March 19, 2010

Bears Ready for ECAC Semifinals vs. Cornell; Game to Air Live on NHL Network

This Weekend: The 11th-seeded Bears, coming off a Quarterfinal series win over top-seeded and sixth-ranked Yale (two-games-to-one) face second-seeded and seventh-ranked Cornell in the Semifinals. This marks the first time since 2003, and just the eighth time ever, that Brown has advanced to the League semifinals, while the Bears are in search of their first-ever Tournament Championship. Since the ECAC began the 12-team format in 2002-03, no seed lower than the nine seed has ever advanced to the semifinals, as Brown is the first-ever 11-seed to do so. In 2004, Clarkson advanced as the #9 seed, and defeated top-seeded Colgate, 2-1, in the semifinals.

All-Time in the ECAC Championship: Since the first season that the ECAC began hosting a Championship, Brown is 3-11-0, winning semifinal games in 1965, 1976, and 1993. The Bears have never won the Championship, losing to BC in 1965, BU in 1976, and Clarkson in 1993. This weekend marks Brown’s first appearance in the Championship since 2003, when Brown also faced Cornell in the semifinals.
All-Time Championship Results:
1965 (at Boston Arena)
    Semis - Brown 5, Boston University 2
    Champ - Boston College 6, Brown 2
1966 (at Boston Arena)
    Semis - Clarkson 2, Brown 1
    Cons - Boston University 5, Brown 2
1976 (at Boston Garden)
    Semis - Brown 6, Cornell 2
    Champ - Boston University 9, Brown 2
1978 (at Boston Garden)
    Semis - Boston College 6, Brown 4
    Cons - Boston University 8, Brown 4
1993 (at Olympic Center)
    Semis - Brown 3, Harvard 1
    Champ - Clarkson 3, Brown 1
1994 (at Olympic Center)
    Semis - Harvard 5, Brown 1
    Cons - Clarkson 6, Brown 2
2003 (at Pepsi Arena)
    Semis - Cornell 2, Brown 0
    Cons - Dartmouth 4, Brown 2

Last Time Out: The Bears earned their second straight playoff series win, defeating top-seeded and sixth-ranked Yale in three games to advance to the ECAC Semifinals. In fact, the last time that a Brown team advanced to the semifinals, in 2003, it was by virtue of a three-game Quarterfinal series win over Yale in New Haven. Brown claimed a 3-2 win in game #1 on the strength of second-period goals by sophomore Jeff Buvinow and senior Aaron Volpatti 57 seconds apart to open the second period. Then after Yale had come to within 2-1, sophomore Bobby Farnham scored what would prove to be the game-winner 1:17 later. Sophomore Mike Clemente recorded 37 saves to earn the win. On Saturday night, Yale evened the series, racing out to a 4-0 lead and eventually winning, 6-3. Volpatti, sophomore Jack Maclellan, and senior Scott Van der Linden each scored in the game, while Clemente and senior Dan Rosen combined for 37 saves. Brown punched its ticket to Albany on Sunday night behind a short-handed goal from Maclellan, his second SHG of the weekend, midway through the first period and 44 saves from Clemente, who earned his third career shutout.

These Dates Historically Speaking: All-time, Brown is 1-1-0 in games played on March 19th, having defeated Harvard, 3-1, in the 1993 semifinals and lost to Clarkson, 6-2, in the 1994 consolation game. In games played on March 20th, Brown is 0-3-0 all-time, having lost to Yale, 5-1, in 1901, lost to North Dakota, 9-5, in the 1965 NCAA Third Place game, and lost to Clarkson, 3-1, in the 1993 ECAC Championship.

Brown vs. Cornell: Cornell leads the all-time series with Brown, which began with an 8-2 Brown win on February 21, 1959, by a 67-39-5 margin. The Big Red have earned a season sweep (including 6-0 and 5-3 wins this year) over the Bears in each of the last three seasons, as Brown’s last win over Cornell came during the 2006-2007 season when the Bears snapped Cornell’s five-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory in Ithaca. Brown posted its best year against Cornell in recent history during 2003-2004, when the Bears earned three points against the Big Red, earning a 3-3 tie in Ithaca and a 2-1 overtime win in Providence. Sophomore Jeff Buvinow is Brown’s statistical leader against the Big Red with three assists in four career games, while senior Aaron Volpatti adds two points (1g, 1a) in eight career games.

Brown vs. Cornell in the Playoffs: Brown and Cornell have met four times in the playoffs with results tied at two wins apiece. The two teams met most recently in the 2003 semifinals, a game Cornell won, 2-0. It was the first post-season meeting for the two teams since 1976 when Brown claimed a 6-2 win over Cornell in the semifinals at Boston Garden. The two teams also each have one First Round playoff win against each other with Brown earning a 4-3 overtime win in Providence (1965) and Cornell earning an 11-2 win in Ithaca (1967).

Scouting Cornell: The Big Red have advanced to the ECAC semifinals by virtue of a Quarterfinal series sweep over Harvard, 5-1 & 3-0. Cornell is 3-0-1 in its last four games, having closed the regular season with a 4-1 win over Union and a 1-1 tie with RPI. Cornell’s last loss was by a 5-4 margin at Dartmouth on February 20th. Senior Blake Gallagher leads three different Cornell scorers who have all posted at least 30 points on the season. Gallagher has 37 points (18g, 19a), including a team-high 11 power play goals and four game-winning goals, while senior Colin Greening (15g, 19a) has 34 points and junior Riley Nash (11g, 21a) adds 32 points. 10 other  players, including 20-point scorers Joe Devin and Patrick Kennedy, have notched double digits in scoring, while an additional nine players have posted at least one point this year. Senior Ben Scrivens has played all but 45:26 of Cornell’s season between the pipes, appearing in all 31 games (1839:33) and posting a 1.89 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

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