Long Road Trip Greets Surging Irish
Hockey is riding a five game win streak.
January 20, 1999
* No. 8 Notre Dame heads for Northern Michigan, Lake Superior
The No. 8-ranked Notre Dame hockey team (14-6-2, 11-5-1 CCHA) , riding a five-game winning streak, departs on its final long road trip of the season this week, for games at Northern Michigan (Jan. 22) and Lake Superior (Jan. 23) ... the Irish have surged into third place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, after a home sweep last week of Alaska Fairbanks (6-2, 6-1) ... freshman C Brett Henning was named CCHA rookie of the week after totaling a goal and two assists in the UAF series (he centered the first line in the first game).
IT'S FUN TO PLAY IN THE CCHA: An exciting CCHA season currently finds Michigan State (13-2-3/29 pts) atop the standings, followed by Michigan (13-3-1/27) and Notre Dame (11-5-1/23) ... just three points separate third from sixth place, with Ferris State (10-6-2/22), Ohio State (10-6-2/22) and Northern Michigan (10-8-0/20) on the heels of the Irish ... each of the above six teams has been ranked among the national top 10 this season ... Bowling Green (7-8-2/16) is seventh while Miami (4-13-3/11), Alaska Fairbanks (5-15-0/10), Western Michigan (2-11-6/10) and Lake Superior (3-11-2/8) likely will battle for the eighth and final CCHA tournament spot ... the top four teams will play host to first-round CCHA tournament series (March 12-14), with the winners advancing to Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA semi-finals and finals (March 19-20).
CCHA LEADERS: The Irish lead the CCHA in overall power play pct. (.248, second in the nation among major-conference teams behind Colorado College's .265) while ranking second in scoring (3.68 goals/gm), third in fewest penalty minutes (17.9/gm) and fourth in defense (2.59 goals allowed/gm) but ninth in penalty killing (.819) ... junior C Ben Simon (21G-11A) and senior RW Brian Urick (13-18) are tied for third on the CCHA overall scoring charts, behind Michigan State senior C Mike York and Ohio State junior C Hugo Boisvert (both 16-18) ... Urick (10-16) and York (9-17) are the CCHA's top scorers in conference games while Simon (10-15) ranks third ... senior G Forrest Karr ranks fourth in the CCHA for both overall (2.48) and conference (2.15) goals-against average ... Urick is tied for sixth in the CCHA with 13 goals while senior LW Aniket Dhadphale ranks ninth (12) and Simon is tied for 10th (11) ... Simon's 20 assists are second in the CCHA behind Northern Michigan senior forward Buddy Smith (24) ... Dhadphale, Simon and Urick all are tied for fifth in the CCHA with five power-play goals each while Urick is tied for second with four game-winning goals.
IRISH NOTES: Nine players have combined on the 14 Irish game-winning goals ... Notre Dame is 11-0-1 when playing with a second-intermission lead, 10-3-2 when outshooting the opponent ... the Irish are 8-0-1 at home (45-15 scoring edge) and play six of the final 11 games at the Joyce Center (after this week's road trip) ... the Irish are 11-2-1 in their last 14 home games, with a commanding 63-25 scoring edge in those games (losses last season to eventual NCAA semifinalists Ohio State and Michigan) ... the Irish power-play has scored on seven of its last 20 chances, after an 0-for-17 slump ... Notre Dame shook up its top forward lines prior to the 4-3 win at No. 1 North Dakota ... senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and senior RW Brian Urick have joined freshman C David Inman on the second ("1B") line while sophomore LW Dan Carlson and junior RW Joe Dusbabek are now skating alongside junior C Ben Simon on the "1A" line ... Notre Dame's top four defensemen have combined to miss 21 games due to injury ... the Irish have played well in hostile arenas during the past two seasons, with road wins vs. every CCHA team but Miami during that stretch, a pair of victories at Wisconsin, a two-game sweep at St. Cloud State and a win at North Dakota ... the Irish have allowed only two shorthanded goals in each of the past two seasons, with Ohio State accounting for all four of those goals (two on 1/25/98 and two on 12/5/98) ... Notre Dame raced out to its best start in 39 years of varsity hockey (6-0-0) and best conference start (5-0-0) in 19 seasons as a member of the WCHA (1971-81) or CCHA (1981-83, 1992- ).
PLAYER NOTES: Senior RW Brian Urick's 13 career game-winning goals are tied for first in Irish history, matching the mark set by current Irish head coach Dave Poulin (1978-82) ... Urick has 116 points (54G-62A) in 133 career games ... senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (55G-42A) is three points shy of the 100-point plateau and needs eight more assists to join Urick as two of the 28 Notre Dame players ever to total 50 goals and 50 assists in their careers ... Urick (13-18) and junior C Ben Simon (11-20) are on pace to flirt with the 50-point mark this season, a mark reached just 25 times in Irish hockey history (last by Curtis Janicke in 1991-92) ... a 50-point season would give Urick 135 career points and push him past Tom Michalek (133, 1976-80) and Don Fairholm (131, 1974-78) into 18th on the Irish career scoring list (only 13 Irish players ever have reached 150) ... Simon is averaging nearly a point per game for his career (87 in 88 games) ... sophomore D Ryan Clark has missed the last six games (rehab. from Dec. 23 shoulder surgery) ... sophomore LW Dan Carlson missed the Jan. 2-3 split at No. 1 North Dakota while playing with Team USA at the World Junior Championship.
INJURY UPDATE: Senior RW and captain Brian Urick is out indefinitely with a cracked bone in his hand, suffered late in the Jan. 16 UAF game ... in his four seasons with the Irish, Urick has totaled 116 points (54-62A) while playing in 133 of 134 games-including 74 straight ... ironically, the only previous game that Urick has missed came on the heels of a game misconduct penalty vs. UAF on Jan. 18, 1997 (he was forced to sit out the Jan. 24 game vs. St. Cloud State) ... Urick owns 10 goals and six assists in 11 career games vs. UAF, including four goals at UAF in his first career CCHA game ... junior D Ryan Clark has missed the last six games, after undergoing shoulder surgery Dec. 23 in his home state of Colorado, and remains out indefinitely while undergoing rehabilitation ... junior D Tyson Fraser missed last weekend's UAF series due to nagging injuries but could return to action this week ... three Irish players returned from arm injuries in early December at OSU: senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (4 gms missed), junior RW Joe Dusbabek (2) and Clark (2) ... the Irish power play hit at a .321 clip in the first 10 games with Dhadphale but the Irish were 2-for-17 (.118) without him.
LAST WEEK'S UAF SERIES: Notre Dame posted a 6-2, 6-1 sweep, despite the absence of junior C Ben Simon in the first game (delayed CCHA suspension from a Nov. 21 stick incident) and junior D Tyson Fraser for both games (due to injury) ... in the opener, Aniket Dhadphale and Dan Carlson both scored twice ... UAF scored in the first two minutes before falling behind 5-1 ... freshman Brett Henning, the usual third-line center, did a solid job filling in for Simon on the first forward line and first PP unit ... Henning led the charge and recorded an assist on a second-period goal by Carlson before notching his third goal of the season (on the PP) early in the final period for a 6-1 Irish lead ... Chad Chipchase had the other Irish goal ... in the second game, Dhadphale was whistled for an early hitting-from-behind penalty and ensuing game misconduct, resulting in his ejection ... Notre Dame was forced to shuffle its lines and several players responded, among them Chipchase (2G-1A) and four players who had 1G-1A ... despite the early five-minute penalty drawn by Dhadphale, the Irish quickly took momentum thanks to Simon's fifth PPG of the season and Urick's first career SHG ... Joe Dusbabek and Matt Van Arkel also scored for the Irish ... eight players combined to score the 12 Irish goals in the series and 13 had at least one point ... Notre Dame is 4-1-0 in the last five games of the UAF series, with a 23-9 scoring edge, a 198-106 shot edge (average of 40-21) and a 10-for-30 power play in those games.
THE ND-NMU SERIES: Prior to Notre Dame's sweep of NMU last season (4-3, 3-1, 5-2), the Wildcats had won the first six games of the series, with five of those wins coming by a single goal ... NMU and Notre Dame are beginning their season series late in the campaign for the second straight year (last year's games were Feb. 20, 27 and 28; this year's games are Jan. 22, Feb. 26 and 27) ... the previous games in the series came early in 1982-83, a pair of NMU wins at Notre Dame (5-2, 4-3) ... the Irish and Wildcats met four times during the senior season of current Irish head coach Dave Poulin (1981-82), with NMU winning twice at Notre Dame early in the season (3-2, 4-3) before closing out the sweep at home in early December (3-2, 9-8).
RECAPPING LAST YEAR'S SERIES
* ND 4, @NMU 3 (2/20): Notre Dame clinched its first CCHA playoff berth since '95, despite no goals from the its top-seven scorers ... the Irish held a 39-31 shot edge and converted 2-of-5 PPs (NMU was 0-for-2) ... ND cashed in a first-period PP chance, with Brian Urick setting up Mark Eaton ... minutes later, NMU's Tyson Holly wristed a shot past Matt Eisler, assisted by J.P. Vigier and Bryan Phillips ... the Irish erupted for 19 shots and a pair of goals in the second but NMU's Bryan Phillips struck first, putting home a rebounded shot by Vigier (Jeff White also had an assist) ... Eaton then again skated around an NMU defenseman to convert a PPG, off feeds from Ben Simon and Dan Carlson ... five minutes later, Benoit Cotnoir intercepted a pass and flicked the puck forward for Chad Chipchase, who tucked the breakaway goal past Duane Hoey with 0:17 left ... the hosts tied the game 52 seconds into the third, on a Roger Trudeau goal (assisted by Buddy Smith) ... midway through the period, John Dwyer scored the game-winner on a centering pass from Lyle Andrusiak.
* @ND 3, NMU 1; @ND 5, NMU 2 (Feb. 27-28): Eisler stopped 47 of 50 shots in the weekend and Urick's six points led a rejuvenated offense ... Urick and Eaton made the big plays in the first game while Eisler had 18 saves ... Urick and Carlson set up the first goal in the second period, with Eaton beating Hoey on a backhander ... Urick then knocked home a goal early in the third, set up by Simon's faceoff win and Aniket Dhadphale's pass ... Trudeau scored on the PP and Urick capped the scoring with an empty-netter ... Eisler had 28 saves the next night in a game that featured 56 NMU penalty minutes and 46 for the Irish ... ND scored two PPGs in a 0:30 span midway through the first, with Cotnoir rifling a low 5-on-3 shot past Hoey (assisted by Urick and Carlson) before Dhadphale tipped in a Cotnoir shot ... the Irish took a 3-0 lead into the intermission, when Dhadphale knocked home a rebounded shot from Ryan Clark ... Notre Dame added a goal at 5:26 of the second, when Sean Seyferth sent home his first goal of the season from the left circle ... the Irish stretched to 5-0 midway through the period, when Urick led the rush down the right side and slid a centering pass to Cotnoir for his third shorthanded goal of the season ... NMU added late goals by Phillips and Rich Metro.
SCOUTING NMU: The Wildcats (15-9-0, 10-8-0 CCHA) are sixth in the CCHA, two points behind FSU and OSU and three behind the Irish ... NMU has won its last four (all on the road), vs. Michigan Tech in the GLI (8-1), LSSU (4-3), WMU (6-2) and FSU (2-1) ... NMU returned 20 of 23 letterwinners from its '97-'98 team that finished fourth in the CCHA (15-12-3) before beating Miami in the CCHA playoffs ... the Wildcats are in the second season of their second tour in the CCHA ... NMU leads the CCHA in overall scoring (3.79 goals/gm) while ranking sixth in defense (2.83 goals allowed/gm), fourth in power-play pct. (.157), third in penalty-killing pct. (.887) and fifth in fewest penalty minutes (21.0/gm) ... NMU's top returning scorers included senior F Buddy Smith (8G-24A), junior F Roger Trudeau (16-12), junior F J.P. Vigier (12-15), sophomore LW Fred Mattersdorfer (11-14) and sophomore D Jeff White (7-12) ... Smith leads NMU this season and is tied for sixth in the CCHA with 29 points (5-24), with other top Wildcat scorers including Vigier (17-8), Trudeau (13-10) and Mattersdorfer (6-11) ... other wins: vs. Michigan Tech (8-2, 3-0), Miami (3-2, 5-2), @Clakson (6-5, 3-2), @Michigan (6-1), BG (4-1), @Miami (4-3), WMU (6-3) and UAF (5-3) ... losses: @MSU (1-3), BG (5-6), @OSU (2-4), FSU (0-2, 2-4), @BG (3-5), @Michigan (1-6), @MSU (1-2) and vs. MSU in the GLI (3-5).
FRIEND OR FOE?: Several Notre Dame and NMU players are former teammates: ND senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and NMU senior forwards Rich Metro and Roger Trudeau, junior G Dan Ragusett and sophomore C Ryan Riipi (Marquette Electricians); ND senior C Craig Hagkull and NMU senior C Brad Frattorolli (Des Moines Buccaneers); ND sophomore RW Matt Van Arkel and NMU sophomore D Jeff White (Milton Merchants).
THE ND-LSSU SERIES: Lake Superior owns a 17-8-1 series edge vs. Notre Dame, including 7-0-1 in the eight meetings prior to this season ... the Irish already have clinched the season series, thanks to a 4-2 home win on Oct. 9 and a 4-3 win at LSSU on Oct. 17 ... the Lakers took last season's series (4-3, 3-3, 2-1), with Ted Laviolette's overtime goal ending the third game ... that win provided LSSU with the series tiebreaker (both teams finished tied for sixth, at 12-14-4), which ultimately sent the Lakers to Ohio State for the CCHA playoffs while the Irish headed Michigan.
RECAPPING THIS YEAR'S ND-LSSU GAMES
@ ND 4, LSSU 2 (10/9): Brian Urick scored twice while Chad Chipchase and Matt Van Arkel came through with pivotal goals late in the second ... LSSU jumped ahead on Jeff Cheeseman's PPG midway through the first period before the Irish tied the game on Urick's goal shortly before the first intermission ... Chipchase and Van Arkel then scored in the final five minutes of the second period but an early third-period goal by LSSU's Jason Nightingale made for an exciting finish, with Urick's empty-netter sealing the win ... Forrest Karr made 23 saves in the winning effort, LSSU's Jayme Platt had 33 ... the win ended Notre Dame's eight-game winless streak vs. LSSU.
ND 4, @LSSU 3 (10/17): The Notre Dame power play accounted for every goal as the Irish posted their first win at LSSU in six games (since a 5-4 OT win on 11/19/93) ... the Irish outshot the Lakers 21-11 ... LSSU scored a 6-on-5 goal with 0:07 left ... Forrest Karr made just eight saves but again came up with the timely plays while helping Notre Dame stop eight of nine power plays ... Ben Simon scored the game-winner with 9:52 left, tipping in a shot from Aniket Dhadphale ... Dhadphale opened the scoring at 10:00 of the first period, scooping home a rebounded shot by Dan Carlson ... four minutes later, Urick tucked a low shot from the left circle inside the left post ... Jeff Cheeseman put LSSU on the board midway through the second period, just a second after Tyson Fraser had released from a cross-checking penalty (11:29) ... Joe Dusbabek restored the two-goal cushion minutes later with his first goal since the 11/15/97 game at Miami (14:16) ... the Lakers cut the lead to 3-2 by converting their ninth power-play chance on a goal by Jeff Attard at 8:49 of the third.
LAKERS NOTES: Lake Superior is batttling for the final CCHA playoff spot and is coming off losses at Miami (3-7) and BG (4-5) ... LSSU returned 18 of 25 letterwinners from its '97-'98 team that went 15-18-4, tied Notre Dame for sixth in the CCHA (12-14-4) and lost in the CCHA playoffs at Ohio State (1-2, 0-6) ... LSSU lost five of its top forwards, including senior-to-be Jason Sessa (16G-13A in '97-'98), who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and second team all-CCHA center Terry Marchant (17G-22 A) ... sophomore G Rob Galatiuk went 10-9-4 last season (3.03 GAA, .893 save pct.) ... senior W Tobin Praznik (9-5) and junior C Trent Walford (2-9) are the only LSSU players with more than 10 points this season ... Galatiuk (0-3-0) has played just 232 minutes, with a 4.66 GAA and .867 save pct. ... sophomore Jayme Platt has been the primary staring goalie (3-10-1, 809 min., 3.19, .882) while junior Mike Brusseau has played 288 (1-2-2, 3.75, .874) ... LSSU ranks ninth or lower in each of the five major CCHA categories: scoring (10th, 2.26 goals/gm), defense (9th, 3.73 goals allowed/gm), power play pct. (9th, .121), penalty-killing pct. (10th, .811) and fewest penalty minutes (11th, 26.4/gm) ... the Lakers wins have come at FSU (3-1), vs. WMU (6-0), vs. Michigan Tech (5-4) and at OSU (3-2) ... other losses: at ND (2-4), at Michigan (0-2), OSU (1-4), ND (3-4), at UNH (2-5), at PC (2-7), at MSU (1-2), FSU (0-1), UAF (4-5), at Denver (0-4) vs. Colorado College (2-0), at NMU (3-4) and at OSU (2-8), with ties at WMU (2-2), at FSU (1-1) and vs. Michigan Tech (1-1).
ANOTHER HOMECOMING: First-year equipment manager Dave Gilbert will be returning for the second time this season to his alma mater and former employer ... Gilbert, a 1996 Lake Superior graduate, was a backup goaltender on LSSU's '91-'92 NCAA championship team while backing up eventual pro hockey goalies Darrin Madeley and Blaine Lacher ... during his final four years as an undergrad, he served as a student equipment manager, with LSSU finishing as NCAA runner-up in '93, NCAA champion in '94 and reaching the NCAA quarterfinals his final two seasons ... he spent the past two years as head equipment manager for LSSU's 11 sports.
FRIEND OR FOE?, PART II: Irish junior D Nathan Borega played with LSSU junior D Blain Macauley and junior RW Jeff Cheeseman on the Vernon Vipers ... ND sophomore LW Jay Kopischke played with Lakers sophomore W Lionel Crump on the North Iowa Huskies ... ND freshman C Brett Henning and LSSU freshman D Will Magnuson spent the past year as USA under-18 national teammates ... Irish sophomore LW Dan Carlson and Lakers sophomore F Mike Vigilante were teammates on the '98-'99 USA junior national team.
IN A ZONE: After failing to score on its first 33 shots vs. Miami on Jan. 9, Notre Dame has scored in seven straight periods (including two goals in each period of the UAF series).
LETTING IT FLY: Since returning to CCHA action, Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 18-4 and outshot the opposition 147-93 (average of 37-23) during the last four games.
SPECIAL TEAMS SURGE: The renewed Notre Dame power play converted 5-of-14 man-up chances vs. UAF and has seven PPGs in their last 20 chances (after an 0-for-17 slide) ... the surging penalty-killing unit has stopped 17 of 18 opponent PPs in the last four games.
IRON MEN: Just five Irish skaters (plus senior G Forrest Karr) have appeared in all 22 games this season: senior RW Brian Urick, freshman C's David Inman and Brett Henning, sophomore LW Chad Chipchase and junior D Andy Jurkowski.
NEARING THE CENTURY MARK: Senior LW Aniket Dhadphale's pair of goals vs. UAF leave him three shy of 100 for his career (55G-42A, 126 games) ... after a sophomore slump (5G-16A), Dhadphale has totaled 56 points in 59 games over the past two seasons (37G-19A) ... Dhadphale's shooting pct. as a sophomore was .046 (5G, 109 shots), compared to .217 last season (25, 136) and .240 this season (12, 50) ... his 21 career power-play goals are tied for 10th in Notre Dame history, just one out of 8th (only four Irish players ever have totaled more than 25 PPGs in their career). TWO BELLS: Dhadphale notched just his second multiple-goal game of the season in last week's first UAF game (he had his first career hat trick vs. Bowling Green on Nov. 13) ... he has 10 career multiple-goal games, including six as a junior and two as a freshman.
PP EXPERT: Senior D Benoit Cotnoir has been a vital part of Notre Dame's power play throughout his career ... Cotnoir has set up power-play scores by 17 different Irish teammates over the past four seasons, including 10 by classmate Aniket Dhadphale ... in 125 career games, Cotnoir owns 34 career power-play assists to go along with nine power-play goals ... his 43 career power-play points account for 54% of his career point total (79) while 62% of his career assists have come on the PP (34 of 54) ... in the last two seasons alone, Cotnoir has five PPGs and 21 PPAs for 26 power-play points (he has 18 non-PP points during the last two years).
FROM THE BLUE LINE: Cotnoir's 79 career points (24G-55A) are tied for 10th in Notre history among defensmen with Matt Osiecki (21-58, 1990-94), just one behind Steve Curry (19-61, 1970-74) ... Cotnoir needs 21 more points to become the sixth Irish defenseman ever to reach 100 career points.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?: Junior RW Joe Dusbabek is looking to rediscover his freshman-season scoring touch that produced a team-best 13 goals and helped him finish as runner-up for CCHA Rookie of the Year ... since that high-scoring rookie season (13G-12A, 35 games), Dusbabek has totaled just four goals and 19 points over his last 40 games (including 1G-2A in last week's UAF series).
DISCIPLINED AGGRESSION: Junior D Nathan Borega epitomizes Notre Dame's philosophy of playing hard-hitting hockey while limiting penalty minutes ... the 6-2, 225-pound Borega has made a name for himself as one of the hardest hitters in the CCHA yet has totaled just five penalties in 14 games played this season ... for his career, Borega has totaled just 52 penalties in 83 games, including 21 in 42 games over the past two seasons ... Notre Dame has ranked among the least-penalized teams in the CCHA for the past three seasons, averaging 8.69 penalties/gm in 1996-97, 6.37 last season and 8.27 this season (compared to a league-worst 11.31 in the first season of the Dave Poulin era, 1995-96).
JURKO STEPS IN: Junior D Andy Jurkowski has been one of the more unsung heroes for Notre Dame this season ... Jurkowski is one of just five Irish skaters who have appeared in all 22 games this season and has bolstered an Irish defense that has been forced to cope with the loss of 1998 CCHA Rookie of the Year Mark Eaton (a free agent signee by the Philadephia Flyers) and repeated injuries to the top four defensemen ... Jurkowski, who also has played left wing during his Irish career, has totaled just three penalties in 22 games this season while helping put the Irish on pace for a team-record goals-against average (currently 2.57).
WHO'S HOT: Junior C Ben Simon (four-game point streak; 6 pts in last 4 gms, pts in 17 of 21 gms) ... sophomore LW Chad Chipchase (5 pts in last 3 gms) ... senior RW Brian Urick (three straight 2-pt gms) ... senior D Benoit Cotnoir (7 pts in last 5 gms) ... sophomore LW Dan Carlson (5 pts in last 4 gms).
WHO'S DUE: Freshman D Sam Cornelius (0 pts in last 12 gms, one in last 17) ... junior D Andy Jurkowski (0 pts in 1998-99, 22 gms) ... junior LW Jay Kopischke (0 points since Oct. 24, 10 gms played) ... junior C Troy Bagne (0 pts since Oct. 10/15 gms played; 0 goals in last 34 gms) ... junior D Sean Molina (0 goals in 92 career gms).
CALLING ALL KARRS: Notre Dame senior Forrest Karr was named CCHA defensive player of the week after a 48-save performance on Jan. 8 at Bowling Green (4-1) and Jan. 9 at home vs. Miami (2-0) ... Karr allowed just one goal (a second-period PPG by BG) while directing a defense that killed nine of 10 opponent PPs ... he had 26 saves at BG and 22 vs. Miami for his second career shutout ... Karr, who added 41 saves and three goals against in last week's sweep of UAF, owns a 2.48 season GAA that is on pace to best the Notre Dame record of 2.70, set last season by four-year starter Matt Eisler, while Karr's .904 season save pct. ranks third in Irish history ... Karr is the fifth Irish goalie ever to post multiple shutouts and is the first to post two in the same season (he had 16 saves in the 3-0 win over No. 9 Ohio State on Oct. 23) ... during the current five-game win streak, Karr has 124 saves and seven goals allowed (three on the PP), for a 1.40 GAA and .947 save pct. ... in 22 games overall, Karr has allowed just 26 even-strength goals ... for his career, Karr is 22-17-3, including 20-9-3 during the past two seasons, 12-7-1 on the road and 4-3-2 vs. top-10 teams ... his 2.99 career GAA is on pace to shatter Eisler's Notre Dame record (3.66) while Karr's .887 career save pct. is ahead of the Irish record held by John Peterson (.885, 1974-78) ... Karr also earned CCHA defensive player of the week honors on Oct. 11 (43 saves, one even-strength goal allowed in wins over Lake Superior and Western Michigan).
A ROAD-TESTED KARR: Karr also owns a solid 2.64 GAA during the past two seasons (82 GA, 1,861:25) while his impressive effort on the road during the past two seasons has yielded a 12-7-1 record and a 2.93 GAA (55 GA, 1,127:16), with two losses at WMU, one vs. FSU at Van Andel Arena, two at OSU and one at No. 1 North Dakota ... his career record vs. top-10 ranked teams is 4-5-2 after a recent 5-5 tie at former No. 1 Boston College, a 2-2 tie vs. No. then-7 Michigan, a 1-0 loss at then-No. 8 Michigan and a split at No. 1 North Dakota (1-8, 4-3) ... like many of his teammates, Karr has a history of playing well in hostile arenas, with wins at Wisconsin the past two seasons, three career wins at Bowling Green, a win over Ohio State as a junior at the Ohio Expo Center, and solid efforts this season at Boston College (5-5), Michigan (0-1, 25 saves) and North Dakota (4-3, 35 saves).
SHARPSHOOTER: Sophomore LW Chad Chipchase has scored nine goals on just 31 shots this season, for a team-best .290 shooting pct. (the rest of the team is shooting .113) ... Chipchase owns a solid .233 career shooting pct. (14-for-60), after burying five of 29 shots as a freshman.
LINE CHANGE: After the tough 8-1 loss at top-ranked North Dakota on Jan. 2, Notre Dame shook up its lineup and the Irish responded the next day with a 4-3 upset win that sparked the current three-game win streak ... the changes included breaking up of the nation's most dangerous threesomes-senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (12G-9A), junior C Ben Simon (11-20) and senior RW Brian Urick (13-18)-but could result in more balanced production from each of the first two lines ... Dhadphale and Urick dropped back to the second line, combining veteran savvy with the growing talent of freshman C David Inman ... Simon has been joined by two players who he is familiar playing with: sophomore LW Dan Carlson (6-13) and junior RW Joe Dusbabek (3-7) ... the Dhadphale-Simon-Urick line combined for 22 goals and 50 points through the first 10 games (5.0 points/gm) ... the members of the recent first ("1A") line of Carlson (17-30)-Simon (24-63)-Dusbabek (17-27) have totaled 178 career points in 224 combined games ... the line of Dhadphale (55-42)-Inman (7-8)-Urick (54-62) owns 228 career points in 272 combined games ... the six members of the first two lines have combined to total 406 career points (174-232) in 496 games, for an average of 2.5 pts/gm per line.
CARLSON RETURNS: Notre Dame sophomore LW Dan Carlson (Edina, Minn.) represented the USA at the World Junior Championship, Dec. 26-Jan. 4 in six Manitoba cities ... the USA opened with 6-3 losses to Finland and the Czech Republic before dropping a tough 3-2 game to Slovakia and beating rival Canada, 5-2 ... the USA wrapped up play with wins over Switzerland (5-4) and Belarus (7-2), with Carlson scoring a key tying goal (4-4) in the win over Switzerland ... Irish freshman C David Inman (Toronto, Ont.)-who owns joint citizenship-was among the final four players cut from the squad ... Carlson missed Notre Dame's series at No. 1 North Dakota ... current Notre Dame junior forwards Ben Simon and Joe Dusbabek were members of last year's U.S. junior team, with Simon also skating on the 1996-97 U.S. team that claimed the World Junior silver medal in Switzerland ... the final junior national team roster included 14 current college players (six from the CCHA).
SIMON THE SCORER: Junior C Ben Simon-who has points in 17 of 21 games this season and already has surpassed his sophomore goal total (9)-is tied for third in the CCHA overall scoring charts (11G-20A) while his 25 points in CCHA play (10-15) also rank third ... Simon scored a memorable goal 17 seconds into the third period of the 7-1 win over Western Michigan on Oct. 10, slanting in from the right and tucking the puck inside the left post for his first goal in 13 games (he had endured 31 shots on net without a goal) ... Simon has excelled at setting up his teammates (63 assists in 88 career games) but owns just 24 career goals on 233 shots (9.7 shots per goal), with the goal vs. WMU signaling a breakthrough goalscoring season for the player who totaled 166 goals in four prep seasons (including 45 goals in 50 games as a senior with the Cleveland Jr. Barons) ... Simon is scoring a goal every 5.4 shots he takes this season (11 on 59), compared to 13.4 shots per goal during his first two seasons (13 on 174).
WE NEED MORE POWER: Notre Dame's power play opened at .321 clip but the Irish were just 4-for-38 (.105) during a six-game stretch, including 0-for-17 at one points, before connecting on seven on their last 20 man-up chances ... the overall power-play pct. (.248) would rank best by an Irish team playing as a member of the CCHA or WCHA since the 1981-82 season (.303) and would best the CCHA-best effort by Michigan State in '97-'98 (.233) .... for comparison, Notre Dame owned just a .127 power-play pct. in '96-'97 and a .176 mark last season ... PP goals have helped provide the decisive margin this season in wins over Ferris State (5-3, 2 PPGs), Lake Superior (403, 4 PPGs) and Northeastern (4-3, 3 PPGs) while the Irish netted three PPGs in the 5-5 tie at Boston College ... 10 different Irish players have notched a PPG this season, led by five each from senior RW Brian Urick, senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and junior C Ben Simon ... the other PPGs have come from sophomore LW Dan Carlson (3), freshman C David Inman (2), sophomore LW Chad Chipchase (2), sophomore RW Matt Van Arkel (3), junior RW Joe Dusbabek (2), senior D Benoit Cotnoir and freshman C Brett Henning ... the primary PP unit has included Dhadphale, Simon and Urick, with Carlson and either Cotnoir or junior D Tyson Fraser at the point ... that first unit has 20 PPGs, with Dusbabek scoring with the first group at Lake Superior (while Simon was in the penalty box) and Chipchase scoring vs. Ferris State (while skating for the injured Dhadphale).
HOME IMPROVEMENT: After a 3-6-3 start at home in '97-'98 (in which the Irish were outscored 39-31), Notre Dame finished strong at home, going 3-2-0 in its final five home games with an 18-12 scoring edge ... the Irish have extended that strong play at home, going 8-0-1 at the Joyce Center this season with a 45-15 scoring edge ... in its last 14 home games, Notre Dame is 11-2-1 with a 63-25 scoring edge (two 7-1 wins and a 9-5 win) ... the recent home losses came last season to eventual NCAA champion Michigan (1-0, goal in first minute) and eventual NCAA semifinalist Ohio State (5-3) while the tie was vs. Michigan earlier this season (2-2) ... Notre Dame's last 11 home wins have included eight by three goals or more (7-1 vs. FSU, 5-2 vs. NMU, 7-1 vs. WMU, 3-0 vs. OSU, 6-2 vs. BG, 9-5 vs. WMU and 6-2/6-1 vs. UAF). 4
1-2-3: Notre Dame has received steady production in all three periods, with 21 goals in the first, 30 in the second and 30 in the third ... during the first six games, the Irish owned an 8-1 scoring edge in the first (now 21-15 overall) ... the Irish also own a 30-18 edge in the second period but have struggled defensively in the third, with just a 30-24 ratio (compared to 51-33 over the first two periods) ... during the 1997-98 season, Notre Dame owned a 37-27 first-period scoring edge and went 11-4-1 in games with a first-intermission lead ... the Irish were even more dominant last season in the second period (51-35) but lost five games when leading at the second intermission (16-5-2), due in large part to being outscored 49-37 in the final period.
SCHEDULE OF CHAMPIONS: Notre Dame's 1998-99 schedule includes five teams that have combined for seven of the first nine NCAA titles during the 1990s: Wisconsin (1990), Northern Michigan ('91), Lake Superior ('92, '94), Michigan ('96, '98) and North Dakota ('97) ... the Irish do not face recent NCAA champs Maine ('93) or Boston University ('95) this season.
DUDE LOOKS LIKE A SCORER: Senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (pronounced Uh-NEE-kett Dod-FALL-ee) has become one of the most well-known-and often mispronounced-names in the CCHA due to his scoring prowess ... with pronunciations ranging from "Dudepole" to "Daffapail", Dhadphale has kept P.A. announcers on their toes by totaling 37 goals and 19 assists during the past two seasons (59 games).
STREAKY SEASON: Notre Dame opened with a six-game winning streak but recently lost five straight before the current five-game win streak.
REDEFINING MAN DOWN: During its last 34 games, Notre Dame has played without at least one of its top defensemen 29 times, going 17-10-2 in those games (four losses to Michigan, three to OSU, one to North Dakota) ... the top four defensemen have missed a combined 19 games this season due to injury, yet the Irish remain in the national polls and are on pace to set the school record for GAA (2.57) ... Notre Dame is 2-2-1 in the only games during the last 34 when senior Benoit Cotnoir, juniors Tyson Fraser and Nathan Borega and sophomore Ryan Clark all have been in the lineup (6-2 vs. BG, 2-2 vs. Michigan, 9-5 vs. WMU, 3-4 and 1-4 at OSU) ... the games missed by Irish D in the last 34 games: Cotnoir (2), Fraser (15), Borega (15) and Clark (8, out indefinitely for rest of '98-'99 ) ... two of those players have missed the same game 11 times over the last 34, with the Irish owning a solid 8-3-0 mark in those games ... lost in the defensive injury woes is the absence of '98 CCHA rookie of the year Mark Eaton, who passed up the rest of his college eligibility when he signed as a free agent in the summer with the Philadelphia Flyers.
RETURN OF THE ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame has proven to be unfazed by playing on the road in hostile arenas over the past two seasons-most recently in the 5-5 tie at No. 1 Boston College, the 1-0 loss at Michigan and the 4-3 win at North Dakota-as the Irish are 18-16-1 away from home during that stretch, with the 16 losses including 10 by one goal ... the Irish own a 113-107 scoring edge in those 35 road games ... in '97-'98, Notre Dame posted wins at St. Cloud (4-3/OT, 4-1), MSU (6-1), Wisconsin (4-2), NMU (3-1) and Michigan (4-2)-in addition to losing three one-goal games at Michigan (two in OT) one-goal games at Miami, FSU, UAF (OT) and LSSU (OT) ... after opening '98-'99 with a 2-1 win at Wisconsin's dedication game for the Kohl Center (which drew nearly 14,000 fans), the Irish posted wins at FSU (5-3) and LSSU (4-3)-giving Notre Dame victories in every opposing CCHA building except Miami's Goggin Ice Arena over the past two seasons ... the Irish are 6-1-1 in non-conference away games the past two seasons, winning twice last season at St. Cloud and once at Wisconsin before this season posting a 2-1 win at Wisconsin, a 5-5 tie at Boston College, a 4-3 win at Northeastern and a split at North Dakota (1-8, 4-3).
GETTING COMPETITIVE: Notre Dame finished '97-'98 by going 4-4-0 in its final eight games vs. CCHA teams (four vs. Michigan, three vs. Northern Michigan and one at sixth-place Lake Superior) ... that stretch included a sweep of NMU (4-3, 3-1, 5-2), an OT loss at Lake Superior (2-1), a 4-2 win over Michigan and three one-goal losses to Michigan (1-0, 2-1 in OT and 4-3) ... the Irish held a 21-17 overall scoring edge in those games, allowing just 2.1 goals per game ... in its last 24 games vs. CCHA teams, Notre Dame is 14-9-1, including a 13-7-1 mark in the regular season.
URICK LEADS THE WAY: Senior RW and team captain Brian Urick is heading into the final stretch of his stellar four-year career at Notre Dame ... Urick, who notched his 50th career goal and an assist in the series finale vs. WMU on Nov. 20, saw his early four-game goal streak ended vs. OSU (equaling his career-high) but he still has 31 points in 22 games (13G-18A) ... Urick is tied for third in the CCHA for overall scoring and is tied with MSU's Mike York for the scoring lead in conference games only (10-16) ... he leads the Irish in plus-minus (+23), has just 10 penalties and owns 54 goals and 62 assists in 133 career games ... Urick's first of two assists in the Nov. 13 Bowling Green game made him the 27th Notre Dame player to reach the 100-point plateau ... over the past two seasons, Urick has 65 points (29-36) in 63 games, a team-best +38, only 69 penalty minutes and nine of the team's 32 game-winning goals ... his 13 career game-winning goals ties Urick with current Irish head coach Dave Poulin (1978-82) for first in the Irish record book.
U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY
ONLINE POLL (1/18)
Others Receiving Votes: Colgate 4, Ferris State 1.
Others Receiving Votes: Colgate 4, Ferris State 1.
'98-'99 CCHA Standings
NOTRE DAME HOCKEY - Making Strides
Shots per game 27.2 30.8 +3.6 30.3 -0.5
Shooting pct. 9.7% 10.1% +0.4% 12.2% +2.1%
Opponent shots/gm 31.8 27.6 +4.2 26.6 +1.0
Shot margin -4.6 +3.2 +7.8 +3.7 +0.5
Power-play pct. 12.7% 17.6% +4.9% 24.8% +7.2%
Power-play goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.95 (39) +0.29 1.32 (29) +0.37
Shorthanded goals/gm 0.06 (2) 0.22 (9) +0.16 0.09 (2) -0.13
Penalties per game 8.69 6.37 +2.32 8.27 -1.90
Penalty-killing pct. 81.3% 84.3% +3.0% 81.9% -2.4%
Goals-against-avg. 3.73 2.75 +0.98 2.57 +0.18
Save pct. 88.2% 89.8% +1.6% 90.3% +0.05
Goal Margin -1.11 +0.29 +1.40 +1.09 +0.80
S'handed goals allowed/gm 0.23 (7) 0.07 (3) +0.16 0.09 (2) -0.02
1st period goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.90 (37) +0.24 0.96 (21) +0.06
1st period goal margin -0.46 (23-39) +0.24 (37-27) +0.70 +0.27 (21-15) +0.03
3rd period goals/gm 0.94 (33) 0.90 (37) -0.04 1.36 (30) +0.46
3rd period goal margin -0.26 (33-42) -0.29 (37-49) -0.03 +0.27 (30-24) +0.56
Ahead at 1st intermission 4-5-0 (.444) 11-4-1 (.719) +.275 9-1-1 (.864) +14.5%
Ahead at 2nd intermission 6-2-0 (.750) 16-5-2 (.739) -.011 11-0-1 (.958) +21.9%
Shots per game 27.2 30.8 +3.6 30.3 -0.5 Shooting pct. 9.7% 10.1% +0.4% 12.2% +2.1% Opponent shots/gm 31.8 27.6 +4.2 26.6 +1.0 Shot margin -4.6 +3.2 +7.8 +3.7 +0.5
Power-play pct. 12.7% 17.6% +4.9% 24.8% +7.2% Power-play goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.95 (39) +0.29 1.32 (29) +0.37 Shorthanded goals/gm 0.06 (2) 0.22 (9) +0.16 0.09 (2) -0.13 Penalties per game 8.69 6.37 +2.32 8.27 -1.90
Penalty-killing pct. 81.3% 84.3% +3.0% 81.9% -2.4% Goals-against-avg. 3.73 2.75 +0.98 2.57 +0.18 Save pct. 88.2% 89.8% +1.6% 90.3% +0.05 Goal Margin -1.11 +0.29 +1.40 +1.09 +0.80 S'handed goals allowed/gm 0.23 (7) 0.07 (3) +0.16 0.09 (2) -0.02
1st period goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.90 (37) +0.24 0.96 (21) +0.06 1st period goal margin -0.46 (23-39) +0.24 (37-27) +0.70 +0.27 (21-15) +0.03 3rd period goals/gm 0.94 (33) 0.90 (37) -0.04 1.36 (30) +0.46 3rd period goal margin -0.26 (33-42) -0.29 (37-49) -0.03 +0.27 (30-24) +0.56
Ahead at 1st intermission 4-5-0 (.444) 11-4-1 (.719) +.275 9-1-1 (.864) +14.5% Ahead at 2nd intermission 6-2-0 (.750) 16-5-2 (.739) -.011 11-0-1 (.958) +21.9%