Bears Set to Host #13 Union and #15 Rensselaer
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Multimedia: Brown is in its fourth year of a partnership with America One (previously B2 Networks) to handle all video and audio streaming needs. Video and audio, called by Mike Rubin '00, for all 12 of Brown's home games will be streamed live over the internet. In addition, three away games will be shown live via America One. Free audio for all home games and select away games will also available. In addition to Brown's normal audio broadcasts on brownbears.com, six other games will also be broadcast on WPRV AM-790, including next Tuesday's game against Providence. Other remaining games to air on WPRV AM-790 include both Harvard games and the home game against Yale. Video for single games can be purchased for $7, or fans can purchase a season-long hockey pass (all men's & women's games) for $75. Fans can also follow all Brown home games on livestats, available at http://livestats.prestosports.com/brown/
Brendan Whittet '94: Brown alum Brendan Whittet, class of 1994, returns for his second season as Brown's bench boss. A 15-year veteran of the college coaching ranks, Whittet guided the Bears to one of their most successful seasons in recent history in his first season at the helm. Under Whittet's guidance, Brown won 13 games, the most since winning 16 during the 2004-05 season. The Bears improved in nearly every facet of their game offensively, while advancing to the ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament for the first time since 2003. A former defenseman for the Bears, Whittet is the 15th head coach in the 111-year history of the Brown men's hockey program and the 4th Brown hockey alum to coach the team, joining Wescott E.S. Moulton '31 (1948-52), Donald F. Whiston '51 (1953-55), and J. Allan Soares '60 (1971-74).
This Weekend: After four straight games on the road, the Bears return home to host Union and RPI in a pair of ECAC Hockey contests this weekend. The games against the NY Capital District travel partners will mark the 3rd and 4th straight against teams ranked in the national top-20, as the Bears are coming off a pair of ties with #6 New Hampshire (5-5) and #2 Boston University (4-4). This weekend's series against the ECAC foes marks a chance for all teams involved to make up ground in the ECAC standings, as all three, in addition to Brown's travel partner Yale, have played just four League games, lowest at this point in the season for the League, and compared to as many as eight games for Harvard and Dartmouth. After this weekend's series with Union and RPI, Brown will close out its first semester by hosting cross-town rival Providence College on Tuesday evening in the 25th annual battle for the Mayor's Cup and city bragging rights. The game will mark Brown's third contest, in five games, against a Hockey East opponent.
Last Time Out: For the second game in a row, Brown had a third period lead against a top-ranked opponent slip away, as #2 Boston University tied the game at 4-4 with 7:09 remaining to earn a 4-4 tie with the Bears. Brown came out quickly, grabbing a 2-0 lead just 3:01 into the game on goals by senior Jesse Fratkin at 1:25 and senior Harry Zolnierczyk at 3:01. After BU scored three straight, including a 5x3 power play marker at 9:24 of the 2nd to take a 3-2 lead, junior Jack Maclellan scored his 4th of the year, on the man-advantage, to tie the score at 3-3 heading into the final period. Senior David Brownschidle put Brown back on top, 4-3, just 2:24 into the third when he knocked in the rebound of his own shot, before the Terriers' tying goal. Brown finished 1-2 on the power play, while Boston University was 1-7 on the man-advantage. Junior Mike Clemente posted a season-high 38 saves, including 16 of 17 in the opening period.
Mike Clemente Named ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Goalie of the Week: In Brown's weekend sweep at Colgate and Cornell, Clemente posted 48 saves, a .923 save percentage, and a 2.00 GAA, while allowing only one even-strength goal. Clemente helped lead Brown to its first road sweep over the central-New York duo since 2/93, its first win over Cornell since 1/07, and its first regular season road sweep since 1/05. He recorded 28 saves on Friday against the Raiders with 20 the next night against the Big Red.
This Date Historically Speaking: All time, Brown has played 19 total games on December 3rd and 20 total games on December 4th. The Bears are 5-8-6 in games played on December 3rd and 7-13-0 in games played on the 4th, including a 2-1 win over Quinnipiac last year. Brown is 2-1-4 at home on 12/3 and 5-6-0 at home on 12/4. Brown and Union have met one other time on December 3rd, a 2-1 overtime Dutchmen win in 1999. The Bears and Engineers have also met one other time on December 4th, a 5-2 RPI win in 1999.
Brown vs. Union: This weekend marks the 40th meeting between Brown and Union, dating back to a 3-2 Union victory on December 30, 1989. The Bears hold a 19-10-10 series advantage over the Dutchmen, including a 10-4-5 record in games played at Brown. The Bears also have a 7-3-5 record in the past 15 meetings with a pair of ties last season. Since the 2007-08 season, when the current seniors were freshmen, Brown holds a 2-1-3 record. However, the Bears' last win was in December, 2008 (5-4). Junior Jack Maclellan is Brown's statistical leader against Union with 2-2-4 totals in four career games, while seniors Jeremy Russell (6 games - 2g, 1a) and Harry Zolnierczyk (4 games - 1g, 2a), and junior Jeff Buvinow (four games - 3a) all have three career points. Zolnierczyk will miss Friday night's game, while serving a game disqualification assessed in last Saturday's game at Boston University.
Scouting Union: The Dutchmen are coming off a home-and-home split with their travel partner, RPI, as each team won a one-goal game in its own rink. Union has been off since the 4-3 overtime loss to the Engineers on November 13th, which was its first loss dating back to a 2-1 setback at Alaska on October 15th. Union had gone 5-0-3 between losses, including a three-game non-league winning streak during which it outscored its opponents, 17-6. Senior Adam Presizniuk currently leads Union with 17 points (5g, 12a) in 12 games, while sophomore Jeremy Welsh is right behind him with 16 points (7g, 9a) in 12 games. Four other players have already posted double digits in scoring, including sophomore Wayne Simpson, who also leads the team with four power play goals. Sophomore Keith Kinkaid had seen the majority of time in net this year and has posted a 1.59 GAA and a .936 save percentage in 11 games (7-2-2). Nationally, Union ranks 4th in scoring offense (3.92), 1st in scoring defense (1.92), and 1st in power play (37%), while its penalty kill is 13th (86.8%).
Brown vs. Rensselaer: This weekend will mark the 80th meeting between Brown and RPI, dating back to a 5-0 Brown win during the 1951-52 season. The Engineers currently lead the all-time series, 51-21-7, including a 20-12-4 mark in games played at Brown. The two teams split the regular season in 2009-10, with each team winning in its own rink. The Bears then faced RPI in the First Round of the playoffs, eliminating the 6th-seeded Engineers in three games with wins in game #1 and game #3. The split during the regular season marked the first time in four seasons that Brown earned a win over RPI in the regular season, as the Engineers were 7-0-1 from January 2006 through February 2009, including sweeping the season in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Junior Bobby Farnham is Brown's statistical leader against RPI with six points (2g, 4a) in six career games, while classmate Jeff Buvinow has six points, all assists, in seven career games. Junior Jack Maclellan (3g, 1a) and senior Harry Zolnierczyk (4a) both add four points in seven career games.
Scouting Rensselaer: The Engineers have won three straight games, splitting a home-and-home series with their travel partner, Union, and earning the title at their won Thanksgiving Tournament with wins over UConn (6-5) and Bowling Green (3-2, ot). After dropping its season opener to Colorado College (2-1), RPI has gone 7-2-3 over its last 12 games, including a seven-game unbeaten streak (4-0-3) from October 9-November 5. A pair of losses at Harvard (1-0) and Union (2-1) separated its seven-game unbeaten streak from its current three-game winning streak. Senior Chase Polacek currently leads the team with 16 points (7g, 9a) in 13 games, while sophomore Nick Bailen adds 15 points (5g, 10a) in 13 games and senior Tyler Helfrich has 14 points (6g, 8a) in 13 games. Polacek leads the team with three power play goals. Junior Allen York has seen the majority of time in net this year and has a 1.80 GAA with a .930 save percentage in 12 games (6-3-3).
Pictured: Jeff Buvinow '12, who is one of 7 defensemen in the country averaging at least 1 point per game. Photo by DSPics.net.