Fullerton’s Oglevie helping Notre Dame’s rise up national rankings, into Frozen Four
Patience and perseverance are paying dividends for Andrew Oglevie and for the University of Notre Dame.
The junior forward has emerged as one of the Irish’s dominant players regardless of which position he plays, not that getting to that point has been easy.
Oglevie, a Fullerton native, played four seasons of junior hockey for Cedar Rapids (USHL) after growing up playing for the LA Selects and then heading to Culver Military Academy for a year. The extra time in his development path helped prepare him for the rigors of college hockey.
“(Four years of junior) really helped him mature, not just as a player but as a young man,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “He came in here as a freshman and he was ahead of the game just because he was a little older. It allowed him to grow into a bigger role as time has gone on here. Even last year, I recognized he was headed toward being a leader of our program.”
Oglevie, who is one of the Irish’s assistant captains this season, moved into a leadership role on the scoresheet last season, when he had 41 points in 40 games, including 21 goals. He’s kept that up this season with 36 points in his first 34 games, including 13 goals – four of which have been game-winners.
Notre Dame plays in the Frozen Four this weekend.
The secret to his emergence might sound simple enough, but the hours spent were anything but, Oglevie said.
“The basic improvement is strength. That was always my biggest weakness growing up. I was always smaller,” said the 5-foot-10 Oglevie. “Being able to work with a world-class trainer like Tony Rolinski has helped me a ton.
“Coach Jackson has helped me polish up the defensive aspect of my game as well. But the strength aspect, getting that power, being able to play against some heavier players has made all the difference. Speed’s always been my thing. The main emphasis was maintaining that speed but developing the strength to protect the puck in the corners a little bit better and not get knocked off the puck so easily.”
Oglevie didn’t need to overhaul his game, but Jackson did encourage him to make some tweaks.
“He has a better understanding of how to play without the puck,” Jackson said. “I try to encourage him to play more inside the dots so he can be more of a factor. When he uses his speed, he’s a pretty effective offensive player. Same thing without the puck.”
Forming a more well-rounded game was a necessity for Oglevie this season as earlier this year, he moved from right wing to centering a line with Dylan Malmquist and Cal Burke, who played one season of junior with Oglevie in Cedar Rapids. The wings have combined for 20 goals, many coming off Oglevie’s stick.
“Some of it was need, but some of it’s ability level,” Jackson said of the move. “He’s played center quite a bit in his career (before Notre Dame). Last year, we probably needed him more on the right side because he’s right-handed. With his skating ability, I liked the idea that he could get out of the zone first as a winger as opposed to getting out of the zone last as a center.”
Oglevie welcomed the additional responsibilities of his new/old position.
“Now that I’m center, I have to be more of the distributor and work more in the greasy areas, dig pucks out and find open teammates,” he said. “Our line has clicked well.”
The results have been promising. Notre Dame has ranked in the top five virtually all season, and it won the Big Ten’s regular-season title in a campaign that included a 16-game win streak at one point.
The Irish have accomplished that because their defense has been exceptional. They allowed just 2.18 goals per game (eighth in Division I) heading into the Big Ten tournament.
Oglevie has played a role in that.
““He’s been really good at center because he can skate so well,” Jackson said. “He’s a smart player, and he’s got tremendous puck skills and he’s responsible. He’s had to become more responsible defensively as a center.”
Photo/Fighting Irish Media
— Chris Bayee
(April 4, 2018)