Notre Dame and the U.S. Under-18  Team have met twice in the past three seasons in exhibition play at the Joyce Center with the Irish holding a 2-0-0 edge in the series.

Notre Dame To Face U.S. Under-18 Team In Exhibition Action On Friday, Nov. 19 At The Joyce Center

Nov. 17, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format

  • The Game: Notre Dame (2-5-4/1-4-3) vs. U.S. Under-18 Team (13-4-2)
  • Date/Site/Times: Fri., Nov. 19, 2004 – 7:35 p.m. – Joyce Center (2,713)
  • Broadcast Information: Radio: There will be no broadcast of the exhibition game versus the U.S. Under-18 Team.

A BREAK IN THE ACTION: Notre Dame takes a break from regular-season play this weekend when the Irish play host to the U.S. National Team Developmental Program’s Under-18 Team at the Joyce Center on Friday night, November 19. Game time is 7:35 p.m. The National progam is in its ninth season of developing hockey players for future careers in hockey and to represent USA Hockey on the national and international level. Notre Dame is coming off a three-point weekend at Western Michigan, following a 2-2 with the Broncos and a 3-2 win last Saturday night. The win was the first for the Irish since Oct. 22 and snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2). The Irish are now 1-0-2 in their last three games. The Under-18 Team is coming off a successful weekend as they won the Compuware Four Nations Cup in Ann Arbor, Mich., from Nov. 8-12. Team USA defeated Switzerland, 6-4, Sweden, 7-1, Finland, 6-3, and then captured the gold medal with a 1-0 win over the Swedes. The Under-18 Team is 13-4-2 on the year. That includes a 3-2-2 mark versus Division I teams, an 0-2-0 mark vs. Division III teams, a 6-0-0 mark versus junior teams from the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and an 4-0-0 mark in international play. Following the one game versus the U.S. team this week, the Irish will return to CCHA action next week when they travel to Fairbanks, Alaska to face the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks on Nov. 26-27.

THE SERIES: Notre Dame and the U.S. Under-18 Team have met twice in the past three seasons in exhibition play at the Joyce Center with the Irish holding a 2-0-0 edge in the series. On Dec. 21, 2001, Notre Dame took a 3-2 decision win. Playing for the Under-18 team in that game were current Irish players Tim Wallace (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska) and Noah Babin (So., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.). Last Nov. 14th, the Irish shut out the Under-18 team by a 4-0 score. David Brown (So., Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 28 saves for one of his five shutouts on the season. Incoming freshman, Jordan Pearce, who signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday, played for the Under-18 Team and made 25 saves in the game.

A LOOK AT THE UNDER-18 TEAM: The U.S. Under-18 Team is coached by former Boston College assistant Ron Rolston who is in his first year with the program. Team USA recently won the Four Nations Tournament by defeating Under-18 teams from Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. Their schedule includes games versus Division I and III college teams, teams from U.S. Junior Leagues and international play. The U.S. team has already played seven games versus Division won teams and is 3-2-2 in those games. Team USA owns wins over Michigan Tech (6-2), Robert Morris (5-3) and Brown (1-0) and ties at Clarkson (2-2) and Northern Michigan (3-3). The two losses have come to St. Lawrence (3-2) and Harvard (7-4). Offensively, the team is led by forwards Jack Skille (10-14-24), Peter Mueller (11-8-19) and Ryan Stoa (8-11-19). The top goaltender is Jeff Frazee who is 7-2-0 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Defenseman Kyle Lawson (0-10-10), who signed a national letter-of-intent this week is second in scoring among the USA defensemen.

THE IRISH AND THE U.S. DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAM: Notre Dame’s current roster includes four players who have past experience with USA Hockey, as members of the National Team Development Program (NTDP). 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, Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.). Other former NTDP players who played at Notre Dame and their years in the national program include: Brett Henning (1997-98), Michael Chin (1997-98), Connor Dunlop (1997-99), Paul Harris (1997-99), John Wroblewski (1997-99), Neil Komadoski (1998-2000), Brett Lebda (1998-2000), Rob Globke (1998-2000) and Derek Smith (2000-01).

GETTING ON TRACK: Notre Dame picked ups its first CCHA win on Nov. 13th at Western Michigan by a 3-2 score. The win made the Irish 2-5-4 overall and 1-4-3 in CCHA play. The victory was the latest for the Irish in CCHA play since 1992-93 when that team won its first league game in its 10th league game of the year.

WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP: Notre Dame picked up its first road and first CCHA win of the season on Nov. 13th with a 3-2 win at Western Michigan. The Irish took a 2-0 lead in the game on goals by Cory McLean (Sr., Fargo, N.D.) and Wes O’Neill (So., Essex, Ont.) by the 5:01 mark of the second period. Western came right back late in the second stanza as Brian Bicek scored twice in a 2:40 span to make it a 2-2 game. The Irish got the game winner with 33.3 seconds left in the second when T.J. Jindra (So., Faribault, Minn.) scored for his second point of the night. The Broncos out shot Notre Dame by a 40-24 margin in the game. Morgan Cey (Sr., Wilkie, Sask.) made 38 saves in picking up his second win of the year. The Irish were 1-for-1 on the power play while WMU was 1-for-5. On Friday night, Notre Dame rallied from a 2-0 deficit to pull out a 2-2 tie. Noah Babin and Evan Rankin (Fr., Portage, Mich.) scored third-period goals to wipe out a 2-0 Western Michigan lead. The Broncos got two goals in the game from junior left wing Mike Erickson to build the 2-0 lead. Erickson got his first of the game at 4:51 of the first period. After a scoreless second period, Erickson put the rebound of his own shot past David Brown at 1:06 of the third period for the 2-0 lead. Babin started the Notre Dame comeback when he intercepted a Western clearing attempt at the blue line, moved past one defender and snapped a wrist shot past Dan Bellissimo at 4:56 to cut the lead to 2-1. Rankin tied the game at 7:43 when he stepped out of the penalty box and picked up a lead pass from defenseman Dan VeNard (Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill.) and raced in on a three-on-one. He ripped a slapshot past Bellissimo from the right wing circle for his third goal of the year. The Irish out shot Western Michigan, 38-30 in the game. Brown finished with 28 saves while Bellissimo had 36 stops for the Broncos. The Irish were 0-for-5 on the power play and the Broncos were stopped on all five of their man-advantage chances.

TOUGH PLACE TO WIN: Notre Dame’s win at Western Michigan on Nov. 13th was just the fourth for the Irish at Lawson Arena since returning to the CCHA in 1992-93. Notre Dame is now 4-16-3 at Lawson since that season. Overall, the Irish are 7-19-4 in the all-time series versus the Broncos in Kalamazoo, Mich.

HOMECOMING HERO: Notre Dame freshman right wing Evan Rankin made the most of his return to Kalamazoo, Mich., on Friday night. The Portage, Mich., native returned to Lawson Arena where he first learned to skate and scored the game-tying goal in the third period of the 2-2 tie. He then assisted on Notre Dame’s first goal in the 3-2 win on Saturday. For the year, Rankin leads all Irish freshmen in scoring with three goals and two assists for five points.

FIT TO BE TIED: The Nov. 12 tie with Western Michigan (2-2) is the fourth tie of the season for Notre Dame. Since the 1999-2000 season, Notre Dame has been involved in 45 overtime games. In those games, the Irish are 6-5-34. 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 16 regular-season overtime games (0-2-14).

ALL TIED UP: The most ties the Irish have ever had in a season is eight and that came during the 1999-2000 campaign. The most overtime games the Irish have participated in is 11 and that came during the 1993-94 season. Notre Dame was 2-4-5 in those games.

CLUTCH SCORER: Sophomore right wing T.J. Jindra recorded his second goal of the season versus Western Michigan on Nov. 13. The goal was also his second game-winning tally of the year. In his career, Jindra now has six goals. Four of them have been game winners.

ON THE SIDELINES: Notre Dame will be without the services of center Matt Williams-Kovacs (So., Calgary, Alb.) who suffered a broken left ankle in the first period of the Oct. 16 game versus Miami. He had surgery on Monday, Oct. 18 and is out six to eight weeks. Defenseman Dan VeNard went down with a separated right shoulder in the Nov. 13 game versus Western Michigan. He is out indefinitely.

INCOMING IRISH: Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin has announced the signing of seven players to national letters-of-intent. Four of the seven signees – Eric Condra, Christian Hanson, Jordan Pearce and Jamie Silverson – will join Notre Dame in the fall of 2005 while the other three- Kevin Deeth, Kyle Lawson and Ryan Thang – will defer their signing to 2006.

CENTRAL SCOUTING RANKINGS: The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting has announced its preliminary rankings for the June, 2005 Entry Draft. Irish freshman right wing Evan Rankin was one of 10 CCHA players ranked and one of 35 collegiate players recognized. He was ranked 13th overall. Three incoming players were also ranked. Christian Hanson received an A-rating (possible 1st through 4th round draft choice) while goaltender Jordan Pearce was the only USHL goaltender to receive an A-rating. Defenseman Kyle Lawson of the U.S. Under-18 Team was given a B-rating (late round draft choice).

BEATING THE BEST: For the second year in a row, Notre Dame faced the Boston College Eagles when the Eagles were the top-ranked team in the nation. For the second year in a row, the Irish sent the Eagles home with a loss as they prevailed on Oct. 22 by a 3-2 score. The last time the Irish had defeated a top-ranked team at the Joyce Center was Jan. 13, 1978 when they upset Denver, 5-3. A year ago, in Boston, the Irish downed the top-ranked Eagles, 1-0. In the 37-year history of the program, Notre Dame owns eight wins over top-ranked teams. The list:

10/22/04 - vs. Boston College, 3-210/23/03 - at Boston College, 1-01/3/99 - at North Dakota, 4-311/20/78 - at Minnesota, 3-21/13/78 - vs. Denver, 5-31/18/74 - vs. Michigan Tech, 7-12/24/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 4-32/23/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 8-5

FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Freshman left wing Mark Van Guilder collected his first collegiate goal on Nov. 4 at Bowling Green. He became the second Irish freshman to get his first goal, following Evan Rankin who scored the first goal of his Notre Dame career with a second-period goal versus Boston College (Oct.22). Defenseman Brock Sheahan collected his first career point in Notre Dame’s season opener versus Minnesota-Duluth and fellow defenseman Dan VeNard got his first career point on Nov. 12 at Western Michigan.

FIRST TIMER: Noah Babin (So., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) scored his first career goal for the Irish in the 1-1 tie with Northern Michigan. The sophomore defenseman has played in 41 career games for Notre Dame. He got his second career goal in the 2-2 with Western Michigan on Nov. 12. He is the first Notre Dame hockey player from the state of Florida.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Sophomore goaltender David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) turned in his best performance of the season, making 28 saves in the 2-2 tie with Western Michigan on Nov. 12. Brown held the Irish in the game in the first period, stopping 16 of 17 Bronco shots. For the season, he is 0-3-1 with a 3.67 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage. Last season, as a freshman, Brown set Irish records for single-season goals-against average (2.32), save percentage (.925) and shutouts (4).

BISCUIT BARRAGE: The 52 shots that Boston College fired at Morgan Cey on Oct. 22 was the most shots on goal the Irish have faced since Jan. 23, 2001 when Michigan fired 51 on the Notre Dame goal in a 9-0 Wolverine win.

DOING IT THE HARD WAY: Sophomore right wing T.J. Jindra picked up the third short-handed goal of his Notre Dame career versus Boston College. The goal was the third game winner of his career. He notched his second goal of the season on Nov. 13 at Western Michigan. That goal was also the game winner. In 50 career games, Jindra now has scored six goals with three of them coming a man down. He also has four game winners in his career with two of them coming short-handed.

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 (.833) at the Joyce Center last season. This year, the Irish are 1-2-3 at home and 15-4-5 (.729) in their last 24 home games. 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.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Through the first 11 games of the 2004-05 season, the Irish have struggled on the power play, scoring just eight times in 81 chances for an 9.9% success rate. Notre Dame has just two power-play goal on the road this season, going 2-for-31 (6.5%) in four road games. 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 15 power-play goals in the first 11 games (six of those came in two games at Miami) and for the year are 66 of 81 killing penalties (81.5%). Last season, Notre Dame was tops in the CCHA and fourth in the nation with an 87.4% penalty killing ratio.

BLUE-LINE SCORING: Sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill leads the Irish in scoring after 11 games with four goals and five assists on the season. He is followed on the blue line by sophomore Noah Babin who has a two goals and an two assists for four points. Junior Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.) has two assists, as does freshmen Brock Sheahan and Dan VeNard has one for the Irish defensive corps. Through 11 games, the Irish defense has accounted for six of Notre Dame’s 20 goals (30.0%) and 17 of Notre Dame’s 52 points (32.7%).

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.

POWER-PLAY FIRST: Junior center Matt Amado (Surrey, B.C.) 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 74 games in his career and has 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points.

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.

IRON MAN: Sophomore right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) has now played in all 90 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. The big left wing has a goal and three assists for four points in the first 11 games of 2004-05.

FAMILY MATTERS: Two Irish junior hockey players – Rory Walsh 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.

TERRIFIC TRIO: Notre Dame’s outstanding goaltending duo of senior Morgan Cey and sophomore David Brown 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, 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.

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.

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.

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 Point, 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.

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.

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.