Sunday afternoon at the Morris Inn. What a great place to reflect on the 2018/2019 Notre Dame Hockey season. Tom Simeone was the Master of Ceremony and he set the stage for an afternoon of honoring the team.
With nine incoming Freshman to the team, the 2018/2019 Fightin’ Irish team had a lot of growing up to do. After losing Seniors to graduation, and some juniors to the NHL, there was no honeymoon period for this incoming class. Finishing the season with an overall record of 23-14-3, 11-11-2 B1G Conference, in my eyes, the team completed a season above expectations. The team also had a stand out player in the second half of the season that came from the Freshman class, Michael “Golden” Graham. But this is a team under Head Coach Jeff Jackson and he knows how to motivate his players, especially in the post season.
The Senior Class
Sunday was definitely a day of reflection. For Jack Jenkins, Dylan Malmquist, Bobby Nardella (not in attendance, Washington Capitols playoffs) and Joe Wegwerth. Sitting together with the team one more time before graduation. The players are not just teammates, but they are friends forever. Which was the common message in Jenkins, Malmquist and Wegwerth’s speeches. When a team is that close great things happen. Though they didn’t get where they wanted to. The left a blueprint behind as to being successful. As this was the first Senior class to make it to four NCAA Frozen Four Tournaments. Their record as a Senior class is just amazing. With an overall record of 90-46-17, 55-28-9 (2 years B1G Conference, 2 years Hockey East.)
Before we jump into the awards, let’s not forget Head Coach Jeff Jackson. Coach Jackson became the most winning Coach in ND Hockey history when the team defeated Boston College 4-0 on New Years Eve. Also Coach Jackson got his 500th career win 3-2 win against Penn State in the B1G Conference Championship on March 23rd.
Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award
Pierce Crawford Sophomore-17-Forward 3.587 GPA/2018-2019 Season 34 Games Played, 2 Goals, 3 Assists, 5 Points, 19 Shots
Brian Walsh Offensive Player of the Year
Dylan Malmquist Senior-25-Forward/Career 150 Games Played, 41 Goals, 50 Assists, 91 Points, 254 Shots
William Donald Nyrop Defensive Player of the Year
Andrew Peeke Junior-22-Defenseman/2018-2019 Season 40 Games Played, 3 Goals, 21 Assists, 24 Points, 69 Shots
Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches Award
Jack Jenkins Senior-28-Forward/Career 144 Games Played, 15 Goals, 27 Assists, 42 Points, 244 Shots
Most Improved Player Award (Junior Award)
Mike O’Leary Junior-19-Forward/2018-2019 Season 39 Games Played, 6 Goals, 15 Assists, 21 Points, 61 Shots
Rookie of the Year
Michael Graham Freshman-15-Forward/2018-2019 Season 39 Games Played, 12 Goals, 10 Assists, 22 Points, 69 Shots
Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player Award (Team Vote)
Cale Morris Junior-32-Goalie/2018-2019 Season 76 GA, 1011 Saves, .930 Save%, 19 Wins, 13 Losses, 3 Ties, 4 Shutouts
Season Wrap Up
With the 2018/2019 season officially closed out, let’s look forward to see what the 2019/2020 season holds for the Irish. The Irish have 22 returning players from the past season. There will be eight incoming Freshman in the fall. With all the adversity this team faced in the previous season, the experience gained by starting three Freshmen against Senior lines, this team will be on the move. Michael “Golden” Graham appears to be emerging as a leader in his young career. Cale “Brickwall” Morris will be back for his Senior year between the pipes. Maintaining the “Start Fast, Finish Strong” mentality will project this team where they want to go, back to the NCAA Frozen Four Tournament and chance to win it all.
Cheers and Go Irish!☘🏒🥅🚨⚡