No.5 Irish To Tangle with Ferris at Van Andel
Men's Hockey returns to ice for rare Tuesday-night tilt.
November 24, 1998
* First-place Irish, fourth-place Bulldogs to meet on neutral ice
No. 5 Notre Dame (9-2-2, 7-2-1 CCHA) returns to the ice for a rare Tuesday-night tilt, on Nov. 24 versus Ferris State at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (home of the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffons) ... after the FSU game, the Irish will have nine games off from competition before playing two games at Ohio State ... Notre Dame then will take a 27-day break from competition before playing twice at the nation's No.1-ranked team, North Dakota ... the Irish last week beat Western Michigan 9-5 before dropping a 1-0 game at current No. 3 Michigan ... the Ferris State game will be carried by Comcast Network Television (details below) ... the Irish are tied with Michigan atop the CCHA standings (see p. 4), are ranked No. 5 in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and No. 8 in the USA Today poll (see p. 2) ... the Irish lead the CCHA in power-play pct. (.271) and scoring (4.00 goals/gm), rank second in fewest penalty minutes (17.2) and fourth in defense (2.31/gm), but rank just eighth in penalty-killing pct. (.824) ... senior RW Brian Urick notched his 50th career goal last week vs. WMU while his 11 career game-winning goals are tied for third in Notre Dame history, just two behind the record held by fourth-year Irish head coach Dave Poulin ... senior LW Aniket Dhadphale-whose hat trick vs. BG pushed him over 50 career goals-remains out indefinitely with an arm injury suffered late in the Nov. 13 Bowling Green game ... the Irish power-play was hitting at a .321 clip with Dhadphale but the Irish are just 1-for-14 on the PP during the last three games without their top sniper ... junior RW Joe Dusbabek and sophomore D Ryan Clark also remain out with arm injuries suffered late in the WMU game (both missed the Michigan game) ... Urick and Dhadphale's linemate, junior C Ben Simon, was named CCHA player of the week on Nov. 16 after recording two assists and the game-winning goal vs. Bowling Green (6-2) and the game-tying score vs. Michigan (2-2) ... Simon now leads the CCHA for overall (5G-22A) and conference scoring (6G-12A) ... Notre Dame raced out to its best start in 39 years of varsity hockey (6-0-0) and best conference start in 19 seasons as a member of the WCHA (1971-81) or CCHA (1981-83, 1992- ).
THE TV SCOOP: The Nov. 24 game between Notre Dame and Ferris State at Van Andel Arena (home of the minor-league hockey Grand Rapids Griffons) in Grand Rapids, Mich. will be available at: Spacenet 4, TR-4 (vertical), (101 degrees west), with a downlink frequency of 3840, 6.2/6.8 mono audio, a 6:30 p.m. system test and a 7:00 p.m.-9:45 air time.
HOME IMPROVEMENT: After a 3-6-3 start at home in '97-'98 (in which the Irish were 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 ... in the last 11 home games, Notre Dame is 8-2-1 with a commanding 49-22 scoring edge (two 7-1 wins and a 9-5 win) ... the recent home losses came to Michigan (1-0, goal in first minute) and eventual NCAA semifinalist Ohio State (5-3) while the ties were vs. Bowling Green in 1997-98 (1-1) and Michigan this season (2-2).
A FINE LINE: Notre Dame's first forward line of senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (9-7), sophomore C Ben Simon (7-15) and senior RW Brian Urick (9-10) combined for 22 goals and 50 points through the first 10 games (5.0 points/gm), with Dhadphale missing the last three games due to an injury ... Dhadphale (52-41), Simon (20-58) and Urick (50-54) have combined for 274 career points in 320 combined games ... during the 1997-98 season, the threesome skated together for the final eight games en route to becoming the program's first threesome of 30-point scorers since 1992-93: Dhadphale (25-10), Simon (9-28) and Urick (16-18).
POWER PLAY TAKES A HIT: Notre Dame's vaunted power play opened the season hitting at a .321 clip but the Irish are just 1-for-14 on the power play during the past three games, due to the absence of senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (all three games) and sophomore RW Joe Dusbabek (who took Dhadphale's spot on the first unit before missing the Nov. 21 game at Michigan due to injury) ... despite the recent PP dropoff (1-5 vs. Michigan, 0-4 vs. WMU, 0-5 at UM), the overall Irish power-play pct. (.271) would rank best by an Irish team playing as a member of the CCHA or WCHA since the 1981-82 season (.303) ... the current .271 Irish mark also is ahead of the CCHA-best effort by Michigan State in 1997-98 (.233) .... for comparison, Notre Dame owned just a .127 power-play pct. in 1996-97 and a .176 PP mark last season ... power-play goals have helped provide the decisive margin this season in wins over Ferris State (5-3, 2 PPGs), Lake Superior (403, 4 PPGs) and Northeastern (4-3, 3 PPGs) while the Irish netted three PPGs in the 5-5 tie at Boston College ... eight different Irish players have notched a PPG this season, led by four from senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and three each from his linemates: senior RW Brian Urick, senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and junior C Ben Simon ... the other PPGs have come from sophomore LW Dan Carlson (2), freshman C David Inman, sophomore LW Chad Chipchase, sophomore RW Matt Van Arkel (3) and junior RW Joe Dusbabek ... the primary power-play unit has included 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 13 PPGs, with Dusbabek scoring as a member of the first group at Lake Superior while Simon was in the penalty box.
THE TRAVELLERS: Notre Dame is in the midst of playing just three home games over an 11-week stretch and 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 ... the current 11-week stretch includes five off-weekends for the Irish (Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Nov. 27-28, Dec. 11-12, Dec. 18-19 and Dec. 25-26) ... on the flip side, Notre Dame will then play nine of the ensuing 14 games at home before ending the regular season with a pair of games at Miami.
FSU SERIES NOTES: Ferris State holds a 21-9-3 series lead over Notre Dame but the Irish hold a 2-1-1 edge in the last four games ... top Irish career scorers vs. FSU include senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (10 gms, 5G-8A), junior C Ben Simon (7 gms, 1G-5A) and senior D Benoit Cotnoir (9 gms, 3G-1A).
RECAPPING THE OCT. 16 GAME (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 D 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 PPG by Aniket Dhadphale just 2:08 into the game and the first career goal for Brett Henning, with 3:32 left to play ... FSU enjoyed a 28-23 edge in shots but Forrest Karr made 25 timely saves ... PPGs 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
Saves: ND (Karr) 6-10-9/25, FSU (Owen) 6-5-7/18.
Power Play: ND 2-for-4, FSU 1-for-5.
Penalties: ND 8 for 24:00, FSU 6 for 12:00.
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 Saves: ND (Karr) 6-10-9/25, FSU (Owen) 6-5-7/18. Power Play: ND 2-for-4, FSU 1-for-5. Penalties: ND 8 for 24:00, FSU 6 for 12:00.
RECAPPING LAST YEAR'S ND-FSU SERIES:
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Ferris State stands fourth in the CCHA (6-3-1, 7-3-2 overall), after a pair of big wins last week at Northern Michigan (2-0, 4-2) ... FSU returned 22 of 26 letterwinners-including all 14 forwards, 10 of them seniors-from its '97-'98 team that finished 15-21-3 overall, eighth in the CCHA (12-15-3) ... FSU lost one of the CCHA's top offensive defensemen-Brett Colborne (7G-30A in '97-'98)-to graduation ... the Bulldogs returned four players who totaled 28-plus points last season: senior W Joel Irwin (15G-19A), sophomore C and CCHA all-rookie team member Kevin Swider (12G-20A), junior C Brian McCullough (15G-13 A) and junior LW Brent Wishart (14G-14A) ... FSU also returned a proven goaltender in sophomore Vince Owen (12-18-3, 3.23 GAA, .879 save pct. in '97-'98) ... the Bulldogs last season ranked seventh in the CCHA for overall power play percentage (.157) but 10th in penalty killing (.802) ... FSU this season ranks fifth in the CCHA for scoring (3.17/gm), second in defense (2.08 goals allowed/gm), 10th in power play (.107), second in penalty-killing (.896) and fifth in fewest penalty minutes (19.1/gm) ... top scorers this season include Irwin (5G-7A), Swider (6G-5A), McCullough (4G-5A) and Wishart (4G-4A) ... Owen, who has played all but 65 minutes this season, ranks third in the CCHA with a 2.21 GAA and first with a .920 save pct. ... freshman Phil Osaer played in the 3-3 tie with Mankato ... FSU's other CCHA results include wins at WMU (3-1), vs. OSU (4-2) and vs. UAF (8-3, 5-2), losses to Notre Dame (3-5), at BG (1-2) and vs. Lake Superior (1-3) and a tie vs. LSSU (1-1) ... FSU also played two games vs. Mankato (3-3, 3-1).
FRIEND OR FOE?: Several players from Notre Dame and Ferris State are former teammates ... they include: FSU senior RW Geoff Bennetts and senior LW Ken Sergott and ND senior C Craig Hagkull (Des Moines Buccaneers); FSU sophomore C Kevin Swider and ND junior D Andy Jurkowski (Omaha Lancers); FSU junior LW Brian McCullough and ND junior D Sean Molina (Chicago Young Americans); and FSU senior F Ed Kowalski and ND junior D Sean Seyferth (Compuware Ambassadors).
IRISH MAKING STRIDES IN QUEST TO RETURN TO "THE JOE": The arrival of Dave Poulin in 1995 as head coach of the Notre Dame hockey program set in motion various improvements that have the program on track to competing for a spot in the CCHA semi-finals, at Joe Louis Arena ... the last time Notre Dame advanced to "The Joe" was 1981-82, when Poulin served as team co-captain ... as the above chart shows, Notre Dame made some headway in Poulin's second season ('96-'97) but still was lacking the consistency needed to qualify for the CCHA Tournament ... in '97-'98, the Irish improved in 20 of the above 23 categories (compared to an improvement in just 12 from the first to second season of the Poulin era) ... Notre Dame's biggest strides in '96-'97 came in penalties (down 2.62/gm), penalty killing (up 4.0%) and GAA (down 0.63) but there were frustrating dropoffs in scoring (down 0.43/gm), power-play pct. (down 4.6%) and the ability to hold 1st-period leads (4-5-0) ... in '97-'98, the many improvements included those three areas, as the Irish scored 0.47 more goals/gm, boosted their power play 4.9% and were 11-4-1 with a 1st-period lead ... other '97-'98 improvements came in shot margin (up +7.8/gm), penalty-killing (up 3.0%) and penalties (2.32 fewer) ... Notre Dame also had more than four times as many shorthanded goals (9) than in '96-'97 (2) and owned a 37-27 1st-period scoring edge (the opponents outscored the Irish 39-23 in the 1st period of '96-'97) ... the Irish also were 6-10 in one-goal games, after going 3-12 in '96-'97 ... through 13 games of '98-'99, the Irish have improved in 18 of the 22 applicable categories ... noteworthy strides have involved the high-powered offense: 4.00 goals/gm (up 0.90), a 13.4% shooting pct. (up 3.3%), a 1.69 goal margin (up 1.40), a 5.4 shot margin (up 2.2), a CCHA-best 27.1% power-play unit (up 9.5%) and 20 third-period goals (just 0.9/gm last season) ... the current Irish defense owns a 2.28 GAA (0.47 better than last season), a 90.6% save pct. (up 0.8%) and just 24.5 opponent shots/gm (a 3.1 improvement) ... the Irish also are 6-0-1 when holding a lead at the 1st intermission (71.9% last season) and 7-0-1 with a 2nd-intermission lead (73.9% in '97-'98) ... the only areas of non-improvement have involved a slight dropoff in shots/gm (down 0.9), an increase in penalties/gm (up 1.78), the failure to score a shorthanded goal (nine in 41 games last season) and a dropoff in penalty-killing pct. (down from .843 to .824).DEFICITS RARE: Notre Dame faced just two deficits in its first six games and has trailed a total of just nine times for 102:22 over the first 11 games (790:00), meaning the Irish have trailed for just 13 percent of the minutes this season) ... Lake Superior jumped out to a 1-0, first-period lead at Notre Dame on Oct. 8 but led for just 8:36 before Aniket Dhadphale's goal later in the period ... a week later, Ferris State rallied in the third period to take a 3-2 lead but Brian Urick tied the game just 3:01 later (the Irish went on to win 5-3) ... WMU claimed a 1-0 lead on the Irish late in the first period but Matt Van Arkel's goal early in the second period yielded a deficit that lasted just 1:43 of game time ... the Broncos then posted the longest lead on the Irish this season (16:46), after Steve Rymsha's rebound goal gave WMU its 2-1 lead ... Boston College jumped ahead of the Irish on Jeff Farkas' first-period goal but the lead lasted just 7:07 before Ben Simon's power-play goal ... most recently, Bowling Green held leads of 7:02 and 19:38 while Michigan had a lead for 9:09 of game time ... Michigan's Sean Ritchlin scored the only game of last week's game (off his leg) at 10:40 of the second period.
REDEFINING MAN DOWN: During its last 25 games, Notre Dame has played without at last one of its top defensemen 22 times and managed to go 12-8-2 in those games (four of the losses were to Michigan) ... the Irish are 2-0-1 in the only games during the last 25 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) ... the games missed by Irish defenseman during the last 25 games break down as follows (with Clark set to miss the FSU game): Cotnoir (2), Fraser (13), Borega (15) and Clark (1) ... two of those players have been sidelined during the same game nine times over the last 25, with the Irish owning a solid 6-3-0 mark in those games ... Fraser took the leadership reigns of the Irish defense in mid-October, in the absence of Borega and Cotnoir, and played the point on the first power-play unit that racked up six goals in the trip to Ferris State and Lake Superior.
SIMON THE SCORER: Junior C Ben Simon-who has points in 10 of 11 games-is atop the CCHA scoring charts for overall (7G-16A) and league scoring (6G-12A) ... Simon scored a memorable goal 17 seconds into the third period of the 7-1 win over Western Michigan, 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 (58 assists in 79 career games) but owns just 20 career goals on 209 shots (10.5 shots per goal), with the goal versus 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 Junior Barons) ... Simon, who has added goals at Lake Superior, vs. Ohio State, at BC, at Northeastern, vs. BG, vs. Michigan and in the WMU series finals, is averaging just 5.0 shots per goal this season (30 shots), compared to 13.4 shots per goal during his first two seasons (13 goals, 174 shots).
CURRENT HOCKEY POLLS
U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY ONLINE POLL (11/23)
1. North Dakota (22), 6-1-1 292
2. Colorado Coll. (7), 8-2-0 261
3. Boston College, 6-2-1 213
4. Michigan (1), 8-2-1 181
5. NOTRE DAME, 9-2-2 162
6. Maine, 7-1-1 152
7. New Hampshire, 7-1-1 142
8. Michigan State, 7-2-2 132
9. Denver, 7-3-0 32
10. St. Lawrence, 6-2-0 28
1. North Dakota (22), 6-1-1 292 2. Colorado Coll. (7), 8-2-0 261 3. Boston College, 6-2-1 213 4. Michigan (1), 8-2-1 181 5. NOTRE DAME, 9-2-2 162 6. Maine, 7-1-1 152 7. New Hampshire, 7-1-1 142 8. Michigan State, 7-2-2 132 9. Denver, 7-3-0 32 10. St. Lawrence, 6-2-0 28
Others Receiving Votes: Princeton 14, Ferris State 12, Northern Michigan 9, Colgate 8, Ohio State 3, St. Cloud State 2, Wisconsin 2, Cornell 1, Minnesota 1, Providence 1, Yale 1.
USA TODAY / AMERICAN HOCKEY MAGAZINE POLL (11/23)
Others Receiving Votes: Ferris State 5, St. Lawrence 2, Cornell 1, Northern Michigan 1.
CCHA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Michigan (7) 117
2. Ohio State (3) 108
3. Michigan State (1) 104
4. Northern Michigan 79
NOTRE DAME 79
6. Ferris State 64
7. Miami 49
8. Bowling Green 45
9. Lake Superior 42
10. Western Michigan 24
11. Alaska Fairbanks 15
1. Michigan (7) 117 2. Ohio State (3) 108 3. Michigan State (1) 104 4. Northern Michigan 79 NOTRE DAME 79 6. Ferris State 64 7. Miami 49 8. Bowling Green 45 9. Lake Superior 42 10. Western Michigan 24 11. Alaska Fairbanks 15
CCHA PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
EASY AS 1-2-3: Notre Dame has received steady production in all three periods, with 15 goals in the first period, 17 in the second and 20 in the third ... during the first six games, the Irish owned an 8-1 scoring edge in the first period (15-7 overall) ... the Irish also own a 17-7 edge in the second period but have struggled defensively in the third, with a 20-16 edge ... during the 1997-98 season, Notre Dame owned a 37-27 first-period scoring edge and went 11-4-1 in games with a first-intermission lead ... the Irish were even more dominant last season in the second period (51-35) but lost five games when leading at the second intermission (16-5-2), due in large part to being outscored 49-37 in the final period.
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 17 games vs. CCHA teams, Notre Dame is 10-6-1, including a 9-4-1 mark in the regular season.
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 34 goals and 18 assists during the past two seasons (51 games).
RETURN OF THE ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame has proven to be unfazed by playing on the road in hostile arenas over the past two seasons-most recently in the 5-5 tie at No. 1 Boston College and the 1-0 loss at Michigan-as the Irish are 16-12-1 away from home during that stretch, with the 12 losses including nine by one goal ... the Irish own a 98-83 scoring edge and an 889-821 shot advantage in those 29 road games (average of 3.4 goals scored and 2.9 allowed, 30.7 shots taken and 28.3 allowed) ... in 1997-98, Notre Dame posted wins at several hostile arenas, including St. Cloud State (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 at Ferris State (5-3) and Lake Superior (4-3)-giving Notre Dame victories in every opposing CCHA building except Miami's Goggin Ice Arena over the past two seasons.
URICK STARTS FAST: Senior RW and team captain Brian Urick turned in a five-point weekend vs. Lake Superior (2G) and Western Michigan (2G, 1A) before adding a goal at Ferris State, a goal and assist at Lake Superior, two assists vs. Ohio State, a goal and assist at BC, the game-winning goal at Northeastern, two assists vs. BG, one assist vs. Michigan and his 50th career goal and an assist in the series finale vs. WMU ... Urick's four-game goal streak ended vs. OSU (equaling his career-high) but he still has 18 points in the last 12 games (9G-9A) ... Urick leads the team in plus-minus (+16), has just five penalties and owns 50 goals and 54 assists in 124 career games ... his first of two assists in the Bowling Green game made Urick the 27th Notre Dame player to reach the 100-point plateau ... over the past two seasons, Urick has 52 points (24G-28A) in 54 games, a team-best +31, only 50 penalty minutes and seven of the team's 27 game-winning goals ... his 11 career game-winning goals ties Urick with Paul Regan (1969-73) for third in Irish history behind Dave Bankoske (12, 1988-93) and fourth-year Irish head coach Dave Poulin (13, 1978-82).
SO MUCH FOR PLUS-MINUS: Despite outscoring the opposition by 22 goals, Notre Dame is just +77 because a good portion of its goals (19 of 52) have come on the power play while the opponents have totaled 17 non-power-play goals.
BALANCING ACT: Notre Dame's 52 goals have come from 15 players, with six combining on the first seven ... junior C Ben Simon owns 15 of the team's 85 assists, with 17 other players also setting up Irish goals this season ... only one of the 18 starting skaters-junior D/LW Andy Jurkowski-has yet to register a point ... additionally, the nine Irish game-winning goals have come from seven different players (Simon and Brian Urick have two each).
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 2.28 season goals-against average that ranks fourth in the CCHA ... that fast start places Karr well below the season record for GAA (2.70), set last season by Matt Eisler ... Karr's .906 season save pct. also could challenge the Irish record (.907) set by Mark Kronholm in 1970-71 ... Karr's career record now stands at 17-13-3, including 15-5-3 over the past two seasons ... Karr owns a solid 2.54 GAA during the past two seasons (59 GA, 1393:24) while his career GAA of 3.03 (98 GA, 1940:57) would best the Irish record set by Eisler (3.66) ... Karr's impressive effort on the road during the past two seasons has yielded a 10-3-1 record and a 2.50 GAA (35 GA, 839:25), with both losses coming at Western Michigan ... Karr recently posted his first career shutout with 16 saves in the 3-0 win over No. 9 Ohio State, improving his career record to 3-3-0 versus national top-10 teams (wins at Bowling Green as a sophomore and at Wisconsin earlier this season) before playing to a 5-5 tie at No. 1 Boston College, a 2-2 tie vs. No. 7 Michigan and a 1-0 loss at No. 8 Michigan (he is now 3-4-2 vs. top-10 teams).
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'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 lefthander flirted with a hat trick the next night vs. Western Michigan, opened the scoring on what proved to be the game-winner vs. Ohio State (3-0) and assisted on a Van Arkel PPG at Boston College before scoring a PPG of his own at Northeastern ... he had an assist in the 6-2 win over Bowling Green before scoring the first goal in the 2-2 tie with Michigan and providing two assist in the 9-5 win over WMU ... for the season, Inman is +6 with just eight penalties ... Henning has done a solid job centering the third line ... Henning's goal iced the 5-3 win at Ferris State while he passed the puck to Jay Kopischke to set up Van Arkel's rebound goal at WMU (a 2-1 loss) before providing the primary assist on Benoit Cotnoir's goal vs. BG and notching two assists vs. WMU (9-5) ... Cornelius assisted in both of the home wins over Lake Superior 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 ... Cornelius also knocked home the game-winner at Ferris State (5-3), on a shot from the center of the blue line, while his shot was tipped in by Van Arkel at Northeastern ... Inman (+6, 8 pen.), Henning (E, 6 pen.) and Cornelius (-2, 4 pen.) have combined for 19 points, an +4 plus-minus ratio and just 18 penalties in 13 games.@ND 9, WMU 5 (11/20/98) - Chad Chipchase scored 32 seconds into the game and the goals just kept on coming ... Notre Dame raced out to a 6-0 second-period lead while avenging its only loss of the season ... the nine goals are the most by the Irish in any game since the 10-2 win over St Francis-Xavier on Oct. 14, 1994 and the most by Notre Dame in a CCHA game since a 9-6 win over Miami on Jan. 14, 1983 ... the 14 combined goals are the most in a game involving Notre Dame since the Irish dropped a 10-6 game to Ferris State on Jan. 11, 1994 ... eight Irish players recorded goals, including two by Chipchase and the first goals of the season for Tyson Fraser and Craig Hagkull ... other goalscorers included Joe Dusbabek, Brian Urick (the 50th of his career), Dan Carlson, Ben Simon and Matt Van Arkel ... seven of the Irish goals came 5-on-5 while Carlson notched the team's first shorthanded goal of the season and Simon scored 4-on-4 (the Irish power play was 0-for-4) ... 10 Notre Dame players recorded assists, including two each by Simon, Carlson, Van Arkel, David Inman and Brett Henning ... other assists came from Fraser, Urick, Benoit Cotnoir, Nathan Borega and Sean Molina ... all told, 13 Irish players had at least one point in the game ... Forrest Karr stopped the first 13 shots he faced before allowing five goals in the final period, three on the power play and another 4-on-4 .... WMU senior Matt Barnes-whose 31 saves helped beat the Irish last month-was pulled midway through the second period after making just seven saves and allowing four goals ... Chris Peck didn't fare much better, allowing a goal just 18 seconds after taking the ice and getting touched for another before the period ended .. freshman Jeff Reynaert closed out the game with 12 third-period saves and three goals allowed ... the third period included eight goals, 29 shots on goal and seven of the game's 16 penalties ... Chipchase opened the scoring by drilling a shot from beyond the right circle that sailed over the glove of Barnes (0:32) ... Carlson then set up Dusbabek's goal two minutes later for a quick 2-0 lead (4:04) ... three Irish goals in a second-period span of 2:45 pushed the lead to 5-0 ... Urick took a pass off the boards from Simon and slanted across the ice from right to left before faking Barnes and putting the puck back into the right side of the net (10:37) ...18 seconds later, Henning sent a pass to mid-ice for Van Arkel, who went down in a hard collision as he tried to control the puck ... Fraser skated onto the free puck near the left boards for a rare breakaway and cashed in the chance with a strong cross-ice shot into the right side of the net ... Carlson capped the flurry, after Urick sent a lead pass down the right side ... Carlson slanted into the center of the right circle and fired the puck past Peck's blocker and into the far side of the net (16:15) ... WMU's Steve Rymsha scored an early power-play goal in the final period and Jason Redenius added a 4-on-4 score but the Irish answered 38 seconds later when Simon took advantage of a WMU turnover, picking up the puck in the left corner and skating around the net before stuffing a shot between the post and Reynaert's left skate (7:03) ... the teams then traded goals in a 30-second span that featured three goals ... Frank's Novock's power-play goal at 12:49 made the game 7-3 but Van Arkel scored 13 seconds later, sending home a pass from Carlson at close range ... WMU answered with Corey Waring's goal 17 seconds later and Matt Addesa scored with 4:03 left for a 8-5 game ... Hagkull capped the scored with three minutes to play, converting a pass from Henning at the left side of the crease.
WESTERN MICHIGAN 0 0 5 - 5 NOTRE DAME 2 4 3 - 9
@MICHIGAN 1, ND 0 (11/21/98) - A freak goal provided the only scoring in front of a spirited, standing-room-only crowd of 6,564 ... the last seven games of the series have included five one-goal wins by Michigan (two in overtime), a 4-2 win for the Irish and the previous week's 2-2 tie ... an unconventional goal that deflected off the leg of Michigan senior RW Sean Ritchlin provided the night's only scoring, as neither team managed a power-play goal despite five chances for the Irish and six for the Wolverines ... Irish senior Forrest Karr was under heavy pressure for much of the night while totaling 25 saves ... his counterpart, freshman Josh Blackburn, stopped all 16 Irish shots for his second career shutout ... Michigan appeared to cash in on a five-minute major penalty on Irish junior C Ben Simon, just 25 seconds into the final period, when sophomore RW Josh Langfeld tipped in a shot from the center of the blueline by sophomore D Dale Huntzicker .. .but the goal was disallowed as Langfeld was called for hitting the puck with a high stick ... the Irish then gained a break when sophomore C Scott Matzka's interference penalty at the 2:07 mark produced a 4-on-4 situation, and Michigan ultimately failed to capitalize on the Simon penalty ... the game featured 39 combined penalty minutes (21 for Notre Dame and 18 for Michigan) ... Notre Dame nearly tied the game with 13 minutes left, when senior D Benoit Cotnoir found streaking senior RW Brian Urick with a pass down the right side ... Michigan was caught in a mental lapse, as a defenseman left the ice prior to the pass but nobody took his place ... Urick skated in free on Blackburn but his rising shot clanged hard off the right post ... Notre Dame had another strong scoring chance with seven minutes to play, when the lefthanded Simon knifed in from the left side and nudged a twisting backhanded shot on net .. .but the puck bounced around in the crease with Simon unable to finish the chance before Blackburn covered for a faceoff ... Michigan scored on a freak goal midway through the second period, as Matzka fired a shot from the top of the circle to Karr's right ... the puck kicked off the leg of Ritchlin before flying by Karr's left leg ... the Irish had a brief two-man advantage late in the second period but could not convert, with Blackburn stopping an open backhanded chance at the top of the crease by sophomore LW wing Chad Chipchase.
2nd: Michigan 1. Ritchlin 2 (Matzka) 10:40.
Saves: ND (Forrest Karr) 10-7-8/25; UM (Josh Blackburn) 4-6-6/16.
Power Plays: ND 0-5, UM 0-6.
Penalties: ND 9 for 21:00, UM 9 for 18:00.
2nd: Michigan 1. Ritchlin 2 (Matzka) 10:40. Saves: ND (Forrest Karr) 10-7-8/25; UM (Josh Blackburn) 4-6-6/16. Power Plays: ND 0-5, UM 0-6. Penalties: ND 9 for 21:00, UM 9 for 18:00.