longest point-scoring streak of his Notre Dame career.
- Evan Nielsen has points in seven of his last 10 games (2-10-12; none at UNO).
SOLID START: Notre Dame went into the break for finals and the Christmas holidays with its best record at that point of the season (8-6-2) since 1998-99. A year ago, they were 5-7-4 at the break. In 2000-01 they were 4-12-3 and in 1999-2000 the Irish were 7-11-2. During the 1998-99 season, Notre Dame was 9-5-2 going into the holiday season.
ALWAYS SEN(CEY)TIONAL: After a rough weekend at Alaska Fairbanks (Nov. 28-29), Irish goaltender Morgan Cey turned things around with three straight wins in goal for Notre Dame (before the loss at Dartmouth and tie vs. Vermont). Cey stopped 87 of 92 (.946) shots in the sweep of Bowling Green (Dec. 7-8), including a career-high 47-save game in a 5-2 win on Dec. 8. On Dec. 14 versus Wayne State, the sophomore from Wilkie, Sask., made 23 saves in a 3-2 win. The only two goals he gave up were on power-play deflections. 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 15-8-2 with a 2.32 goals against and a .919 save percentage.
ROAD WARRIORS: With the win at Wayne State, the Irish improved to 4-3-1 on the road this season (now 5-5-2, including the neutral-site tie vs. Vermont). Since Feb. 9, 2002, the Irish are 11-6-2 over their last 18 road games. Last season, Notre Dame was 10-8-3 on the road.
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 4-of-6 chances in the game. That snapped a 2-for-41 (4.9%) dry spell over the previous eight games. The four power-play goals marked 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 4-of-7 chances in an 8-5 win over Western Michigan. On the year, Notre Dame now has 17 power-play goals on 102 chances for a 16.7% success rate.
GETTING IT DUN(LOP): Senior Connor Dunlop has recorded multiple-point games in five of the last 10 games he’s played. His two-assist night on Dec. 8 and his goal versus Wayne State gave him nine points (1-8-9) in a seven-game stretch. For the season, Dunlop ranks second on the team with a goal and 18 assists for 19 points. Dunlop has 24 multiple-point games for his career. That includes two with four points, six 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 his second of the season and the third of his career (he also scored the clinching empty-netter in the 5-3 win at UNO, with two assists in the 5-3 loss). 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 seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 20 games this season. BACK ON THE BOARD: Left wing Yan Stastny snapped a five-game scoring slump with a goal and an assist on Nov. 30 versus Alaska Fairbanks and hasn’t stopped scoring since them. The sophomore scored twice in the 3-2 win over Wayne State, added assists vs. Dartmouth and Vermont and totaled three goals in the UNO series – yielding points in eight straight games (7-5-12). Stastny is second on the team in goals with 11 and is third in scoring with 11 goals and six assists for 17 points on the season.
CHIN WINNER: Senior left wing Michael Chin (Sr., Urbana, Ill.) 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 15 games played this season.
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.
PENALTY SHOTS: 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 seventh overall in the CCHA after giving up 18 ppg’s on 97 chances for an 81.4% success rate.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) is having a career-year offensively on the Irish blue line. Through the first 20 games of the season, Komadoski is sixth in team scoring with a goal and 13 assists for 14 points (senior center Connor Dunlop, with 18 is the only Irish player with more assists). The 13 assists and 14 points are career-highs for Komadoski. Among CCHA defensemen, Komadoski was tied for fourth in scoring (prior to the UNO series).
SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s series sweep of Bowling Green gave 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.
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 seven 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 five times the Irish have pulled the goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker they have failed to score (Dartmouth scored an empty-netter to clinch a 6-4 win).
FIT TO BE TIED: The 3-3 tie versus Vermont (Dec. 29) was Notre Dame’s third tie of the season and they are 0-0-3 in overtime this season. Since the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 5-2-23 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. The Gill brothers then skated in the 3-3 tie vs. Vermont (Dec. 29, neither factoring into any scoring) and in the Jan. 3-4 series at UNO (Aaron had four assists in the split).
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 20 games for the Irish with two goals and four assists for six points.
IRON MEN: Senior center Jake Wiegand (Northville, Mich.) 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 (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) had his 62-game streak snapped on Dec. 8 when he missed the Bowling Green game with a separated right shoulder. Defenseman Evan Nielsen now has the team lead having played in 95 consecutive games. Junior defenseman Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) has played in 91 of 95 career games at Notre Dame. The lone games he has missed came between Dec. 28 – Jan. 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 – 95 games
John Wroblewski – 93 games
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 goals in that game.
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, 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 5-0-1 when they lead after two periods of play. Since Jan. 9, 1998, the Irish are 63-3-10 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.
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.
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.
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 20 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.
THE CAPTAINS: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen is serving 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 team’s 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), 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