Nov. 22, 2005
Notre Dame, Ind. – â€¢ The Series: Notre Dame (3-6-1/2-3-1) vs. Ohio State (5-5-1/4-4-1)
â€¢ Date/Site/Times: Fri.-Sat., Nov. 25-26, 2005 – 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m. – Joyce Center (2,713)
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1580, South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” will bring you all the play-by-play action.
â€¢ Internet Broadcast: At the Notre Dame website – www.und.com.
â€¢ Television: Friday’s game will be televised live by ESPNU with Dave Shea providing the play-by-play and Barry Melrose the color commentary.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Notre Dame will spend the Thanksgiving holidays at home as the Irish play host to the Ohio State Buckeyes in a weekend series, Nov. 25-26 at the Joyce Center. Game time on Friday night is 7:35 p.m., while Saturday’s contest will start at 7:05 p.m. Friday’s game will be televised live by ESPNU with Dave Shea and Barry Melrose calling the action. ESPNU is available on DirecTV’s Channel 609 and various cable outlets throughout the country. The Notre Dame will look to get back on the winning track versus the Buckeyes after taking one point on the road last weekend at Miami of Ohio. The Irish and the RedHawks battled to a 2-2 in the opening game of the series and then Miami handed the Irish a 3-0 shutout in game two. Notre Dame enters the Ohio State series with a 3-6-1 overall record and a 2-3-1 mark in the CCHA. After starting the year at 1-5-0, the Irish are 2-1-1 in their last four games. Ohio State is coming off a weekend sweep of Lake Superior as the Buckeyes recorded 3-0 and 4-0 shutout wins at home last weekend versus the Lakers. OSU brings a 5-5-1 overall record and a 4-4-1 CCHA mark into the series with Notre Dame. After going 0-4-1 from Oct. 21 to Nov. 5, the Buckeyes have now won three straight games. Ohio State and Notre Dame are CCHA cluster partners this season and will play two more times in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 27-28.
IRISH VERSUS BUCKEYES: Notre Dame and Ohio State have met 49 times in the Irish record books with the Buckeyes holding a 22-21-6 edge in the series. (Ohio State records have it as 24-23-6 as the Buckeyes played four games versus the Irish in the mid-60s before the Irish were a Division I program). At the Joyce Center, the Irish have an 11-9-2 advantage. Last season, Ohio State downed the Irish twice, 4-1 and 3-1. In the last 14 meetings, the Irish have won just once (1-10-3) going back to the 2000-01 season. The lone win came in the 2003-04 season opener at Columbus, a 5-2 Notre Dame win. The last time the Irish won at home against OSU, was Oct. 23, 1998, a 3-0 win. Since then, the Irish are 0-4-2 versus Ohio State on home ice.
WHAT HAS BROWN DONE LATELY: Junior goaltender David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) has been showing signs of his successful freshman year form in recent weeks. Over his last three starts, Brown is 1-1-1 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage, stopping 92 of 99 shots he’s faced. For the year, Brown is 1-4-1 with a 3.66 goals-against average and a .879 save percentage.
VERSUS THE ALMA MATER: Notre Dame associate head coach Paul Pooley is an Ohio State graduate (class of 1984). In fact, Pooley is still Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer with 114 goals and 156 assists for 270 career points. A member of the Ohio State Hall of Fame, Pooley was a CCHA rookie of the year in 1981 and the CCHA player of the year in 1984. A first team all-CCHA and All-American selection following the 1984 season, he was Bauer’s national player of the year. Pooley was a second team selection to the CCHA’s all-decade team for the 1980s. He served as an assistant coach at Ohio State for three seasons (1989-91) before joining Jeff Jackson’s staff at Lake Superior from 1992-94 where he helped guide the Lakers to three straight NCAA Frozen Fours with titles in 1992 and 1994. He rejoined Jackson at Notre Dame in June after 11 years as head coach at Providence College where his teams were 185-187-40.
FINAL GOGGIN APPEARANCE: Notre Dame made its final regular-season appearance at Miami’s Goggin Arena last weekend as the RedHawks will play next season in a new on-campus facility. All-time, the Irish were 7-15-2 at Goggin, including 0-5-1 in the last six games there.
ROAD WOES: The Irish are still searching for their first road win since Nov. 26, 2004 when they won 3-2 at Alaska Fairbanks. Since then, the Irish are 0-14-2 in their last 16 games away from the Joyce Center. They are 0-4-1 away from home this season.
MIAMI RECAP: On Saturday night at Miami, the Irish ran into the goaltending of freshman Jeff Zatkoff. He made 27 saves in a 3-0 shutout winv versus the Irish. Zatkoff got two goals from Ryan Jones and one from Matt Christie in the win. David Brown, making his third consecutive start, recorded 27 saves in the loss. The Irish were out shot in the game by a 30-27 margin. On Friday night, the Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of power-play goals just 1:11 apart. Mark Van Guilder (So., Roseville, Minn.) gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 3:48 with his second goal of the year. Josh Sciba (Jr., Westland, Mich.) made it 2-0 at 4:59 with his team-high seventh goal and fourth power-play tally of the season. The RedHawks got both their goals in the third period. Matt Christie scored on a power-play deflection at 6:36 and Marty Guerin tied the game at two with his first goal of the year at 17:05. Brown made 29 saves for the Irish in the game while Charlie Effinger had 21 for Miami. Notre Dame was 2-for-4 on the power play while the RedHawks were 1-for-6.
THE LAST TIME: The last time the Irish were shutout in a game previous to the 3-0 loss at Miami was March 12, 2005. That was a 1-0 overtime loss to Michigan in game two of the first round of the CCHA playoffs. Notre Dame was shutout five times during the 2004-05 season.
POWER SURGE: After going 4-for-45 (8.9%) on the power play through the first six games of the season, the Irish have now scored seven times in 26 chances (26.9%) with the man advantage in the last four contests. Overall, the Irish are 11-for-71(15.5%) through the first 10 games of the season.
PENALTY-KILLING PROBLEMS: On the season, the Irish have given up at least one power-play goal to their opponents in nine of the team’s 10 games. The lone team not to score was Princeton in a 2-0 shutout win by the Irish. On the year, Notre Dame has surrendered 17 power-play goals in 70 chances for a 75.7% penalty-killing success rate.
SUPER SCIBA: Junior center Josh Sciba already has equaled his career high with seven goals on the season and set a personal best with four power-play goals to date. As a freshman in 2003-04, Sciba had seven goals in 38 games. His previous power-play best was three set last season. Sciba saw his three-game goal-and-point streak (5-1-6) stopped in the 3-0 shutout on Saturday night.
ALL TIED UP: The Nov. 19 tie with Miami gives Notre Dame 50 overtime games that the Irish have been involved in since the start of the 1999-2000 season. In those games, they are 7-6-37. During the 2004-05 season, Notre Dame played in nine overtime contests, going 1-2-6 in those games. The lone overtime win came on Dec. 10 versus Michigan State and was the first regular-season overtime win since Jan. 25, 2002, snapping a 16-game winless (0-2-14) skid in regular-season overtime games.
IRISH ADD FOUR: Head coach Jeff Jackson has annouced that Christian Minella (Aurora, Colo.) has signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2006. Minella is a 6-2, 200-pound right wing who is currently playing for the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. In 16 games for the Stampede, Minella has three goals and three assists for six points. Minella joins Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) and Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) who signed national letters-of-intent to attend Notre Dame but deferred to the 2006-07 season. Deeth, a center, is currently playing for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL; Lawson, a defenseman, is a member of the Tri-City Storm (USHL) and Thang, a right wing is in his second season with the Sioux Falls Stampede.
A SERIES SWEEP: Notre Dame’s sweep of Bowling Green on Nov. 10-11 (9-4 and 4-2) marked the first time since Feb. 27-28, 2004, that the Irish recorded a CCHA series sweep or a sweep of any kind. The two wins in a row were the first for the Irish since Nov. 13 and Nov. 26, 2005 when Notre Dame won back-to-back at Western Michigan (3-2) and at Alaska Fairbanks (3-2).
CCHA DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK: For the second time this season, a Notre Dame player was honored by the CCHA for his play. Junior defenseman Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) was chosen as the league’s defenseman of the week for the week ending Nov. 13. The former Green Bay Gambler had three assists and was +3 on the weekend as the Irish took 9-4 and 4-2 decisions versus Bowling Green. Babin was part of a defensive corps that recorded 11 assists in the two-game series. In seven games this season, Babin has one goal and three assists for four points. Goaltender Jordan Pearce (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska) was the league’s rookie of the week on Nov. 1.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame’s 9-4 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 11 was the first CCHA win for the Irish since Dec. 10, 2004 when they defeated Michigan State, 3-2 in overtime at the Joyce Center. The win snapped a 17-game (0-15-2) conference regular-season winless skid and a 19-game (0-17-2) winless skid versus CCHA teams (includes two playoff games versus Michigan).
ONE IN THE WIN COLUMN: David Brown’s 36-save win over Bowling Green was his first victory since Dec. 10, 2004 when he was the winning goaltender in the 3-2 overtime win against Michigan State. The win snapped a personal nine-game losing streak for Brown.
GETTING INVOLVED: The Notre Dame defense contributed 11 points (all assists) in the weekend series with Bowling Green. Noah Babin and Brock Sheahan (So., Lethbridge, Alb.) led the way with three assists each. Chris Trick (Sr., Troy, Mich.) and Wes O’Neill (Jr., Essex, Ont.) had two points each while Tom Sawatske (Jr., Duluth, Minn.) had one assist in the two games. For Trick and Sheahan, the two-point games were the first multiple-point games of their careers.
HATS OFF: Junior center Josh Sciba recorded the first hat trick of his career in the 9-4 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 10. Sciba scored two goals on the power play and then added a short-handed marker to cap his evening. He followed that with a third power-play goal of the weekend when he scored in Friday’s 4-2 win over the Falcons. In 10 games this season, Sciba has more goals (7) than he did last year in 35 games (6). Sciba’s hat trick was the first for a Notre Dame player since March 18, 2004 when Aaron Gill `04 scored three goals in a 6-5 Irish loss to Ohio State in the first round of the CCHA Super Six. His hat trick was also the first for a Notre Dame player at the Joyce Center since Aniket Dhadphale `99 scored three on November 13, 1998 in a 6-2 win over Bowling Green. Before Sciba’s hat trick, the last five Irish three-goal efforts came on the road. RED-HOT AMADO: Senior left wing Matt Amado (Surrey, B.C.) saw his career-high four-game goal-scoring streak snapped in the series versus Miami. Amado had five goals and one assist for six points in the streak. His two-goal effort versus Bowling Green was the first multiple-goal game of his career. The Surrey, B.C. native has scored five goals in each of his four seasons at Notre Dame. This year’s five have come in just 10 games.
WALLY’S WORLD: Tim Wallace (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) is off to the best start of his Notre Dame career with five goals and five assists for 10 points in 10 games this season. He had a personal-best five-game point streak (3-4-7) snapped in the 3-0 shutout at Miami. The senior right wing has three two-point games on the season. His two-goal game versus Princeton on Oct. 28 was the second of his career. His other came on March 14, 2004 in the first round of the CCHA playoffs when he had a pair of goals in game three versus Western Michigan in Notre Dame’s 5-4 overtime win. This year’s two-goal game was the first by a Notre Dame player since Wes O’Neill scored two in a 4-4 tie with Bowling Green on Nov. 5, 2004. Wallace continues to add to his “Iron Man” streak as he played has now played in 127 consecutive games for the Irish.
LUCKY 13: Notre Dame scored 13 times in its two games last weekend versus Bowling Green. To put that number in perspective for the Irish and the goal-scoring woes they suffered in 2004-05, during January of 2005, the Irish played 11 games and scored just 12 goals.
HOME SWEET HOME AGAIN: Notre Dame’s sweep of Bowling Green gives the Irish three home wins this season (3-2-0 overall), equaling their output of last season when they were 3-12-4 on home ice. In 2003-04, Notre Dame was 14-2-2 (.833) at the Joyce Center.
NINE IS FINE: Notre Dame’s nine goals versus Bowling Green on Nov. 10 were the most by the Irish since Nov. 20, 1998, a 9-5 win over Western Michigan at the Joyce Center.
LOOK AT THE IRISH: After finishing last in the nation in scoring last season (1.58 goals per game), the Irish go into this week versus Ohio State ranked 28th in the nation in scoring with 3.10 goals per game. In CCHA action, Notre Dame scored 48 goals in 28 games (1.71 goals per game). This year, the Irish have 22 goals in their first six CCHA games (3.67 per game).
PLAYING LIKE VETERANS: Notre Dame freshmen Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) have stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and played like they belong there. Condra is tied for the team lead in scoring with a goal and nine assists for 10 points in the first eight games this season. He is ninth in the nation among freshmen in scoring with 1.00 points per game. Regan has played in eight games and has two goals and two assists for four points. Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) broke through versus Bowling Green on Nov. 10 when he scored his first career goal.
MULTIPLE-POINT NIGHTS: Nine different Notre Dame players had multiple-point games in the win over Bowling Green. Josh Sciba (3g, 0a) and Erik Condra (0g, 3a) led the way with three-point games. Chris Trick (0g, 2a), Noah Babin (0g, 2a), Brock Sheahan (0g, 2a), Matt Amado (1g, 1a), Mike Walsh (1g, 1a), Victor Oreskovich (1g, 1a) and T.J. Jindra (1g, 1a) each had two-point nights.
BIG VIC: Sophomore Victor Oreskovich turned in the first multiple-point game of his career with a goal and an assist versus Bowling Green. That gives him two goals and an assist for three points in six games this season. A year ago, in 37 games, Oreskovich had a goal and two assists for three points.
HIGH-SCORING AFFAIRS: After struggling to score goals in 2004-05, the Fighting Irish have now been involved in two games this season where they combined with their opponent to score 13 goals in a game. On Nov. 4, Notre Dame dropped an 8-5 decision to Michigan. On Nov. 10, the Irish prevailed, 9-4, versus Bowling Green. Previously, the last time Notre Dame and its opponent combined for 13 goals in a game was Dec. 5, 2003 when the Irish lost and 8-6 decision to Western Michigan.
HIGH FIVES: The last time that Notre Dame won a game by five goals was on March 16, 2003 when the Irish defeated Miami, 5-0, in game three of the first round of the CCHA playoffs. The Irish had five goals in the third period of the win over Bowling Green. The last time they scored five goals in a period came on Oct. 20, 2000 when they scored five second-period goals in a 6-4 win over Northeastern at the Joyce Center.
NO. 1 TEAMS: Through the first 10 games of the season, the Irish have played four of them versus ranked teams. The Irish opened with No. 4 Colorado College and then played No. 9 Denver. Last weekend, the Irish faced No. 3 Michigan in a pair of games. All three of those teams have been ranked No. 1 in the nation at one time or another this season.
FAST START: Freshman Erik Condra’s three-point game (0g, 3a) versus Denver was the first three-point game by an Irish rookie since Brett Lebda `04 had five points (1g, 4a) versus Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 20, 2000. His three-point game was the first for the Irish since Nov. 5, 2004 when both Mike Walsh (Sr., Northville, Mich.) and Cory McLean `05 had three points versus Bowling Green in a 4-4 tie. Condra had his four-game point streak (1-6-7) snapped at Michigan on Nov. 5. The speedy right wing picked up his second three-point game of the year with three assists against Bowling Green on Nov. 10.
IT’S FINALLY OVER: On Jan. 2 of last season, Notre Dame opened the New Year with a 2-1 win over R.P.I. at the Joyce Center. Little did anyone know at the time, but that would be the last win for the Irish until Oct. 29 of this season versus Princeton, a winless streak that would cover a school-record 22 games (0-20-2). Ties at Lake Superior State (Jan. 8) and with Nebraska-Omaha (Feb. 4) would be the only points the Irish would gain in the span. Notre Dame ended 2004-05 with a nine-game losing streak and extended that to 12 games with losses in the first three games of 2005-06.
FLUSHING AWAY THE LOSSES: When new Irish head hockey coach Jeff Jackson met with his team for the first time in the 2005-06 school year, they went over team rules, regulations, set up schedules and met with other administrators. At the end of the meeting, he gave the team’s returning players an index card to write down everything that they hated from the previous season (a 5-27-6 year that ended in a 19-game winless skid – 0-17-2). After doing that, the team went to where center ice would be at the Joyce Center rink and threw the cards into a waste basket to burn them, symbolizing that the previous year was done and it was time to move on. Jackson had the ashes placed in a jar that was kept in the locker room to remind everyone about the previous season. “I thought that it was would be good to keep them as a reminder of what happens when you’re not committed,” said Jackson. On Saturday night (Oct. 29) following the first period at home versus Princeton, after starting the season at 0-3 and coming off a bad second period performance the night before (in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers), Jackson walked into the locker room and before talking to the team, took the ashes into the restroom and flushed them down the toilet. “With the first three games, our second periods were horrible, so we flushed last year away,” said Jackson. “They (the players) laughed a little, but the toilet flushed and last year is behind us. Those losses from last year were still lingering over the team and I’m just glad it’s behind them and that now we can move on.” The Irish went out and scored two goals in the second period in the 2-0 win and the winless skid was over.
BACK BEHIND THE BENCH: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson returns to collegiate coaching this season for the first time since leaving Lake Superior State following the 1995-96 season. In six years with the Lakers, Jackson compiled a 182-52-25 career record with two national championships, two CCHA regular-season titles and four CCHA tournament championships. He came into the season as the NCAA’s winningest active coach with at least five years experience with a .751 winning percentage. His 182 career wins (at the start of the year) ranked him 26th among active coaches. Included in his 182 wins are 36 postseason victories and a .837 winning percentage (36-7 in postseason). In CCHA postseason action, Jackson’s teams were 24-2 (.923). All-time, Jackson-coached teams are 19-2-3 against Ohio State.
GOING FOR THE GOLD: For the first time since the 1975-76 season, the Notre Dame hockey team will wear gold helmets. When head coach Jeff Jackson took over the program he wanted the hockey program to have an identity. Most people identify Notre Dame with the Golden Dome and the gold football helmets worn by the football team. Irish equipment manager Dave Gilbert contacted the various hockey equipment companies during the summer and Bauer was able to recreate the Irish helmets with the same gold metallic paint that is used on the helmets of the Notre Dame football team. These helmets feature white cages (except for players who wear visors) and like the football helmets have no other markings except for an American flag on the back.
OPENING NIGHT STAND OUT: Senior right wing Tim Wallace has come up big on “Opening Night” for the Irish in his four seasons. On Oct. 21 at Colorado College, he continued a personal “Opening Night” streak with an assist versus the Tigers. During his four seasons at Notre Dame, Wallace has now scored a point in the first game of every year. In 2002, as a freshman, he scored a goal on his first shot at Minnesota-Duluth. As a sophomore in 2003, he had a pair of assists in a 5-2 win at Ohio State. Last season, he set up Notre Dame’s first goal of the season (by Josh Sciba) and this year he assisted on Victor Oreskovich’s goal versus Colorado College. In four season openers, Wallace has a goal and four assists for five points.
IRON MEN: Junior right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) has played in all 127 games during his three-plus seasons at Notre Dame. He became Notre Dame’s all-time “Iron Man,” passing former defenseman Evan Nielsen (`03) who held the record with 114 games between 2000-03. Other Irish consecutive game streaks of 35 games or more include:
Chris Trick – 49 games
Mark Van Guilder – 48 games
Mike Walsh – 43 games
Van Guilder has not missed a game in his career. Wes O’Neill (Jr., Essex, Ont.) saw his streak of 82 consecutive games snapped at Michigan on Nov. 5. Noah Babin’s (Jr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) streak of 51 straight games was snapped on Nov. 4 versus Michigan. T.J. Jindra saw his streak of 79 consecutive game streak snapped due to a shoulder sprain. Michael Bartlett (Jr., Morton Grove, Ill.) had his 78-game streak snapped on Oct. 22 when he did not play against Denver.
FOR OPENERS: After losing their season opener at Colorado College, Notre Dame is now 19-17-2 in season openers and 14-20-3 in road openers. With the 5-3 loss to Princeton on Oct. 28, the Irish are now 20-17-1 in home openers.
LATE START: Notre Dame’s Oct. 21 opener at Colorado College was the latest the Irish have started a season since the 1991-92 campaign. That year, the Irish opened with a pair of games on Oct. 25-26 at Air Force where they split, losing 8-3 and winning, 5-3.
SHORT-CIRCUIT: The Denver Pioneers scored a pair of short-handed goals (Gabe Gauthier, Ryan Dingle) in the 6-3 win over the Irish on Oct. 22. That marked the first time since Dec. 8, 2000 against Miami that the Irish gave up two short-handed tallies in a game. The Irish lost that game, 5-2, with Jason Deskins and Gregor Krajnc each scoring a man down.
IRISH CAPTAINS: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson named his captain and alternates for the 2005-06 season on Oct. 5. Junior T.J. Jindra (Faribault, Minn.) was selected as the team’s captain, making him the first junior captain since Evan Neilsen `03. Jindra is the 13th junior in the program’s history to be selected captain. He will be assisted by seniors Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) and Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.) along with junior Jason Paige. Walsh and Paige are in their second seasons as alternate captains for the Irish.
FIRST TIMERS: Freshman left wing Garrett Regan became the first Irish freshman to score a goal this season when he notched his first career goal at 3:59 of the second period. The goal was also the game winner. After getting no points in the first game of the season, Erik Condra burst on the scene with three assists in his second game of the year and now has five assists. Condra added his first career goal versus Michigan on Nov. 4 Goaltender Jordan Pearce had his first win and first shutout of the season on Oct. 29 versus Princeton. Christian Hanson scored his first goal and point with a third-period goal against Bowling Green. Defenseman Tom Sawatske (Jr., Duluth, Minn.) picked up his first assist on Nov. 5 at Michigan and has played in five games. Justin White (Fr., Traverse City, Mich.) has seen action in two with both looking for their first points of the year.
MOVING ON: Over the last two seasons, Notre Dame has seen six of its players sign contracts with National Hockey League teams. Only Michigan (7) and Minnesota (6) have as many or more NHL signees. This past summer, goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) and former Irish forward Yan Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Edmonton Oilers respectively. They joined 2003-04 signees – Neil Komadoski (Ottawa Senators), Brett Lebda (Detroit Red Wings), Aaron Gill (San Jose Sharks) and Rob Globke (Florida Panthers). Komadoski, Globke and Stastny were selected in the NHL Draft (Stastny was a Boston Bruin pick) while Cey, Gill and Lebda were free-agent signees. Stastny played at Notre Dame from 2001-03 before playing professionally in Germany. He would have been a senior in 2004-05.
DROP THE PUCK: Notre Dame officially open the 2004-05 season on Tues., Sept. 6 when the Irish hosted their first-ever “Drop The Puck Dinner” at the Joyce Center featuring guest speaker Scotty Bowman. Over 400 fans attended and had the chance skate on the Joyce Center ice, meet and greet the `05-’06 team and then hear the legendary hockey coach talk hockey with the players, coaches and fans in attendance. Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cups in his illustrious coaching career, was also invited by Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis to address his team at practice on Sept. 6, just four days prior to football’s upset win at Michigan.
BEATING THE BEST: In each of the last two seasons, the Irish have faced a No. 1 ranked team and each year they’ve come away with a victory. In 2004-05, Notre Dame knocked off the No. 1 ranked Boston College Eagles in South Bend by a 3-2 score. The previous year, the Irish traveled to Chestnut Hill, Mass., and knocked off the top-ranked Eagles, 1-0. Here’s the list of Irish wins versus top-ranked teams in the 38-year history of the program.
10/22/04 – vs. Boston College, 3-2
10/23/03 – at Boston College, 1-0
1/3/99 – at North Dakota, 4-3
11/20/78 – 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
FAMILY MATTERS: Two incoming freshmen – forwards Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) – join seniors Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh as Irish hockey players with family ties to Notre Dame athletics. Condra’s uncle is All-American forward Kirt Bjork (`83) who played at Notre Dame from 1979-83. He scored 76 goals with 85 assists for 161 career points in 141 career games. He took All-American honors in 1983 when he had 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points. Regan’s uncle – Sean Regan – was a defenseman for the Irish from1981-83 be fore finishing his career at the University of Minnesota. In two seasons, Regan had eight goals and 34 assists for 42 points in 60 games. 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.
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. Four members of the current Notre Dame team have played in the Land of Lombardi. The trio is led by junior defensmen Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.). The defensive duo were teammates there during the `02-’03 season. Two former Gamblers are members of the Irish sophomore class – center Victor Oreskovich (Oakville, Ont.) and defenseman Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill). Oreskovich played one season in Green Bay (`03-’04) while VeNard was a Gambler from 2001-04.
NHL DRAFTEES: This past August, the Irish had one player selected in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. That player – Kyle Lawson – was a seventh round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, 198th overall. Lawson signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Notre Dame during the early-signing period in Nov. of 2004. He then deferred until the start of the 2006-07 school year. Lawson will play this season in the United States Hockey League with the Tri-City Storm. The Irish have four players on this year’s roster – senior Mike Walsh (New York Rangers), juniors Wes O’Neill (New York Islanders) and David Brown (Pittsburgh Penguins) and sophomore Victor Oreskovich (Colorado Avalanche) – who have been drafted by NHL teams.
PUTTING ON THE FOIL: Notre Dame freshman Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) becomes the sixth player to play for the Irish whose father played in the National Hockey League. His father, Dave Hanson, played 10 years of professional hockey between 1974-75 and 1983-84, including stints with the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota North Stars and the World Hockey Association’s (WHA) Minnesota Fighting Saints and the New England Whalers. Fans might also be familiar with Dave Hanson, as one of the famed Hanson Brothers, made famous in the hockey movie – Slapshot. Hanson currently is the director of the Island Sports Center, home of Robert Morris University’s hockey team, in suburban Pittsburgh.
THE IRISH AND THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAM DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAM: Notre Dame’s current roster includes six 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 15 NTDP alums grace their roster. The current contingent includes senior Tim Wallace and juniors Noah Babin, Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.), Tom Sawatske (Duluth, Minn.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.). The lone freshman is goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska). A 16th alum will join the Irish in 2006-07 as defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) signed a letter-of-intent in November, 2004 and is playing this year in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm. 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).
RIVALRY CLUSTERS: The CCHA begins its fourth 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 2005-06, Notre Dame will play Bowling Green, Miami and Ohio State four times with two games at home and two away. The Irish will also play home-and-home series with Ferris State, Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan with two-game home series with Alaska Fairbanks and Lake Superior State. The Irish play two-game raod series at Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan. In 2004-05, the Irish played in the same cluster with Bowling Green, Michigan and Michigan State and were 1-10-1 in the 12 games.
STAR GAZING: Notre Dame’s freshman class of 2005-06 features three players who played their junior hockey for the Lincoln (Neb.) Stars of the USHL in `04-’05. The trio includes goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska), defensman Tom Sawatske (Duluth, Minn.) and forward Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.). They join sophomore right wing Evan Rankin (Portage, Mich.) who spent the `03-’04 season in Lincoln. Condra had 30 goals and 30 assists for 60 points for the high-flying Stars. Sawatske, a transfer from the University of Wisconsin, collected a goal and nine assists for 10 points in 34 games and Pearce was 22-10-4 with a 3.07 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage. Both Sawatske and Pearce were selected to play in the USHL Top Prospects game.
STORM WARNINGS: After bringing in three members of USHL’s Tri-City Storm for the 2004-05 season, the Irish added a fourth player former Storm player Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) to this year’s freshman class. Hanson joins sophomores Brian D’Arcy (Western Springs, Ill.), Luke Lucyk (Fox Point, Wis.) and Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) as Storm alums. All four were members of the 2003-04 Tri-City team that was the USHL regular-season champion and lost in the championship series to Waterloo. Hanson joins the Irish this season after leading Tri-City in scoring with 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points on the year. He was the USHL’s 2005 Curt Hammer Award winner, the fourth USHL player to win the award and them play at Notre Dame.