for third in league scoring.
Men's Hockey at OSU Dec. 4-5
Irish prep for a pair of games against OSU then break.
December 1, 1998
NO. 6 IRISH HEAD TO OHIO STATE BEFORE BREAK
No. 6 Notre Dame (9-3-2, 7-3-1 CCHA) returns to play with a pair of games at Ohio State (6-7-2, 6-4-2) on Dec. 4-5 ... the games will be televised by Central Ohio Sport Television on a delayed basis in the Columbus area (the first game is scheduled to be shown at 7 PM on Dec. 5 and 7 while the second game will be shown at 7 PM on Dec. 6 and 8) ... after the OSU series, Notre Dame will take a 27-day break from competition before playing twice at the nation's No.1-ranked team, North Dakota ... surging Ferris State (8-31) leads the CCHA standings, with Notre Dame and Michigan (7-1-1) tied for second and OSU and Michigan State (6-2-2) just a point behind (see p. 4) ... the Irish are ranked No. 6 in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and No. 7 in the USA Today poll (see p. 2) ... the Irish lead the CCHA in overall power-play pct. (.274) and scoring (3.86 goals/gm), rank second in fewest penalty minutes (17.1) and fourth in defense (2.31/gm), but rank last in penalty-killing pct. (.815) ... senior RW Brian Urick's 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 ... the Irish hope for the return this week of senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (see below) ... 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 ranks second in the CCHA for overall scoring (7G-16A) ... 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- ).
INJURY UPDATE: Three Notre Dame players could return to action this week after missing recent games due to arm injuries: senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (4 games missed), junior RW Joe Dusbabek (2) and sophomore D Ryan Clark (2) ... the Irish power play was hitting at a .321 clip during the first 10 games with Dhadphale in the lineup but the Irish are just 2-for-17 (.118) on the PP during the last four games without their top sniper.
SIMON THE SCORER: Junior C Ben Simon-who has points in 12 of 14 games this season-ranks second in the CCHA overall scoring charts (7G-16A) and is tied for third in league scoring (6G-12A) ... Northern Michigan's Buddy Smith (5G-20A, 2G-17A) sits atop both lists, with teammate J.P. Vigier (13G-6A) owning a share of the league scoring lead ... 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 (59 assists in 81 career games) but owns just 20 career goals on 212 shots (10.6 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 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 5.4 shots per goal this season (38 shots), compared to 13.4 shots per goal during his first two seasons (13 goals, 174 shots).
TURN BACK ON THE POWER: Notre Dame's power play opened the season hitting at a .321 clip but the Irish are just 2-for-17 on the power play during the past four games, due to the absence of senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (all four games) and sophomore RW Joe Dusbabek (who took Dhadphale's spot on the first unit before missing the last two games due to injury) ... despite the recent PP dropoff (1-5 vs. Michigan, 0-4 vs. WMU, 0-5 at UM, 1-3 vs. FSU), the overall Irish power-play pct. (.274) would rank best by an Irish team playing as a member of the CCHA or WCHA since the 1981-82 season (.303) ... the current .274 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 (2), 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 14 PPGs, with Dusbabek scoring with the first group at Lake Superior while Simon was in the penalty box and Chipchase scoring last week vs. Ferris State.
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.
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 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).
THE SERIES: Notre Dame owns an 19-9-3 series edge but OSU has won four of the last six ... Notre Dame is 8-4-3 vs. OSU in games played in Columbus (6-3-0 since rejoining the CCHA in '92-'93) ... all of the above games were played at the OSU Ice Rink aside from last year's pair of games, which resulted in a win for both teams at the Ohio Expo Center ... the Irish beat then-#9 OSU 3-0 at Notre Dame on Oct. 23 ... the last three Irish shutouts have come vs. OSU (Matt Eisler had a 16-save, 4-0 win over OSU on 11/11/95 and a memorable 47-save, 3-0 win at OSU on 10/25/96).
THE LAST MEETING (10/23/98) @ ND 3, OSU 0 - Forrest Karr posted the first shutout of his career and Notre Dame managed three goals despite an off night for the power play ... OSU managed just two shots in the final 20 minutes ... the Irish came up empty on six man-up chances ... David Inman ignited the crowd with a goal 1:07 into the first period while Aniket Dhadphale pushed the lead to 2-0 with a score early in the second ... Ben Simon iced the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute ... the Irish limited OSU to 16 total shots ... Dan Carlson initiated the first goal when he intercepted an outlet and sent a cross-ice pass to the right point for wing Joe Dusbabek, who fed the puck to Inman in the right circle for a low shot inside the far left post ... Simon got things going on the second goal with a pass to Brian Urick, who blasted a shot from close range on the right side ... Jeff Maund made the save but Dhadphale was waiting for the rebound and stuffed the puck between Maund's right skate and the post (5:57).
OHIO STATE 0 0 0 - 0
NOTRE DAME 1 1 1 - 3
1st - ND 1 Inman 3 (Dusbabek Carlson) 1:07
2nd - ND 2 Dhadphale 4 (Urick Simon) 5:57
3rd - ND 3 Simon 3 (Urick Clark) 19:18
Saves: OSU (Maund) 10-11-9/30
ND (Karr) 8-6-2/16
Power Play: OSU 0-5
Penalties: OSU 12 for 24:00
ND 10 for 20:00
RECAPPING LAST YEAR'S SERIES:
ND 3, OSU 2 (@Ohio Expo Center) 11/16/97
Notre Dame received SHGs from Benoit Cotnoir (rebound slapshot) and Ben Simon (backhanded breakaway) and a Lyle Andrusiak's PPG (rebound scoop) ... the Irish stopped seven of eight OSU power plays ... Forrest Karr had 28 saves, turning away OSU's first 23 shots ... the teams combined for 33 penalties (season-high 16 by the Irish) ... OSU scored two third-period goals in a span of less than two minutes, on Todd Compeau's rebound goal and Hugo Boisvert's PPG ... Cotnoir scored after a rebounded Dan Carlson shot while Andrusiak tipped home a deflected Aniket Dhadphale shot ... Ray Aho made 26 saves for OSU ... both teams struggled on the PP (OSU 1-8, ND 1-9).
OSU 5, ND 3 (@Ohio Expo Center) 1/25/98
Eric Meloche broke a 3-3 tie on a breakaway SHG early in the third ... Meloche knocked in a rebound for the first goal at 6:14 of the first and Jean-Francois Dufour lit the lamp 0:11 later ... the Irish pulled to 2-1 just before intermission on Benoit Cotnoir's 4-on-4 blueline slapshot ... OSU went ahead 3-2 on Neal Rech's SHG, set up by Chris Richards' odd-man rush ... Notre Dame answered with Aniket Dhadphale's PPG through traffic and tied the score when John Dwyer redirected a Mark Eaton shot ... OSU added an goal when Vinnie Grant beat Matt Eisler with a one-timer ... Eisler had 24 saves, OSU's Ray Aho 27.
OSU 5, @ ND 3 2/13/98
Eric Meloche and Neal Rech scored their second goals of the game midway through the third period ... Aniket Dhadphale had two goals and one assists for the Irish but defensemen Nathan Borega and Tyson Fraser missed the game due to injury ... Mark Eaton's goal tied the game 1-1 and the Irish broke ahead early in the second period when Dhadphale knocked in a deflected Benoit Cotnoir PP shot ... OSU tied the game on Rech's unassisted goal and then took the lead when Vinnie Grant poked home his third goal of the season ... Dhadphale's PPG with 14:17 to play tied the game 3-3 ... Meloche broke free for a shot from the right circle through Matt Eisler's legs ... a minute later, Rech scored in a scramble for his fourth goal of the season ... Eisler had 29 saves, OSU's Jeff Maund 31. SCOUTING OSU: Ohio State (6-7-2, 6-4-2 CCHA) is tied with Michigan State (6-2-2) for fourth in the CCHA, just one point behind Notre Dame (7-3-1) and Michigan (7-1-1) ... the Buckeyes are coming off a two-game sweep at Alaska Fairbanks (3-2, 3-1) ... OSU 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 ... the Buckeyes have struggled offensively, ranking ninth in the CCHA for scoring (2.53 goals/gm) and sixth in power-play pct. (.138) ... OSU has averaged 22.9 penalty minutes per game (third-most in the CCHA), leading to 99 opponent power-play chances (6.6/gm, second-most in the CCHA) ... OSU own's the third-best penalty-killing unit in the CCHA (.899) and ranks sixth in defense (2.87 goals allowed/gm) ... Boisvert is tied for 10th in the CCHA with 15 points (8G-7A) while senior F Chris Richards has 2G-12A ... other top OSU scorers include: sophomore F Vinnie Grant (3G-5A) ... only five CCHA players have more goals than Boisvert (8) while only three CCHA players have more assists than Richards (12) ... Boisvert's five power-play goals trail only Northern Michigan's J.P. Vigier (7) in the CCHA rankings ... Maund has logged 785 minutes, with a 6-4-3 record, 2.60 GAA and .916 save pct. ... OSU opened the season by dropping 4-3 games to Boston College (double OT) and Minnesota at the Icebreaker Invitational before posting a 4-1 win at Lake Superior and losing 4-2 at FSU ... OSU's other results: @ND (0-3), @MSU (4-4), @Niagara (3-6), @MSU (1-3), @WMU (2-2), MSU (3-2), NMU (4-2), Miami (2-1), @Miami (1-4).
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.
RECAPPING THE 4-2 LOSS TO FERRIS STATE (11/24): Ed Kowalski poked home a controversial PPG midway through the third and FSU added an ENG ... Notre Dame owned a 32-23 shot edge but Vince Owen made 30 saves (12 in the third) ... FSU overcame a second-period, 1-0 deficit before pulling away in the final 10 minutes ... the game-winner came after a Joel Irwin shot was apparently covered by Forrest Karr, who was sprawled out parallel to the goalline with the puck under his legs, but Kowalski reached in from the left side, pulled the puck out and poked it into the net for FSU's second PPG of the night ... Notre Dame nearly forced a 3-3 tied with 3:30 left, when Chad Chipchase poked the puck free to set up a breakaway chance for Ben Simon, but the forehand shot clanged off the far right post ... David Inman opened the scoring seven minutes into the second period, knocking home a rebounded shot by Brian Urick ... Ferris quickly tied the game on a Casey Harris goal and then surged to the lead on Geoff Bennetts' PPG ... Notre Dame tied the game minutes later on a questionable goal credited to Chipchase, on a shot from the right circle that saw the puck bounce back into play from where the left post and crossbar meet.
NOTRE DAME 0 2 0 - 2
FERRIS STATE 0 2 2 - 4
2nd: ND 1 Inman 6 (Urick Carlson) 6:52
FSU 1 Harris 2 (Homer) 8:12
FSU 2 Bennetts (Homer McCullough) 10:21
ND 2 Chipchase 5 (Urick Simon) 14:02
3rd: FSU 3 Kowalski (Irwin Dube) 9:02
FSU 4 Bennetts (unassisted) 19:15
Saves: ND (Karr) 4-4-11/19
FSU (Owen) 9-9-12/30
Power Plays: ND 1 for 3
FSU 2 for 7
Penalties: ND 8 for 16:00
FSU 4 for 8:00
CURRENT HOCKEY POLLS U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY ONLINE POLL (11/30)
1. North Dakota (25) 6-1-1 295 2. Colorado Coll. (5) 8-2-0 270
3. Maine 7-1-1 208 4. Michigan 8-2-1 204
5. Boston College 6-2-1 174 6. NOTRE DAME 9-2-2 132
7. New Hampshire 7-1-1 120 8. Michigan State 7-2-2 106
9. Ferris State 9-3-2 51 10. Denver 7-3-0 30
Team votes) W-L-T Pts Team votes) W-L-T Pts
1. North Dakota (25) 6-1-1 295 2. Colorado Coll. (5) 8-2-0 270 3. Maine 7-1-1 208 4. Michigan 8-2-1 204 5. Boston College 6-2-1 174 6. NOTRE DAME 9-2-2 132 7. New Hampshire 7-1-1 120 8. Michigan State 7-2-2 106 9. Ferris State 9-3-2 51 10. Denver 7-3-0 30
Princeton 25 Colgate 17
Northern Michigan 6 St Lawrence 6
Clarkson 2 Minnesota 2
Wisconsin 1 Ohio State 1
Others Receiving Votes:
Princeton 25 Colgate 17 Northern Michigan 6 St Lawrence 6 Clarkson 2 Minnesota 2 Wisconsin 1 Ohio State 1
USA TODAY / AMERICAN HOCKEY MAGAZINE POLL (11/30)
1. North Dakota (8) 8-1-1 98 2. Colorado Coll (2) 10-2-0 90
3. Maine 9-1-1 77 4. Michigan (2) 9-2-2 73
5. Boston College 6-2-1 59 6. New Hampshire 8-2-1 44
7. NOTRE DAME 9-3-2 35 8. Michigan State 8-3-2 34
9. Ferris State 9-3-2 18 10. Denver 7-3-0 10
Team votes) W-L-T Pts Team votes) W-L-T Pts
1. North Dakota (8) 8-1-1 98 2. Colorado Coll (2) 10-2-0 90 3. Maine 9-1-1 77 4. Michigan (2) 9-2-2 73 5. Boston College 6-2-1 59 6. New Hampshire 8-2-1 44 7. NOTRE DAME 9-3-2 35 8. Michigan State 8-3-2 34 9. Ferris State 9-3-2 18 10. Denver 7-3-0 10
Colgate 9 Princeton 3
Others Receiving Votes:
Colgate 9 Princeton 3
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
Team votes) Pts Team votes) Pts
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
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 1997-98, 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 14 games of '98-'99, the Irish have improved in 18 of the 22 applicable categories ... noteworthy strides have involved the high-powered offense: 3.86 goals/gm (up 0.76), a 12.8% shooting pct. (up 2.7%), a 1.43 goal margin (up 1.14), a 5.7 shot margin (up 2.5), a CCHA-best 27.4% power-play unit (up 9.8%) and 20 third-period goals (just 0.9/gm last season) ... the current Irish defense owns a 2.40 GAA (0.35 better than last season) and has allowed just 24.4 opponent shots/gm (a 3.2 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 0.7), an increase in penalties/gm (up 1.77), just one shorthanded goal (nine in 41 games last season) and a dropoff in penalty-killing pct. (down from .843 to .815).
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 four games due to an injury ... Dhadphale (52-41), Simon (20-59) and Urick (50-56) have combined for 277 career points in 323 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).
DEFICITS RARE: Notre Dame faced just two deficits in its first six games and has trailed a total of just 11 times for 117:01 over the first 14 games (850:00), 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 ... in last week's 4-2 loss, FSU held a 2-1 lead for just 3:41 before scoring the game-winner with 10:58 left.
REDEFINING MAN DOWN: During its last 26 games, Notre Dame has played without at least one of its top defensemen 23 times and managed to go 12-9-2 in those games (four of the losses were to Michigan) ... the top four defensemen have missed a combined 14 games this season due to injury, yet the Irish remain in the national polls and are on pace to set the school record for goals-against average (2.40) ... Notre Dame is 2-0-1 in the only games during the last 26 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 26 games break down as follows: Cotnoir (2), Fraser (13), Borega (15) and Clark (2) ... two of those players have been sidelined during the same game nine times over the last 26, 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.
ASY AS 1-2-3: Notre Dame has received steady production in all three periods, with 15 goals in the first period, 19 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 19-9 edge in the second period but have struggled defensively in the third, with just a 20-18 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 18 games vs. CCHA teams, Notre Dame is 10-7-1, including a 9-5-1 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 16-13-1 away from home during that stretch, with the 13 losses including nine by one goal ... the Irish own a 100-87 scoring edge and an 921-844 shot advantage in those 30 road games (average of 3.3 goals scored and 2.9 allowed, 30.7 shots taken and 28.1 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, his 50th career goal and an assist in the series finale vs. WMU and an assist in the 4-2 loss to FSU ... Urick's four-game goal streak ended vs. OSU (equaling his career-high) but he still has 19 points in the last 13 games (9G-10A) ... Urick ranks third in the CCHA for overall scoring (9G-12A), leads the team in plus-minus (+16), has just six penalties and owns 50 goals and 56 assists in 125 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 55 points (25G-30A) in 55 games, a team-best +31, only 52 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 +71 because a good portion of its goals (20 of 54) have come on the power play while the opponents have totaled 19 non-power-play goals. BALANCING ACT: Notre Dame's 54 goals have come from 15 players, with six combining on the first seven ... junior C Ben Simon owns 16 of the team's 89 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 ... Karr's impressive debut as the Irish starter includes posting a 2.34 season goals-against average that ranks fifth 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 .903 season save pct. also could challenge the Irish record (.907) set by Mark Kronholm in 1970-71 ... Karr's career record now stands at 17-14-3, including 15-6-3 over the past two seasons ... Karr owns a solid 2.60 GAA during the past two seasons (63 GA, 1452:21) while his career GAA of 3.06 (102 GA, 1999:54) 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 10-4-1 record and a 2.61 GAA (39 GA, 898:22), with two losses coming at Western Michigan and the other vs. FSU at Van Andel Arena ... Karr posted his first career shutout with 16 saves in the Oct. 23 win over No. 9 Ohio State (3-0), 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, providing two assists in the 9-5 win over WMU and scoring the first goal in last week's 4-2 loss to FSU ... for the season, Inman is +6 with just nine 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, 9 pen.), Henning (E, 7 pen.) and Cornelius (-1, 4 pen.) have combined for 20 points, a +5 plus-minus ratio and just 20 penalties in 14 games.