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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 26, 1997

    Irish Home for Two vs. Lake Superior

    • Notre Dame looking for valuable CCHA points after tie, close loss vs. FSU
    • Chipchase's hat trick overshadowed by 4-3 loss at Ferris State
    • Simon stays hot, with points in 10 of 12 games
    • Urick, Dusbabek due for goal explosions

    The Notre Dame hockey team (6-5-1, 3-4-1 CCHA) will play host to Lake Superior this weekend, with games to be played on Nov. 28 and 29 ... the Irish and Lakers (3-6-2, 2-4-2) currently stand seventh and eighth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings, behind Western Michigan (4-7-1) and in front of Ohio State (2-5-0) ... Notre Dame last week played to a 5-5 tie at home against Ferris State before seeing the Bulldogs ruin Chad Chipchase's hat trick the next day with a 4-3 FSU win in Big Rapids ... Notre Dame split a pair of road games the previous week, losing at Miami (5-4) on Adam Copeland's goal with 20 seconds left in regulation before beating Ohio State (3-2) at the Ohio Expo Center ... Notre Dame's 18 starting skaters have included as many as seven freshmen and six sophomores ... the Irish were picked seventh (out of 11 teams) in the preseason CCHA coaches poll while the Lakers were picked fourth ... junior RW Brian Urick (2 goals) and sophomore RW Joe Dusbabek (1 goal) have combined for just three goals this season, after sharing for the team lead last season with 13 goals each.

    Dan Carlson
    Dan Carlson (File Photo)

    IRISH OPEN WITH CHALLENGING FIRST-SEMESTER SCHEDULE: Notre Dame's early-season schedule produced a challenging first 10 games, with each of the first four Irish losses coming against teams that are currently ranked eighth or higher in each of the four national polls ... Notre Dame has lost twice to the current consensus #1 team, Michigan State (1-5, 1-3), while also dropping close games to Boston College (2-3) and Miami (4-5) ... BC (6-2-0) is ranked as high as seventh, in the WMEB media poll, while Miami (9-1-0) is ranked fourth in all four polls ... Notre Dame has handed MSU (11-1-2) its only loss of the season (6-1 at MSU) while posting a sweep at St. Cloud State, which is among the top-14 vote-getters in three national polls this week ... Notre Dame's final four games of the fall semester--away and home series with Western Michigan and Wisconsin--also should provide an added challenge ... WMU (5-7-2) stands sixth in the CCHA and received votes in this week's WMPL coaches poll ... Wisconsin (5-1-0) is ranked in the top 10 of all four polls, including fifth in the WMPL and U.S. College Hockey Online polls.

    SCOUTING THE LAKERS: Lake Superior returns 17 players from its 1996-97 team that finished 19-14-5 overall and fourth in the CCHA ... the Lakers lost a pair of valuable seniors-to-be:--forward Bates Battaglia (12 G, 27 A in '96-'97) and goaltender John Grahame (3.66, .876)--to professional hockey ... the Lakers top returning scorers are senior LW Joe Blaznek (22 G, 24 A) and junior RW Jason Sessa (22 G, 22 A) ... Terry Marchant leads LSSU this season with 11 points (3 G, 8 A), followed by Blaznek (7 G, 3 A), Sessa (6 G, 3 A) and Tobin Praznik (5 G, 4 A) ... the Lakers rank seventh among CCHA team for overall power-play pct. (.160) and fourth in penalty-killing (.877), having allowed just nine opponent PPGs while scoring five shorthanded goals ... LSSU's CCHA wins have come vs. Alaska-Fairbanks (8-2) and at Western Michigan (4-1) ... the Lakers have lost to Ferris State (1-6), at NMU (3-5), UAF (2-6) and at WMU (3-4) ... LSSU's ties have come at NMU (2-2) and at home vs. the Wildcats (2-2) ... the Lakers have played three non-conference games, losing to Windsor in overtime (4-5) before splitting at home vs. Vermont (2-3, 7-4).

    THE LAKE SUPERIOR SERIES: Lake Superior owns a 15-5-0 series edge vs. Notre Dame, including five straight wins ... LSSU won 4-3 at Notre Dame last season before posting two home wins over the Irish (6-3, 4-0) ... in last year's first meeting, the Lakers took command with three goals in the second, from Mike Peron, Terry Marchant and Bates Battaglia ... the Irish responded with goals in a span of 1:35 from Brian Urick and Joe Dusbabek ... Jason Sessa upped LSSU's lead in the third before Benoit Cotnoir ended the scoring with a power-play goal ... in last year's first game in Sault Ste. Marie, the Lakers surged past the Irish with three goals in the final six minutes, from Mitch Lane, Joe Blaznek and Battaglia ... Notre Dame led 1-0 after a first-period Sean Seyferth goal and twice tied the game, on goals by Steve Noble and Ben Nelsen ... LSSU's first three goals came from Tobin Praznik, Blaznek and Sessa ... LSSU took the series finale behind John Grahame's 22-save shutout ... Bryan Fuss scored a shorthanded goal late in the first and Blaznek scored early in the second period, followed by goals from Darcy George and Mike Kusculain in a 52-second span.

    FRIEND OR FOE?: Notre Dame's Nathan Borega played with LSSU's Blain Macauley and Jeff Cheeseman on the Vernon Vipers ... Notre Dame's Ben Simon, LSSU's Jason Sessa and Boston College's Jeff Farkas were linemates on the U.S. silver-medal-winning team at the 1997 World Junior Championships ... Notre Dame's Chad Chipchase played summer-league hockey with LSSU's Jeff McLean ... Notre Dame's Mark Eaton played youth hockey with Sessa in their native New York.

    NOTRE DAME AGAIN AMONG YOUNGEST TEAMS IN DIVISION I HOCKEY: The 1996-97 Notre Dame hockey team was second-youngest in Division I, with an average age of 19 years and 11 months on Nov. 1, 1996 ... the Irish remain young in '97-'98, with an average age of 20 years and two months as of 10/28/97, according to the recently-released data by NHL Central Scouting, which lists Harvard (19, 7) and Boston University (20, 0) as the two youngest teams in the nation while Notre Dame is tied with two of its 1997-98 opponents--Boston College and Michigan--as having the third-lowest average age in Division I hockey ... more than half (14) of the players on Notre Dame's 27-man roster began their careers with the Irish immediately following graduation from high school, with seven joining the 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, 6 as of 10/28/97), 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 were 22 years or older on Nov. 1, 1997 while nine Irish players were 18 or 19 years old on 11/1/97.

    Lyle Andrusiak
    Lyle Andrusiak (File Photo)

    ANDRUSIAK, COTNOIR TURN IN BIG WEEKEND: Senior C Lyle Andrusiak (3G) and junior D Benoit Cotnoir (2G, 1A) combined for five goals in the Nov. 15-16 action at Miami and Ohio State ... Cotnoir--who extended his hit streak with a pair of power-play goals in last week's 5-5 tie vs. Ferris State--opened the scoring at Miami with his first goal of the season, a power-play blast from the right circle ... Cotnoir also opened the scoring at OSU, again with a shot from the right circle for a short-handed score ... he later slid the puck to Aniket Dhadphale, who sent a shot from the left circle that was saved by Ray Aho put tipped in at the right post by Andrusiak for what proved to be the game-winner (3-2) ... Andrusiak scored twice at Miami, converting a long breakaway to tie the game (3-3) before forging a 4-4 tie after tapping home a rebounded shot by Brian Urick ... Cotnoir has totaled 43 career points (15 G, 28 A) from the blue line, with over 70 percent (5 G, 12 A) of his 24 points during the past two seasons coming on the power play ... Andrusiak's five goals nearly equal his junior-year total (7) ... Andrusiak had 10 goals and a freshman but just one as a sophomore ... after posting shooting percentages of .019 (1-for-53) and .109 (7-for-64) during the past two seasons, Andrusiak has converted on 19.2 percent of his 26 shots this season ...

    DUS WAS DUE: Sophomore right wing Joe Dusbabek scored his first goal of the season on Nov. 15 at Miami, redirecting a pass from Ben Simon in the first period for a 2-1 Irish lead ... Dusbabek had failed to score on his first 20 shots of the season while enduring a career-long goalless streak of eight games ... Dusbabek, who is tied for fourth on the Irish this season with six assists, was runner-up for CCHA rookie of the year last season after sharing for the team scoring lead (13G, 12A), when he converted on 15.5 percent of his 84 shots ... Dusbabek's current shooting pct. stands at .043 (1-for-23) and he has managed just two or fewer shots in 10 games this season (he totaled seven shots vs. Bowling Green).

    RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S FSU SERIES: (5-5, 3-4) - Notre Dame's Dan Carlson scored the with 4:41 left in the third period to force overtime in a back-and-forth series-opening game at the Joyce Center... Notre Dame spotted Ferris a 2-0 first-period lead before claiming leads of 3-2 and 4-3 ... the Irish surged ahead in the second period behind Jay Kopischke's first career goal and a pair of man-up scores from defenseman Benoit Cotnoir ... Aniket Dhadphale pushed the Irish ahead, 4-3, with an early third-period goal but the visitors surged back in front after scoring twice in a 64-second span ... Notre Dame's Matt Eisler had 23 saves and stopped the biggest overtime scoring chance, making a sprawling save on a shot between the circles from Brian McCullough ... Ben Simon assisted on three Irish goals ... the next day at Ferris, the Bulldogs pulled out the comeback win, despite a second-period hat trick by Notre Dame freshman Chad Chipchase ... Chipchase's hat trick is the first by a Notre Dame player in 81 games, a streak that stretches back to a four-goal performance by Brian Urick against Alaska-Fairbanks in October of 1995 ... Notre Dame held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 but FSU pulled out the win Brent Wishart's pair of goals in the final period ... Steve Noble assisted on each of Chipchase's goals, including the second that came just nine seconds after the first.

    WHERE ARE YOU FROM?: Nearly 40 percent of the current 271 players that had played this season for a CCHA team (as of Nov. 11) are products of either the United States Hockey League (54) or the North American Hockey League (52) ... Ferris State and Miami each had used eight former USHL players as of Nov. 11 while Notre Dame had played seven ... Ohio State (9) and Ferris State (7) had featured the most former NAHL players while Notre Dame has one: sophomore C Ben Simon (Cleveland Junior Barons) ... 20 former high school or prep school players had skated for a CCHA team this season, with Michigan accounting for seven of those players while Notre Dame had five (the Irish players are sophomore RW Troy Bagne, freshman LW Dan Carlson, senior G Matt Eisler, sophomore RW Joe Dusbabek and junior RW Brian Urick).

    SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT: Notre Dame's power-play pct. (.219/14-for-64) is up considerably from last season (.127) and ranks second among CCHA teams, behind Miami's .357 ... the Irish netted at least one power-play goal in the first 11 games this season (the longest PPG streak in 1996-97 was three games) ... a year ago, Notre Dame did not score its 14th power-play goal until the 19th game of the season ... Notre Dame ranked 4th in the CCHA for penalty killing last season (.813) and opened this season with 16 straight penalty kills before allowing a Boston College score ... the Irish then killed off 22 straight power plays, including 15 in a two-game weekend series vs. then-#2 Michigan State ... the team's season penalty-killing percentage now stands at .870 (50-for-57) and ranks 3rd in the CCHA behind Ohio State's .913 and Michigan State's .888 ... the Irish record for season penalty-killing percentage was set by the 1969-70 team, which stopped 86.1 percent of opponent power plays ... the current power-play pct. (.219) is better than four of the previous five season-ending percentages (the '94-'95 team converted on 22.0 percent).

    PENALTY-KILLING PROVIDES ADDED PLUS: Notre Dame's penalty-killing unit has scored one goal for every two it has allowed this season, totaling three short-handed goals while allowing just seven opponent power-play scores ... the three short-handed goals are more than the Irish total from all of 1996-97 (2), with Ben Simon scoring two of the SHG's and Benoit Cotnoir netting the third ... Notre Dame's "-4" penalty-killing effort this season is tied with Lake Superior for second in the CCHA behind Ohio State's "-2" (4 SHG, 6 PPG allowed) ... the other CCHA penalty-killing units stack up as follows, based on short-handed goals scored minus power-play goals allowed: Western Michigan (-7), Michigan State (-8), Michigan (-8), Miami (-9), Northern Michigan (-13), Ferris State (-14), Alaska Fairbanks (-15) and Bowling Green (-17) ... Notre Dame and Michigan State are the only CCHA teams that have yet to allow a shorthanded goal this season.

    Aniket Dhadphale
    Aniket Dhadphale (File Photo)

    RETURN OF THE SNIPER?: Junior left wing Aniket Dhadphale's impressive start to the 1997-98 season hints at a possible return to the form that saw him lead the Irish in goals as a freshman (13), when he converted on 18.1 percent of his 72 shots ... Dhadphale then endured a sophomore slump, scoring just five times on 109 shots (4.6 percent) ... this season, Dhadphale has surpassed his sophomore goal total, sharing the Irish lead (8) and trailing only Michigan's Bill Muckalt (11) among players in the CCHA ... Dhadphale has converted in 26.7 percent of his 30 shots (an average of one goal per every 3.8 shots on goal) ... his noteworthy goals include two in the clinching four-goal flurry at Michigan State (6-1) ... after scoring seven goals in the first seven games, Dhadphale has just one goal on 12 shots during the last five.

    SIMPLE SIMON: Notre Dame sophomore center Ben Simon has been Mr. Reliable this season, recording at least one point in every game except the Nov. 8 loss at Michigan State (3-1) and the Nov. 22 loss at Ferris State (4-3) ... he leads the Irish in points (15), including a season goal total (7) that is nearly double his output from 1996-97 (4), when Simon did not score a goal until the 15th game of the season ... Simon's three power-play goals equal his freshman year total while his two shorthanded goals equal Notre Dame's team total for all of 1996-97 ... Simon's more noteworthy moments this season include: two goals in the 4-3 win at St. Cloud State, one of them coming as the overtime game-winner, a power-play score at Michigan State to open the scoring in the 6-1 Irish win and a memorable shorthanded goal in the 2-1 win over Bowling Green, in which he weaved from one end of the ice to the other ... two weeks ago, Simon assisted on Notre Dame's first two goals in the 5-4 last-second loss at Miami while his second shorthanded goal of the season came on a breakaway in the 3-2 win at Ohio State, with Simon knocking the puck away from an OSU player at mid-ice and depositing a backhanded shot for a 2-0 Irish lead ... he had three assists in the recent 5-5 tie with Ferris State.

    'TIS BETTER TO GIVE?: Junior RW Brian Urick is third on the Irish scoring chart this season (10 points), thanks to a team-high eight assists, with three of those coming in the 6-1 win at Michigan State ... Urick has ranked among the Irish scoring leaders throughout his career, totaling 27 goals and 37 assists over the course of 82 career games ... his assists this season include the pass that set up Ben Simon's overtime game-winner at St. Cloud State (4-3) ... Urick scored just once on his first 19 shots this season--the empty-netter in the opener vs. Western Ontario--before intercepting a clearing attempt and flicking a shot past Chad Alban for a 2-0 lead and what proved to be the game-winner at MSU.... Urick also set up Lyle Andrusiak's goal that tied the game at Miami (4-4), with the RedHawks winning in the final seconds ... despite his passing success, Urick has struggled with his own goal-scoring, converting on just 4.5 percent of his team-high 44 shots (Urick scored on 15.1 percent of his shots during his first two seasons).

    FRESH LEGS WIN: Notre Dame owned an 8-0 third-period scoring advantage during its opening three wins ... a third-period goal by sophomore center Ben Simon then put the Irish up 2-0 on Boston College but the Eagles soared to three goals in a five-minute span during the final period to post a 3-2 comeback victory ... in the fifth game of the season, Michigan State used two third-period goals to wrap up a 5-1 win at Notre Dame but the Irish returned the favor the next night with a four-goal, third-period outburst that produced a 6-1 win ... after dominating the third period scoring earlier this season, Notre Dame has seen its opponents total the same amount of goals in the final 20 minutes (16) ... the Irish have outscored the opposition 12-3 in the third period of the six Notre Dame wins ... in Notre Dame's five losses this season, the opposition has owned a 10-2 scoring edge.

    GO-TO GROUP: Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin remarked before the season that the Irish did not have a 30-goal scorer and would need to rely on several players for timely goals ... although junior LW Aniket Dhadphale (8 goals) and sophomore C Ben Simon (7) have set an early pace for 20-plus goals, the Irish truly have relied on balanced scoring--as most recently seen by freshman Chad Chipchase's hat trick in the 4-3 loss at Ferris State ... the six game-winning goals have come from five different players ... the team's top 10 scorers have between 7-15 points, led by Simon (7-8), Dhadphale (8-2), junior RW Brian Urick (2-8), senior C Steve Noble (2-8) and junior D Benoit Cotnoir (4-5) ... freshmen Matt Van Arkel (2-5) and Dan Carlson (3-4) have quickly made their presence felt ... senior C Lyle Andrusiak has 9 points, including five goals (third-most on the team) ... Andrusiak's first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner in the opener vs. Western Ontario (5-1), with Van Arkel and freshman D Mark Eaton providing the clinching goals in the closing seconds (Eaton also has four assists for the season) ... Simon was the hero in the first win at St. Cloud State (4-3), when his two goals included the overtime game-winner ... in the second win over St. Cloud (4-1), Noble scored the first two goals and Dhadphale and Carlson clinched the game with third-period goals ... in the 6-1 win at MSU, five Irish players lit the lamp, with Urick netting the second-period (he also had three assists) while Dhadphale's two goals ignited a four-goal flurry late in the third period ... in the 3-2 win at Ohio State, Andrusiak's rebound goal off a shot from Dhadphale held up as the game-winner.

    ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame is 4-2-1 away from home this season, posting big wins at St. Cloud State (4-3/ot, 4-1), then-#2 Michigan State (6-1) and Ohio State (3-2) while losing road games in the final minute at MSU (3-1, with the Spartans breaking a 1-1 tie in the final four minutes) and Miami (5-4, with Miami winning with 20 seconds left) before losing a 3-2 second-intermission lead at Ferris State (the Bulldogs won 4-3) ... the Irish have been particularly impressive during the third period of several of those road games, scoring twice to force overtime in the first game at St. Cloud, clinching the second win over the Huskies with two more third-period goals and using a four-goal, third-period flurry in the big win at Michigan State ... Notre Dame has scored 26 goals away from home on 168 shots on goal, for an average of 6.5 shots per goal (15.5 shooting pct.) ... conversely, in its five home games, Notre Dame has scored just 15 goals on 156 shots, for an average of 10.4 shots per goal (9.6 shooting pct.).

    PENALTY DROP: After ranking among the CCHA's most-penalized teams in 1994-95 (11.59 penalties/gm) and 1995-96 (11.33), Notre Dame last season became the conference's least-penalized team (8.69 penalties per game) ... through 12 games this season, the Irish again are the CCHA's least-penalized squad, totaling 84 penalties for 7.0 per game ... Notre Dame's current penalty average is the lowest by an Irish squad since the 1987-88 team averaged 6.4/gm ... after Notre Dame, the CCHA's least-penalized teams this season are as follows: Michigan State (8.5), Ferris State (8.7), Michigan (9.2), Ohio State (9.2) and Miami (9.4) ... the CCHA's most-penalized teams are Alaska Fairbanks (11.8), Bowling Green (11.7), Northern Michigan (10.8), Lake Superior (10.5) and Western Michigan (10.2) .. Notre Dame's hard-hitting sophomore D Nathan Borega has been whistled for just 10 penalties this season and less than one per game in his career (41 in 47 games) ... other disciplined skaters include senior center Steve Noble (three penalties in '97-'98, 19 in last 46) and sophomore D Tyson Fraser (three penalties in '97-'98, 19 in 41 career games) ... junior RW Brian Urick struggled with untimely penalties in his first two seasons (totaling 58 in 70 games) but has just three penalties in 1997-98 ... freshmen LW Dan Carlson, sophomore D Sean Molina and freshman D Ryan Clark each have totaled just two penalties this season.

    SPURTABILITY: Notre Dame has erupted twice this season to put games away in the third period ... in the opener vs. Western Ontario, the Irish scored three times in the final minute for a 5-1 win, with Brian Urick finding the open net before freshmen Matt Van Arkel and Mark Eaton converted power-play goals in the closing seconds ... on Nov. 1 at Michigan State, Aniket Dhadphale scored the first and third goal of a four-goal outburst that clinched the 6-1 win ... freshmen Dan Carlson and Chad Chipchase also scored in the flurry, covering 4:23, as the Irish put away a game that was 2-1 with eight minutes to play.

    THE EISMAN COMETH ... AND TAKETH AWAY: Despite some defensive breakdowns in front of him that have led to 14 goals against in his last three outings, senior goaltender Matt Eisler (West Milford, N.J.) owns a 2.86 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 1997-98 while leading the Irish to their 87.0 percent penalty-killing effort ... Eisler was named the CCHA defensive player of the week after making 63 saves and allowing just four goals in the two-game sweep at St. Cloud State (Oct. 17-18) and his 32 saves helped the Irish run away with the 6-1 win at Michigan State on Nov. 1. ... Eisler's 2.86 GAA ranks fourth overall in the CCHA and fourth among netminders with 500-plus minutes, behind Michigan State's Chad Alban (1.45), Western Michigan's Matt Barnes (2.33) and Michigan's Marty Turco (2.36) ... Eisler's .905 save pct. also is fourth among CCHA goalies with 500-plus minutes ... Eisler's current 2.86 GAA would rank third in Irish history--behind John Barry's 2.00 in 1968-69 and Chris Cathcart's 2.83 in 1970-71--while his .905 save pct. is just behind Mark Kronholm's existing Irish record (.907, in 1970-71) ... Eisler's .878 career save pct. ranks fourth in Irish history while his 2,376 career saves rank sixth ... Eisler has carried the Irish to a 2.83 season goals against average that would blow away the existing team record of 3.40, set in 1987-88 ... the current team save pct. (.906) likewise is well ahead of the Irish record of .891 (set in 1976-77).

    Central Collegiate Hockey Association Standings
        TEAM (overall record)       W   L   T PTS   GF  GA  PEN Power Play  Penalty-Kill.
     1. Michigan State (11-1-2)     7   1   1  15   47  23  119 (8)  14.5%  (2)  91.3%          
     2. Northern Michigan (7-2-3)   6   1   1  14   48  34  130 (11)  8.5%  (8)  80.2%
     3. Michigan (9-3-1)            6   2   2  13   49  33  120 (4)  19.0%  (5)  86.5%          
     4. Miami University (9-1-0)    6   1   0  12   53  26   94 (1)  35.7%  (7)  84.6%
     5. Ferris State (4-7-3)        4   4   3  11   47  50  122 (5)  16.9%  (11) 78.6%  
     6. Western Michigan (5-7-2)    4   7   1   9   33  35  143 (6)  16.5%  (6)  86.1%  
     7. Notre Dame (6-5-1)          3   4   1   7   42  37   84 (2)  21.9%  (3)  87.7%
     8. Lake Superior (3-6-2)       2   4   2   6   38  40  115 (7)  16.0%  (3)  87.7%      
     9. Ohio State (5-6-1)          2   5   0   4   33  32  110 (9)  13.3%  (1)  91.3%
    10. Bowling Green (2-10-1)      1   5   1   3   36  52  152 (10) 11.8%  (10) 79.5%
    11. Alaska Fairbanks (2-9-1)    1   8   0   2   39  64  141 (3)  19.2%  (10) 79.5%

    National Hockey Polls

    USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Coaches Poll
     1. Michigan State (6; 11-1-2)  95
     2. Boston University (6-1-0)   89
     3. North Dakota (3; 5-2-1)     70
     4. Miami (1; 9-1-0)            59      
     5. Wisconsin (7-1-0)           48
     6. New Hampshire (8-3-0)       38
     7. Colorado College (5-3-2)    35
     8. Boston College  (8-3-0)     29
     9. Michigan (9-3-1)            28
    10. Cornell (5-1-1)             21

    Others receiving votes: Northern Michigan (14), Yale (10), Maine (10), St. Cloud State.

    U.S. College Hockey Online Coaches Poll
     1. Michigan State (20; 11-1-2)     282
     2. Boston University (4; 6-1-0)    258
     3. North Dakota (6; 5-2-1)         238
     4. Miami (9-1-0)                   180     
     5. New Hampshire (8-3-0)           132     
     6. Wisconsin  (7-1-0)              124
     7. Colorado College (5-3-2)        110
     8. Boston College (8-3-0)           87
     9. Cornell (5-1-1)                  58     
    10. Maine (6-4-1)                    41

    Others receiving votes: Michigan (39), Yale (38), Northern Michigan (25), St. Cloud State (17) , Colgate (4), Clarkson (3), Minnesota (2), Providence (1).

    WMEB Media Poll
     1. Michigan State (7; 9-1-2)       114     
     2. North Dakota (3-2-1)            105     
     3. Boston University (3; 5-1-0)    103
     4. Miami (7-1-0)                    79
     5. Colorado College (2-3-2)         75
     6. New Hampshire (6-3-0)            50
     7. Boston College (6-2-0)           38
     8. Maine (5-3-0)                    26
     9. Wisconsin (7-1-0)                22
    10. Cornell (4-0-1)                  20

    Others receiving votes: Michigan (19), Colgate (4), Yale (3), Northern Michigan (2).

    WMPL Coaches Poll
     1. Michigan State (6; 11-1-2)      147
     2. Boston University (2; 6-1-0)    142
     3. North Dakota (4; 5-2-1)         134
     4. Miami  (9-1-0)                  102
     5. Wisconsin (7-1-0)                89
     6. Colorado College (5-3-2)         88
     7. New Hampshire (8-3-0)            74
     8. Boston College (8-3-0)           65
     9. Cornell (5-1-1)                  63
    10. Michigan (9-3-1)                 38

    Others receiving votes: St. Cloud State, Providence, Clarkson, Colgate, Alaska-Anchorage, Princeton, Western Michigan.

    NOTRE DAME HOCKEY - making strides
    (all improvements indicated by "+", italics = area of non-improvement)
                                 1996-97         1997-98        Change
    Wins                          9-25-1           6-5-1    
    Winning pct.                    27.1%           54.2%        +27.1%
    One-goal games              15 (3-12)         5 (3-2)    
    Goals per game                  2.63            3.33         +0.70
    Shots per game                  27.2            27.0          -0.2
    Shooting pct.                   9.7%            12.3%         +2.6%
    Opponent shots/gm               31.8            30.1          +1.7
    Shot margin                     -4.6            -3.1          +1.5
    Power-play  pct.                12.7%           21.9%         +9.2%
    Power-play goals/gm             0.66            1.17         +0.51
    Shorthanded goals/gm            0.06 (2)        0.25 (3)     +0.19  
    Penalties per game              8.69            7.00         +1.69
     
    Penalty-killing pct.            81.3%           87.0%         +5.7%
    Goals-Against-Avg.              3.73            2.83         +0.90
    Save pct.                       88.2%           90.6%         +2.4%
    Goal margin                    -1.11            0.50         +1.61
    Shorthanded goals allowed/gm    0.20 (7)        0.00 (0)     +0.20
    1st period goals/gm             0.66 (23)       0.83 (10)    +0.17
    1st period goal margin         -0.46 (23-39)   +0.17 (10-8)  +0.63
    3rd period goals/gm             0.94 (33)       1.25 (16)    +0.31
    3rd period goal margin         -0.26 (33-42)   +0.00 (16-16) +0.26
    Ahead at 1st intermission      4-5-0 (.444)    4-0-0 (1.00)  +.556
    Ahead at 2nd intermission      6-2-0 (.750)    4-1-1 (.750)   even

    12-GAME CHECKUP: With 12 games in the books, the Irish can point to many statistical trends that show significant progress from the 1996-97 campaign ... in fact, Notre Dame has improved or remained on the same pace in most of the 23 categories listed above ... the most significant offensive improvements have come in the areas of goals per game (up 0.70), shooting pct. (up 2.6%), power-play pct. (up 9.2%) and power-play goals per game (up 0.51) ... noteworthy improvements on the defensive end include the 87.0 percent penalty-killing unit (up 5.7%), a 2.83 goals against average (0.90 better than last season) and just 7.00 penalties per game (1.69 fewer than in '96-'97) ... Notre Dame already has more shorthanded goals (3) than the Irish totaled in all of 1996-97 (2) .. .the Irish are 3-2 in one-goal games this season, after going 3-12 a year ago.

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