October 10, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior right wing Brian Urick scored two goals for the second straight night while freshman center David Inman also scored twice and junior center Ben Simon had a hand in four goals, as the University of Notre Dame hockey team remained unbeaten in convincing fashion, following a 7-1 victory over visiting Western Michigan in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play Saturday at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Notre Dame (3-0-0, 2-0-0 CCHA) is off to just its second 2-0 start in conference play-and first since 1972-in 19 seasons as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (1971-81) or CCHA (1981-83, 1992- ). The '72-'73 Notre Dame squad opened WCHA play with two wins over Michigan (5-2, 7-5), with both schools later moving to the CCHA in 1981.
Western Michigan (0-2-0, 0-2-0), which lost 3-1 at home Friday to Ferris State, has opened the season with two losses for the first time since the 1980-81 season.
The six-goal margin is Notre Dame's largest in 12 all-time victories over WMU, with the Irish winning three of the last four meetings with the Broncos. WMU is now 0-3-1 in its last four visits to the Joyce Center.
Notre Dame, which defeated Lake Superior 4-2 on Friday, will enter the first week of the limited CCHA standings atop the conference with four points, after Bowling Green and Miami skated to a 5-5 tie Saturday in Oxford, Ohio (BG had won Friday's game, 4-2). The only other CCHA game of the weekend is Lake Superior at Michigan on Sunday.
Inman opened the scoring seven minutes into the game, on what would be the only 5-on-5 goal of the game. The Irish went on to add four power-play goals (one 5-on-3, one 6-on-4) while striking twice in a 31-second span of 4-on-4 play. WMU's lone goal also came on the power play, meaning that Irish senior Forrest Karr has allowed just two even-strength goals in three games.
Karr finished the night with 20 saves while helping the Irish stop six of seven WMU man-up chances. His counterpart, WMU sophomore Chris Peck-who beat the Irish late last season for his first career win-stopped 34 of 41 shots, 17 of which came during the nine Irish power-play chances.
Karr's impressive debut as the Irish starter includes posting a 1.34 season goals-against average and .948 save percentage (73 saves, four goals against) while playing a leading role in the .867 Irish penalty-killing unit (13-of-15).
Inman notched his first career goal with the Irish in unassisted fashion, after stealing the puck at mid-ice and depositing the breakaway shot over Peck's right shoulder (6:57). Shortly before the first intermission, the potent first line of Urick, Simon and senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale took advantage of a 5-on-3 advantage for a 2-0 Irish lead. Simon circled behind the net and fired a pass into the slot for Dhadphale, who sent two shots off Peck from close range. Urick then knocked the second rebound into the net from the left side of the crease for his third goal of the weekend (18:25).
Midway through the second period, the Irish found themselves in another two-man advantage, when Karr left the ice due to a delayed slashing penalty on Mike Bishai. Simon worked the puck to the right endline for senior defenseman Benoit Cotnoir, who then whipped a pass across the goalmouth. Inman was stationed at the left side of the crease and redirected the puck into the net for an easy score (12:13).
The Broncos stayed in the game with a power-play goal of their own, less than three minutes later, with junior left wing Jason Redenius poking home a rebounded shot by Frank Novock (14:43).
The first minute of the final period featured goals by Simon and Urick that displayed the effectiveness of their speed in the open play of 4-on-4 situations.
Simon's goal came just 16 seconds into the period and represented his first score for the Irish in a 13-game, 31-shot stretch (since the 7-1 win over Ferris State on Feb. 7). The speedy Irish center took a pass from junior defenseman Tyson Fraser, streaked down the right wing and turned the corner on a Bronco defender before tucking a low shot inside the far left post.
Urick capped his big weekend just 31 seconds later, wristing a shot from the top of the right circle that squeezed between Peck's left shoulder and the crossbar, with Simon picking up his third assist of the night.
The Irish cashed in on two of their three power-play chances in the final eight minutes to put the game out of reach. Passes from Urick and freshman defenseman Dan Cornelius set up a slapshot goal from the right circle by sophomore left wing Dan Carlson (13:07).
Sophomore right wing Ryan Dolder set up the final goal of the night, sending a pass from behind the net that sophomore left wing Chad Chipchase one-timed past Peck for his second goal of the weekend (19:08).
Urick's five-point weekend gives him 45 career goals and 45 assists, inching him closer to both the 100-point plateau. He needs five goals and five assists to become the 27th Irish player ever to record 50 goals and 50 assists in his career.
In other action Saturday involving CCHA teams, Ohio State lost 4-3 at Minnesota while Northern Michigan finished a weekend sweep at home of Michigan Tech, 3-0.
Shots: WMU 6-10-5/21, ND 17-12-12/41.