Irish Look to Remain Unbeaten
Men's hockey prepares for OSU, WMU.
October 22, 1998
The unbeaten Notre Dame hockey team (5-0-0, 4-0-0 CCHA) returns home this week for a game vs. Ohio State on Oct. 23 before heading to Western Michigan for an Oct. 24 matchup ... the Irish cracked the national top 10 this week, checking in at 8th in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and 7th in the USA Today poll (Ohio State is tied for 9th in the USCHO poll) ... the Irish are coming off strong road showings at Ferris State (5-3) and Lake Superior (4-3) ... Notre Dame is off to its best start in 39 years of varsity hockey and best conference start in 19 season as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (1971-81) or CCHA (1981-83, 1992- ).
IRISH CRACK TOP 10: Notre Dame this week moved into the seventh spot in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine national hockey poll and the number eight spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll ... upcoming 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 ... two other Notre Dame 1998-99 opponents-Boston College and North Dakota-sit 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 ... unbeaten CCHA team Northern Michigan is 10th in the USA Today poll.
POWERFUL PLAY: Notre Dame's 6-of-12 power play last week boosted the season power-play pct. to a CCHA-best .393 (11-for-28), well ahead of MSU's .233 mark that led the CCHA in '97-'98 ... Notre Dame has a power-play goal in all four CCHA games this season ... eight different Irish players have notched a PPG this season, led by the first-line forward group of senior RW Brian Urick (3), senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (2) and junior C Ben Simon (1) ... the other PPGs have come from sophomore LW Dan Carlson, freshman C David Inman, sophomore LW Chad Chipchase, sophomore RW Matt Van Arkel and junior RW Joe Dusbabek ... the primary power-play unit includes the first forward line, with Carlson and either senior D Benoit Cotnoir or junior D Tyson Fraser at the point ... that first unit has totaled eight PPGs (including all six last week), with Dusbabek scoring as a member of the first group at Lake Superior while Simon was in the penalty box ... the Irish are averaging 2.0 shots (55 overall) per power-play opportunity this season ... on the flip side, Notre Dame owns a solid .862 penalty-killing unit (25-of-29), with senior G Forrest Karr stopping 31 of 35 power-play shots he has faced.
REDEFINING MAN DOWN: Notre Dame has posted a 10-6-1 record in its last 17 games (with three of those losses to Michigan), despite the absence of at least one of the following key defensemen during each of those 17 games: senior Benoit Cotnoir (2), junior Tyson Fraser (12) and junior Nathan Borega (12) ... two of those players have been sidelined during the same game nine times over the past 17 games, with the Irish owning a solid 6-3-0 mark in those games (including last week's wins at FSU and LSSU) ... Fraser took the leadership reigns of the Irish defense last week, in the absence of Borega and Cotnoir, and played the point on the first power-play unit that racked up four goals (he had two assists for the weekend).
HOME IMPROVEMENT: After a slow start at the Joyce Center in '97-'98, Notre Dame finished strong at home, going 3-2-1 in its final six home games (19-11 scoring edge), after going just 3-6-3 in the first 12 (when the Irish were outscored 39-31) ... in the last eight home games overall-including the recent wins over LSSU and WMU-Notre Dame is 5-2-1 with a commanding 30-14 scoring edge (including two 7-1 wins).
IRISH STILL LOOKING FOR BIG HOME WINS: During the past two-plus seasons, Notre Dame has knocked off four teams that were ranked in the national top-10 at the time of the game, but only one of those games has come at home (5-2 over St. Cloud State in 1996-97) ... in fact, the Irish are just 1-8-1 (.150) vs. top 10 teams at the Joyce Center since the start of '96-'97 (with a tie vs. Miami last season) while going 4-10-0 (.286) vs. top 10 teams on the road during that same span ... the recent Irish road wins over ranked teams have included: 7-5 at Bowling Green on Nov. 2, 1996; 6-1 at Michigan State on Nov. 1, 1997; 4-2 at Michigan on March 13, 1998 in the CCHA playoffs; and 2-1 at Wisconsin on Oct. 3, 1998.
THE TRAVELLERS: After the Oct. 23 game vs. OSU, Notre Dame will play just three home games over the next 11 weeks while playing 10 on the road, in eight different cities: Kalamazoo, Mich.; Boston, Mass. (2); Ann Arbor, Mich.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Forks, N.D. (2); and Bowling Green, Ohio ... on the flip side, Notre Dame will then plays nine of the ensuing 14 games at the Joyce Center before ending the regular season with a pair of games at Miami ... after the Oct. 24 game at WMU, Notre Dame will take a three-week break from CCHA play (no games Oct. 30-31, at Boston College and Northeastern on Nov. 6-7).
GETTING COMPETITIVE: Notre Dame finished '97-'98 by going 4-4-0 in its final eight games vs. CCHA teams (four vs. second-place Michigan, three vs. third-place 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 11 games vs. CCHA teams, Notre Dame is 7-4-0, including a 6-2-0 mark in the regular season.
SILVER STREAK: Notre Dame's 5-0 start represents the program's first five-game winning streak since '91-'92 and the longest winning streak during the program's last nine CCHA seasons, since the 1981-82 team won five straight from Jan. 30-Feb. 13 (that stretch also stands as the last time the Irish posted four straight CCHA wins) ... the Irish this week could post the program's first seven-game winning streak since the 1987-88 season ... in its 19 seasons as a member of the CCHA or WCHA, Notre Dame has posted just one winning streak of six games or longer: a seven-game run from Feb. 17-March 6 during Notre Dame's 1972-73 WCHA runner-up season.
INJURY UPDATE: Junior D Nathan Borega remains out indefinitely due to a preseason leg injury that has held him out of the first five games of the 1998-99 season.
THE ND-OSU SERIES: Notre Dame owns an 18-9-3 series edge over OSU (10-5-0 at home) but OSU has won four of the last five.
RECAPPING LAST YEAR'S SERIES
ND 3, OSU 2 (@Ohio Expo Center) - 11/16/97
OSU 5, ND 3 (@Ohio Expo Center) - 1/25/98
OSU 5, at ND 3 - 2/13/98
SCOUTING OSU: Ohio State (1-3-0, 1-1-0 CCHA) returned 18 of 22 letterwinners from its 1997-98 team that went 27-13-2, finished third in the CCHA and advanced to the NCAA semifinals ... top returners include All-America junior C Hugo Boisvert (23G-35A in '97-'98) and G Jeff Maund (2.36 GAA, .922 save pct. in '97-'98), who was edged by Notre Dame's Mark Eaton for last season's CCHA rookie of the year award ... OSU is expected to be without veteran forwards Eric Meloche (shoulder) and Jason Selleke (game disqualification penalty at Ferris State) ... OSU dropped 4-3 games to Boston College and Minnesota at the Icebreaker Invitational before posting a 4-1 win at Lake Superior and losing 4-2 at FSU ... Boisvert and Brandon LaFrance each have three goals while Maund (2.38) and Ray Aho (3.55) have split time in net.
FRIEND OR FOE?: Notre Dame junior D Sean Seyferth played on the Compuware Ambassadors with three OSU players: junior W Jason Selleke, junior F Louie Colsant and junior G Ray Aho ... Notre Dame sophomore RW Ryan Dolder played with OSU sophomore F Benji Wolke on the Twin City Vulcans ... Irish sophomore LW Jay Kopischke played in the Minnesota all-star game with OSU sophomore D Jason Freeman ... Irish freshman G Jeremiah Kimento played with OSU freshman W Ryan Smith on the Danville Wings.
THE ND-WMU SERIES: Western Michigan owns a 25-12-2 series edge vs. Notre Dame (14-6-1 since the Irish rejoined the CCHA in 1992) but the Irish own a 4-2-1 edge in the last seven games (3-1 in the last four) ... the Irish are 1-11-0 at WMU's Lawson Arena since '92, with the only win coming last season (2-1).
THE LAST MEETING (10/10/98) - Notre Dame erupted for a 7-1 win over WMU at the Joyce Center ... Brian Urick and David Inman scored two goals while Ben Simon had a hand in four scores (1G-3A) ...Inman's breakaway opened the scoring seven minutes into the game and the Irish went on to add four power-play goals while striking twice in a 31-second span of 4-on-4 ... Forrest Karr had 20 saves while helping stop six of seven WMU man-up chances ... WMU's Chris Peck stopped 34 of 41 shots, 17 of which came during the nine Irish power-play chances.
1st - ND 1. Inman-1 (-) 6:57; ND 2. Urick-3 (Dhadphale, Simon), PP/5-on-3, 18:25. 2nd - ND 3. Inman-2 (Cotnoir, Simon), PP/6-on-4, 12:13; WMU 1. Redenius-2 (Novock, Lukasak), PP, 14:43. 3rd - ND 4. Simon-1 (Fraser), 4-on-4, 00:16; ND 5. Urick-4 (Simon), 4-on-4, 00:47; ND 6. Carlson-1 (Cornelius, Urick), PP/5-on-3, 15:07; ND 7. Chipchase (Bagne, Dolder), PP, 19:08.
RECAPPING LAST YEAR'S SERIES
Notre Dame 2, at Western Michigan 1 - 12/5/97
at Notre Dame 4, Western Michigan 2 - 12/6/97
at Western Michigan 5, Notre Dame 3 - 2/14/98
BRONCOS NOTES: Western Michigan returns 16 of 23 letterwinners from its 1997-98 team that went 10-25-3 overall and finished ninth in the CCHA (9-19-2) ... the Broncos suffered a CCHA-record 18-game losing streak last season while missing the CCHA playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons ... WMU lost its top four scorers from a '97-'98 squad that averaged just 2.45 goals per game ... senior G Matt Barnes posted a 3.01 GAA and a .897 save pct. in '97-'98 ... WMU opened with a 3-1 exhibition loss to Wilfrid Laurier before dropping a 3-1 home game to Ferris State, losing 7-1 at Notre Dame and playing to a 1-1 tie at Michigan State ... Barnes had 36 saves in that tie with MSU, with Jason Addesa's power-play goal early in the third period giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
FRIEND OR FOE?, II: Notre Dame senior LW Aniket Dhadphale played with WMU senior G Matt Barnes on the Stratford Cullitons ... Notre Dame junior D Nathan Borega and WMU junior RW Caley Jones played on the Vernon Vipers ... Notre Dame junior D Sean Molina is a former Dubuque Saints teammate of WMU junior LW Matt Addesa ... Irish junior D Sean Seyferth played with WMU junior LW Jeff Wojcik on the Compuware Ambassadors ... Notre Dame sophomore D Ryan Clark and WMU sophomore C Chad Kline were teammates on the Lincoln Stars ... Irish junior RW John Dwyer could face former Dubuque Saints teammates Addessa and senior D Geoff Collard.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S NOTRE DAME ROAD WINS
ND 5, at FSU 3 - Brian Urick's game-tying score ignited three Notre Dame goals in a late five-minute stretch, as the Irish stormed from behind despite the absence of injured defensemen Benoit Cotnoir and Nathan Borega ... sophomore Ryan Clark and freshman Sam Cornelius provided timely goals from the blue line ... the Irish goals came from five different players, including a power-play score by Aniket Dhadphale just 2:08 into the game and the first career goal for freshman center Brett Henning, with 3:32 left to play ... FSU enjoyed a 28-23 edge in shots but Forrest Karr made 25 timely saves ... power-play goals by Urick and Dhadphale helped provide the winning margin ... Urick's clutch goal swung momentum back to the Irish after the hosts had appeared to take control ... Tyson Fraser initiated the rush with a pass to Dhadphale, who broke free on the left side before letting go with a shot on net ... the puck kicked out to the right side but Urick redirected it back on net in one motion, with the rising puck settling into the right side of the net (11:17) ... later in the period, Dan Carlson crossed the puck for Joe Dusbabek, who unleashed a hard shot from the right faceoff circle ... FSU goalie Vince Owen made the save but the puck kicked straight between the circles ... Cornelius found himself with the puck up top and with plenty of bodies screening the goalie, and Owen never saw the low shot that held up as the game-winner (15:56) ... 32 seconds later, Chad Chipchase led a rush down the left side and dropped a pass for Henning, whose shot tucked under the crossbar ... Dhadphale opened the scoring after taking a pass from behind the net by Carlson ... FSU's Geoff Bennetts tied the game with a rebound goal early in the second period ... Notre Dame reclaimed the lead five minutes later, when Ben Simon whistled a pass through the slot to the top of the left circle ... Clark had plenty of time and a clear shot, with Owen making the glove save before seeing the puck squeeze loose and trickle over the line for Clark's first goal with the Irish (9:28) ... FSU seized the lead with two more rebound goals, by Bennetts and Ed Kowalski in the first 10 minutes of the final period.
1st: ND 1. Dhadphale-2 (Carlson), PP, 2:08. 2nd: FS 1. Bennetts-1 (Kozak) 4:40; ND 2. Clark-1 (Simon, Dhadphale) 9:28. 3rd: FS 2. Bennetts-2 (Dube, Kozak), PP, 4:37; FS 3. Kowalski-1 (Casey Harris) 8:16; ND 3. Urick-5 (Dhadphale, Fraser), PP, 11:17; ND 4. Cornelius (Dusbabek, Carlson) 15:56; ND 5. Henning (Chipchase, Clark) 16:28
ND 4, at LSSU 3 - 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 overtime victory on Nov. 19, 1993 ... the Irish outshot the Lakers 21-11 ... LSSU scored a 6-on-5 goal with seven seconds left to play ... Irish senior goaltender Forrest Karr made just eight saves but again came up with the timely plays while helping Notre Dame stop eight of nine LSSU power plays. Ben Simon scored what proved to be the game-winner with 9:52 left to play, tipping in a shot from Aniket Dhadphale ... Dhadphale opened the scoring at the 10:00 mark 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 the Lakers on the board midway through the second period, just a second after 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 Nov. 15, 1997 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 final period.
1st: ND 1. Dhadphale-3 (Carlson, Urick), PP, 10:00; ND 2. Urick-6 (Carlson, Simon), PP, 13:58. 2nd: LSSU 1. Cheeseman-2 (Walford, Turgeon) 11:29; ND 3. Dusbabek-1 (Dhadphale, Carlson), PP, 14:16. 3rd: ND 4. Simon-2 (Dhadphale, Fraser), PP, 11:08; LSSU 2. Praznik-1 (Cheeseman, Redden) 19:53.
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 28 goals and 16 assists during the past two seasons (46 games) ... Dhadphale carries a career-best, five-game point streak into this week's action.
SO MUCH FOR PLUS-MINUS: Despite outscoring the opposition by 12 goals this season, Notre Dame as a team is just +25 because exactly half of those goals (11) have come on the power play while the opponents have totaled six non-power-play goals.
RETURN OF THE ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame posted road wins in '97-'98 at several hostile arenas, including St. Cloud (4-3/OT, 4-1), Michigan State (6-1), Wisconsin (4-2), Northern Michigan (3-1) and Michigan (4-2)-in addition to losing three one-goal games at Michigan (two in OT) and single one-goal games at Miami, Ferris State, Alaska Fairbanks (OT) and Lake Superior (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 last week 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.
IRISH ATOP EARLY CCHA STANDINGS: Notre Dame's 4-0 conference start places the Irish atop the CCHA standings, with only 13 total games in the books ... Lake Superior and Miami are the only other teams with four league games under their belts while Alaska Fairbanks has yet to play a CCHA game and Michigan and Michigan State have each played just one.
URICK STARTS FAST: Senior RW and team captain Brian Urick turned in a five-point weekend vs. Lake Superior (2G) and WMU (2G, 1A) before adding a goal at Ferris State and a goal and assist at LSSU ... Urick carries a four-game goal streak into this week's action (equaling his career-high) and has eight points in that stretch (6G-2A) ... he shares the team lead for plus-minus (+4) with junior C Ben Simon ... Urick has just one penalty this season and owns 47 goals and 46 assists in 116 career games, inching closer to the 100-point plateau and distinction as the 27th Notre Dame player with 50 career goals and 50 assists ... over the past two seasons, Urick has 42 points (21G-21A) in 46 games, a team-best +19 plus-minus and only 42 penalty minutes ... he has six of the team's 23 game-winning goals in the past two seasons.
BALANCING ACT: Notre Dame's 22 goals have come from 12 players, with six combining on the first seven ... junior C Ben Simon owns seven of the team's 34 assists, with 11 other players also setting up Irish goals this season ... only two of the 18 starting skaters-junior D Andy Jurkowski and sophomore LW Jay Kopischke-have yet to register a point ... additionally, all five Irish game-winning goals have come from different players.
FRESHMEN STEP UP: Centers David Inman (Toronto, Ont.) and Brett Henning (Huntington, N.Y.) and defenseman Sam Cornelius (Edina, Minn.) have played crucial roles during the first weeks of their Irish careers ... Inman was edged out for the initial CCHA rookie of the week award by first-year Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn ... Inman's impressive debut as the second-line center has included providing the primary assist on Matt Van Arkel's game-winning rebound goal in the 4-2 home win over Lake Superior ... the 6-1, 190-pound lefthanded flirted with a hat trick the next night vs. WMU, forcing his own breakaway goal to open the scoring early in the first period before converting a tap-in power-play goal for a 3-1 Irish lead midway through the second period ... Inman was +1 for the CCHA weekend while committing no penalties in the two games ... for the season, he is +3 with just three penalties in e five games ... Henning has done a solid job centering the third Irish forward line, alongside sophomores Jay Kopischke and Van Arkel ... Henning's goal iced the 5-3 win at Ferris State ... Cornelius assisted in both of the home wins over LSSU and WMU, providing a set-up pass for Brian Urick's goal that tied the LSSU game (1-1) before notching the primary assist on a power-play goal by former prep teammate Dan Carlson for a 6-1 lead on WMU ... in last week's action, Cornelius knocked home the game-winner at Ferris State (5-3), on a shot from the center of the blueline ... Inman (+3, 3 pen.), Henning (-1, 2 pen.) and Cornelius (+3, 2 pen.) have combined for a +5 plus-minus ratio and just seven penalties in five games.
CHIP OFF THE OL' BLOCK: Sophomore LW Chad Chipchase has fond memories of FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena, as he registered a second-period hat trick at FSU on Nov. 22, 1997 (FSU rallied for a 4-3 win)-one of just two Irish hat tricks since Oct. 21, 1994 ... Chipchase, who scored just two other goals in '97-'98, lit the lamp during the first home weekend this season vs. both Lake Superior and WMU for his first career goals at the Joyce Center ... in last week's action, he led a rush down the left side and dropped the puck to freshman C Brett Henning, whose goal iced the 5-3 win at Ferris State.
FOLLOW THAT KARR!: Senior G Forrest Karr has provided strong leadership between the pipes this season ... Karr's impressive debut as the Irish starter includes posting a 2.00 season goals-against average and .914 save percentage while playing a leading role in the .862 Irish penalty-killing unit (25-of-29) ... his career record now stands even at 13-11-1, including 11-3-1 over the past two seasons ... Karr owns a solid 2.59 GAA during the past two seasons (16 games, 904-plus minutes) while his career GAA of 3.39 would best the Irish record set last season by Matt Eisler (3.66) ... Karr's impressive effort on the road during the past two seasons has yielded a 9-1-0 record and a 2.34 GAA.
VAN ARKEL DOES IT AGAIN: Sophomore RW Matt Vane Arkel has just six career goals in 43 games but the 6-0, 190-pound righthander has found the net in the home opener during each of the past two seasons ... as a freshman, Van Arkel's power-play goal with 25 seconds left to play gave the Irish a 4-1 lead in the 5-1 win over Western Ontario ... on Oct. 9, he tipped in a deflected shot by freshman C David Inman for a second-period, power-play score and the eventual game-winner in the 4-2 victory over Lake Superior.
SIMON ENDS DROUGHT: Junior C Ben Simon scored-who has points in all five games this season-scored a memorable goal 17 seconds into the third period of the 7-1 win over WMU, slanting in from the right side before tucking the puck inside the left post ... that score represented Simon's first goal in 13 games, since a first-period goal in another 7-1 win-versus Ferris State on Feb. 7, 1998 (he had endured 31 shots on net without a goal) ... Simon has excelled at setting up his teammates (50 assists in 71 career games) but owns just 15 career goals on 186 shots (12.4 shots per goal), with the goal versus WMU possibly signaling a breakthrough for the player who totaled 166 goals in four prep seasons (including 45 goals in 50 games as a senior with the Cleveland Junior Barons) ... Simon, who also scored last week at LSSU, is averaging just six shots per goal this season (12 shots).
VETERAN TRIO: Notre Dame's forward line for the last 13 games-senior. LW Aniket Dhadphale (25-10), sophomore C Ben Simon (9-28) and senior RW Brian Urick (16-18)-in 1997-98 comprised the program's first threesome of 30-point scorers since the '92-'93 grouping of Jamie Ling (14-26), Dave Bankoske (14-16) and Curtis Janicke (12-18) ... heading into the Oct. 23, 1998 game vs. Ohio State, Dhadphale (46-39), Simon (15-50) and Urick (47-46) have combined for 243 career points in 299 combined games.
FOURTH LINE MAKES MARK: The members of Notre Dame's fourth forward line-sophomore LW Chad Chipchase, junior C Troy Bagne and sophomore RW Ryan Dolder-have played a part in four Irish goals this season, with six total points between them ... Dolder intercepted an outlet pass and deposited the puck over the shoulder of Wisconsin goaltender Graham Melanson for an early 1-0 lead on the Badgers ... known for his uncanny ability to bury the puck in the back of net during Irish practices, Dolder has three goals during the last eight Notre Dame games, including a pair of scores in the 1997-98 CCHA playoff series at Michigan ... Chipchase knocked home his own rebound for a 2-1 lead on Lake Superior in last week's 4-2 Irish win before notching a power-play goal in the final minute of the 7-1 win over Western Michigan, with Bagne and Dolder providing the assists ... Chipchase last week led a late rush down the left side at Ferris State and dropped the puck to freshman C Brett Henning, who knocked home the goal that iced the 5-3 Irish win.
JURKO READY TO GO: Junior Andy Jurkowski, a former walk-on who has seen time during the past three seasons as both a left wing and defensemen, has emerged alongside classmate Tyson Fraser as a member of Notre Dame's second line of defensemen ... with the Irish defense looking to cope with the loss of sophomore-to-be Mark Eaton to the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and the preseason leg injury to junior Nathan Borega, Jurkowski proved his value by earning a spot among the top six defensemen ... the 6-2, 200-pound lefthander appeared in just one of the first 28 games in 1997-98, before playing in the final 13 games when Fraser went down to injury.
DUS WAS DUE: Junior right wing Joe Dusbabek, who missed the final 16 games of 1997-98 while focusing on his academics, is looking to get back into the scoring groove that characterized his CCHA all-rookie season in 1996-97, when he and former prep teammate Brian Urick tied for the team scoring lead with 13 goals and 12 assists ... the 6-1, 205-pound righthander's goal last week at Lake Superior was his first since the 5-4 loss at Miami on Nov. 15, 1997, despite 25 shots on goal during that 16-game goal drought ... overall, the dangerous power forward has just three assists in his last 17 games, hinting at a possible scoring breakthrough in the coming weeks.
BACK IN FORCE: Notre Dame returned 22 of 27 players from its 1997-98 team that finished 18-19-4 overall and tied with Lake Superior for sixth in the CCHA ... the returners include five of the top six scorers, led by the top three scorers from '97-'98: junior C Ben Simon (9G-29A), senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (25G-10A) and senior RW Brian Urick (16G-18A) ... the 20 returning skaters accounted for 80 percent of the team's goals last season (99 of 127) and 76 percent of the points (247 of 325) ... the Irish also return eight of nine defensemen-led by senior Benoit Cotnoir (10G-19A), plus senior G Forrest Karr, who went 6-3-1 with a 2.88 GAA while backing up four-year starter Matt Eisler.
CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: Senior RW Brian Urick (Minnetonka, Minn.) will serve as the Irish team captain in 1998-99, after serving as an alternate captain last season, while senior D Benoit Cotnoir (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) and senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (Marquette, Mich.) have been selected by their teammates as the 1998-99 alternate captains.
URICK, KARR EARN CCHA HONORS: Notre Dame swept the first weekly CCHA player of the week awards, with senior RW Brian Urick earning offensive player of the week while senior G Forrest Karr was named defensive player of the week ... Urick totaled four goals and one assist in the home wins over Lake Superior (4-2) and Western Michigan (7-1) while finishing each game +2 ... his first-period goal tied the LSSU game, 1-1, while his empty-netter sealed the win over the Lakers ... his power-play goal late in the first period of the Western Michigan game proved to be the game-winner, with Urick adding a goal early in the third period and assisting on Dan Carlson's power-play score with 4:53 left to play ... Karr registered 23 saves in the Lake Superior game and 20 vs. WMU while allowing just one even-strength goal during the weekend (by LSSU) ... he also led the way for an Irish penalty-killing unit that stopped nine of 11 opponent power-play chances during the two games.
CURRENT HOCKEY POLLS
CCHA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Others Receiving Votes: Northern Michigan 35, Boston University 24, Wisconsin 16, Minnesota 13, Princeton 12, Rensselaer 12, St. Cloud State 7, Niagara 6, Ferris State 4, St. Lawrence 2, Yale 2.
Team (1st-pl. votes) Pts
1. Boston College (8), 2-0-0 98
2. North Dakota (2), 0-0-0 80
3. Colorado College, 0-0-0 58
4. Maine, 2-0-0 45
5. Michigan State, 1-0-1 67
6. Michigan, 2-1-0 86
7. NOTRE DAME, 5-0-0 40
8. Clarkson, 0-0-0 39
9. New Hampshire, 1-0-0 12
10. Northern Michigan, 4-0-0 11
Team (1st-pl. votes) Pts 1. Boston College (8), 2-0-0 98 2. North Dakota (2), 0-0-0 80 3. Colorado College, 0-0-0 58 4. Maine, 2-0-0 45 5. Michigan State, 1-0-1 67 6. Michigan, 2-1-0 86 7. NOTRE DAME, 5-0-0 40 8. Clarkson, 0-0-0 39 9. New Hampshire, 1-0-0 12 10. Northern Michigan, 4-0-0 11
Others Receiving Votes: Boston University 10, Ohio State 10, Rensselaer 4, Denver 2, Minnesota 2, Niagara 2, Harvard 1.
Overall CCHA Pts GF-GA Power Play Pen-Kill PIM/Gm
1. Notre Dame 5-0-0 4-0-0 8 22-10 (1) .393 (6) .862 (5) 18.8
2. Northern Michigan 4-0-0 2-0-0 4 19-6 (7) .143 (2) .929 (8) 18.0
Ferris State 2-1-0 2-1-0 4 10-8 (4) .238 (4) .900 (10) 30.3
4. Bowling Green 2-1-1 1-0-1 3 16-14 (2) .257 (9) .792 (2) 15.5
5. Michigan 2-1-0 1-0-0 2 9-7 (11) .063 (8) .833 (6) 22.3
Ohio State 1-3-0 1-1-0 2 12-13 (6) .167 (3) .923 (9) 27.8
7. Michigan State 1-0-1 0-0-1 1 4-2 (8) .111 (4) .900 (3) 16.0
Western Michigan 0-2-1 0-2-1 1 3-11 (9) .087 (11) .760 (11) 37.7
Miami 0-3-1 0-3-1 1 11-17 (4) .238 (10) .786 (4) 17.0
10. Alaska Fairbanks 1-1-0 0-0-0 0 6-7 (8) .250 (1) 1.000 (1) 12.0
Lake Superior 0-4-0 0-4-0 0 6-14 (10) .077 (7) .839 (7) 23.3
NOTRE DAME HOCKEY - making strides
(all improvements indicated by "+")
1996-97 1997-98 Change
Wins 9-25-1 18-19-4 +9
Winning pct. 27.1% 48.8% +21.7%
One-goal games 15 (3-12/.200) 15 (6-10/.375) +.175
Goals per game 2.63 3.10 +0.47
Shots per game 27.2 30.8 +3.6
Shooting pct. 9.7% 10.1% +0.4%
Opponent shots/gm 31.8 27.6 +4.2
Shot margin -4.6 +3.2 +7.8
Power-play pct. 12.7% 17.6% +4.9%
Power-play goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.95 (39) +0.29
Shorthanded goals/gm 0.06 (2) 0.22 (9) +0.16
Penalties per game 8.69 6.37 +2.32
Penalty-killing pct. 81.3% 84.3% +3.0%
Goals-against-avg. 3.73 2.74 +0.99
Save pct. 88.2% 89.8% +1.6%
Goal margin -1.11 0.29 +1.40
S'handed goals allowed/gm 0.23 (7) 0.07 (3) +0.16
1st period goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.90 (37) +0.24
1st period goal margin -0.46 (23-39) +0.24 (37-27) +0.70
3rd period goals/gm 0.94 (33) 0.90 (37) -0.04
3rd period goal margin -0.26 (33-42) -0.29 (37-49) -0.03
Ahead at 1st intermission 4-5-0 (.444) 11-4-1 (.719) +.275
Ahead at 2nd intermission 6-2-0 (.750) 16-5-2 (.739) -.011
Overall CCHA Pts GF-GA Power Play Pen-Kill PIM/Gm 1. Notre Dame 5-0-0 4-0-0 8 22-10 (1) .393 (6) .862 (5) 18.8 2. Northern Michigan 4-0-0 2-0-0 4 19-6 (7) .143 (2) .929 (8) 18.0 Ferris State 2-1-0 2-1-0 4 10-8 (4) .238 (4) .900 (10) 30.3 4. Bowling Green 2-1-1 1-0-1 3 16-14 (2) .257 (9) .792 (2) 15.5 5. Michigan 2-1-0 1-0-0 2 9-7 (11) .063 (8) .833 (6) 22.3 Ohio State 1-3-0 1-1-0 2 12-13 (6) .167 (3) .923 (9) 27.8 7. Michigan State 1-0-1 0-0-1 1 4-2 (8) .111 (4) .900 (3) 16.0 Western Michigan 0-2-1 0-2-1 1 3-11 (9) .087 (11) .760 (11) 37.7 Miami 0-3-1 0-3-1 1 11-17 (4) .238 (10) .786 (4) 17.0 10. Alaska Fairbanks 1-1-0 0-0-0 0 6-7 (8) .250 (1) 1.000 (1) 12.0 Lake Superior 0-4-0 0-4-0 0 6-14 (10) .077 (7) .839 (7) 23.3
NOTRE DAME HOCKEY - making strides (all improvements indicated by "+")
1996-97 1997-98 Change Wins 9-25-1 18-19-4 +9 Winning pct. 27.1% 48.8% +21.7% One-goal games 15 (3-12/.200) 15 (6-10/.375) +.175 Goals per game 2.63 3.10 +0.47
Shots per game 27.2 30.8 +3.6 Shooting pct. 9.7% 10.1% +0.4% Opponent shots/gm 31.8 27.6 +4.2 Shot margin -4.6 +3.2 +7.8
Power-play pct. 12.7% 17.6% +4.9% Power-play goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.95 (39) +0.29 Shorthanded goals/gm 0.06 (2) 0.22 (9) +0.16 Penalties per game 8.69 6.37 +2.32
Penalty-killing pct. 81.3% 84.3% +3.0% Goals-against-avg. 3.73 2.74 +0.99 Save pct. 88.2% 89.8% +1.6% Goal margin -1.11 0.29 +1.40 S'handed goals allowed/gm 0.23 (7) 0.07 (3) +0.16
1st period goals/gm 0.66 (23) 0.90 (37) +0.24 1st period goal margin -0.46 (23-39) +0.24 (37-27) +0.70 3rd period goals/gm 0.94 (33) 0.90 (37) -0.04 3rd period goal margin -0.26 (33-42) -0.29 (37-49) -0.03 Ahead at 1st intermission 4-5-0 (.444) 11-4-1 (.719) +.275 Ahead at 2nd intermission 6-2-0 (.750) 16-5-2 (.739) -.011
FINAL CHECKUP: The Irish can point to many trends that showed progress from '96-'97 to '97-'98 ... Notre Dame improved in most of the above 23 categories, including a winning pct. (.488) nearly double the previous season (.271) ... the most significant offensive improvements came in goals per game (up 0.47), shot margin (up +7.8/gm) and power-play (up 4.9%) ... defensive improvements included the 84.3 pct. penalty-killing unit (up 3.0%), a 2.74 GAA (0.99 better than last season), an 89.8 save pct. (up 1.6) and just 6.37 penalties/gm (2.32 fewer than in '96-'97) ... Notre Dame had more than four times as many shorthanded goals (9) than in all of 1996-97 (2) and owned a 37-27 first-period scoring edge (the opponents outscored the Irish 39-23 in the 1st period in '96-'97) ... the Irish were 6-10 in one-goal games (3-12 the previous year) and 11-4-1 when leading at the 1st intermission (4-5-0 in 1996-97) ... the 3rd period yielded the only negatives, as the Irish were outscored 49-37 and were just 16-5-2 with a 2nd-intermission lead.