October 23, 2006
THE BIG STORY
|Notre Dame senior goalie
We all knew about a high-scoring offensive
unit working out of South Bend, Ind., this fall. What
we didn’t know was that the one orchestrated by
Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson would be more prolific
than the one guided by Charlie Weis.
The Fighting Irish scored outscored its
opponents on a two-game swing through New England by
a 13-2 margin, a trip that started with a 7-1 annihilation
of top-ranked Boston College Friday. It’s the
third time in four years Notre Dame has knocked off
the Eagles when they were ranked No. 1 in the nation.
The following night, the Irish hung a half dozen on
Providence in a 6-1 thrashing of the host Friars. With
21 goals in four games, Notre Dame ranks third nationally
in scoring offense. Two seasons ago, the Irish scored
a Division I-low 60 goals in 38 games and limped to
a 5-27-6 record.
Among the factors contributing to Notre
Dame’s strong start in addition to a prolific
offense are scoring balance – nine skaters have
at least one goal and 14 of the 20 players who’ve
been in the lineup have contributed a point –
and an immediate impact by freshman forwards Kevin Deeth
(4-3—7), Ryan Thang (3-2—5) and Dan Kissel
(3-1—4). Senior goalie David Brown has been strong,
too, as evidenced by his 1.47 goals against average
and .942 save percentage. And while he’s benefited
from generous offensive support, he’s helped the
cause by not allowing a first-period goal in any of
his four starts
Had Alaska’s Justin Binab not scored
three minutes into the third period of Saturday’s
1-1 draw with Alaska Fairbanks or had the Seawolves
been able to get more than one of their 21 shots past
Nanook goaltender Chad Johnson, we would’ve likely
spent our Sunday digging through the archives at INCH
World Headquarters in search of the answer to this stickler:
When was the last time Alaska Anchorage and Michigan
Tech notched series sweeps on the same weekend?
Antiquities aside, it was a good couple
of days for WCHA canines of the mythical and Houghton-based
variety. Michigan Tech stunned host Vermont Friday,
twice rallying from two-goal deficits before winning
a 4-3 decision when Lars Helminen scored 39 seconds
into overtime. The Huskies finished the job Saturday
– goaltender Rob Nolan, who posted a 0-11-2 record
as a freshman last season, earned his first career victory
by making 28 saves in a 2-1 win.
The Seawolves’ Friday affair against
Alaska in Fairbanks mirrored that night’s MTU-UVM
game, as the Nanooks jumped out to a 2-0 first-period
edge and twice took third-period leads. But UAA sophomore
Jay Beagle scored with 15 seconds left in regulation
to force OT, which would end on a Justin Bourne goal
with 1:51 left in extra time. The Seawolves hung on
to earn a tie in the finale. Freshman goalie Jon Olthuis
made 34 saves in his first career start.
• From the Did I Just Knock Two
Letters Off Your Last Name? Dept.: Minnesota dominated
Ohio State in its weekend sweep of the Buckeyes in Columbus.
One of the few highlights for OSU was a thundering open-ice
hit 6-foot-2, 220-pound forward Zach Pelletier laid
on 6-foot, 190-pound Gopher defenseman Derek Peltier
just inside the Buckeye blue line.
Wins this past weekend that'll look good in March
Maybe it’s just a Hockey East thing,
this trend of starting the season with solid non-conference
wins away from home. At any rate, New Hampshire followed
the lead of Vermont and Maine with its sweep of Colorado
College in Colorado Springs. The two wins look even
better considering the Wildcats were a) playing their
first regular-season games while the host Tigers had
four games under their belt and, b) Friday’s first
period was barely 10 minutes old and UNH had already
fallen behind by a 2-0 count. New Hampshire scored the
next four goals en route to a 4-3 win before routing
the Tigers, 7-2, in the series finale. The Wildcats
may have found a complement to the Jacob Micflikier-Mike
Radja-Brett Hemingway scoring line, as the Jerry Pollastrone-Trevor
Smith-Matt Fornataro trio combined for five goals and
eight assists on the weekend.
IT HAPPENED IN ...
… Ann Arbor, Mich.:
Miami and Michigan split in the first CCHA series for
both teams. In Thursday’s opener, the Wolverines’
Chad Kolarik notched a hat trick – his second
in as many games – in his team’s 6-3 win.
The RedHawks salvaged a split with their first win at
Yost Ice Arena in 12 years. Miami’s Nathan Davis
scored two shorthanded goals and added a power-play
tally in the 4-1 triumph.
… Denver, Colo. (Fri.):
Jordan Alford made 38 saves to lead Rensselaer to a
2-1 win at Denver giving Seth Appert, a former Pioneer
assistant, his first career win as a head coach.
… Grand Forks, N.D.:
In addition to losing two games to Maine at home, the
Fighting Sioux may have lost the services of Hobey Baker
Award candidate, sophomore forward Jonathan Toews, who
left Friday’s game with an undisclosed injury.
... Omaha, Neb.: Northern
Michigan's Mike Santorelli scored two goals and added
three assists as the Wildcats won the Mutual of Omaha
Stampede with a 5-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha in Saturday's
… Potsdam, N.Y.:
Clarkson rebounded from a 5-1 loss to Lake Superior
State by outshooting the Lakers, 53-23, in a 7-1 win
at Cheel Arena. The Golden Knights’ top line of
Shawn Weller, Steve Zalewski and Matt Beca combined
for five goals.
… Rochester, N.Y.:
RIT defenseman Brent Patry had five assists as the Tigers
wrapped up a weekend sweep against American International
with an 8-0 win Saturday.
… Worcester, Mass.:
One night after freshman goalie Tyler Chestnut made
41 saves in a Holy Cross’ 4-1 win over Mercyhurst,
the Lakers’ Ben Cottreau tallied three goals and
two assists to salvage an Atlantic Hockey series split.