March 16, 2004
- The Games: #5 Notre Dame (20-13-4) vs. #4 Ohio State (23-15-0)
- Date/Site/Times: Thur., March 18, 2004 – Joe Louis Arena (20,053) – 7:35 p.m.
- Broadcast Information: Radio: All Notre Dame games can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1580, 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.
THE ROAD TO THE JOE: Notre Dame makes its third consecutive trip to the CCHA Super Six at Joe Louis Arena this week. The Irish advanced by defeating Western Michigan, two games to one, in their opening round series. Game three at the Joyce Center was decided at 12:35 of overtime when Tim Wallace (So., Anchorage, Alaska) set up Jason Paige (Fr., Saginaw, Mich.) for the game winner. The win gave Notre Dame its first 20-win season (20-13-4) since 1987-88 and the first in CCHA play since their first year in the league, 1981-82. The Irish will face the fourth-seed, Ohio State, on March 18 in the 7:35 p.m. game. The Buckeyes, 23-15-0 on the year, finished one point ahead of Notre Dame in the CCHA race with a 16-12-0 record. They advanced to the Super Six for the third consecutive year. The two teams met in last season’s opening game with the Buckeyes taking a 3-2 win. Ohio State advanced by sweeping Bowling Green in their opening round series. The semifinals will be played on Friday, March 19 with Michigan facing the lowest-remaining seed in a 4:05 p.m. game. Miami faces the higher-remaining seed at 7:35 p.m. in the second semi-final matchup. The third-place game will be played at 3:35 on Saturday, March 20 with the title game set for 7:05 p.m. Both semifinal games and the championship game will be televised by Fox Sports Detroit.
IRISH AT THE JOE: Notre Dame comes into this year’s CCHA Super Six with a 4-8-0 record at Joe Louis Arena. The last Notre Dame win at “the Joe” was on Dec. 14, 2002, when the Irish defeated Wayne State, 3-2. The Irish are just 1-5 at “the Joe” in CCHA play with the lone win coming on March 13, 1982 when Dave Poulin led Notre Dame to an 8-5 win over Bowling Green in the CCHA semifinals. The win was the first non-CCHA tournament or Great Lakes Invitational game for the Irish at Joe Louis Arena.
2002-03 – CCHA vs. Ohio State (L, 2-3)
vs. Wayne State (W, 3-2)
2001-02 – CCHA vs. Northern Michigan (L, 1-3)
1999-00 – CCHA semifinals vs. Michigan St. (L, 0-4)
1993-94 – GLI vs. Michigan (L, 3-8)
GLI vs. Michigan Tech (L, 6-8)
1982-83 – GLI vs. Michigan Tech (L, 6-9)
GLI vs. Michigan (L, 3-12)
1981-82 – CCHA vs. Bowling Green (W, 8-5)
CCHA vs. Michigan State (L, 1-4)
1981-82 – GLI vs. Michigan (W, 6-2)
GLI vs. Michigan Tech (W, 8-3)
FOUR OF FIVE: The Irish have been to Joe Louis Arena for three straight years and in four of the last five seasons since the 2000 postseason. In the three years the Irish have been to the Super Six, so has Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Northern Michigan. Only Michigan and Michigan State have been to Joe Louis Arena in all five years since the 2000 campaign. Following Notre Dame’s four trips are three trips by both Ohio State and Northern Michigan and they have come in the last three seasons. The Irish will look for their first win in CCHA play at “the Joe” on Thursday versus Ohio State since the 1981-82 season (1-5).
IRISH VS. BUCKEYES: Notre Dame leads the all-time series versus Ohio State with a 21-19-6 record. The two teams met last year in the first game of the CCHA Super Six with Ohio State taking a 3-2 win to end Notre Dame’s season. This year, the two teams opened the regular season at Columbus, Ohio with each team winning once. The Irish won the series opener by a 5-2 score and the Buckeyes won the Saturday tilt by a 3-1 score.
IRISH IN THE CCHA PLAYOFFS: Notre Dame has played in the CCHA playoffs in 10 of its 14 years (1981-83, 1992-present). The Irish have participated in 33 games and have a 13-20 all-time record. Notre Dame has now won three straight first-round series, dating back to the 2001-02 season.
WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP:
GAME THREE: Freshman Jason Paige scored the game-winning goal at 12:25 of overtime to send Notre Dame to the CCHA Super Six for the third consecutive year. The Irish got two goals from right wing Tim Wallace and one each from Aaron Gill (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) and Rob Globke (Sr., West Bloomfield, Mich.) in the win. Cory McLean (Jr., Fargo, N.D.), Brett Lebda (Sr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and Mike Walsh (So., Northville, Mich.) each had a pair of assists for the Irish. Goaltender David Brown (Fr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 33 saves for his first playoff win at Notre Dame. Globke’s third-period goal gave the Irish a two-goal lead at 4-2, but Vince Bellissimo scored on a five-on-three power play and Pat Dwyer tied it when he scored unassisted after picking off an errant clearing pass to tie the game at 11:31. Western outshot the Irish, 37-26 in the game. Brown made 33 saves in the win.
GAME TWO RECAP: Sophomore goaltender Eric Marvin made 30 saves for his first career shutout to lead Western Michigan to a 4-0 win over Notre Dame in game two of the best-of-three series. Dana Lattery led the offense with two goals and an assist while Jeremy Cheyne and Jeff Campbell each scored once in the win. Vince Bellissimo added two assists in the victory. The home shutout was the first against the Irish since Feb. of 2003 when Mike Betz stopped the Irish, 2-0. The shutout was also the first time the Irish have been shutout in the postseason since March 17, 2000, when Michigan State and Ryan Miller blanked the Irish, 4-0, in the CCHA semifinal game. Western outshot the Irish, 31-30 in the game. Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) made 27 saves in goal for Notre Dame.
GAME ONE RECAP: Junior goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) made a personal season-high 40 saves and Notre Dame got goals from Brett Lebda, Matt Amado (So., Surrey, B.C.), Josh Sciba (Fr., Westland, Mich.) and T.J. Jindra (Fr., Faribault, Minn.), to hand Western Michigan a 4-2 loss in game one of the first round CCHA playoff series. Lebda gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 18:24 of the first period. Amado made it 2-0 at 4:25 of the second period when he got around the defense and fired a shot past Scott Foster for his fifth of the season. Western cut the lead to 2-1 when Paul Davies scored on a goal mouth scramble at 10:02. Sciba gave Notre Dame some breathing room when he intercepted an errant Bronco clearing pass and whipped a shot over Foster’s glove for an unassisted power-play goal at 1:13 of the third period. Again, the Broncos cut the lead to one goal at 3-2 when Brent Walton cashed in with a wrist shot over Cey at 17:06 of the third period. The Irish were whistled for a penalty in the final minute and Western Michigan pulled its goaltender for a two-man advantage, but Jindra corraled a puck off the boards and flipped it down the ice into the empty net at 19:30 for the 4-2 win. Western Michigan outshot the Irish, 42-33, in the game including 32 shots in the last two periods. Foster finished with 29 saves in the Bronco goal.
GOOD-BYE GORILLA: Sophomore Tim Wallace scored a pair of goals in the 5-4 overtime win versus Western Michigan. After scoring a goal on Oct. 11 at Ohio State, Wallace went 34 games without a goal before breaking through versus the Broncos. The hard-luck winger has had three goals disallowed this season and his hit the post numerous times. For the year, his first career three-point game helped him equal his career-high with 11 points on three goals and eight assists.
DOING IT THE HARD WAY: In Notre Dame’s last six playoff appearances, all six series have gone three games. The Irish have been on the winning side four times and the losing side twice. The two losses came in 1998 to Michigan and 1999 to Northern Michigan. In both those series, Notre Dame won the first game and lost the next two. In 2000, the Irish won the first game at home versus Ferris State and went on to win that series in three games. In 2002 and 2003, Notre Dame lost the opening game on the road and rebounded to win the next two at Nebraska-Omaha and Miami. This past year, again at home, the Irish won the opener, lost the second game and then won game three to advance.
IRISH ALL-TIME CCHA PLAYOFF HISTORY: Notre Dame has made 10 trips to the CCHA playoffs in 14 seasons as a league member.
ELIMINATION GAMES: In its 14 seasons in the CCHA, Notre Dame has made the league playoffs 10 times. The Irish have faced elimination 17 times during those years and have a 7-10 record going into the Ohio State game. Over the last three trips to the playoffs, the Irish are 6-3 in elimination games.
LATE BLOOMERS: Since Feb. 14, the Irish are 7-2-0. Strong finishes have been a trend for the Irish in the last four seasons. Since the 2000-01 season, Notre Dame is 26-9-2 after Feb. 9th of each year. In 2002-03, the Irish were 8-4-0, 2001-02, 7-2-0 and in 2000-01, the Irish finished with a 4-1-2 run, but did not make the playoffs.
CCHA ALL-STARS: Three Notre Dame players were selected to the CCHA’s all-Conference team, the most in the program’s history. Senior forwards Aaron Gill (Rochester, Minn.) and Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) along with defenseman Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) were all second team selections. Since returning to the CCHA in 1992-93, the Irish have only had two players selected to the league’s all-Conference team – Benoit Cotnoir (first team) and Ben Simon (second team) in 1998-99. Three other Irish players received all-Conference honors when Notre Dame first joined the league. Center Dave Poulin and defenseman John Schmidt were second-team selections in 1981-82 and forward Kirt Bjork was a second-team choice in 1982-83.
IT’S ALL-ACADEMIC: Senior right wing Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was one of 10 CCHA players selected to the CCHA all-Academic Team for the 2003-04 season. Globke has a 3.339 grade-point average and will graduate with a degree in Marketing in May. On the ice, he led the Irish in scoring in the CCHA with 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points. Overall, he is Notre Dame’s top scorer with 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points. Defenseman T.J. Mathieson (Clarksville, Md.) was and honorable mention selection as he has a 3.816 grade point in Aerospace Engineering. Receiving special mention were Tom Galvin (Sr., Miller Place, N.Y.), Neil Komadoski (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.), Brett Lebda (Sr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Cory McLean (Jr., Fargo, N.D.) and Chris Trick (So., Troy, Mich.). To be eligible for the all-Academic team, a player needs at least a 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.
ALL-ROOKIE HONORS: Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown and freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) were named honorable mention CCHA all-Rookie team selections for the 2003-04 season. Brown was 11-5-3 in the CCHA with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. In 28 CCHA games, O’Neill had two goals and eight assists for 10 points and tied for the team lead with a +8.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM: For the third consecutive week, Notre Dame is ranked in the national rankings. The Irish are currently ranked 13th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and 15th in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll. Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) has the Irish ranked 15th in their top 20. This marks the fifth week this season that the Irish have been ranked in the top 15 by USA Today and U.S. College Hockey Online. The Irish also were ranked in the top 15 on Dec. 1 and Jan. 19. The Irish have been in the INCH top 20 in all but one week this year.
SHUTOUT CENTRAL: Notre Dame has been involved in 11 shutouts this season – six for the Irish and five against. Both marks are season records. For the Irish, goaltender David Brown (Fr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) has an Irish single-season record of four shutouts. Morgan Cey has two on the year and a Notre Dame career record of six. Previously, the most times the Irish had been shutout in a season was three and that came during the 1998-99 season.
ON THE SIDELINES: Sophomore goaltender Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) is lost for the rest of the season due to an injury to his right achilles tendon that will require surgery. Defenseman Derek Smith (Jr., Marysville, Mich.) is sidelined indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome. He has not played since suffering a concussion on Jan. 4, 2003.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Irish saw their six-game home-winning streak and 15-game home-unbeaten streak snapped in the 4-0 loss on March 13 to Western Michigan. The last time the Irish lost on home ice came on Oct. 17, a 5-3 loss to Bowling Green. For the year, the Irish finished with a 14-2-2 at the Joyce Center. The 14 wins are the most for the Irish at home since 1987-88 when Notre Dame was 18-2-0 at the Joyce Center. The other longest home unbeaten streak is 15 games (15-0-0) and was set between Dec. 11, 1987 and March 5, 1988.
BEST RECORDS: The Irish finished the 2003-04 regular season with an 18-12-4 record. That is Notre Dame’s best regular-season finish since going 18-12-5 in 1998-99. The last time the Irish won more than 18-games in the regular season was the 1987-88 campaign when they were 25-4-2 as a Division I independent. As a member of a Division I conference, the last time the Irish won more than 18 in the regular season was 1981-82 when the Irish were 20-14-2 in their first season in the CCHA. This season’s 14-11-3 record in the CCHA is Notre Dame’s best since 1998-99 when that year’s team was 15-11-4 in the conference.
MR. PLAYOFFS: There’s something about the playoffs that brings out the best in goaltender Morgan Cey. In his first two seasons with the Irish, Cey, almost single-handedly carried Notre Dame to Joe Louis Arena and the CCHA Super Six. In 2001-02, he helped the Irish upset Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha with stellar goaltending in two overtime games. Last season, after the Irish lost the first game at Miami, Cey shutout the RedHawks in games two and three and the Irish were off to the Joe again. Including Friday’s 4-2 win over Western Michigan, Cey has now played in 10 playoff games at Notre Dame. He is 5-5 with a 1.77 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. He also owns two shutouts.
A SLIGHT STUMBLE: Goaltender David Brown saw his four-game winning streak snapped at Lake Superior in the 3-0 loss on March 5. The three goals given up were the most Brown had given up in a game since Dec. 27 when he gave up four in a 4-0 loss to Cornell. The loss also snapped a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1). Before the loss to the Lakers, his last loss came at Northern Michigan (1/23). In his six-game unbeaten streak, Brown had a 1.64 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage. The talented freshman bounced back with a 33-save performance in Notre Dame’s 5-4 overtime win on March 14.
ALL-TIME GAMES PLAYED: Aaron Gill and Brett Lebda rank 4-5 in all-time games played at Notre Dame. Gill comes into the Ohio State game having played in 151 career games to rank fourth all-time. Lebda is tied for fifth with 150 career-games played for the Irish.
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: In the game three 5-4 overtime win versus Western Michigan, Notre Dame surrendered two power-play goals in a game for the first time since Jan. 17 at Wisconsin (a span of 16 games). After Jan. 23 at Northern Michigan, Notre Dame gave up just one power-play goal in its next 13 games. At one point following that Jan. 23 date, the Irish killed 36 straight chances (a total of 66:14 of opponent power-play time). Even with the Western Michigan’s 2-for-7 night, the Irish have killed 54 of 57 opponent power plays for a 94.7% success rate. Of the 18 power-play goals the Irish have surrenderd this season, 12 have come in six games (two in each game). Over the remaining 31 games, the Irish have given up just six other power-play goals. Notre Dame has killed 89.0% of opponent power plays this season to lead the CCHA and rank third-best in the nation. Notre Dame’s all-time best penalty killing rate at the Division I level is 86.1% and was set during the 1969-70 season.
HALL OF FAMER: Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin was inducted into theThe Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame on Wednesday, March 3 prior to their game with the Nashville Predators. Poulin played eight seasons with the Flyers (1982-83 to 1989-90) and served as captain of the team from 1984-85 to 1989-90. In his eight seasons, Poulin recorded 161 goals with 233 assists for 394 points and was a three-time all-star (1986, 1987 and 1988). During his six seasons as captain, Poulin helped lead the Flyers to three Patrick Division titles and two Wales Conference championships. “”I am thrilled. It really came very unexpectedly,” said Poulin. “Certainly when you read the names of the players that are in there, I am certainly flattered and humbled to be included in that group. I’m the fourth player from my peer team so to speak to be there – with Mark Howe, Timmy Kerr and Brian Propp being the other three. We had such a great run and had so much fun while we were doing it, that to be joining those guys in that grouping is a tremendous, tremendous honor.”
LEBDA’S LINE: Brett Lebda had a pair of two-point games versus Western Michigan and was Notre Dame’s leading scorer in the series with a goal and three assists for four points. He also is now10th on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list for defensemen with 85 career points on 26 goals and 59 assists. For the season, Lebda leads all Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with six goals and 18 assists for 24 points. He was selected second team all-CCHA for this season.
ON THE RIGHT PAIGE: Center Jason Paige’s overtime game winner versus Western Michigan was his third game winner of the season and second in the last four games for the Irish. He scored the game-winning goal in Notre Dame’s 2-1 win at Lake Superior State on March 6, his second game winner of the season. On Feb. 27, he turned in the first two-goal game of his Notre Dame career in the 4-1 win over Michigan. Paige scored a pair of power-play goals in the game, giving him four on the season. He leads Notre Dame freshmen in scoring with 10 goals and six assists on the year for 16 points.
TWO FOR THE CENTURY MARK: Seniors Rob Globke and Aaron Gill each went over the 100-point mark in their careers during the 2003-04 season. This marks the first time since the 1998-99 season that two Notre Dame players crashed the Irish “Century Club.” That season, Brian Urick and Aniket Dhadphale each recorded the 100th point of their careers. This season, 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 is currently 32nd on the all-time scoring list with 119 points. Globke is just one of 18 players in school history to have 60 or more goals in a season and now is 16th all-time with 67 career goals. Gill made it 41 players on the list with his goal on Feb. 6 at Miami. For his career, Gill now has 45 goals and 59 assists for his 104 career points.
GOLDEN GLOBKE: Senior right wing Rob Globke is tied for third in the CCHA with 18 goals this season and leads the Irish with 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points. He is just one point off his career-high of 36 (21g, 15a) set last season. He has led the Irish in goals in two of his first three seasons. Globke was named the CCHA offensive player of the week for the week ending Jan. 18. At Wisconsin, Globke accounted for two goals and two assists and was +2 for the weekend as the Irish tied (2-2) and downed the fourth-ranked Badgers (3-1). Globke was the first Notre Dame player to receive offensive player of the week honors since Dan Carlson (’01) was named on Feb. 7, 2000.
HOT GOALTENDER: David Brown bounced back from a 3-0 loss at Lake Superior on March 5, to make 33 saves in Notre Dame’s overtime win versus Western Michigan. In his last 11 games, Brown has given up just 19 goals (beginning on Jan. 10 vs. Bowling Green). In the 11 games, Brown is 8-2-1, has played 646:23 minutes with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage, stopping 318 of 337 shots. In each of the last two months, Brown has received honorable mention for the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) rookie-of-the-month honors. He won the honor in October. For the year, Brown is 14-6-3 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.
GILL GOALS: Senior center Aaron Gill has established career highs in assists (19) and points (32) this season. His 13 goals equal his career-high set last season as a junior. He also leads the Irish with seven power-play goals on the year, also a career high. For his career, Gill now has 17 power-play goals.
TERRIFIC TRIO: Notre Dame’s corps of senior defensemen has had a strong final season for the Irish. Brett Lebda (6-18-24) leads the group in scoring this year. Neil Komadoski (5-14-19) and Tom Galvin (1-18-19) follow with19 points. Not surprisingly, during their Notre Dame careers, all three defenders have led the Irish defensemen in scoring in one season. Lebda (7-19-26) led as a freshman, Galvin (4-19-23) led as a sophomore and Komadoski (1-23-24) led last year.
OVERTIME HEARTBREAK: Notre Dame’s overtime win versus Western Michigan snapped a 10-game winless run in overtime games for the Irish. The last overtime win for the Irish came in the 2002 CCHA playoffs on March 9 in a 2-1 win versus Nebraska-Omaha. Notre Dame’s last regular-season overtime win was Jan. 25, 2002 at Miami, a 4-3 win. Since that win, the Irish are 2-3-10 in overtime with the one win and one of the losses coming in the CCHA playoffs. Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 40 overtime games and are 6-4-30 in those contests.
GAME-WINNING GLOBKE: Rob Globke picked up his CCHA-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season in the 3-1 win over Wisconsin on Jan. 18. He ranks third in the country with the five game-winners. For his career at Notre Dame, Globke now has 13 game-winning goals. That ties him for first on the all-time game-winning goal list with Brian Urick (’99) and current head coach Dave Poulin who recorded 13 game winners from 1978-82.
MR. STEADY – CORY’S STORY: Junior right wing Cory McLean is fourth in scoring for the Irish this season with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points. His previous best was last season when he picked up 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points. His goal on Feb. 27 versus Michigan snapped a 15-game scoreless drought.
PUTTING THE “P” IN POWER: Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh is quickly emerging one of the top power forwards in the CCHA. He scored his 11th goal of the season in the 5-2 win over Michigan. On the season, Walsh has four game-winning goals and five for his career. The four game winners ties him for third in the CCHA and 10th in the nation. 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. With11 goals and 11 assists, he is fifth on the team in scoring with 22 points. Four of his 11 goals this season are game winners. For his career, Walsh has scored 12 goals with five of them being game-winning goals.
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.
IRISH WINS VERSUS #1 TEAMS:
10/24/03 – at Boston College, 1-0
1/3/99 – at North Dakota, 4-3
11/10/78 – at Minnesota, 3-2
1/13/78 – vs. Denver, 5-3
1/18/74 – vs. Michigan Tech, 7-1
2/24/73 – vs. Wisconsin, 8-5
2/23/73 – vs. Wisconsin, 4-3
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.
BARN BURNERS: Three of Notre Dame’s games in January came down to final-second decisions. On Jan. 31, Brett Lebda scored with 28.5 seconds left for a 2-2 tie with Alaska Fairbanks. On Jan. 23, Northern Michigan’s Darin Olver scored with 34 seconds left in overtime to give the Wildcats a 4-3 win. On Jan. 9, Bowling Green’s James Unger scored with 28 seconds left in overtime to give the Falcons a 5-4 win.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Notre Dame leads the CCHA for the fewest goals given up per game. Notre Dame has given up just 88 goals in 36 games for a 2.38 goals-against per game. Notre Dame’s previous single-season best goals-against average came in the 1998-99 season when the Irish gave up an average of 2.60 goals per game.
OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMEN: In 36 games this season, Notre Dame defensemen Brett Lebda, Tom Galvin, Neil Komadoski and Wes O’Neill (Fr., Essex, Ont.) have combined for 14 goals and 60 assists for 74 points. Lebda (6g, 18a) is followed by Komadoski (5-14-19) and Galvin (1-18-18). O’Neill has two goals and 10 assists for 12 points on the year.
IRISH SHUTOUTS: 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).
ONE-GOAL GAMES: Five of Notre Dame’s games in January were decided by one goal with the Irish going 2-3-0 in those games. After winning their first three one-goal games (all three being 1-0 wins), the Irish dropped three in a row (two in overtime and one by a 1-0 score). The Irish are 6-3 this season in one-goal decisions. Notre Dame has been involved in four 1-0 games this season and is 3-1 in those contests.
SCORELESS STREAKS: Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) saw his consecutive minutes of scoreless hockey come to an end at 158:53 when D’Arcy McConvey scored at 10:27 of the second period on Jan. 9. The streak was the longest of Cey’s career, passing his previous best of 149:17 (set between Mar. 14-20, 2003 in the CCHA playoffs). Cey’s 158:53 is the second longest in Irish history behind David Brown’s mark of 193:27 set this past October between Oct. 17-Nov. 8.
RISING TO THE OCCASION: With Morgan Cey sidelined twice this season due to knee injuries, freshman goaltender David Brown has played in 22 games with outstanding results. In 20 starts, Brown is 13-5-3 with a CCHA-leading 2.03 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Four of his 12 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 521:30 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 also was named CCHA rookie of the week three times, CCHA defensive player of the week once, the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) national rookie of the month for October and an honorable mention pick for HCA rookie of the month in January.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END: Irish goaltender David Brown saw his streak of three consecutive shutouts end in the Nov. 8 game versus Michigan State. Jim Slater’s goal at 7:12 of the first period ended his consecutive-minute streak at 193:27. That is a new Notre Dame record. The last time Brown had given up a goal was on Oct. 17 versus Bowling Green with 4:22 left in the third period. He followed with shutouts versus Bowling Green (Oct. 18), Boston College (10/24) and Nebraska-Omaha (10/31).
IRISH ON TV: Notre Dame’s February 27th game marked the eighth game this season that the Irish appeared on television. For the year, Notre Dame is 6-1-1 in televised games. The Irish have appeared on CSTV four times and are 3-1-0. They are 1-0-1 on Wisconsin television, 1-0 on Fox Sports Net Fairbanks and 1-0 on Fox Sports Net Detroit.
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 193:27 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). Brown also received honorable mention for HCA rookie of the month honors in January and February.
HUMANITARIAN NOMINEE: Irish defenseman Neil Komadoski was 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. On Jan. 15, the five finalists – Patrick Foley (UNH), Dan Boeser (Wisconsin), Chanda Gunn (Northeastern), Derek Nisula (Babson) and Mark Persick (Canisius) – were selected. 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 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.
OH CANADA: Freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill was a member of Canada’s Under-18 Select team that played in last summer’s Under-18 Select World Cup tournament. O’Neill had a goal and four assists in helping Canada to a fourth-place finish. The former Green Bay Gambler also played for Team Ontario at the Under-17 World Championships in Feb. of 2003. There he had three goals and nine assists in six games. O’Neill was the second pick in the 2002 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Draft by the Kingston Frontenacs. He is the highest-drafted OHL player to decide to play college hockey.
CENTRAL SCOUTING RANKINGS: The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Central Scouting has released it’s mid-term report that ranks the top 270 draft eligible skaters and the top 30 goaltenders for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft next June. Irish defenseman Wes O’Neill is ranked 19th overall, third among U.S. College players behind North Dakota’s Drew Stafford (9th) and Michigan State’s A.J. Thelen (16). Freshman forward Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) was ranked 211th overall and 36th among collegiate players. Goaltender David Brown is ranked 29th overall and second among collegiate goaltenders behind top-ranked Al Montoya of Michigan.
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.
RIVALRY CLUSTERS: Notre Dame finished the season going 6-5-1 against the their three cluster rivals. The Irish were 2-2 versus Northern Michigan, 2-2 versus Bowling Green and 2-1-1 versus Lake Superior State. A year ago, the Irish were 7-4-1 in their cluster that included Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Ferris State.
SOME TRICK: 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 Wildcat centering pass eluded the point men. Trick beat Craig Kowalski with a backhander for his first goal in 55 career games.
CONSECUTIVE GAME STREAK: Graduated defenseman Evan Nielsen (’03) set Notre Dame’s record for consecutive games played last season with 114 in a row from 2000-03. Coming into this weekend at Northern Michigan, seniors Rob Globke and Brett Lebda have each played in 94 consecutive games and are the leaders among active players. The only games Lebda has missed in his career came in 2001-02 when he missed four games while playing at the World Junior Championships. He has played 150 of 154 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.
FUTURE IRISH: Dave Poulin and his hockey staff announced that four players have signed national letters-of-intent in the early-signing period to attend Notre Dame next season.
CEY IT AIN’T SO: Goaltender Morgan Cey missed the first five games of the season after having knee surgery in July. He then missed seven games after re-injuring his knee on Nov. 7, requiring arthroscopic surgery. Prior to this season, Cey had started 71 of Notre Dame’s 79 games as a freshman and sophomore. He was 15-15-6 last season with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage with two shutouts. Career-wise, Cey is 35-35-10 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage with six shutouts. He is sixth on Notre Dame’s all-time wins list with 35. His 2.72 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and six shutouts make him the leader in all three categories at Notre Dame.