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Notre Dame Returns To CCHA Action Versus Nebraska-Omaha

Oct. 29, 2003

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  • The Game: Notre Dame (3-2-0/2-2-0) vs. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (0-3-1/0-1-1)
  • Date/Site/Times: Thur.-Fri., October 30-31, 2003 – Joyce Center (2,713) – 7:35 p.m.
  • Broadcast Information: Both games of the Nebraska-Omaha series can be heard live on WDND South Bend’s ESPN Radio 1620. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” will call all the action. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at

IRISH VERSUS MAVERICKS: Notre Dame and Nebraska-Omaha meet for the 14th and 15th times in the all-time series with the Mavericks holding a 7-5-1 edge in the first 13 games. The series will be played on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 30-31 with faceoff both nights set for 7:35 p.m. (EST). The two teams met twice last season in Omaha with the Irish winning the Friday night game, 5-3, only to see the Mavericks return the favor on Saturday with a 5-3 win of their own. In 2002-03, the teams met five times, twice at Notre Dame during the regular season and three times in the first round of the CCHA playoffs at Omaha. The Mavericks won the two regular season meetings and the first playoff game (3-2 in double overtime) only to see the Irish rally for two wins to take the playoff upset. At the Joyce Center, UNO is 3-1-0. In the last 10 games between the two schools, the teams are 5-5-0.

BEATING THE BEST: Notre Dame is coming off a 1-0 shutout win at Boston College on Oct. 24. The Eagles came into that game ranked number one in the nation. The last time the Irish knocked off the top team in the country came on Jan. 3, 1999 when they won 4-3 at North Dakota. The last time the Irish faced a top-ranked team prior to last Friday was on Nov. 10, 2000 when the Irish faced Boston College at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame lost that game by a 5-3 score.

IRISH ON CSTV: Notre Dame’s win at Boston College was televised on College Sports Television (CSTV) as part of its weekly national game of the week package. The Irish are now 2-0 on CSTV as they downed Ohio State 5-2 on Oct. 10. The Irish are scheduled to appear on CSTV again on Dec. 27 when they play Cornell in the Everblades Collegiate Classic in Estero, Fla. If they win the first game, the championship game of that tournament will also be televised.

BOSTON COLLEGE RECAP: Freshman goaltender David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) continued his stellar early-season play when he stopped 27 shots in Notre Dame’s 1-0 shutout at top-ranked Boston College on Oct. 24. The shutout was the second in a row for Brown, who now has two shutouts in his first three career starts. Notre Dame’s only goal of the night came at 14:56 of the third period when Mike Walsh (So., Northville, Mich.) ripped a wrist shot from the top of the left wing circle that beat BC goaltender Matti Kaltiainen low to his blocker side. The shot came off a faceoff that was won by Aaron Gill (Sr., Rochester, Minn.). In the game, the Irish were outshot 27-18. The win was the first for the Irish versus the number one team in the nation since Jan. 3, 1999. Brown extended his consecutive shutout string to 124:22 over the last seven periods of play. The win snapped an eight-game winless (0-6-2) skid for the Irish versus Boston College. The last Irish win came on Dec. 28, 1994, a 3-2 win at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

BACK-TO-BACK BLANKINGS: Brown’s back-to-back shutouts mark just the second time in Notre Dame hockey history that a goaltender has recorded shutouts in consecutive games. The previous time came last March 15-16 in the first round of the CCHA playoffs when Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) blanked Miami, 1-0 and 5-0. Over the last eight games (three last season and the first five this year), the Irish have recorded four shutouts.

MR. CLUTCH: Need a goal in a tight situation??? Just call on left wing Mike Walsh. The sophomore, who picked up his second game-winning goal of the year versus Boston College, now has scored three goals in his career with all three being the game-winning goal.

HE’S BACK: Irish goaltender Morgan Cey has been cleared to play and could see action this weekend versus Nebraska-Omaha. The 6-3, 175-pound junior has missed the first five games this season, recovering from off-season knee surgery. He dressed for the Boston College game but did not play. 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.

ON THE SIDELINES: Defenseman Derek Smith (Jr., Marysville, Mich.) will miss the Nebraska-Omaha series as he is sidelined with post-concussion syndrome. He suffered a concussion on Jan. 4, 2003 at Nebraska-Omaha and has been sidelined since.

CCHA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (OCT. 19): Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown was selected the CCHA rookie of the week for his play in the week ending Oct. 19. In the Oct. 18 game at Bowling Green, Brown made 40 saves in recording his first career shutout, a 3-0 blanking of the Falcons. The shutout came in Brown’s second career start and third appearance, making his shutout the earliest any Irish goaltender had ever recorded a shutout in his career. Brown also played in Friday’s 5-3 loss to Bowling Green, taking the loss by giving up two goals in the third period while making seven saves. For the weekend, Brown was 1-1 with a 1.52 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage (47 saves on 49 shots). On the season, he is 2-2-0 with a 1.51 goals against and a .957 save percentage.

SHUTOUT STRING: With his back-to-back shutouts versus Bowling Green and Boston College, Irish goaltender David Brown now has a streak of 124:22 consecutive shutout minutes. That’s the third-best total at Notre Dame. He trails Morgan Cey’s 147:19 total set last season and Tony Zasowski (’03) who turned in a streak of 130:36 during the 1999-2000 season.

CORY’S STORY: Junior right wing Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) had his season-opening four-game point scoring streak (2-3-5) snapped at Boston College. McLean is second on the Irish in scoring this season with two goals and three assists. He had a breakout year with the Irish in 2002-03 as he recorded 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points. Four of his goals came on the power play. As a freshman, McLean had just one goal and four assists for five points.

NUMBER CHANGE: Notre Dame defenseman Noah Babin (Fr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) will wear numbr 14 this weekend versus the Mavericks. He is listed as number six in the Notre Dame hockey media guide.

SPECIAL TEAMS: There’s good news and bad news when it comes to Notre Dame’s special teams through the first five games. When it comes to killing penalties, the Irish are among the best in the nation as they’ve given up just two power-play goals on 25 chances for a 92.0% success rate. Boston College was 0-for-3 with the man-advantage last Friday and the Irish have now killed 13 consecutive opponent power-play chances. The bad news comes on the power play, as the Irish have struggled, scoring just three goals with the man-advantage in 28 chances for a 10.5% rate. After going 0-for-3 versus Boston College, the Irish have not scored with the man-advantage in their last 11 chances.

LEADING THE CCHA PACK: Through the first five games of the season, the Irish find themselves among the leaders in several CCHA categories:

Mike Walsh is tied for first in the CCHA with two game-winning goals. That also ties him for first in the nation. David Brown leads the CCHA in goals-against average (1.51), save percentage (.957) and shutouts (2). As a team, the Irish are tied for first in team defense (2.00 goals per game) and Notre Dame’s penalty killers are tops in the league with a 92.0% success rate.

FIRING THE BISCUIT: Notre Dame peppered Bowling Green goaltender Jordan Sigalet with 59 shots in the Oct. 17, 5-3 loss to the Falcons. The 59 shots were the most by an Irish team since Feb. 22, 2003 when they fired 56 shots at Lake Superior’s Terry Denike. Sigalet’s 56 saves are the most since Denike made 50 in a 6-3 Notre Dame win. The Irish have been outshot in four of their five games this season.

FAST STARTING GLOBKE: Senior right wing Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) is off to a fast start this season with four goals and two assists for six points in his first five games. He opened the season with a hat trick in Notre Dame’s 5-2 win at Ohio State. The hat trick was the second of his career. After not getting a point in the second game of that series, Globke had a goal and two assists versus Bowling Green (Oct. 17-18). He now has 53 career goals (29th player in Notre Dame history to record 50 or more goals in his career). Globke’s hat trick in the CCHA opener marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that a Notre Dame player recorded a hat trick in the first league game of the year. On Oct. 19, 1995, Brian Urick scored four goals in Notre Dame’s 7-4 win at Alaska Fairbanks. That game was also the first victory (and second game for Dave Poulin as coach of the Fighting Irish).

MORE GLOBKE GOODIES: Rob Globke had the best season of his Notre Dame career in 2002-03, leading the Irish with 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points. He now has 53 goals and 37 assists for 90 career points. He needs just 10 more points to become the 40th player in school history to reach the 100-point plateau in his career at Notre Dame. Globke’s 21 goals as a junior made him the first Irish player to score more than 20 goals in a season since Aniket Dhadphale had 25 during the 1997-98 season. The talented right winger opened the season with his first career hat trick in a 5-3 win at Minnesota-Duluth and then added two goals the following game in a 4-2 win versus Western Michigan. The five goals in two games was a first for a Notre Dame player since Tim Harberts had five in two games to open the 1994-95 season.

IRISH VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: Notre Dame improved to 2-1-0 this season versus nationally ranked teams with the 1-0 win on Oct. 24 at #1/#2 Boston College. The last time the Irish knocked off a top-ranked team came on Jan. 3, 1999 when they won at number one North Dakota, 4-3. The Irish opened the 2003-04 season with a split versus #15/#14 Ohio State, winning the opener, 5-2, before dropping the second game, 3-1. Last season, Notre Dame was 2-5-3 in 10 games versus nationally ranked teams. The Irish were 1-2-2 at home, 1-2-1 on the road and 0-1-0 on neutral ice. Notre Dame’s two wins over ranked teams came versus #14 Miami (2-1) and at #6 Michigan (4-3).

THE CAPTAINS: Senior center Aaron Gill will serve as the team captain for the Irish in 2003-04. Gill was an alternate captain last season. As a junior, he finished fourth on the Irish in scoring with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. Four of his 13 goals came on the power play and he recorded his first career hat trick on Oct. 19 in an 8-5 win over Western Michigan. Coach Dave Poulin announced his two alternate captains prior to the Western Ontario game (10/3). Serving as alternate captains this season are senior right wing Rob Globke and senior defenseman Neil Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo.). Globke led the Irish in scoring last season with 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points. Komadoski was Notre Dame’s top scorer from the blue line last year as he scored a goal and added 23 helpers. His 23 assists and 24 points were career-highs for the veteran defenseman.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: After getting shutout in their first two games, Notre Dame’s eight-member freshman class combined for three goals and four assists in the weekend series with Bowling Green. Defenseman Wes O’Neill and right wing Matt Williams-Kovacs (Calgary, Alb.) led the way with two points, O’Neill with a goal and an assist and Williams-Kovacs with two assists. Also scoring their first career goals were Michael Bartlett and Josh Sciba. Jason Paige (Saginaw, Mich.) assisted on a goal in Friday’s 5-3 loss. Goaltender David Brown picked up his first career win and shutout on Oct. 18 versus Bowling Green.

SEN-CEY-SATIONAL: Junior goaltender Morgan Cey is in his third season as Notre Dame’s go-to-guy in goal. Coming into the 2003-04 season, Cey appeared in 71 of the team’s 79 games from 2001-2003 but has yet to play this year due to a knee injury suffered last summer. As a sophomore, Cey was 15-15-6 with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. He is already tied for sixth on Notre Dame’s all-time win list with 30 career wins. His .911 career save percentage and last season’s mark of .912 are school records. Cey is currently tied for first with four career shutouts. In the eight career postseason games, the Wilkie, Sask., native is 4-4 with a 1.66 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. During the first round of the 2002-03 CCHA playoffs, Cey recorded back-to-back shutouts versus Miami (a first at Notre Dame) and set a school record with 147:19 of shutout hockey.

FOR OPENERS: The Irish opened the 2003-04 season with a 5-2 win at Ohio State. That gives Notre Dame an all-time record of 19-16-1 in season-opening games in the 36-year history of the program. In home openers, Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Falcons gives Notre Dame a 20-16-0 mark in first games at the Joyce Cen ter. Last season, the Irish opened the home schedule with a 4-2 win versus Western Michigan. Head coach Dave Poulin is 5-4-0 in home openers and 4-4-1 in season openers.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMEN: Notre Dame’s roster features three senior defensemen who excel at both ends of the ice. Neil Komadoski, Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and Tom Galvin (Miller Place, N.Y.) combined for 11 goals and 46 assists during the 2002-03 campaign. Komadoski led all Irish defensemen in scoring with a career-best 24 points (one, goal, 23 assists). Lebda tied for seventh in team scoring with seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points. He also led the team with 139 shots on goal (also led the team in 2001-02 with 150). Galvin added three goals and nine assists for 12 points after leading Irish defensemen the previous season with four goals and 19 assists.

NHL DRAFTEES: Notre Dame has three players on the 2003-04 roster that have been selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft. Senior Rob Globke was a second-round choice of the Florida Panthers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Selected 40th overall, Globke’s selection was the earliest any Notre Dame player has ever been chosen. Senior defenseman Neil Komadoski was selected in the third round of the 2001 draft by the Ottawa Senators. Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh was selected in the fifth round of the 2002 draft by the New York Rangers.

OH CANADA: Freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill was a member of Canada’s Under-18 Select team that played in this 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.

BRAIN POWER: Senior defenseman T.J. Mathieson (Clarksville, Md.) is a candidate for Rhodes, Mitchell and Marshall Scholarships for postgraduate studies. Mathieson owns a 3.812 grade-point average in aerospace engineering in Notre Dame’s School of Engineering. He is a two-time winner of Notre Dame’s Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award. He spent the past summer working at General Electric Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati. There, he worked doing stress analysis of high-pressure turbines for commercial aircraft engines.

FAMILY MATTERS: After having as many as four players whose fathers played in the National Hockey League, only one remains for the 2003-04 season. That would be Neil Komadoski, Jr. (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.), whose father, Neil Komadoski, Sr., played eight NHL seasons as a defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings (’72-’78) and the St. Louis Blues (’77-’80), totaling 16G-76A and 632 penalty minutes in 501 career games.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two Irish sophomore hockey players – Rory Walsh and Mike Walsh – have fathers who attended Notre Dame. Rory Walsh’s father, Brian (’77), was an all-American hockey player for the Irish. A center iceman, the elder Walsh is Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer after recording 234 career points on 89 goals and 145 assists. Mike Walsh’s father, Max, (’74) was an offensive lineman on the Notre Dame football team and a member of the 1973 national championship team.

CLUSTEROLOGY: The Irish finished the 2002-03 season with a 7-4-1 record versus the three other teams in their schedule cluster. Notre Dame was 4-0 versus Bowling Green, 3-1-0 versus Western Michigan and 0-3-1 versus Ferris State. This season, the Irish will face Bowling Green, Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan four times.

FIT TO BE TIED: Notre Dame’s 3-3 tie with Ohio State on Jan. 31, 2003 marked the sixth overtime game of the year for the Irish, with all six ending in ties (0-0-6). Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 33 overtime games and are 5-2-26 in those contests. The last time Notre Dame won an overtime game during the regular season was on Jan. 25, 2002, a 4-3 overtime win for the Irish at Miami. The Irish had two postseason games decided in overtime during the 2001-02 season (a 3-2 double overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha and a 2-1 win versus the Mavericks).

PENALTY SHOTS: Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey has faced four penalty shots in his Irish hockey career, including three last season. On Feb. 28, in a 4-2 loss to Western Michigan, Cey stopped Bronco Vince Bellissimo at 14:06 of the third period. A month earlier, Jan. 25, in a 3-3 tie with Michigan State, Cey stopped Jim Slater at 16:23 of the second period. His first stop in 2002-03 came on Nov. 22 at Michigan. In that game, a 4-2 loss to the Wolverines, he stopped Milan Gajic at 12:36 of the second period. The first penalty shot Cey faced came during his freshman season when he stopped Bowling Green’s Greg Day on Dec. 8, 2001. That stop came in a 4-2 loss to the Falcons.

FROZEN TUNDRA: The Irish have developed a pipeline with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United State’s Hockey League. Three members of the current Notre Dame team have played in the Land of Lombardi. Junior defenseman Joe Zurenko (Arlington Heights, Ill.) played there during the ’00-’01 season and freshmen blueliners Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Wes O’Neill were teammates there last year. New assistant coach Layne LeBel also spent the past two seasons with the Gamblers.

FOURTH TIME: Morgan Cey’s back-to-back shutouts (1-0 and 5-0) versus Miami in the first round of last season’s CCHA playoffs made him the fourth goaltender to turn the trick. The others are:

1988-1989 – Bruce Hoffort, LSSU beat Ferris State, 5-0, 3-0.
1993-94 – Blaine Lacher, LSSU beat Ohio State, 5-0, 8-0
1999-00 – Ryan Miller beat Notre Dame, 4-0 in semis and Nebraska-Omaha, 6-0 in finals.

THREE OUT OF FOUR: Notre Dame has advanced to Joe Louis Arena and the CCHA tournament in three of the last four seasons. Only two other CCHA teams – Michigan and Michigan State – have been there all four years since the 1999-2000 campaign.

U.S. JUNIOR NATIONALS: Sophomore right wing Tim Wallace was one of 43 players invited to USA Hockey’s Junior Evaluation Camp held in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August. From those 43 players, USA Hockey will select its 2004 U.S. Junior National Team that will play in the World Junior Championships in Finland. Notre Dame has sent eight players to the World Juniors since 1996-97.

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

YOST BUSTERS: Notre Dame’s 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23 was the first regular-season win for the Irish at Yost Arena since they returned to the CCHA in 1992-93. Prior to that, the last time Notre Dame won in Ann Arbor was Oct. 22, 1982, a span of 14 regular-season games. The Irish did win a CCHA playoff game at Yost in the 1998 playoffs. In the regular season, Notre Dame is now 1-14-1 in the last 16 meetings and since 1992-93, the Irish are 2-18-1 versus the Wolverines at Yost Arena. Over the last three meetings, the Irish are 1-1-1 when playing in Ann Arbor.

GOLD MEDAL ASSISTANT: Irish assistant hockey coach, Andy Slaggert, served as an assistant coach with USA Hockey’s gold-medal winning Under-18 Select Team in August at the World Under-18 Select tournament in the Czech Republic. The 11-year assistant at Notre Dame has been involved in coaching with USA Hockey since the 1996-97 season. This was his first time for coaching on the international level.

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. Since the program began, the Irish have had a total of 13 NTDP alums grace their roster. The current contingent includes seniors Rob Globke, Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda, junior Derek Smith (Marysville, Mich.), sophomore Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) and freshmen Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.)

Former Irish players Brett Henning, Paul Harris, Michael Chin, Connor Dunlop and John Wroblewski are all alums of the U.S. Developmental Program.

HOMETOWNS: The 2003-04 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states and four Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. In the eight-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, Wisconsin, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

2003-04 Notre Dame Hockey
– By State or Province:

Michigan (6): Rob Globke, Derek Smith, Chris Trick, Mike Walsh, Jason Paige, Josh Sciba
Illinois (3): Brett Lebda, Joe Zurenko, Michael Bartlett
Minnesota (3): Aaron Gill, Tony Gill, T.J. Jindra
Alberta (2): Brad Wanchulak, Matt Williams-Kovacs
Ontario (2): David Brown, Wes O’Neill
Alaska (1): Tim Wallace
British Columbia (1): Matt Amado
Florida (1): Noah Babin
Maryland (1): T.J. Mathieson
Massachusetts (1): Rory Walsh
Missouri (1): Neil Komadoski
New York (1): Tom Galvin
North Dakota (1): Cory McLean
Saskatchewan (1): Morgan Cey