December 7, 1996
Simon, Urick Score Again As Irish Get Back On Winning Track
Game marks first Joyce Center reunion for former Notre Dame teammates/roommates Poulin and Laurion
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Freshman Ben Simon scored for thesecond straight game and sophomore Brian Urick kept up historrid scoring pace as the University of Notre Dame defeatedvisiting Alaska-Fairbanks 3-1 in Central Collegiate HockeyAssociation action Saturday at the Joyce Center.
The win moved Notre Dame (5-10-1, 4-8-1) back into a tie forsixth place in the CCHA standings with idle Bowling Green(4-8-1) and Western Michigan (4-6-1), which won 7-6 in overtimeSaturday over visiting Miami University. Ferris State lost athome to Michigan on Saturday, 5-3, leaving the fifth-placeBulldogs just one point ahead of the three teams tied for sixth.
Saturday’s win ended a Notre Dame five-game losing streakthat had included four one-goal losses. Notre Dame juniorgoaltender Matt Eisler made 23 saves while holding an Irishopponent to one or fewer goals for the third time this season.
Following a scoreless first period, the Nanooks jumped infront on the powerplay at the 6:08 mark of the second whensenior Pat Williams sent a pass from the left point to sophomoreJeff Trembecky, who one-touched a shot into the net from theright circle.
The Irish quickly netted the equalizer by converting on apowerplay chance of their own. Urick initiated the play on a3-on-2 break, skating down the right side before dropping a backpass for freshman Joe Dusbabek, who then drilled a low shot fromthe right circle. UAF goaltender Chris Marvel made the sticksave, but the left-handed Simon was there to knock home the goal,his second in as many nights after going scoreless on his first31 shots of the season.
Notre Dame surged ahead in the closing moments of the secondperiod, as Urick came free on a breakaway and faked a shot tothe right before beating Marvel on a backhanded shot high to theblocker side with 13 seconds remaining before the secondintermission. The goal was Urick’s team-leading eighth of theseason and his sixth in the last seven games.
The Irish padded their lead midway through the final periodas sophomore Lyle Andrusiak took a pass from Dusbabek anddrilled a shot from the left circle that kicked off the skate ofMarvel and into the net (10:00).
Notre Dame took a lead into the third period for just thefourth time this season and the first time at home. The victoryended a frustrating home season in which the Irish had not wonsince opening day, playing WMU to a 3-3 tie before droppinggames to Ferris State (5-1), Mankato State (4-3 in OT) and LakeSuperior (4-3).
Saturday’s game was the first coaching matchup at the JoyceCenter for Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin andAlaska-Fairbanks head coach Dave Laurion, who were roommates andteammates at Notre Dame from 1978-82, leading the Irish to the1982 CCHA title game and one of its most successful seasonsever. (Notre Dame played an early-season three-game series atUAF last season in Poulin’s first CCHA games as a head coach).
The Irish take a three-week break from competition beforereturning to the ice for a pair of non-conference games atPrinceton on Dec. 27-28. Notre Dame returns to CCHA action athome vs. Miami on January 3.
Notre Dame Coach Dave Poulin
“It was a great effort coming off an exciting game lastnight (4-3 loss at Michigan St.). There easily could have been aletdown. I was disappointed in the last 10 minutes of the firstperiod, but the first 10 and the rest of the third were great.Naturally there is a letdown coming off playing a top ten-10team when you lose by a late goal. We have lost six of our(seven) one-goal games. Tonight we were in position to win andwe made it happen. … There were several key factors tonight.Eisler was a big one. (Freshman defenseman) Sean Seyferth alsoplayed a big role. After (Steve) Noble banged himself up, we hadto move defensemen Brian McCarthy to forward and Seyferth reallystepped up. To see him, as a freshman, play like that is reallyencouraging. … You have to do what we did in the third to keepthe lead. Now we have done it and we need to keep doing it.”
(On what makes you able to win late as MSU did:) “You have toknow that you can do it. It is really belief. MSU was in asituation where they had been successful there before. NotreDame doesn’t know how to be successful in that situation yet. Itis a young team in a growth phase. I’ve been talking about allthe positives of the past games and now tonight makes last nighta positive situation.”
(On playing against former Notre Dame teammate Dave Laurion:)”It’s fun. He was my freshman year roommate. Last time he gotus, but this ties (our series) up 2-2. You can’t help thinkingback 20 years to meeting the guy on the first day of school backin Dillon Hall.”
ALASKA-FAIRBANKS 0 1 0 - 1NOTRE DAME 0 2 1 - 3SCORING1st period - No scoring. 2nd period - UAF 1. Trembecky (Williams, Hafele) PP 6:08;ND 1. Simon (Dusbabek, Urick) PP 7:40; ND 2. Urick (McCarthy,Cotnoir) 19:47.3rd period - ND 3. Andrusiak (Dusbabek, Simon) 10:00.Shots on goal: ND 6-9-9/24, UAF 6-9-9/24. Saves: ND (Eisler) 6-8-9/23, UAF (Marvel) 9-10-6/26. Powerplay: ND 1-for-4, UAF 1-for-5. Penalties: ND 6 for 12:00, UAF 5 for 10:00.Records: Alaska-Fairbanks (2-14-0, 2-12-0 CCHA) Notre Dame (5-10-1, 4-8-1 CCHA)