December 8, 1998
The Notre Dame hockey team (9-5-2) remains among the top 10 of both major national polls as the Irish head into a 27-day break from competition. The Dec. 7 polls mark the eighth straight week that the Irish have been ranked among the top 10 of each poll, with a high ranking of fourth in both polls on Nov. 16 (when the team was 8-1-2).
Despite a current four-game losing streak (all versus top-10 caliber teams), Notre Dame stands 10th in both the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll. Notre Dames 9-1-2 start included noteworthy road wins at Wisconsin (2-1) and Ferris State (4-3), a 3-0 home win over Ohio State, a 5-5 tie at then-No. 1 Boston College and a 2-2 home tie with current top-five team Michigan.
The current losing streak has seen the Irish total just six goals while dropping a 1-0 game at Michigan, a 4-2 game to Ferris State and a pair of games at Ohio State (4-3, 4-1). The Irish played the Michigan and FSU games without the services of three injured regulars: senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale, junior right wing Joe Dusbabek and sophomore defenseman Ryan Clark.
Michigan currently is No. 2 in the USA Today poll and No. 4 according to the USCHO poll while Ferris State is tied for eighth and ninth, respectively. Ohio State is on the fringe of both polls (12th-most votes in USA Today, 11th-most in USCHO).
Notre Dame returns to action on Jan. 2 and 3 at current No. 1-ranked North Dakota. Other Notre Dame 1998-99 opponents who are ranked in this weeks poll include (USA Today/USCHO) Boston College (5/6) and Michigan State (6/7). Northern Michigan and Wisconsin also received votes in this weeks polling.
The Irish are in the midst of an 11-week stretch (Oct. 24-Jan. 8) in which they will play just three games at home and 10 on the road. Notre Dame then will play nine of its next 14 at the Joyce Center before closing the regular season with a pair of games at Miami (Ohio).
Notre Dames next home gameon Jan. 9 versus Miamihas been sold out for several weeks in anticipation of the teams return to home ice. The Irish also will face Alaska Fairbanks at home on Jan. 15-16 and will close the month with a Jan. 30 game against Michigan (limited tickets remain for the Michigan game).
U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY ONLINE POLL (12/7/98)
Team (1st-Place) Record Points Last Week 1. North Dakota (30) 10-1-1 300 1 2. Colorado College 11-3-0 234 2 3. Maine 9-1-1 227 3 4. Michigan 11-2-2 225 4 5. New Hampshire 9-3-1 150 7 6. Boston College 8-4-1 148 5 7. Michigan State 10-3-2 139 8 8. Princeton 7-1-1 72 9. Ferris State 9-3-2 57 9 10. NOTRE DAME 9-5-2 44 6 Others Receiving Votes: Ohio State 15, St. Lawrence 13, Colgate 6, Clarkson 5, Denver 5, Cornell 3, Minnesota 2, Northern Michigan 2, Vermont 2, Wisconsin 1.