Irish to face Miami (OH) again Saturday at 7:35 p.m. (file photo)

Notre Dame Opens CCHA Schedule On The Road At #9/#10 Miami

Oct. 13, 2004

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* The Games: Notre Dame (0-1-1/0-0-0) at #9/#10 Miami University RedHawks (2-0-0/0-0-0)

* Date/Site/Times: Friday-Saturday, October 15-16, 2004 – 7:35 p.m. (EDT) – Goggin Arena (2,200)

* Broadcast Information: Radio: 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


Notre Dame takes to the road this weekend for its CCHA opener with the #9/#10 Miami RedHawks at Goggin Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Game time both nights is set for 7:35 p.m. (EDT). For the second consecutive year, the Irish open the CCHA schedule away from home in Ohio as they split two games last season at Ohio State. Notre Dame started this year with a tie (2-2, ot) and a loss (1-4) to fourth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth at the Joyce Center last weekend. Miami opened with two wins at the Lefty McFadden Tournament as the RedHawks knocked off Boston University (5-1) and Northeastern (6-2). Last season, the Irish finished fifth in the CCHA with a 14-11-3 record while Miami was second with a 17-8-3 league record. Notre Dame and Miami were two of the five CCHA teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament in March of 2004. Following this weekend’s games, Notre Dame returns home for a single game on Friday, Oct. 22 versus Boston College at the Joyce Center. Miami plays a home-and-home series with Ohio State.


Notre Dame and Miami meet for the 43rd and 44th time in the all-time series with the RedHawks owning a 24-13-5 record in the first 42 contests. At Miami, the RedHawks have a 12-7-1 record versus the Irish. Coming into Friday’s game, the two teams have played five straight games at Goggin Arena going back to the 2003 CCHA playoffs. Last season, the two teams met twice in Oxford with the RedHawks taking 5-2 and 2-0 wins. Over the last 10 games in the series, Miami has a 6-4-0 record. Senior Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) is Notre Dame’s top returning scorer versus the RedHawks with two goals and four assists for six points in nine game. Only defenseman Joe Zurenko (Sr., Palentine, Ill.), with two assists, has more than one point for the remaining team members. Goaltender Morgan Cey (Sr., Wilkie, Sask.) has faced the RedHawks eight straight times and is 4-4-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage with two shutouts versus Miami.


The Irish didn’t waste any time this season getting into the meat of their schedule. Notre Dame opened the season with a pair of games versus the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs who came into last weekend’s series ranked fourth in the nation. The Irish got a 2-2 tie and a 4-1 loss in that series. This week, Notre Dame plays the #9/#10 team in the nation depending what poll you refer to in the Miami RedHawks. The Irish then return home to face the Boston College Eagles next Friday, Oct. 22 at the Joyce Center. The Eagles enter the week ranked #1/#2 in this week’s polls.


Notre Dame’s loss to Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 8 snapped a 15-game (12-0-3) regular-season home unbeaten at the Joyce Center. The last time the Irish had lost a regular-season home game at the Joyce Center was on Oct. 17, 2003 versus Bowling Green. Notre Dame was 14-2-2 at the Joyce Center last season and is now 14-3-3 in its last 20 games at home. The 14-2-2 home record was the best for the Irish since 1987-88, when that year’s Irish squad was 18-2-0 on home ice.


Notre Dame owns a 19-16-2 all-time record in season-opening games. In home openers, the Irish are 20-16-1. Head coach Dave Poulin owns a 4-4-2 record in season openers and is 5-4-1 in home openers in his first nine years behind the Irish bench.


The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs scored four unanswered goals on Friday, Oct. 8 to take a 4-1 win over the Irish in game two of the series. Notre Dame jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 3:40 into the game on a Matt Amado (Jr., Surrey, B.C.) power-play goal. Mike Curry got his first of two goals in the game at 17:39 to even the score at 1-1. Tim Stapleton scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 12:30 of the second period for his second goal of the weekend and a 2-1 lead after two periods. Brett Hammond and Curry closed out the scoring in the third period for the 4-1 final score. UMD outshot the Irish 32-28 in the game. David Brown (So., Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 28 saves in his first appearance of the season.


In the two games versus Minnesota-Duluth, Notre Dame was just two-for-23 on the power play for an 8.7% success mark. On the other side of the puck, the Irish have killed 18 of 20 opponent power plays for a 90.0% success rate. In the series with UMD, the two teams were whistled for 48 penalties and 110 minutes in the series. During the 2003-04 season, the Irish killed 152 of 174 opponent power plays for an 87.4% success rate. That was tops in the CCHA and fourth best in the nation.


Freshman forward Andrew Eggert (Livonia, Mich.) has been added to the roster. Eggert has made the team as a walk-on. The 5-9, 173-pound left-handed shooting forward split time last year with the Cleveland Barons (NAHL) and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL). He picked up an assist in the annual Blue-Gold game played on Oct. 3rd.


The Fighting Irish have been involved in 42 overtime games since the start of the 1999-2000 season. In those games, they are 6-5-31. During the 2003-04 season, Notre Dame had a total of eight overtime contests, going 1-3-4 in those games. The lone overtime win came in game three of the first round of the CCHA playoffs versus Western Michigan. The Irish have not won a regular-season overtime game since Jan. 25, 2002 at Miami, a span of 13 overtime games (0-2-11).


Senior goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) got his final year off to a strong start, making 38 saves in the 2-2 tie with the Bulldogs on Thursday. Cey has now faced UMD twice in his career on opening night and has a pair of 2-2 ties to his credit. Versus the Bulldogs, Cey is 0-0-2 with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage.


Sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) leads the Irish in scoring after two games with a pair of assists. Sophomore Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and freshman Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) have the other assists for the Irish. Through two games, the Irish defense has four of Notre Dame’s eight points.


Senior Cory McLean will serve as Notre Dame’s team captain this season. The team’s two alternate captains will be junior Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) and sophomore Jason Paige (Saginaw, Mich.). Paige is just the second sophomore in Dave Poulin’s 10 seasons at Notre Dame to be selected as an alternate captain. The first was Steve Noble (’98) who was selected an alternate for the 1995-96 season. He went on to serve as captain in 1996-97 and 1997-98.


Notre Dame continued its strong play versus ranked teams with it’s October 8th, 2-2 tie with fourth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth. Since the start of the 2003-04 season, Notre Dame turned in a 5-2-1 record versus teams ranked fifth in the nation or better. The Irish defeated top-ranked Boston College (1-0), third-ranked Maine (1-0), fourth-ranked Wisconsin (3-1) and then took two from fourth-ranked Michigan (4-1 and 5-2). Notre Dame also tied Wisconsin (2-2). The losses came versus a top-ranked team came in the NCAA regionals, a 5-2 loss to third-ranked Minnesota and versus Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 8. During 2003-04, the Irish were 6-6-1 versus nationally ranked teams.


Junior center Matt Amado recorded his first career power-play goal on Oct. 7 in the 2-2 with Minnesota-Duluth. The goal gave the Irish a 1-0 lead. Amado has played in 68 games in his career and has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points.


The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team had a season to remember in 2003-04. The Irish advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s 36-year history with a 20-15-4 overall record. In their first trip to the tournament, the Irish dropped a 5-2 decision to two-time NCAA defending champion Minnesota in the Grand Rapids Regional.


Notre Dame goaltenders David Brown and Morgan Cey each turned in career-best shutout streaks during the 2003-04 season. Brown set a Notre Dame record with his streak of 193:27, set between Oct. 17 and Nov. 8. In his streak, Brown shutout Bowling Green (10/18), Boston College (10/24) and Nebraska-Omaha (10/31) over three consecutive starts. Cey set his mark of 158:53 between Dec. 29 and Jan. 9. Included in his back-to-back shutouts were 1-0 blankings of Maine (12/28) and Findlay (1/3). Cey previously held the Irish record with a run of 149:17 and set in the 2003 CCHA playoffs.


Notre Dame’s outstanding goaltending duo of senior Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) and sophomore David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) combined to set Notre Dame records for the lowest goals-against average and save percentage in a season during the 2003-04 season. Along with junior Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.), the trio combined to turn in school record 2.48 goals-against average and .922 save percentages over 39 games. The previous Notre Dame record for goals- against average (2.60) came in the 1999-00 season and the previous best save percentage (.910) came in the 2002-03 campaign. Cey was 5-7-1 on the year with a career-best goals against (2.42) and save percentage (.924). Brown was 14-7-3 overall and set Irish records with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. The freshman puck stopper also set a Notre Dame record with four shutouts on the year. Cey added a pair of whitewashings on the year to give him a school record six shutouts for his career. Walsh was 1-1-0 on the year with a 3.53 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage.


In June of 2004, the Irish had three players selected in the NHL Entry Draft. Freshman right wing Victor Oreskovich (Oakville, Ont.) was a second-round selection, 55th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) was chosen in the fourth round, 115th overall by the New York Islanders. Sophomore goaltender David Brown was selected in the eighth round, 228th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those three join junior Mike Walsh as Notre Dame players selected by in the draft. Walsh was picked in the fifth round of the 2002 draft by the New York Rangers.


Sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill was one of 44 players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp that was held in Calgary, Alberta from August 12-19. O’Neill is the lone collegiate player invited to the camp in hopes of being selected to Canada’s World Junior team this December. The 6-4, 217-pound blueliner was a member of Canada’s Under-18 team last April at the Under-18 World Championships in Belarus. He also played for Team Ontario at the Under-17 World Championships in February of 2003. As a freshman at Notre Dame, O’Neill played in all 39 games with two goals and 10 assists for 12 points. His +7 plus/minus rating was tops among Irish defensemen.


Sophomore right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) has now played in all 81 games in his first two seasons at Notre Dame. The Irish record for consecutive games played belongs to former defenseman Evan Nielsen (’03) who played in 114 consecutive games between his sophomore and senior seasons. Nielsen missed just two games in his career, playing in 156 of 158 games. Wallace played in all 40 games as a freshman and all 39 Irish games in 2003-04.


Notre Dame’s defensive corps will go from one of the most experienced in the league to one of the youngest as the Irish graduated four senior defensemen. Between them, Tom Galvin (142), Neil Komadoski (146), Brett Lebda (152) and T.J. Mathieson (46) combined to play 486 career games. The four returning defensemen – senior Joe Zurenko (73), junior Chris Trick (58), and sophomores Wes O’Neill (39) and Noah Babin (31) – have played a total of 201 career games.


Two Irish junior hockey players – Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh – have fathers who played sports at Notre Dame while attending the University during the 1970’s. 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. Rory Walsh is one of Notre Dame’s goaltenders and Walsh plays left wing for the Irish.


Notre Dame has advanced to Joe Louis Arena and the CCHA finals in four of the last five seasons (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004). Only two other CCHA teams – Michigan and Michigan State – have been there all four years since the 1999-2000 campaign. The Irish also are one of five teams, joining Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Northern Michigan, to make it to the CCHA Super Six in each of the last three seasons.


Notre Dame’s current roster includes four 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 junior Tim Wallace and sophomores Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.)

The Irish lost three former Developmental program players to graduation – Rob Globke, Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda, while a fourth, current senior Derek Smith was forced to retire from hockey due to post-concussion syndrome.


Notre Dame has had a steady flow of players in recent years that played their junior hockey with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United State’s Hockey League. Six members of the current Notre Dame team have played in the Land of Lombardi. Senior defenseman Joe Zurenko (Palentine, Ill.) played there during the ’00-’01 season and sophomore blueliners Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Wes O’Neill were teammates there in ’02-’03. Second-year assistant coach Layne LeBel also spent two seasons (’01-’03) with the Gamblers. Joining the Irish this season is right wing Victor Oreskovich and defenseman Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill). In 58 games with the Gamblers, Oreskovich had 11 goals and 26 assists for 37 points and played in the league’s Top Prospects all-star game. VeNard spent three seasons in Green Bay. His 2003-04 campaign was cut short by injuries as he had two goals and two assists for four points in 22 games. During the 2004-05 season, the Irish will play a game in Green Bay as they will face Michigan Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the Resch Center.


Three members of the Notre Dame freshman class saw action with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm during the ’03-’04 season. Defensemen Brian D’Arcy (Western Springs, Ill.) and Luke Lucyk (Fox Pointe, Wis.) were members of the Storm’s highly ranked defense. Forward Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) was a key contributor to the USHL’s regular-season champions. Van Guilder was fifth on the team in scoring with 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points in 60 games. In 11 playoff games, Van Guilder added three goals and two assists for five points. D’Arcy saw his season cut short due to injuries, playing in 32 games with no goals and two assists to go with 36 penalty minutes. Lucyk was a regular on the defense with a goal and nine assists for 10 points in 60 games.


The 2003-04 Notre Dame hockey team features players from nine states and four Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia,Ontario and Saskatchewan. In the nine-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, the Notre Dame hockey letter winners have hailed from 20 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.


Michigan (5): Chris Trick, Mike Walsh, Jason Paige, Josh Sciba, Evan Rankin

Illinois (4): Joe Zurenko, Michael Bartlett, Brian D’Arcy, Dan VeNard

Minnesota (3): Tony Gill, T.J. Jindra, Mark Van Guilder

Alberta (3): Brad Wanchulak, Matt Williams-Kovacs, Brock Sheahan

Ontario (3): David Brown, Wes O’Neill, Victor Oreskovich

Alaska (1): Tim Wallace

British Columbia (1): Matt Amado

Florida (1): Noah Babin

Massachusetts (1): Rory Walsh

North Dakota (1): Cory McLean

Saskatchewan (1): Morgan Cey

Wisconsin (1): Luke Lucyk


Notre Dame assistant coach, Andy Slaggert, served as the head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team that finished second at the Five Nation’s Tournament from Aug. 24-28 in Halle, Germany. The U.S. Team’s lone loss came to the Czech Republic (the eventual winners). This was Slaggert’s second international appearance with USA Hockey as he served as assistant coach on the 2003 gold-medal winning team at the World Under-18 Select Tournament held in the Czech Republic. The 12-year assistant at Notre Dame has been involved in coaching with USA Hockey since the 1996-97 season.


Following the 2003-04 season, five members of the Notre Dame hockey team saw their careers continue on the professional level. Defenseman Neil Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo.), a third round draft choice of the Ottawa Senators in 2001, signed with Ottawa and finished the season with the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y. Defenseman Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings and finished the year with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Team captain Aaron Gill (Rochester, Minn.), signed as a free agent with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons and was then signed by the San Jose Sharks following the season. Defenseman Tom Galvin (Miller Place, N.Y.) inked his first pro contract with the East Coast Hockey League’s (ECHL) Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and finished the year there. Right wing Rob Globke, a second round choice of the Florida Panthers in 2002 signed with the Panthers following the season and will begin his pro career during the 2004-05 campaign.


The CCHA begins its third season with the 12 teams grouped in “rivalry pairings.” In the pairings, Notre Dame is paired with Bowling Green. The league’s other pairings include Michigan-Michigan State, Miami-Ohio State, Lake Superior State-Northern Michigan, Ferris State-Western Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks-Nebraska-Omaha.

Each season the teams are divided into three, four-team clusters and play a 28-game conference schedule. Cluster teams will face each other four times during the season with two games against each of the remaining eight teams.

In 2004-05, Notre Dame will play Bowling Green, Michigan and Michigan State four times with two games at home and two away. The Irish will also host two-game series with Ferris State, Nebraska-Omaha, Northern Michigan and Ohio State while traveling for two games to Alaska Fairbanks, Lake Superior State, Miami and Western Michigan.


For the first time since as a member of the CCHA, Notre Dame placed three players on the all-CCHA postseason team. Defenseman Brett Lebda and forwards Aaron Gill and Rob Globke were selected second team all-CCHA for the 2003-04 season. Prior to this season, the Irish have had two players named twice. In 1998-99 Benoit Cotnoir (first team) and Ben Simon (second team) were named to the team and in 1981-82, Dave Poulin and John Schmidt were second team selections.


Notre Dame has had at least one player named to the CCHA all-Academic Team in eight of the last nine seasons. Graduated senior Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) joined the list following the 2003-04 season as he was selected to the team after turning in a 3.339 grade-point average in Marketing and leading the Irish in scoring with 19 goals and 21 assists. Fellow senior, defenseman T.J. Mathieson (Clarksville, Md.) was an honorable mention selection to the team after turning in a 3.835 grade point in Aerospace Engineering. The lone year the Irish failed to place anyone on the 10-man team was 2002-03. Notre Dame’s other eight first-team CCHA all-Academic team selections since rejoining the CCHA in ’92-’93 are: 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), Dan Carlson (2000-01) and David Inman (2001-02). During that 12-year span, only Western Michigan (14) has produced more CCHA All-Academic selections than Notre Dame’s 11.