February 22, 1999
- Irish in ongoing battle for home ice, coming off rare back-to-back shutout losses
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - No. 7 Notre Dame (16-9-4, 13-8-3 CCHA) heads back to No. 3 Michigan State this week for its third straight Friday games vs. MSU, before playing at Bowling Green on Saturday ... last week's 1-0 loss to MSU gives the Irish a 4-3-3 mark vs. top-10 teams this season ... the MSU game again will feature a clash between Notre Dame's CCHA-best power play (.228) and MSU's nation-leading penalty kill unit (.917) ... Notre Dame is 9-3-3 when playing its first game of a weekend, just 7-5-1 in second-day weekend games (the North Dakota series was Sat.-Sun.) ... senior G Forrest Karrwho is 5-0 in his career vs. BG (4-0 at the BGSU Ice Arena)has surged to third in the CCHA for conference GAA (2.12).
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Notre Dame is mired in a seven-period scoring slump, spanning the last 145:19 (since Ben Simon scored in the second period against UAF) ... the Irish have put 69 straight shots on net without lighting the lamp (Simon has just two shots in that span) ... last week's pair of 1-0 losses to MSU and FSU represented the first shutout losses on consecutive nights in Irish hockey history and the first time a Notre Dame ever have been shut out in consecutive conference games ... the program's only previous back-to-back shutout losses came during the 1991-92 season, a 4-0 home loss to Army and a 4-0 loss atof all teamsFerris State (the Irish rejoined the CCHA in '92-'93).
SECOND THINGS SECOND: With six games to play, Notre Dame holds a one-point lead on Ferris State and a two-point lead on Northern Michigan in the race for the final home-ice spot in the CCHA first-round playoff series ... FSU last week clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Irish with a 1-0 win at Notre Dame while NMU will play at Notre Dame twice next week to decide that series (earlier 3-3 tie at NMU).
IRISH NOTES: Nine players have combined on the 16 Irish game-winning goals ... Notre Dame is 13-2-2 when scoring first, 13-0-2 when playing with a 2nd-intermission lead, 10-5-3 when outshooting the opponent ... the Irish are 10-1-2 at home (55-22 scoring edge) ... the Irish are 15-3-3 when Simon has at least one point, 9-1-2 when he has two-plus points and 0-6-1 when he is held off the scoresheet (not counting the Jan. 15 UAF game that he missed due to CCHA suspension) ...the Irish are 12-1-2 when both Simon and Dhadphale make the scoresheet ... Notre Dame's top four D have combined to miss 30 games due to injury (three have missed five-plus) ... 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 ...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 ('71-'81) or CCHA ('81-'83, '92- ).
PLAYER NOTES: Senior G Forrest Karr has been steady for the Irish all season and ranks third in the CCHA with a 2.12 conference GAA, behind MSU's Joe Blackburn (1.42) and OSU's Jeff Maund (2.09) ... senior D Benoit Cotnoir (5G-8A) and junior C Ben Simon (6-7) lead the team with 15 points each during the current 7-3-2 run ... Cotnoir had his career-best, seven-game point streak snapped last week at MSU ... Cotnoir remains one of the CCHA's top scorers among defensemen (6-15, BG's Mike Jones is 5-19) ... senior RW Brian Urick's 13 career game-winning goals are tied for first in Irish history with current Irish head coach Dave Poulin ('78-'82) ... Urick has 119 points (55-64) in 137 career games ... senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (58-44) recently passed the 100-point milestone and needs seven assists to join Urick as two of the 28 Irish players ever to total 50 goals and 50 assists ... Simon (15-23)who has assisted on seven game-winning goals this season while scoring two others (plus a game-tying goal vs. Michigan and game-tying goal vs. MSU)could flirt with 50 points this season, a mark reached just 25 times in Irish hockey history (last by Curtis Janicke in 1991-92) ... Simon has points in eight of his last 11 games (including a four-game goalscoring streak to equal his career-best) ... Simon is averaging nearly a point per game for his career (94 in 95 games) while his 15 goals this season have surpassed his total from the first two seasons (4 and 9) ... 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: Junior D Ryan Clark has missed the last 13 games, after Dec. 23 shoulder surgery in his home state of Colorado, and remains out indefinitely.
THE ND-MSU SERIES: All three games of this year's series will be played in a 15-day span, with the Feb. 5 game (2-2) representing the first between the teams in nearly 15 months ... MSU holds a 42-28-5 series edge (24-13-1 at home) ... Notre Dame's 6-1 win at MSU on Nov. 1, 1997, snapped a 17-game Irish winless streak (0-14-3) vs. the Spartans (MSU won the other two games, 5-1 and 3-1) ... MSU won last year's other two meetings, 5-1 at Notre Dame on Oct. 31 and 3-1 at home on Nov. 8 (last year's entire season series spanned just nine days and was over by the eighth game of the season) ... MSU beat Notre Dame 4-1 for the '81-'82 CCHA Tournament title (current Irish coach Dave Poulin was captain of that Notre Dame team) ... Notre Dame's top career scores in the MSU series include senior RW Brian Urick (12 gms, 2G-6A), senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (12, 4-2) and junior C Ben Simon (7, 4-1) ... prior to his 23-save effort vs. MSU in the 2-2 tie and his 24 saves in the 1-0 loss, senior G Forrest Karr had just one previous career appearance vs. MSU, when he played the final 9:35 of last year's 5-1 loss (0 goals allowed, 2 saves) ... the Irish have lost their last 12 games where the winning goal was scored in the final minute of regulation or overtime, including a 4-3 loss at Michigan State on Dec. 6, 1997, when Mark Loeding scored with 0:54 left in the third period.
FRIEND OR FOE?: Several Notre Dame and MSU players are former teammates: ND senior C Craig Hagkull and MSU senior LW (Mark Loeding Des Moines Buccaneers) ... Irish junior D Nathan Borega and MSU sophomore LW Sean Patchel (Vernon Vipers) ... ND junior RW John Dwyer and MSU senior D Jeff Kozakowski (Dubuque Fighting Saints) ... Irish junior D Tyson Fraser and MSU junior C Sean Horcoff (Team British Columbia) ... ND junior C Ben Simon and MSU senior D Chris Bogas (Team Ohio) ... Simon and MSU senior C Mike York (U.S. silver-medal-winning team at '96-'97 World Juniors) ... Simon, York and Irish junior RW Joe Dusbabek (U.S. fifth-place world junior team in '97-'98) ... Irish sophomore LW Dan Carlson and MSU freshman F Adam Hall and freshman G Joe Blackburn ('98-'99 USA junior national team) ... ND freshman C Brett Henning and four freshman MSU playersHall, D Jon Insana, D Andrew Hutchinson and F Joe Goodenow ('97-'98 USA under-18 national team) ... and Irish senior G Forrest Karr and MSU junior G Mike Gresl (youth hockey teammates).
BLUE-LINE BOOST: Senior D Benoit Cotnoir (5G-8A) is tied with junior C Ben Simon (6G-7A) as Notre Dame's leading scorers during the current 7-3-2 run ... Cotnoir had his career-best, seven-game point streak snapped in last week's 1-0 loss at MSU and has points in nine of the last 12 games, after totaling just one goal and nine points in his first 15 games played ... Cotnoir's highlights in the recent run include two assists in the 4-3 win at No. 1 North Dakota, two goals in the 4-1 win at Bowling Green, a 4-on-4 goal that gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead in eventual 3-2 win over then-No. 5 Michigan, the first Irish goal to spark a comeback 2-2 tie with No. 4 Michigan State and a game-winning goal versus Alaska Fairbanks (5-2).
HOME IS WHERE THE DOMINANCE IS: Notre Dame's 10-1-2 record at home this season has included a 55-22 scoring edge, led by junior C Ben Simon (10G-14A, +17), senior RW Brian Urick (8-13, +18), sophomore LW Dan Carlson (5-9, +5), senior RW Aniket Dhadphale (8-5, +8), senior D Benoit Cotnoir (4-7, +12) and junior RW Joe Dusbabek (3-7, +6) ... the Irish home dominance included one goal every 7.7 shots on net (before the FSU loss), a .266 power-play unit (before 0-for-7 vs. FSU) and a +12 average shot margin ... defensively, senior Forrest Karr has played all 790 home minutes in the nets, with just 22 goals allowed and in the 13 games.
LETTING IT FLY: Since returning to CCHA action on Jan. 8, Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 25-14 and outshot the opposition 360-264 (average of 33-24) during the last 11 games.
SPECIAL TEAMS SURGE: The renewed Irish power play has goals in eight of the last 11 games (current 0-for-10 slump), with a .218 conversion pct. (12-for-55) during that stretch ... the surging Notre Dame penalty-killing unit has stopped 44 of 48 opponent PPs (.917) in the last 10 games.
IRON MEN: Just four Irish skaters (plus senior G Forrest Karr) have appeared in all 29 games this season: freshman C's David Inman and Brett Henning, sophomore LW Chad Chipchase and junior D Andy Jurkowski.
PASSING THE CENTURY MARK: Senior LW Aniket Dhadphale's assist on Feb. 5 on Ben Simon's game-tying goal vs. Michigan State was his 100th career point ... Dhadphale, who added a goal and assist vs. UAF, now has 102 points (58G-44A) in 134 games after a sophomore slump (5G-16A), Dhadphale has 61 points in 66 games over the past two seasons (40G-21A) his shooting pct. as a sophomore was .046 (5G, 109 shots), compared to .217 last season (25, 136) and .208 this season (15, 72) his 24 career PPGs are tied for 8th in Notre Dame history, just one behind Tim Kuehl (1986-90) and All-American Kirt Bjork (1979-83) for fifth on that list ... 20 of Dhadphale's 24 career PPGs have come during the past two seasons (one per every 3.3 games).
SIMON ALSO CHARGING TO 100: Junior C Ben Simon suddenly is nearing 100 career points as well, with 94 in 94 career games (28G-66A) ... Simon (15G-23A), who has surpassed his goal total from his first two seasons combined (13), has scored two game-winning goals this season while assisting on seven others (including the recent 3-2 win over Michigan) ... he also had a game-tying assist vs. Michigan and scored the game-tying goal versus Michigan State (both 2-2).
TWO BELLS: Dhadphale notched just his second multiple-goal game of the season in the Jan. 15 win over UAF (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 PP scores by 17 different Irish teammates over the past four seasons, including 11 by classmate Aniket Dhadphale in 132 career games, Cotnoir owns 35 career PP assists to go along with 10 PPGs his 45 career PP points account for 53% of his career point total (85) while 60% of his career assists have come on the PP (35 of 58) in the last two seasons, Cotnoir has 28 PP points (6G-22A) and just 23 non-PP points during that stretch.
FROM THE BLUE LINE: Cotnoir's 85 career points (27G-58A) rank ninth in Notre history among defensmen, four behind All-American Bill Nyrop (17-72, '70-'74) ... Cotnoir needs 15 more points to become the sixth Irish defenseman ever to reach 100 career points.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?: Junior RW Joe Dusbabek is showing signs of rediscovering 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 just five goals and 22 points over his last 47 games (2G-4A in the last nine) ... Dusbabek has provided some clutch assists this season, including helpers on both goals in the 2-2 tie with Michigan and the primary assist on Ben Simon's goal that opened the recent 3-2 win over the Wolverines.
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 nine penalties in 21 games played this season for his career, Borega has totaled just 56 penalties in 90 games, including 25 in 49 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 8.4 this season (compared to a league-worst 11.31 in the first season of the Dave Poulin era, 1995-96).
URICK LEADS THE WAY: Senior RW and captain Brian Urick is heading into the final stretch of his Irish career ... 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 34 points in 26 games (14G-20A) ... Urick leads the Irish in plus-minus (+24), has just 12 penalties and owns 55 goals and 64 assists in 137 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 68 points (30-38) in 67 games, a team-best +39, only 75 penalty minutes and nine of the team's 34 game-winning goals ... his 13 career game-winning goals tie Urick with current Irish head coach Dave Poulin (1978-82) for first in the Irish record book.
MOLINA, JURKOWSKI STEP UP: Junior Ds Sean Molina and Andy Jurkowski have been two of the more unsung heroes for Notre Dame this season both players have helped bolster 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 Philadelphia Flyers) and repeated injuries to the top four defensemen ... they also have helped put the Irish on pace for a team-record goals-against average (currently 2.42) ... Molina has four assists in 27 games played, is fourth on the team in plus-minus (+11) and has totaled just seven penalties ... Jurkowski, who also has played LW during his Irish career, is one of just four Irish skaters who have appeared in all 29 games and has totaled just seven penalties this season (he also provided an assist on Ben Simon's opening goal to help beat Michigan, 3-2).
CALLING ALL KARRS: Notre Dame senior Forrest Karr was named CCHA defensive player of the week after totaling 48 saves on Jan. 8 at Bowling Green (4-1, 26 svs) and Jan. 9 at home vs. Miami (2-0, 22, second career shutout) ... Karr allowed just one goal (a second-period PPG by BG) while directing a defense that killed nine of 10 opponent PPs ... Karr owns a 2.38 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 .907 season save pct. would tie the Irish record set in 1970-71 by Mark Kronholm ... Karr's impressive 2.12 GAA in CCHA action ranks second among conference goalies ... 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 last 11 games, Karr has 242 saves and 18 goals allowed, for 1.6 goals allowed per game and a .931 save pct. ... he also has directed an Irish penalty-killing unit that is hitting at 49-for-54 during the last 11 games ... in 29 games overall, Karr has allowed just 36 even-strength goals ... for his career, Karr is 24-20-5 while his 22-12-5 mark over the past two seasons includes a 12-9-2 road record and a 5-4-3 record vs. top-10 teams ... his 2.89 career GAA is on pace to shatter Eisler's Notre Dame record (3.66) while Karr's .890 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 2.54 GAA during the past two seasons (96 GA; 2,270:15) while his impressive effort on the road during the past two seasons has yielded a 12-9-2 record and a 2.97 GAA (64 GA, 1,291:41) ... his career record vs. top-10 ranked teams is 6-5-3, including this season's 5-5 tie at former No. 1 Boston College, a 2-2 tie vs. then-No.7 Michigan, a 1-0 loss at then-No. 8 UM, a split at No. 1 North Dakota (1-8, 4-3), a 3-2 win over No. 5 UM, a 2-2 tie with No. 4 MSU and a 1-0 loss at No. 3 MSU ... 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).
WHO'S HOT: Junior C Ben Simon (13 pts in last 11 gms, pts in 21 of 28 gms) ... senior RW Brian Urick (9 pts in last 7 gms) ... senior D Benoit Cotnoir (13 pts in last 12 gms) ... sophomore LW Dan Carlson (8 pts in last 11 gms).
WHO'S DUE: Freshman C David Inman (0 gls in last 11 gms, 1 pt in last 10 gms) ... freshman D Sam Cornelius (0 pts in last 19 gms, one in last 24) ... junior D Andy Jurkowski (1 pt in last two seasons, 42 gms) ... junior LW Jay Kopischke (1 pt/0 gls since Oct. 24, 17 gms played) ... junior C Troy Bagne (1 pt since Oct. 10, 22 gms played; 1 gl in last 41 gms) ... junior D Sean Molina (0 goals in 99 career gms).
SHARPSHOOTER: Sophomore LW Chad Chipchase has nearly doubled his goalscoring output from last season (5) by scoring nine goals on 44 shots this season, for the team's second best shooting pct., at .205 Chipchase owns a solid .192 career shooting pct. (14-for-73), after burying five of 29 shots as a freshman ... Chipchase, who had a second-period hat trick as a freshman in a game at Ferris State, is due for some goal production, as he has gone without a point in the last seven games.
SIMON THE SCORER: Junior C Ben Simonwho has points in 21 of 28 games this season and has passed his combined goal total from his first two seasons (13)is fourth in the CCHA overall scoring charts (15G-23A) and in CCHA play (14-18) ... 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 (66 assists in 95 career games) but owns just 28 career goals on 253 shots (9.0 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 5.2 shots he takes this season (15 on 79), compared to 13.4 shots per goal during his first two seasons (13 on 174).
HOME IMPROVEMENT: After a 3-6-3 start at home in '97-'98 (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 10-1-2 at the Joyce Center this season with a 55-22 scoring edge ... in its last 18 home games, Notre Dame is 13-3-2 with a 73-32 scoring edge (two 7-1 wins, one 9-5 win) ... the recent home losses came last season to eventual NCAA champ Michigan (1-0, goal in first minute) and eventual NCAA semifinalist Ohio State (5-3) before last week's 1-0 loss to Ferris State while the tie was vs. Michigan this season (2-2) ... Notre Dame's last 13 home wins have included nine 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, 6-2/6-1/5-2 vs. UAF).
FRESHMEN MAKE IMPACT: Notre Dame's freshman class has made its mark on the 1998-99 season, with second-line center David Inman ranking sixth on the team with 15 points (7G-8A) ... despite a current scoring slump and 50 penalty minutes, Inman has provided timely plays for the Irish, with one game-winning goal, two power-play goals and a +4 plus-minus ratio ... third-line C Brett Henning has 3G-6A, just 24 penalty minutes, one PPG and is +2 ... Henning filled in for junior Ben Simon as the first-line center for the Jan. 15 UAF game and responded with a goal and assist ... he added an assist the next night vs. UAF en route to CCHA rookie-of-the-week honors ... Inman and Henning and two of just four Irish skaters who have appeared in all 27 games and each ranks among the top-12 CCHA players on the NHL central scouting mid-season top prospects list (Inman is second among CCHA players and 27th overall while Henning is 12th and 160th) ... D Sam Cornelius has played all but one game while totaling 1G-3A, just 16 penalty minutes and a -7 plus/minus ratio ... like many of his fellow defensemen, Cornelius has played a large part in Notre Dame's defensive success despite repeated injury problems to the unit's veteran players ... Inman, Henning and Cornelius have combined for 28 points in 29 games, with just 41 penalties between them and a -1 combined plus/minus ratio ... freshman G Jeremiah Kimento has been impressive in his limited work as a backup to senior Forrest Karr ... Kimento has a 2.71 GAA and .925 save pct. in 89 minutes of work (49 saves, four goals against).
CARLSON RETURNS: Notre Dame sophomore LW Dan Carlson (Edina, Minn.) represented the USA at the World Junior Championship, Dec. 26-Jan. 4 in Manitoba ... 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 citizenshipwas 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 USA roster included 14 current college players (six from the CCHA).
WE NEED MORE POWER: Notre Dame's power play opened at .321 clip but the Irish were just 4-for-38 (.105) during a recent six-game stretch, including 0-for-17 at one point, before connecting on 12 of their next 42 man-up chances (prior to the current 0-for-10 drought) ... the overall PP pct. (.228) would rank among the best ever by an Irish team playing as a member of the CCHA or WCHA since the 1981-82 season (.303) and is comparable to the CCHA-best effort by Michigan State in '97-'98 (.233) .... for comparison, Notre Dame owned just a .127 PP pct. in '96-'97 and a .176 mark last season ... PP goals have helped provide the decisive margin this season in wins over FSU (5-3, 2 PPGs), LSSU (4-3, 4 PPGs), Northeastern (4-3, 3 PPGs) and Michigan (3-2, a PPG) while the Irish netted three PPGs in the 5-5 tie at Boston College .and one in the 2-2 tie with MSU .. 10 different Irish players have notched a PPG this season, led by eight from senior LW Aniket Dhadphale, six from senior RW Brian Urick and five by 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 (2) 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 25 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).
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-knownand often mispronouncednames 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 40 goals and 21 assists during the past two seasons (66 games).
STREAKY SEASON: Notre Dame opened with a six-game winning streak and had a mid-season six game losing streak before the recent six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) and the three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1, 7-1-2 in previous 10) that ended with last week's pair of shutout losses.
REDEFINING MAN DOWN: During its last 41 games, Notre Dame has played without at least one of its top defensemen 36 times, going 19-13-4 in those games ... the top four defensemen have missed a combined 30 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 (2.42) ... Notre Dame is 2-2-1 in the only games during the last 36 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 38 games: Cotnoir (2, early this season), Fraser (17, 5 this season), Borega (15, 8 to open this season) and Clark (15, all this season, out indefinitely for rest of '98-'99 ) ... two of those players have missed the same game 13 times over the last 36, with the Irish owning a solid 8-4-1 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 seasonsmost recently in the 5-5 tie at No. 1 Boston College, the 1-0 loss at Michigan and the 4-3 win at North Dakotaas the Irish are 18-18-2 away from home during that stretch, with the 18 losses including 11 by one goal ... 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) and 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 during the past two seasons, winning twice at both St. Cloud and Wisconsin and once at Wisconsin, Northeastern and top-ranked North Dakota, plus a 5-5 tie at then-No. 1 Boston College and a 1-0 loss at No. 3 MSU.