February 6, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (2/6/99) - Notre Dame's potent first forward line erupted for three goals and eight total points while four others factored in the scoring, as No. 9 Notre Dame stayed unbeaten at home and completed a sweep of its season series with Alaska Fairbanks, 5-2, in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday at the Joyce Center.
Five players accounted for the Irish goals while Notre Dame (16-7-4, 13-6-3) strengthened its chances at capturing home ice for the CCHA first-round playoff serieas. The Irish have a four-point cushion on Northern Michigan (11-8-3) and a five-point lead on Ferris State (10-8-4)-both idle this week-in the race for the fourth home-ice spot. Notre Dame, NMU and FSU each have eight games remaining. FSU's game at Notre Dame next on Feb. 12 will decide the season series (1-1-0, even goal differential) while NMU and Notre Dame will play Feb. 26-27 at the Joyce Center after a recent 3-3 tie at NMU.
In other CCHA action Saturday, first-place Michigan State (15-2-6) held on for a 3-2 win over eighth-place Lake Superior (6-14-2) at Joe Louis Arena while Ohio State (15-6-3) pulled out a 3-2 win at Michigan (14-6-3) to take the season series and move past the Wolverines into second in the CCHA standings. Notre Dame now trails Michigan by just two points, with one "game in hand" (UM has just seven games left). The ND-UM season series ended tied in both head-to-head (1-1-1) and goal differential (5-5). Saturday's other game saw Western Michigan (4-13-6) use a 4-1 win at seventh-place Bowling Green (8-12-3) to forge a three-way tie for eighth in the CCHA standings with LSSU and idle Miami (5-13-4).
UAF (8-19-1, 5-18-1 CCHA)- which lost two weeks ago at Notre Dame by scores of 6-2 and 6-1-saw its chances at a CCHA playoff spot fade, as the Nanooks are now three points out of the logjam at eighth. Notre Dame's season series with UAF included a 17-4 scoring edge, a 119-65 shot edge, a 7-for-18 power play and a 12-for-12 penalty-kill effort.
Simon and Urick each notched one goal and two assists while Dhadphale and senior defenseman Benoit Cotnoir each had one goal and one assist. Junior right wing Joe Dusbabek (1G), sophomore left wing Dan Carlson (2A) and junior defenseman Tyson Fraser (1A) rounded out the scoring. Senior Forrest Karr, who had 19 saves, has allowed just 21 goals in the team's 12 home games this season. The Irish improved to 10-0-2 at home, with 55 goals in those games (4.6/gm).
Notre Dame owned a commanding 26-6 edge in first-period shots, en route to a 41-21 shot advantage for the game. The Irish have has won five of the last six games in the series, with a commanding 239-127 shot edge in those six games (for an average of 40-21). The Irish also are 12-for-34 on the power play (.353) during the last six games of the series, including a 2-for-4 effort on Saturday.
SCORING RECAP: Urick opened the scoring with his 14th goal of the season, after 5-on-3 passes by Carlson and Simon Urick took the puck near the left boards and skated to the middle of the ice before beating UAF senior Ian Perkins (6:18) UAF tied the game when junior RW Sjon Wynia knocked home a rebounded shot by sophomore C Ryan Reinheller (8:43) Dhadphale's 15th goal of the season (and team-leading eighth PPG) put the Irish back in front at 10:38 Urick worked the puck to Fraser, whose shot from up top was tipped past Perkins by Dhadphale Simon assisted on the third Irish goal, bringing the puck from the Irish end and skating to the right before dropping a pass into the middle Cotnoir quickly beat Perkins with a rising shot to the stick side for his sixth goal of the season and fifth in the last nine games (13:16) Dusbabek then picked up his fourth goal of the season and fourth point of the season vs. UAF, in the closing moments of the period ... Carlson fed the puck to an open Cotnoir, whose shot was batted away by Perkins, but Dusbabek came skating in at the left side of the crease and redirected the puck into the net (19:39) UAF cut the lead to 4-2 with a 4-on-4 goal midway through the second period, when speedy senior LW Chris Kirwan took the puck away from Irish freshman C David Inman at the left boards and beat Karr with a low backhanded shot on the ensuing breakaway (7:46) junior D Andy Jurkowski initiated the fifth Irish goal by bringing the puck up the left boards for Dhadphale, whose pass to Urick set up an odd-man rush Urick slanted in on Perkins before sliding the puck across the slot for an easy tap-in hat gave Simon his 15th goal of the season (14:41).
NOTES: In 12 career games vs. UAF, Urick has totaled 19 points (11G-8A) Urick has nine points in his last five games (3G-6A) Simon recorded his seventh game-winning assist of the season, in addition to two GWGs, a game-tying assist vs. Michigan and a game-tying goal vs. MSU Simon now has 94 career points in 92 games (28G-66A), has points in 21 of the 26 games he has played this season (eight of the last nine) and has equaled a career-best with his current four-game goalscoring streak Dhadphale's goal moved him into a tie with former All-American Brian Walsh (1973-77) for seventh place on Notre Dame's career PPG list with 24, just one out of fifth Dhadphale has 20 PPGs in the past two seasons (64 games) Cotnoir (5G-8A) and Simon (6G-7A) are Notre Dame's top scorer in the current 7-1-2 run Cotnoir has points in eight of the last nine games, including an active and career-best seven-game point streak Dusbabek has six points in the last seven games (2G-4A) the Irish are 13-2-2 when scoring first, 11-4-3 when outshooting the opponent, 11-1-2 with a 1st-intermission lead, 13-0-2 with a 2nd-intermission lead, 7-1-1 when scoring 2-plus PPGs, 16-3-3 when Simon has 1-plus points, 9-1-2 when he has 2-plus and 12-1-2 when Simon and Dhadphale each enter the scoring column the trio of Dhadphale-Simon-Urick has combined for 44 goals (each has 14 or 15) and 98 points in a combined 73 games.
ALASKA FAIRBANKS (8-19-1, 5-18-1 CCHA) 1 1 0 - 2 NOTRE DAME (16-7-4, 13-6-3 CCHA) 4 1 0 - 5