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Notre Dame News

Steve Wozniak, the South Bend Tribune's hockey beat writer, wrote an excellent article on the history of Notre Dame hockey. I think it does a good job of showing just how little Notre Dame cared about hockey until the last couple years.

The article also focuses on coach Lefty Smith. Yesterday, it was announced that Notre Dame's new ice arena will be named after Smith.

It's interesting that Notre Dame is matched up against Michigan in their first ever Frozen Four. When Notre Dame returned to the CCHA in the early 90's, they had some weak teams and got absolutely hammered by Michigan a couple times. After one game against Michigan, Notre Dame head coach Ric Schafer(who would eventually quit at Notre Dame, citing lack of support for the hockey program from administration) said that he had wanted to throw another puck out on the ice so that his team had one to play with too.

I doubt any of the current players remember or care about those days. But seniors Mark Van Guilder, Evan Rankin, Dan VeNard, Brock Sheahan, and Brian D'Arcy were all freshmen on the Notre Dame that went 5-27-6 and finished in last place in the CCHA. That team traveled to Ann Arbor for the first round of the playoffs and lost the first game 10-1, before losing 1-0 in OT the next night.

The show CCHA All-Access put together a very nice episode on the Notre Dame hockey program earlier this year. It's available on YouTube in four parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4