PROVIDENCE, RI – Brown senior captain Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT) has been named the ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Player of the Week while freshman defenseman Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC) has earned ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Rookie of the Week for the week ending February 27th. It is the second Player of the Week honor for Zolnierczyk this season, while Robertson is earning his first Rookie of the Week recognition.
The duo helped to lead Brown to its first-ever season sweep of Cornell and Colgate in the same season, as the Bears' closed out the 2010-2011 regular season with wins over the Central New York duo. The Bears claimed a 3-2 (ot) win over the Big Red on Friday and then a 6-4 win over the Raiders on Saturday to finish in ninth place in the ECAC Hockey standings, their highest finish since 2005, and just one point out of seventh place.
For the weekend, Zolnierczyk led Brown with four goals, scoring twice in each game, while finishing with a +2 rating. He scored back-to-back goals against Cornell to give Brown a 2-0 lead midway through the second period and then had goals against Colgate that gave Brown leads of 3-1 and 4-2. Against the Big Red, Zolnierczyk put Brown ahead, 1-0, converting a backhanded no-look shot on a Bears' power play. Then, in the middle of the second period, Zolnierczyk scored a highlight reel worthy goal to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. After collecting the puck from sophomore Chris Zaires, Zolnierczyk skated along the left wing boards, before angling towards the net. With a Cornell defender coming in from the other side, Zolnierczyk leapt into the air, while maintaining possession, and backhanded the puck into the near post. The next night against Colgate, Zolnierczyk's first goal was a deflection of a shot by Robertson on a Bears' power play. His second goal came from a seemingly impossible angle, as he fired a shot from the left wing boards, below the faceoff circle, that found the only opening in the net for his fourth of the weekend.
Robertson led the Bears with four assists in the pair of games, notching two each night, and finishing with a +5 rating. Against Cornell, Robertson assisted Zolnierczyk's first goal and then earned an assist on the overtime game-winner 30 seconds into the extra frame when he fired a shot from the left point that was saved. However, the rebound bounced out into the slot, where it was scooped up by senior David Brownschidle and pushed into the net. On Saturday, Robertson had assists on Brown's second goal of the game, which came just 1:43 after Colgate had tied the score at 1-1, and then on Zolnierczyk's first of the night, which made the score 3-1, early in the 2nd period.
For the season, Zolnierczyk shares the team lead in scoring with 31 points and leads the team with 16 goals, six power play goals, and three game-winning goals. Robertson ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 17 points (6g, 11a), leading all Brown freshmen and defenseman. His 17 points is 3rd all-time at Brown for points in a season by a rookie defenseman, while his six goals is the record for goals in a season by a rookie defenseman, and his 11 assists is 9th for assists in a season by a rookie defenseman.
Zolnierczyk, Robertson and the rest of the Bears return to action this weekend when they travel to Quinnipiac to face the Bobcats in the best-of-three First Round series, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, if necessary.
Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk '11 (left) & Dennis Robertson '14. Photos by DSPics.net.