Nov. 24, 1997
Notre Dame Inks Defenseman, Center To National Letters Of Intent
Cornelius, Inman set to join Irish program for 1998-99 season
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame hockey team has signed defenseman Sam Cornelius (Edina, Minn.) and center David Inman (Toronto, Ont.) to national letters of intent during the fall early signing period, head coach Dave Poulin announced today.
"Both of these players will add considerable skill to our program and will be a great addition to what should be a strong returning group in 1997-98." said Poulin, whose current 27-player Irish squad includes just three seniors--goaltender Matt Eisler and centers Steve Noble and Lyle Andrusiak.
Cornelius, a former high school teammate of Notre Dame freshman left wing Dan Carlson, should provide an added boost to an Irish defensive unit that currently includes two juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen. A strong skater who is noted for his combination of physical play and offensive ability, the 6-0, 190-pound lefthander will be expected to challenge for a spot among Notre Dame's top six defensemen.
As a junior at Edina High School, Cornelius scored the game-winning overtime goal in the state semi-finals vs. Hill-Murray High School (Carlson went on to score vs. current Irish freshman goaltender Kyle Kolquist for a 1-0 win over Duluth East in the state championship game). Cornelius was named to the Minnesota all-state-tournament team and was invited to the USA Hockey select-17 camp. In addition to playing his senior season at Edina, Cornelius also is playing junior hockey with the Twin City Vulcans.
"Sam is a very skilled defenseman who can jump up into the offensive play," said Poulin. "He has good size and is an extremely strong skater. To go through the Central Collegiate Hockey Association season, you obviously need quality depth and a player like Sam will make us even stronger on defense."
Cornelius will join Carlson as one of several former players from Edina, Minn. who have played noteworthy roles in the history of Notre Dame hockey, led by All-American defenseman Bill Nyrop, who played for the Irish from 1970-74 and was the program's first National Hockey League draft pick, by the Montreal Canadiens in 1972. Current Notre Dame junior center Neal Johnson also is a product of Edina High School, while current assistant coach Tom Carroll--now in his 13th season with the Irish--played on two state championship teams at Edina East High School before earning a spot on the hockey team at Wisconsin, where he played on the Badgers teams that won the NCAA title in 1981 and '83 while finishing second in '82.
Inman will bring solid all-around skills to the Irish forward line. Known for his smooth playmaking and vision on the ice, the 6-1, 185-pound lefthander helped Team Ontario capture the gold medal at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge in Red Deer, Alberta. Currently a member of the Wexford Raiders, Inman totaled 32 goals and 56 assists in 43 games during the 1996-97 season while earning the rookie of the year and scholastic player of the year awards for the Metro Junior A Central Division.
"David is a very skilled playmaker who adds an important element to our forward line, as we will have many strong wing players returning but will be losing two senior centers who have contributed a great deal to our offense," said Poulin. "David just fits very well with our needs on offense and will be an excellent complement to the forwards he skates with."
Poulin said that the Irish will continue to look for players in anticipation of the spring signing period. "This is a period of constant assessment," he said. "We obviously would like to being in a goalie since we will be losing Matt Eisler and we'd like to add someone else up front who can help make up for the impending loss of Noble and Andrusiak."
Player Pos. Birthdate Ht. Wt. Hometown Current team Sam Cornelius D 11/12/79 6-0 190 Edina, MN Twin City Vulcans David Inman C 6/13/80 6-1 185 Toronto, ONT Wexford Raiders