Oct. 20, 2004
* The Game: Notre Dame (0-3-1/0-2-0) vs. #1/#1 Boston College Eagles (2-0-0/1-0-0)
* Date/Site/Times: Friday, October 22, 2004 – 7:36 p.m. (EST) – Joyce Center (2,713)
* 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 www.und.com.
Television: Friday’s game with Boston College will be televised by Comcast Local. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will handle the play-by-play and color commentary. The game can seen in the South Bend -Michiana area on Comcast SportsNet Chicago which is available on Channel 37 for Comcast Cable subscribers.
IRISH AND EAGLES MEET AGAIN: Notre Dame and Boston College tangle on the ice on Friday, Oct. 22, the night before the Notre Dame-Boston College football game for the 10th time in the last 11 years in what has become a traditional hockey-football weekend for the two schools. For the second year in a row, the Irish will face a No. 1-ranked Boston College team. Last season at Chestnut Hill, the Irish handed the top-ranked Eagles a 1-0 loss at the Kelley Rink on Oct. 24, 2003. Boston College will be the third ranked team the Irish have played this season. Notre Dame opened the year versus #4/#4 Minnesota-Duluth and then faced #9/#10 Miami last weekend. The Irish are 0-3-1 overall, while Boston College brings a 2-0-0 record into the game after defeating UMass-Lowell, 3-2, in their Hockey East opener on Tuesday night. Notre Dame is coming off a pair of losses at Miami (OH) last weekend as the Irish dropped 4-2 and 5-0 decisions to the RedHawks. The two teams will play just the one game this weekend. Next weekend, Notre Dame returns to CCHA action next weekend when the Irish play host to the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Oct. 29-30. Friday’s game begins at 7:35 p.m. (EDT) and Saturday’s game has a 7:05 p.m. (EDT) start.
IRISH VERSUS EAGLES: The two teams have met 24 times in the all-time series with the Eagles holding a 14-8-2 edge. At the Joyce Center, Boston College is 6-1-1 in eight appearances. In 2002, the two teams battled to a 3-3 overtime tie. Notre Dame’s lone home victory versus Boston College came on Dec. 22, 1975 and the Irish are winless (0-4-1) at the Joyce Center since that contest. The Irish pulled off their biggest upset of the year versus Boston College last season, defeating the top-ranked Eagles, 1-0, at Chestnut Hill. The win snapped an eight-game winless streak (0-6-2) for Notre Dame versus Boston College. Goaltender David Brown (So., Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 27 saves in the game for his second consecutive shutout and left wing Mike Walsh (Jr., Northville, Mich.) scored the lone goal of the game at 14:56 of the third period in the victory.
NOTRE DAME VERSUS NO. 1: Last season’s 1-0 win over top-ranked Boston College was the first win for the Irish over a top-ranked team since Jan. 3, 1999, a 4-3 win at North Dakota. The last time the Irish defeated a top-ranked team at the Joyce Center was Jan. 13, 1978 when they downed No. 1 rated Denver, 5-3. Notre Dame’s wins over No. 1 ranked 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, 4-3; 2/23/73 – vs. Wisconsin, 8-5. Prior to the Oct 24 win last season, the last time Notre Dame faced a top-ranked team was Nov. 10, 2000 versus Boston College. The Irish lost that game by a 5-3 score.
ON THE SIDELINES: Notre Dame will be without the services of sophomore center Matt Williams-Kovacs (Calgary, Alb.) who suffered a broken left ankle in the first period of the Oct. 16 game versus Miami. He had surgery on Monday and is out six to eight weeks. Junior left wing Mike Walsh missed the Oct. 16 game at Miami with an arm injury. He is day-to-day.
SLOW START: Notre Dame’s 0-3-1 start is their worst since opening the 2001-02 season with an 0-3-1 record. The five goals scored in the first four games by the Irish are the fewest for Notre Dame after four games in the first 37 years of the program.
ROSTER CHANGE: Senior forward Brad Wanchulak (Edson, Alb.) is no longer with the team. He will remain in school at Notre Dame and is on schedule to graduate from the University in May of 2004. Wanchulak played in 104 games for the Irish and had seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in his career.
IRISH ADDITION: Freshman forward Andrew Eggert (Livonia, Mich.) has been added to the roster. 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.
MIAMI RECAP: The Irish dropped a pair of games to #9/#10 Miami last weekend by 4-2 and 5-0 scores. On Friday night, power-play goals were the story of the game as Miami was 3-for-8 on the night, including a pair of 5-on-3 goals and the Irish were 1-for-10. Tim Wallace (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska) and Josh Sciba (So., Westland, Mich.) traded goals with Chris Michael and Todd Grant for a 2-2 score after two periods. Matt Christie snapped that tie at 11:15 for Miami with the RedHawks second 5-on-3 goal of the night. Marty Guerin scored into an empty net for the 4-2 final. The RedHawks outshot the Irish, 38-34, on the night. Morgan Cey (Sr., Wilkie, Sask.) made 34 saves for the Irish and Brandon Crawford-West had 32 for Miami. The two teams combined for 34 penalties and 68 minutes in the penalty box. Saturday night, the RedHawks again used the power play, going 3-for-8 again while the Irish were 0-9 with the extra man. Miami scored once in the first period (the third 5-on-3 power-play goal of the weekend), three in the second and once in the third for the 5-0 win. Guerin led the RedHawks with a goal and two assists while Crawford-West made 23 saves in goal. David Brown made 38 stops for the Irish who were outshot, 43-23, in the game. For the weekend, Notre Dame was 1-for-19 on the power play.
MIAMI GOAL RECAP: Notre Dame surrendered nine goals on the weekend to Miami. Six came on power plays (three were 5-on-3), one was a short-handed, empty-net goal and two came at even strength.
THE LAST TIME: The Irish started the CCHA schedule with a pair of losses was the 2000-01 season when they lost there first series of the year to Michigan State….the last time the Irish were shutout this early in the season (fourth game) was the 1993-94 season when Michigan State blanked the Irish, 3-0, in the fourth game of that season.
POWER-PLAY NUGGETS: During the 2003-04 season (39 games), the Irish and their opponents were involved in just four 5-on-3 power-play goals (two for, two against). In four games this season, the Irish and their opponents have already been involved in five, 5-on-3’s (two for the Irish, three against)…. In 39 games a year ago, the Irish gave up three power-play goals in a game just once. In four games this year, the Irish have given up three power-play goals in a game twice.
BLOWING THE WHISTLE: In the first four games of 2003-04, Notre Dame averaged 8.25 penalties for 16.5 penalty minutes. Opponents averaged 7.75 penalties for 15.5 minutes. After four games this season, the Irish are averaging 11.8 penalties for 26.2 minutes and opponents are averaging 13.5 penalties for 28.5 minutes.
POINTLESS: The 5-0 shutout at Miami saw sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill’s (Essex, Ont.) career-best three-game point streak (0-3-3) come to an end. O’Neill, who leads the Irish in scoring (0-3-3), had an assist in each of Notre Dame’s first three games.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: 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 2003-04 home record of 14-2-2 was the best for the Irish since 1987-88 when that year’s Irish squad was 18-2-0 on home ice.
FIT TO BE TIED: 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).
SPECIAL TEAMS: Through the first four games of the 2004-05 season, the Irish have struggled on the power play, scoring just three times in 42 chances for a 7.1% success rate. Last year, the Notre Dame power play clicked at a 17.8% rate, scoring 32 times in 180 chances. On the penalty kill, the Irish have given up eight power-play goals in the first four games (six in the last two contests) and for the year are just 28 of 36 killing penalties (77.8%). Last season, Notre Dame was tops in the CCHA and fourth in the nation with an 87.4% penalty killing ratio.
FOR OPENERS: 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 10 years behind the Irish bench.
SEN-CEY-TIONAL: Senior goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) has played two strong games to start his final season with the Irish. He made 34 saves in the 4-2 loss to Miami on 10/15, giving up three power-play goals (fourth goal was empty netter), with two of those goals coming via 5-on-3 power plays. In the season opener versus Minnesota-Duluth, Cey made 38 saves in the 2-2 tie with the Bulldogs. Four of the five goals that Cey has given up this year are power-play goals. He is 0-1-1 on the year with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage.
David Brown: Sophomore goaltender David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) has split the goaltending with Morgan Cey through the first two games of the season. He is 0-2-0 with a 4.50 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage. In the 5-0 loss at Miami, Brown made a season-high 38 saves while keeping the Irish in the game. Four of the nine goals he’s surrendered this year have also been power-play goals.
SCORING ON THE BLUE LINE: Sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill leads the Irish in scoring after four games with three assists on the season. Junior Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.), sophomore Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and freshman Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) have the other assists for the Irish. Through four games, the Irish defense has six of Notre Dame’s 14 points.
CAPTAINS: Senior Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) 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.
JOSHING AROUND: Sophomore Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.) leads Notre Dame with two goals this season. Sciba scored on the power play at Miami on Oct. 15 for his first power-play goal of the season. As a freshman, Sciba was second among rookie scorers with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points.
POWER-PLAY FIRST: 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.
NCAA ACTION: 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.
SHUTOUT STREAKS: 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.
TERRIFIC TRIO: 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.
NHL DRAFTEES: 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 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.
OH CANADA: 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.
IRON MAN: Sophomore right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) has now played in all 83 games in his first two-plus 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.
YOUNG D: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) – played just 201 career games prior to the start of 2004-05.
FAMILY MATTERS: 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.
FOUR OF FIVE: 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.
PATRIOTIC GROUP: 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.)
FROZEN TUNDRA: 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 (Palatine, 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.
STORM WARNINGS: 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.
HOMETOWNS: 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.
2004-05 NOTRE DAME HOCKEY – BY STATE OR PROVINCE:
Minnesota (3): Tony Gill, T.J. Jindra, Mark Van Guilder
Alberta (3): Brad Wanchulak, Matt Williams-Kovacs, Brock Sheahan
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
INTERNATIONAL LEADER: 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.
MOVING ON: 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.
RIVALRY CLUSTERS: 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.
ALL-CCHA: 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.
CCHA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: 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.