Oct. 19, 1998
The undefeated Notre Dame hockey team (5-0-0) which is off to the best
start in the 39-year history of varsity hockey at Notre Dame has cracked
the national top 10 of two major polls released today.
check in at the No. 8 spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and at
No. 7 in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll, after posting road
wins over the weekend at Ferris State (5-3) and Lake Superior State
(4-3), despite the absence of two veteran injured defensemen.
USCHO poll consists of 30 voters, including 22 coaches from Division I
teams and eight college hockey writers. The USA Today poll is conducted
in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association, with the 10
votes including input from coaches and journalists representing the four
major NCAA Division I hockey conferences, as well as composite votes
from officers of the AHCA and AHM, the official publication of USA
"People have different views about rankings. For our program,
at this point, we're very excited and encouraged," said fourth-year
Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin. "Of course, you want to be high in
the rankings when it comes around to NCAA tournament time, but it's a
credit to the hard work that our players have put into their preseason
and early season preparations. And our veteran players are doing an
excellent job of leading, both in their production on the ice and just
in the way they have carried themselves."
Upcoming Notre Dame
opponent Ohio State is tied for No. 9 in the USCHO poll and was the
12th-highest team receiving votes in the USA Today poll. The Buckeyes,
who face the Irish at the Joyce Center on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m.,
opened with losses to No. 1 Boston College and Minnesota before
splitting last week at LSSU (4-1) and FSU (2-4).
Two Notre Dame
1998-99 opponents Boston College and North Dakotasit atop both polls
while Maine, Colorado College, Michigan State and Michigan occupy the
third through sixth spots, but in differing orders in the two polls.
Clarkson, one of several teams that has yet to play this season, is
ranked seventh in the USCHO poll but is behind the Irish in eighth place
of the USA Today poll. New Hampshire is ninth in both polls while
unbeaten CCHA team Northern Michigan is 10th in the USA Today poll.
Poulin cited the Irish power play as a leading reason for the early
success. "So much of our great leadership has been seen on the power
play," he said. "Success on the power play is all about confidence and
those guys go out there expecting to score every time."
have converted on an impressive 39.3 percent of their power-play chances
(11-of-28), with seven of those goals coming from the regulars on the
first unit: senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale (2), junior center Ben
Simon (1), senior right wing Brian Urick (3) and sophomore left wing Dan
Carlson (1). Another goal scored by the first power-play unit came
Saturday at LSSU, when junior right wing Joe Dusbabek scored while
skating in the place of Simon (who was in the penalty box).
also have received offensive contributions have all four forwards lines
and several defensemen, as 12 players have combined on the first 22
goals while 14 have assists and 16 have at least one goal or one assist.
Sophomore defenseman Ryan Clark's first career goal tied the game at
Ferris State (2-2) before freshman blueliner Sam Cornelius scored the
game-winner later in that game. Junior defenseman Tyson Fraser stands
fifth on the team with four points (all assists) and played a key role
in last weekend's six power-play goals after replacing injured senior
Benoit Cotnoir at the point.
"It's great to get contributions from a
lot of different players," said Poulin. "All four forward lines and each
of our defensemen have made their presence felt, both on normal shifts
and during special teams."
Senior goaltender Forrest Karr, who backed
up Matt Eisler during his first three seasons, has posted a 2.00
goals-against average and .914 save percentage through the first five
games of 1998-99 while boosting his record to 11-3-1 over the past two
seasons. "Forrest is off to an enormous start. He truly bided his time
for the last three years and has worked very hard. He deserves all the
success that comes his way," said Poulin.
The Irish defense last week
was forced to play without Cotnoir and junior Nathan Borega, with Fraser
and classmate Sean Molina providing the veteran leadership. "Our defense
really stepped up over the weekend in the absence of two pretty
important players," said Poulin. "Allowing just 11 shots at Lake
Superior was a tremendous effort."
NATIONAL HOCKEY POLLS (10/19/98)
U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY ONLINE POLL USA TODAY/AMERICAN HOCKEY MAGAZINE POLL
Team (1st-Place) Record Points Lst Wk Team (1st-Place) Record Points Lst Wk
1. Boston College (24) 2-0-0 292 1 1. Boston College (8) 2-0-0 98 1
2. North Dakota (6) 0-0-0 269 3 2. North Dakota (2) 0-0-0 91 3
3. Maine 2-0-0 188 8 3. Colorado College 0-0-0 73 5
4. Colorado College 0-0-0 180 6 4. Maine 2-0-0 63 6
5. Michigan State 1-0-1 136 5 5. Michigan State 1-0-1 50 4
6. Michigan 2-1-0 123 2 6. Michigan 2-1-0 47 2
7. Clarkson 0-0-0 120 7 7. NOTRE DAME 5-0-0 40 -
8. NOTRE DAME 5-0-0 107 8. Clarkson 0-0-0 25 7
9. New Hampshire 1-0-0 51 9. New Hampshire 1-0-0 23 10
Ohio State 1-3-0 4 4 10. Northern Michigan 4-0-0 11 -
Others Receiving Votes: Northern Michigan 35, Others Receiving Votes: Boston University 10, Ohio
Boston University 24, Wisconsin 16, Minnesota 13, State 10, Rensselaer 4, Denver 2, Minnesota 2, Niagara 2,
Princeton 12, Rensselaer 12, St. Cloud State 7, , Harvard 1.
Niagara 6, Ferris State 4, St. Lawrence 2, Yale 2.