Notre Dame junior forward Andrew Oglevie, of Fullerton, CA., scored a goal in his team's 2-1 win Frday night, and scored this goal in his team's 2-1 win Sunday night, both over Michigan.

Notre Dame junior forward Andrew Oglevie, of Fullerton, CA., scored a goal in his team’s 2-1 win Friday night, and scored this goal in his team’s 2-1 win Sunday night, both over Michigan.  The 5′ 10″ 180lb forward is second on his team in goals scored with nine, and is sixth in assists with nine.  Notre Dame is 18-3-1, 12-0-0 in the Big Ten, on a fifteen game winning streak, and is ranked #1!  Notre Dame will play next against currently #18 ranked Wisconsin Friday night, January 19th at home, and then Sunday, January 21st at Wisconsin at 12:05pm Pacific Time, broadcast on NBC Sports Channel.  You can read all about Ogelvie and his Notre Dame team in today’s post, with a look at how the team does what it does with the personnel it has.

College Hockey Update:  Last weekend featured one top-ten matchup, and St. Cloud State edged down to #2 after beating Minnesota Friday night at St. Cloud, but losing to them Sunday night at Minnesota; Minnesota edged up to #9 on the weekend.  Elsewhere, Notre Dame edged up to #1 after they swept Michigan in another home-and-home series, and Clarkson held at #3 after they hosted and beat Canisius last Tuesday, January 2nd.  Cornell edged up to #4 after they  hosted and beat both Princeton and Quinnipiac; Denver edged down to #5 after they visited and split with Miami of Ohio; and Ohio State moved up two spots to #6 after visiting and sweeping Michigan State.  North Dakota edged down to #7 after hosting and splitting with Nebraska-Omaha; Mankato State edged down to #8 after visiting and sweeping Alaska-Anchorage; and Northeastern edged down to #10 after they settled on a tie and win against Bentley University in yet another home-and-home series.

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Last weekend Notre Dame had huge help from junior forward Andrew Oglevie, of Fullerton, CA., who scored a goal in his team’s 2-1 win Friday night, and scored a goal in his team’s 2-1 win Sunday night, both over Michigan.  The 5′ 10″ 180lb forward is second on his team in goals scored with nine, and is sixth in assists with nine.  As a sophomore he was tied for first in goals with 21, and was fifth in assists with 20; as a freshman he was tenth on the team in goals with five, and tied for fifteenth in assists with four.  Before Notre Dame he played four season for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the USHL, scoring 44 goals and adding 68 assists; he scored 21 goals and added 32 assists in his last season there, 2014-15.  His hometown of Fullerton, CA., is five miles north of Disneyland, and is ten miles as the crow flies from the Pacific Ocean at Seal Beach, although it is a 22 mile drive to get there.  It is also 27 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  The Spanish made their first appearance there in 1769 when Gaspar de Portola led a land expedition on its way to settle at Monterey.

Notre Dame first fielded a varsity hockey team in 1921 and during an off-and-on existence in the next 56 years they played a total of fifty games.  A solid program was established in 1968 and played for three seasons as a DI independent; it became a member of the WCHA from 1971 to 1981, and then joined the CCHA for two seasons.  It played as a club team in 1983-84, and then became a DI independent again in 1984, and again joined the CCHA in 1992, and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004.  Jeff Jackson became the Notre Dame coach in 2005 and things there became much more serious very quickly.  In his first twelve seasons he coached the team to two thirty-win seasons, eight NCAA Tournament appearances, three Frozen Four appearances, and one appearance in the Final Championship Game in 2008.  Notre Dame is 18-3-1, 12-0-0 in the Big Ten, on a fifteen game winning streak, and is ranked #1!  They have the same number of losses as their football team had, but they’ve played nine more games!  Notre Dame will play next against currently #18 ranked Wisconsin Friday night, January 19th at home, and then Sunday, January 21st at Wisconsin at 12:05pm Pacific Time, broadcast on NBC Sports Channel.

How are they doing it?  While we’ve featured Andrew Oglevie this week for scoring in both games last weekend, and he is a big part of how they’re doing it, let’s say that their key first ingredient is in the net.  Sophomore goalie Cole Morris, of Larkspur, CO., is sort of a Tyrannosaurus.  A brick wall.  Call him what you like, he does his job and he keeps Notre Dame in games.  The team is on a fifteen game win streak, but seven of the wins have been by a single goal, and they’ve scored three goals or less in nine of those games; three of the wins were shutouts; in five they held their opponents to one goal; and in four they held their opponents to two goals.  Hmmm….. fifteen game win streak, and in twelve of the fifteen games the opponents scored only two or less goals.  Seems like a pretty good formula.  Over the weekend they only scored two goals per game, but came out with two wins.  Cole Morris has a 1.47 GAA so far this season, and a .956 saves percentage so far this season.  I’d have to say he’s a critical piece of this puzzle.

Next, the bulk of the scoring engine involves 11 players, and with the exception of a few of them, their roles are sort of compartmentalized; the top goal scorers are not top assist leaders, and vice-versa.  Often times a team will have three or four top goal scorers who also lead the team in assists, but not the case here so far this season.  The exception is three mid-level goal scorers who are the top assist leaders.

  • Cal Burke                12
  • Andrew Oglevie        9
  • Jake Evans               7
  • Jordan Gross            5
  • Colin Theisen            5
  • Bobby Nardella         4
  • Cam Morrison           4
  • Dylan Malmquist       4
  • Dawson Cook           4

Where the assist leaders are:

  • Jake Evans          21
  • Jordan Gross       13
  • Colin Theisen       11
  • Bobby Nardella     11
  • Cam Morrison       10
  • Andrew Oglevie      9
  • Andrew Peeke        7
  • Matt Hellickson       6
  • Dylan Malmquist     5
  • Jack Jenkins           5

So who would a team take out?  It’s a long list of contributors.  If a team could isolate the top scorers, it would leave the assist leaders available to drive the engine and it appears there are plenty of other guys around who can score, and vice-versa.  And then you still have to contend with Morris the Tyrannosaurus in the net.

On Sunday on their home ice, Notre Dame got on the board first with a goal six minutes into the second period by Andrew Oglevie, and then another four minutes later on a power play goal by Matt Hellickson, to put them up 2-0.  Oddly enough, the exact same thing happened two nights earlier in Michigan, except it was in the first period — two early goals by Notre Dame, same players in the same order.  Sunday night in the scoreless first, Notre Dame out shot Michigan 15-8, and in the second it was Michigan with the 15-7 shot advantage.  Michigan scored midway through the third to make it a 2-1 game, but Morris held on, and got help from his teammates as they took the game to the other end and narrowly out shot Michigan 14-11.  I watched this game on NBC Sports Channel thanks to a text from Contributing Field Reporter Greg Schreader.  Michigan gave Notre Dame a heck of a game Sunday, and I think that was my key takeaway.  But despite a good number of opportunities, Notre Dame simply enough had a herculean effort in the net by Cole Morrison as he turned away what looked like a good number of opportunities for Michigan.  He was able to adjust and be where he needed to be over and over again.  Make no mistake about it:  This Notre Dame team is a legitimate contender to win the NCAA Title this year.  As I said in my post on Notre Dame earlier this season, Jeff Jackson has it all figured out at Notre Dame now, and his hockey teams will be the highest ranked teams in all sports at Notre Dame for the next ten years.

Now This Contribution From Reader John Kriesel On The St. Cloud/Minnesota Series

The Gophers had two players at the World Juniors Championships who got home Saturday at noon, in time for the home & home series opening game in St. Cloud, but their gear got delayed and didn’t make it.  The coach said they had played the last two days at the World Juniors and it was probably best they didn’t play in the Saturday game.  The Gophers scored first Saturday, but St. Cloud State just flew all game in their home rink and won it 5-2.

Minnesota sophomore goalie Mat Robson, of Missisagua, ONT., made this great glove save Sunday at Minnesota in his team's 2-0 shutout win over St. Cloud State.  You should treat yourself and read John Kriesel's game

Minnesota sophomore goalie Mat Robson, of Mississaugua, ONT., made this great glove save Sunday at Minnesota in his team’s 2-0 shutout win over St. Cloud State. You should treat yourself and read John Kriesel’s weekend summary of the two games these teams played.  It’s right here.

Sunday’s game proved these two old sayings to be true:  A.  The best team doesn’t always win; and B.  That’s why they play the games.  Minnesota had a super goal tending effort by their new goalie, Mat Robson, of Mississaugua, Ontario, and Clarkson (NCAA).  But all the boys gave it all they had.  They had the whole squad there Sunday except Tommy Novak.  Minnesota needed a big win after recent games.  The Gophers scored early in the third period and that was the game until an empty net goal at the end, which made it 2-0, Minnesota.  Note:  Minnesota freshman Casey Mittelstadt was the MVP at the World Juniors.  The bad news for Minnesota is that we will probably lose him early to the pros.

After Saturday and Sunday it looked to me like #2 St. Cloud State is a candidate to win it all this year.  All four lines just fly — never any let up.  Fun to watch even for us Gopher fans.

Thanks for this John!!  Maybe we can get more from you in the future!!

This weekend there aren’t any top ten matchups, but three top ten teams will face ranked opponents:  #2 St. Cloud State will host a very good and very tricky opponent in #12 Western Michigan for a two game series; #6 Ohio State will travel to play two games at #13 Penn State; and #10 Northeastern will host #20 Maine for a two game series.

This provides the top ten teams, rankings, records, and last week’s results:

RankTeam#1 VotesRecordPts.Last PollMost Recent Results
1Notre Dame4018-3-198822w Univ. Michigan 2-12-1
2St. Cloud State University613-3-39321w/l U. Minnesota 5-2/0-2
3Clarkson University316-3-19163w Canisius College 4-0
4Cornell University113-2-085552w Prctn 7-1/Quinnp 1-0
5University of Denver12-6-47734l/w Miami of Ohio 3-4/4-1
6Ohio State University14-4-470782w Mich. State 4-1/5-3
7Univ. of North Dakota11-6-56906l/w Nebr.-Omaha 1-4/7-0
8Mankato State University16-6-068972w Ak-Anchorage 5-2/4-1
9University of Minnesota13-10-157210l/w St. Cloud St. 2-5/2-0
10Northeastern University12-5-35439t/w Bentley 3-3/6-1

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned, and go Terriers!

— Tom