Feb. 13, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- After helping lead the Irish to a weekend sweep of Maine, Notre Dame sophomore defenseman Dennis Gilbert was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon (February 13).
Gilbert led the team with three points in the two wins over Maine. On Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine, Gilbert posted a pair of assists as Notre Dame won game one, 3-2.
Then in Saturday night's 4-2 comeback win, Gilbert posted his third assist of the weekend by notching the primary helper on Dylan Malmquist's third-period game winner. Gilbert also tied for the team lead with nine blocked shots and a +3 rating.
On the season, Gilbert has played all 30 games and recorded 16 assists. He leads the team and ranks second in Hockey East with a +21 rating and he also leads the team and ranks fourth in Hockey East with 63 blocked shots.
A third-round selection (91st overall), by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Gilbert earned the second weekly Hockey East honor of his career. Last season he was named the Hockey East Player of the Week on December 14 after scoring the game-winning goal in Notre Dame's comeback win at Boston College.
In The Rankings
After the weekend sweep, the Fighting Irish moved up one spot in the USCHO.com poll to No. 15. The Irish are also receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
The Irish (10-5-3, 23 points) enter the weekend tied for third with UMass Lowell (11-7-1, 23 points) in the Hockey East standings.
Tenth-ranked Providence (10-6-2, 22 points) enters this weekend's series in fifth, just one point behind the Irish and River Hawks. Currently, the nine teams in second through ninth are separated by nine points.
All 12 teams will once again make the Hockey East playoffs, with the top-four seeds earning first-round byes. Those top-four teams will then host best-of-three second-round series to determine who advances to the semifinals at the TD Garden (Boston, Massachusetts). Teams 5-8 will host first round, best-of-three series to open the Hockey East playoffs.
The Hobey Baker Fan Ballot was revealed by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation on January 30 and high-scoring junior forward Anders Bjork and stalwart junior goaltender Cal Petersen were included on the fan ballot.
All 60 Division I college coaches vote for three players from their own conference and three players from the rest of college hockey. Then, the Vote for Hobey aggregate fan vote's one percent is factored in and 10 finalists will be announced in the middle of March.
The Hobey Baker Selection Committee, along with a second aggregate of the fan's one percent vote, will be combined to come up with the "Hobey Hat Trick," which will be announced on March 30.
The winner will be announced at the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Frozen Four, which is being hosted by the University of Notre Dame and the Chicago Sports Commission at the United Center in Chicago.
-- ND --
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men's hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College ('06 & '08G).