The 1995-96 Notre Dame hockey season began with high hopes and former
Irish standout Dave Poulin was a driving force behind that feeling. The
addition of a talented incoming class added to the excitement and that
freshman class let its presence be known when Brian Urick tallied four
goals in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association opener at
Alaska-Fairbanks, won by Notre Dame (7-4).
The Irish lost their next
seven games, but rebounded by shutting out Ohio State, 4-0, and posting
the biggest victory of the season by defeating nationally-ranked Lake
Superior State (6-3).
A week later, Notre Dame pulled out a 4-3 win over
Ferris State, with freshman Aniket Dhadphale scoring the game-winner in
the final three minutes.
Notre Dame headed to the Christmas break with
the prospect of facing some of the nation's best teams at the Wisconsin
Badger Showdown in Milwaukee, Wisc. The Irish proved they were up to
the challenge by surprising host Wisconsin, 3-2, in the opener.
Defending national champion Boston University loomed in the title game
and the Irish kept the game close, in a 1-1 tie at the end of the first
period, and trailed by just two goals going to the third before BU
pulled away (7-3).
The Irish came out of the break with a renewed
confidence, as senior Wade Salzman totaled 68 saves in 2-2 ties against
both Ohio State and Miami of Ohio. The tight play continued as Notre
Dame played in its third overtime in six games, versus Illinois-Chicago,
with the Irish gaining their first overtime victory of the season (5-4).
Following a tough 11-1 loss at eventual national champion Michigan, the
Irish returned home to sweep two games from Army (7-3, 4-2), led by a
total of 10 points from the freshmen.
Notre Dame dove back into CCHA
play versus Bowling Green and led 2-1 going into the third period before
the Falcons scored three straight goals. Dhadphale attempted to lead a
comeback by scoring with 1:54 left but Bowling Green prevailed, 4-3.
That loss was a sign of things to come as the Irish proceeded to go
0-7-1 in CCHA games following the Army victories, until a 5-2 win over
But when Bowling Green returned to the Joyce Center, another
exciting game was in store. This time the Irish trailed 3-2 going into
the final period before Jamie Ling tied the game with under nine minutes
remaining. The comeback fell short again when Bowling Green scored in
overtime, giving the Irish another one-goal loss.
The season moved on to
the semiannual game with Michigan at The Palace at Auburn Hills. The
game proved to be more costly than anticipated, as Ling broke his ankle
in the third period and was lost for the rest of the season, with the
5-2 defeat being a sidenote to the loss of the Irish leading scorer.
Notre Dame returned home to face Michigan State and again showed great
resiliency by leading the Spartans, 3-1, going to the third period.
Brett Bruininks increased the lead to 4-1 and the Irish looked to be in
control, but Michigan State came back to score three goals in the final
3:33 to earn the tie.
The Irish next posted a 5-2 win at Miami, led by a
goal and assist from Benoit Cotnoir and two assists from Terry Lorenz.
Days later, Notre Dame lost 8-2 at Bowling Green, despite goalkeeper
Matt Eisler's 46 saves, and the season ended with a home loss to Ferris
State (6-3) in a game that was tied 3-3 going to the third period.
1995-96 NOTRE DAME HOCKEY RESULTS
9-23-4 overall, 6-20-4 CCHA
5-11-3 home, 3-11-1 away, 1-1-0 neutral
10/13 GUELPH L, 1-2 (OT)
10/19 *at Alaska-Fairbanks W, 7-4
10/20 *at Alaska-Fairbanks L, 4-6
10/21 *at Alaska-Fairbanks L, 4-7
10/27 BOSTON COLLEGE L, 5-7
10/31 *at Michigan State L, 2-6
11/3 *WESTERN MICHIGAN L, 2-3
11/4 *at Western Michigan L, 2-6
11/10 *ILLINOIS-CHICAGO L, 2-3
11/11 *OHIO STATE W, 4-0
11/24 *LAKE SUPERIOR ST. W, 6-3
11/25 *LAKE SUPERIOR ST. L, 1-3
12/1 *at Ferris State W, 4-3
12/2 *at Ferris State L, 3-6
12/9 *at Lake Superior State T, 3-3
12/28 #Wisconsin (N) W, 3-2
12/29 #Boston University (N) L, 3-7
1/5 *at Ohio State T, 2-2
1/6 *at Ohio State L, 2-5
1/12 *MIAMI, OHIO T, 2-2
1/13 *MIAMI, OHIO L, 3-6
1/19 *ILL.-CHICAGO W, 5-4 (OT)
1/20 *at Michigan L, 1-11
1/26 ARMY W, 7-3
1/27 ARMY W, 4-2
1/30 *BOWLING GREEN L, 3-4 (OT)
2/2 *at Illinois-Chicago L, 3-5
2/3 *at Michigan State L, 1-7
2/9 *MICHIGAN L, 1-4
2/10 *BOWLING GREEN L, 3-4
2/13 *at Western Michigan L, 1-4
2/16 *^Michigan (N) L, 2-5
2/20 *MICHIGAN STATE T, 4-4
2/23 *at Miami, Ohio W, 5-2
2/24 *at Bowling Green L, 2-8
3/2 *FERRIS STATE L, 3-6
* = CCHA game
# = Wisonsin Showdown (Milwaukee, WI)
^ = at The Palace (Auburn Hills, MI)
3,682 overall; 2,487 home; 3,808 away.