Notre Dame, Ind. - University of Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson has named his captains for the 2014-15 season as the Irish icers begin preparations for the upcoming campaign.
Junior center Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) will serve as the team captain while senior right wing Peter Schneider (Vienna, Austria) and junior left wing Sam Herr (Hinsdale, Ill.) will assist as alternate captains.
"I'm really happy with this group of captains for the coming season," says Jackson.
"All three - Steven (Fogarty), Peter (Schneider) and Sam (Herr) - have strong character and with two juniors as captains this year, it's a two-year process for them leading the team. All three have the heart of the team and the voice of the team. I believe they will do a great job for us."
Fogarty is a two-time monogram winner and follows a long line of Irish hockey players from Edina, Minn., to serve as captain, joining the likes of Anders Lee (`14), Ryan Thang (`10) and Dan Carlson (`01) in recent years. As a sophomore, the 6-3, 207-pound center played in 33 games, scoring three goals with eight assists for 11 points. Strong in the face-off circle, Fogarty won 51.6% of his draws (196-of-380). He has experience wearing the captain's "C" as he served as team captain for his Edina High School squad as a senior (2010-11), helping the Hornets to the state AA semifinals.
"Over the last year, Steven has made huge strides in all aspects of his game both on and off the ice," says Jackson, now in his 10th season behind the Irish bench.
"He's a solid citizen who does a good job in the classroom and is a focused young man. Of course, he has a family history of natural leadership capabilities with his father (a retired admiral) and his brother being in the Navy. I really respect Steven as a young man and that's one of the most important attributes of being a captain."
"This is a huge honor for me. It is very humbling that my coaches and teammates think so highly of me," says Fogarty.
"We have had some great captains here in the past and I look forward to trying to live up to those expectations and filling that role. I will be working with two great guys - Peter (Schneider) and Sam (Herr) - and we're excited for the opportunity and look forward to the season starting."
Notre Dame's two alternate captains are coming off career years in 2013-14 and have strong leadership qualities on and off the ice.
Schneider is the lone senior in the group and is coming off a junior year that saw him turn in career highs in goals (8), assists (8) and points (16) with a short-handed goal, a pair of game winners and a +7 plus-minus rating. The speedy right wing plays a strong two-way game and has proven to be a team leader on and off the ice.
A two-time winner of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award, Schneider earned Hockey East All-Academic team honors last season and was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District V At-Large team, turning in a 3.95 grade-point average with a double major in finance and economics plus a minor in actuary. That award came from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Schneider has experience in the leadership department too. He has served as an alternate captain with Austria's Under-18 and Under-20 national teams in past international tournaments.
"Peter has done everything right since he's been here," says Jackson.
"He's a solid citizen who is outstanding in the classroom and is our best student-athlete. He's made great strides on the ice. I think his expectations were pretty high coming in and he had to change the way he played to get more ice time. I think he relished that, as opposed to being disappointed, by not being used in an offensive role. The way he handled the change in his role indicates what kind of kid he is - the team is more important than his specific role. Peter leads by example and has the ability to step up when necessary."
"It's a great honor and I'm very humbled in receiving the honor," says Schneider.
"As far as my approach goes to the team and leadership goes, not much has changed. We have a great bunch of leaders and we all can lead. We will all try to help our big freshman class."
"I think that the guys may say that I am more of a `rah-rah' guy but I try to lead by example. If it's necessary, I'm not afraid to step forward and say something."
Herr had a breakout season at left wing in 2013-14, playing in all 40 games with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points, all career highs. Four of his goals came on the power play and four were game winners. He finished the year fourth in plus minus with a +14 mark and was named the team's most improved player last season.
"Sam (Herr) is another sophomore who had a real solid year both on and off the ice," says Jackson.
He's a very focused young man who has made great gains in the weight room and a does a good job in the classroom."
"It's a great honor to be trusted by your teammates and the coaches, especially being a junior," says Herr.
"There are 15 returning guys on this team that can do it just as well as I can, so I think we are in good hands this year."
"On the ice, I try to lead by example and that's what has put me in this position," adds Herr.
"Just being a hard-working player, I try to give it all that I've got every day. If I can influence one of the younger guys then I have done my job. I do a lot of talking on the ice, but I think that my work ethic and compete level will be what stands out for me. "
Jackson also points out that the Irish have other players who serve as team leaders as part of the team's leadership group. Joining Fogarty, Schneider and Herr as part of the group are seniors Eric Johnson (Verona, Wis.), Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) and Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska).
"The other three seniors also play key roles with the team," says Jackson.
"Peter (Schneider) and Eric (Johnson) are both members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and are aggressively engaged in community service. Robbie (Russo) has rebounded from last year and has had a strong summer. He is definitely one of our on-ice leaders. All three are a part of our decision-making group."
Fogarty, Schneider and Herr, along with the entire Irish hockey team, open the 2014-15 schedule with a 5:05 p.m. game on Oct. 5 when Notre Dame plays host to the University of Waterloo in a preseason contest at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The regular season begins on Oct. 11 when the Irish play host to the Ice Breaker Tournament. Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth square off at 2:05 p.m. in the tourney opener while Notre Dame and Rensselaer face off at 7:35 p.m.