Oct. 9, 1997
Hockey Hosts Western Ontario
The University of Notre Dame hockey team opens its 1997-98 season at home on Oct. 10 against Western Ontario (7:00 p.m.) at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse ... the Irish also opened their 1996-97 season at home against the Mustangs, posting a 2-1 comeback victory (see boxscore and recap later in release) ... UWO returns 18 letterwinners from its 1996-97 team that finished 21-19, led by senior right wings Jeff Mancini (16 G, 28 A in '96-'97) and Todd Bradley (18 G, 10 A in '96-'97) ... the Irish are picked seventh (out of 11 teams) in the preseason CCHA coaches poll.
I'LL BE BACK: Notre Dame returns 19 letterwinners, including its top five scorers and top-two goaltenders, from its 1996-97 team that went 9-25-1 after dropping 12 games by one goal ... the returnees accounted for 77 percent of Notre Dame's goals and 80 percent of the team's assists in 1996-97, with seven of the top eight scorers set to return in 1997-98.
BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER, DEEPER: The Notre Dame hockey program could receive a boost from its freshman class, a group which includes four players who are 6-2 or taller and three who tip the scales at 195 pounds or heavier ... incoming forwards Dan Carlson, Chad Chipchase, Jay Kopischke and Matt Van Arkel should help increase the team speed while the 5-10, 190-pound Carlson also is noted for his explosiveness and strength, as evidenced by his team-best 305-pound bench press in Notre Dame's 1997 fall conditioning ... first-year goaltender Kyle Kolquist--the 1996-97 Minnesota high school goalie of the year--could provide the Irish with its deepest netminding talent in recent memory.
YOUNG GUNS: The 1996-97 Notre Dame hockey team was the second-youngest in Division I, with an average age of 19 years and 11 months on Nov. 1, 1996 ... the Irish remain relatively young in '97-'98, with an average age of 20 years and eight months as of Nov. 1, 1997 ... more than half (15) the players on Notre Dame's primary 28-man roster began their careers with the Irish immediately following graduation from high school, with seven joining the Notre Dame program after one year of junior hockey and only six spending two years in junior hockey before joining the Irish ... the youngest members of the '97-'98 Irish squad are: Dan Carlson (18 years, 6 months as of Nov. 1, 1997), Chad Chipchase (18, 7), Jay Kopischke (19, 2), Matt Van Arkel (19, 3), Ben Simon (19, 4) and Joe Dusbabek (19, 5) ... Carlson and Chipchase are among the 21 youngest players in the CCHA for 1997-98 while Simon was the league's third-youngest player in 1996-97 ... the '97-'98 Irish roster includes just six players who will be 22 years or older on Nov. 1, 1997: Craig Hagkull (23 years), Lyle Andrusiak (22, 4), Benoit Cotnoir (22, 3), Andy Jurkowski (22, 1), Matt Eisler (22, 1) and John Dwyer (22) ... a total of 10 Irish players will be 18 or 19 years old on Nov. 1, 1997.
FROM ALL CORNERS: The 1997-98 Notre Dame hockey team features players from nine states and four provinces, including two players--Nathan Borega (Wasilla, Alaska) and Tyson Fraser (Surrey, B.C.)--who made the journey to Notre Dame from the west coast ... the program's 10 Minnesota natives will have two chances to travel to their home state during the 1997-98 season, when Notre Dame plays at St. Cloud State and at the Minnesota Mariucci Classic ... Wisconsin natives Forrest Karr and Andy Jurkowski will have the chance to play in their home state, when the Irish play at the University of Wisconsin on Dec. 12 ... Ann Arbor, Mich. native Sean Seyferth again will make the familiar trip to the University of Michigan while Marquette, Mich. native Aniket Dhadphale welcomes the addition of his hometown school, Northern Michigan, to the CCHA ... Borega gets the chance to return to his home state on Jan. 8-10, when the Irish play at Alaska-Fairbanks, while Ohio native Ben Simon (Shaker Heights) will play twice near his hometown in games at Bowling Green.
A BUSY SUMMER: Notre Dame sophomores Joe Dusbabek and Ben Simon had a busy 1997 summer ... both were selected in the June 21 NHL draft, with Simon going to the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round while Dusbabek was a seventh-round selection of the San Jose Sharks ... Simon and Dusbabek also were among 44 players invited to the U.S.A. Hockey National Junior camp tryouts in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Aug. 12-15 ... both players then were among the 22 who advanced to represent the U.S. at the 1997 Tampere Cup in Finland (Aug. 21-24) ... Simon was a member of the U.S. team that captured the silver medal at the 1996-97 World Junior Championship in Switzerland and both Simon and Dusbabek remain leading candidates for the 1997-98 U.S. National Junior team.
FEELING A DRAFT: Notre Dame and Boston College both had four players selected in the 1997 National Hockey League draft, the most by any school in the Division I ranks ... the drafted players were: sophomore forward Ben Simon (5th round, Chicago Blackhawks), sophomore forward Joe Dusbabek (7th round, San Jose Sharks), freshman forward Jay Kopischke (8th round, Los Angeles Kings) and freshman defenseman Ryan Clark (9th round, New York Islanders) ... four Notre Dame players have been selected in the first nine rounds of the same NHL draft just once previously, in 1975.
MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: The 1997-98 Notre Dame hockey team includes seven players that have been in the National Hockey League draft over the course of the past four seasons, with six of those players playing on the forward line ... in addition to the above four players, Notre Dame's drafted players include senior center Steve Noble (8th round, 1994, St. Louis Blues), junior right wing Brian Urick (5th round, 1996, Edmonton Oilers) and left wing Aniket Dhadphale (10th round, 1994, San Jose Sharks) ... just one other team in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association--Michigan (9)--has more than four former NHL draft picks on its current squad.
Notre Dame, Ind. - Third-period goals from Joe Dusbabek and Ben Nelsen helped the Irish post a 2-1 comeback in the season opener ... Dusbabek tied the game with 15 minutes left in the third period, receiving the puck from Aniket Dhadphale just inside the blueline and weaving into the high slot before wristing a shot high to the blocker side ... 47 seconds later, Nelsen picked up a bouncing puck and slid a shot under sprawling Mustangs goalie C.J. Denomme ... Notre Dame's Matt Eisler made nine of his 22 saves in the final period, including consecutive stops on point-blank shots from Matt Munro and a save that thwarted a Rob Schweyer breakaway.
Western Ontario 1 0 0 -- 1 Notre Dame 0 0 2 -- 2 1st - 1. WO-Grieve (Flammia, Heywood) 14:14. 3rd - 1. ND-Dusbabek (Dhadphale) 4:42; 2. ND-Nelsen (unassisted) 5:29. Saves - ND-Eisler 7 6 9 - 22 WO-Denomme 4 4 6 - 14 WO-Hall x x 0 - 0 Power Play - UWO 1-3, ND 0-6 Penalty Min. - UWO 22, ND 16 CCHA COACHES PRESEASON POLL School (1st-place) Pts Range 1. Michigan State (9) 99 (1-2) 2. Miami (2) 90 (1-2-3) 3. Michigan 83 (2-3) 4. Lake Superior 69 (2-3-4-5-6) 5. Western Michigan 62 (3-4-5-6-7) 6. Bowling Green 54 (4-5-6-8) 7. Notre Dame 43 (5-6-7-8-9) 8. Ohio State 42 (4-5-6-7-8-9) 9. Ferris State 26 (6-7-8-9-10) Northern Michigan 26 (7-8-9) 11. Alaska Fairbanks 11 (9-10) Roster By Height 6-4: Ryan Clark, Craig Hagkull 6-3: Aniket Dhadphale, John Dwyer, Mark Eaton, Jay Kopischke 6-2: Nathan Borega, Andy Jurkowski 6-1: Ryan Dolder, Joe Dusbabek, Matt Eisler, Scott Giuliani, Forrest Karr, Steve Noble, Sean Seyferth, Brian Urick 6-0: Lyle Andrusiak, Troy Bagne, Chad Chipchase, Sean Molina, Ben Simon, Matt Van Arkel, 5-11: Benoit Cotnoir, Tyson Fraser, Neal Johnson, Kyle Kolquist, Shane Slominski 5-10: Dan Carlson Roster By Weight (190+) 225: Nathan Borega 215: Ryan Clark, John Dwyer, Craig Hagkull 205: Joe Dusbabek, Jay Kopischke 195: Benoit Cotnoir, Mark Eaton, Andy Jurkowski 190: Lyle Andrusiak, Dan Carlson, Chad Chipchase, Aniket Dhadphale, Ryan Dolder, Scott Giuliani, Neal Johnson, Sean Molina, Steve Noble, Brian Urick
Roster By State / Province
Minnesota (10): Troy Bagne, Dan Carlson, Ryan Dolder, Joe Dusbabek, Craig Hagkull, Neal Johnson, Kyle Kolquist, Jay Kopischke, Shane Slominski, Brian Urick
1997-98 Personnel Breakdown
Top Returnees (yr., pos., ht./wt. ... 1996-97 stats)
Top Players Lost (all 1996-97 seniors)
Top Newcomers (all freshmen)
Matt Van Arkel