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 the
second straight game and sophomore Brian Urick kept up his
torrid scoring pace as the University of Notre Dame defeated
visiting Alaska-Fairbanks 3-1 in Central Collegiate Hockey
Association action Saturday at the Joyce Center.
The win moved Notre Dame (5-10-1, 4-8-1) back into a tie for
sixth place in the CCHA standings with idle Bowling Green
(4-8-1) and Western Michigan (4-6-1), which won 7-6 in overtime
Saturday over visiting Miami University. Ferris State lost at
home to Michigan on Saturday, 5-3, leaving the fifth-place
Bulldogs just one point ahead of the three teams tied for sixth.
Saturday's win ended a Notre Dame five-game losing streak
that had included four one-goal losses. Notre Dame junior
goaltender Matt Eisler made 23 saves while holding an Irish
opponent to one or fewer goals for the third time this season.
Following a scoreless first period, the Nanooks jumped in
front on the powerplay at the 6:08 mark of the second when
senior Pat Williams sent a pass from the left point to sophomore
Jeff Trembecky, who one-touched a shot into the net from the
The Irish quickly netted the equalizer by converting on a
powerplay chance of their own. Urick initiated the play on a
3-on-2 break, skating down the right side before dropping a back
pass for freshman Joe Dusbabek, who then drilled a low shot from
the right circle. UAF goaltender Chris Marvel made the stick
save, but the left-handed Simon was there to knock home the goal,
his second in as many nights after going scoreless on his first
31 shots of the season.
Notre Dame surged ahead in the closing moments of the second
period, as Urick came free on a breakaway and faked a shot to
the right before beating Marvel on a backhanded shot high to the
blocker side with 13 seconds remaining before the second
intermission. The goal was Urick's team-leading eighth of the
season and his sixth in the last seven games.
The Irish padded their lead midway through the final period
as sophomore Lyle Andrusiak took a pass from Dusbabek and
drilled a shot from the left circle that kicked off the skate of
Marvel and into the net (10:00).
Notre Dame took a lead into the third period for just the
fourth time this season and the first time at home. The victory
ended a frustrating home season in which the Irish had not won
since opening day, playing WMU to a 3-3 tie before dropping
games to Ferris State (5-1), Mankato State (4-3 in OT) and Lake
Saturday's game was the first coaching matchup at the Joyce
Center for Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin and
Alaska-Fairbanks head coach Dave Laurion, who were roommates and
teammates at Notre Dame from 1978-82, leading the Irish to the
1982 CCHA title game and one of its most successful seasons
ever. (Notre Dame played an early-season three-game series at
UAF last season in Poulin's first CCHA games as a head coach).
The Irish take a three-week break from competition before
returning to the ice for a pair of non-conference games at
Princeton on Dec. 27-28. Notre Dame returns to CCHA action at
home vs. Miami on January 3.
Notre Dame Coach Dave Poulin
"It was a great effort coming off an exciting game last
night (4-3 loss at Michigan St.). There easily could have been a
letdown. I was disappointed in the last 10 minutes of the first
period, but the first 10 and the rest of the third were great.
Naturally there is a letdown coming off playing a top ten-10
team when you lose by a late goal. We have lost six of our
(seven) one-goal games. Tonight we were in position to win and
we made it happen. ... There were several key factors tonight.
Eisler was a big one. (Freshman defenseman) Sean Seyferth also
played a big role. After (Steve) Noble banged himself up, we had
to move defensemen Brian McCarthy to forward and Seyferth really
stepped up. To see him, as a freshman, play like that is really
encouraging. ... You have to do what we did in the third to keep
the 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 to
know that you can do it. It is really belief. MSU was in a
situation where they had been successful there before. Notre
Dame doesn't know how to be successful in that situation yet. It
is a young team in a growth phase. I've been talking about all
the positives of the past games and now tonight makes last night
a positive situation."
(On playing against former Notre Dame teammate Dave Laurion:)
"It's fun. He was my freshman year roommate. Last time he got
us, but this ties (our series) up 2-2. You can't help thinking
back 20 years to meeting the guy on the first day of school back
in Dillon Hall."
ALASKA-FAIRBANKS 0 1 0 - 1
NOTRE DAME 0 2 1 - 3
1st 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,
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)