Friday, October 27, 2006

An Irish Hockey Revolution

by Pete Godlewski, KankaNation Goon Squad Captian

So for those who were paying attention this past weekend, the Irish Hockey team went on a two game road trip to New England, and for the fourth year in a row, spanked #1 Boston College 7-1 behind a hat trick from Mark Van Guilder, who is averaging two points per game. The next night they go into Providence and maul the Friars. Notre Dame is 3-1 and has outscored opponents 21-6 over the course of the start of the season, their only loss coming 3-2 to Minnesota State. Reading the Boston Globe, the beat writers bluntly stated the Eagles were stunned by the onslaught of Van Guilder and the rest of Irish offense, as well as being stonewalled by a tough defense. They’re a good mix of extremely talented freshmen and seasoned veterans. Senior goalie David Brown has been absolutely lights out, a goals against average of 1.47 and a .942 save percentage (that's pretty damn impressive). It seems that collegiate hockey is finally taking note, as the Irish have grabbed the #11 ranking in this week's Inside College Hockey Top 15. In all my time at Notre Dame watching games, (and Mr. Hatt can attest to this), we never saw a team like this. We saw some good ones, but this looks like one of the best teams Notre Dame has seen in ages. Our 2nd year coach seems to be the cause of this rise in stature. Jeff Jackson coached lowly Lake Superior State to two NCAA titles as well as numerous CCHA titles. From there he helped coached US Junior Hockey, and onto the Ontario Hockey League (a junior developmental league) where he turned around the Guelph Storm from a doormat into a quality contender. The NHL took notice and he was an assistant coach for the New York Islanders for several years. He's taking all this experience and imparting it to his young Irish squad and the boys seem to be taking heed. I look forward to following this team this year and for several more to come, and just wish that I was a student in the goon squad for four more years to watch this group. GO IRISH HOCKEY! (And Blackburn Sucks!)