March 4, 2011

Men's Ice Set to Face Quinnipiac in ECAC First Round Best-of-Three Series

Complete release available here.

This Weekend:
The 9th-seeded Bears face 8th-seeded Quinnipiac in a best-of-three First Round series. It marks the sixth straight that year that Brown will play a First Round series on the road and the seventh consecutive season that Brown will play in the First Round, as the Bears' last top-four finish and subsequent bye came during the 2003-04 season.

All-Time in the ECAC First Round: Since the first season that the ECAC hosted a First Round of the playoffs (1989-90), Brown has played in the First Round 13 times. The Bears were 2-1 in single-elimination games between 1989-90 and 1996-97, while opening in the Quarterfinal round in four of the five other seasons. The ECAC began a best-of-three format for the First Round beginning with the 1997-98 season. The Bears are 11-13-0 all-time in those games, winning the series four times (in 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2010). From 1961-62 to 1981-82, the ECAC playoffs began with four single-elimination Quarterfinal games. Brown was 4-7-0 in those games. From 1982-83 to 1988-89, the ECAC playoffs began with a best-of-three Quarterfinal series. Brown was 0-2-0 in those games.
Brown's All-Time First Round Results
1990    at Brown 7, Vermont 5
1991    Yale 2, at Brown 1
1996    at Brown 4, Princeton 3
1998    Princeton 3, at Brown 2
    at Brown 6, Princeton 0
    Princeton 5, at Brown 3
1999    at Clarkson 3, Brown 2 (ot)
    at Clarkson 3, Brown 1
2002    at Harvard 4, Brown 1
    at Harvard 2, Brown 1 (2ot)
2003    at Brown 2, Princeton 1
    at Brown 3, Princeton 1
2005    at Brown 7, RPI 4           
           at Brown 4, RPI 3 (ot)
2006    at SLU 3, Brown 2 (ot)
    Brown 3, at SLU 2
    at SLU 5, Brown 4 (ot)
2007    Brown 4, at Princeton 3 (ot)
    at Princeton 2, Brown 1 (ot)
    at Princeton 4, Brown 3       
2008    at Quinnipiac 7, Brown 6 (ot)       
           at Quinnipiac 7, Brown 1    
2009    Brown 1, at Harvard 0            
            Brown 2, at Harvard 0
2010    Brown 3, at Rensselaer 1
    at Rensselaer 6, Brown 3
    Brown 3, at Rensselaer 2

Last Time Out: The Bears swept their final regular season weekend, defeating Cornell, 3-2, in overtime, and Colgate, 6-4. The sweep gave Brown a season sweep over both opponents, the first over Cornell since 1994-95 and the first over Colgate since 1992-93. It also marked the first time ever that Brown swept both opponents in the same season. Senior Harry Zolnierczyk led Brown over the weekend with four goals, scoring twice in each game, while senior David Brownschidle tallied the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime against the Big Red. In addition to Zolnierczyk's pair against Colgate, junior Jarred Smith scored his first two of the season, including the game-winner, while junior Mike Wolff and senior Jesse Fratkin also lit the lamp. Freshman Dennis Robertson had a pair of assists in each game, while Brownschidle and senior Jeremy Russell both had an assist on Saturday, as all four seniors tallied a point in their "Senior Night" game. Junior Mike Clemente recorded 31 saves against Cornell and 23 the next night against Colgate.

These Date Historically Speaking: All-time, Brown is 7-8-0 in games played on March 4th, 8-7-1 in games played on March 5th, and 8-9-0 in games played on March 6th. In away games, Brown is 5-4-0 on March 4th, 2-5-0 on March 5th, and 3-3-0 on March 6th. Brown has never faced Quinnipiac on any of these dates, as the 2008 ECAC First Round games were played on March 7th and 8th.  

Brown vs. Quinnipiac: Brown and Quinnipiac played to a pair of ties this year with a 3-3 decision in Providence and a 2-2 decision two weeks ago in Hamden after splitting the regular season series in each of the two prior years. Quinnipiac leads the all-time series, which began with a 3-2 (ot) Bobcats' victory in January 2006, by an 8-4-2 margin. Brown earned the season split with the Bobcats in 2006, with a 5-3 win in Providence to close out the regular season. The two teams split the season series again in 2006-07, with each team winning in its home rink for the second straight year, before the Bobcats would win four straight games, two of which were in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, during the 2007-08 season. Seniors David Brownschidle (3g, 1a) and Harry Zolnierczyk (1g, 3a) lead all Brown players against Quinnipiac with four points in 10 and eight career games, respectively. Senior Jeremy Russell (1g, 2a, 8 games) and sophomore Chris Zaires (3a, 4 games) both have three career points.

Brown vs. Quinnipiac in the Playoffs: The Bears have played Quinnipiac just one other time in the ECAC Playoffs, during the 2008 First Round when the current seniors were freshmen. The Bobcats, seeded 6th,  swept 11th-seeded Brown in that series, winning game #1, 7-6 (ot) and game #2, 7-1. The Bears led, 1-0, after one period, but Quinnipiac exploded for six goals in the second period to grab a 6-3 lead after 40 minutes. Brown forced overtime by scoring three times in the final seven minutes of the third, including the tying goal with 5.4 seconds left in regulation. The Bobcats would score the winning goal 11:58 into overtime. In game two, the Bobcats again rode a big second period to the win, snapping a 1-1 first-period tie with four goals in the second and two more in the third for the 7-1 win.          

Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats finished the regular season with three straight 2-2 ties, drawing even with Brown at home and on the road at Union and at RPI. Quinnipiac is in search of its first win dating back to a 3-2 victory over Clarkson on January 28th and has gone 0-3-5 in its last 8 games entering the weekend. The Bobcats are led by freshman Connor Jones, who has 22 (9g, 13a) points in 34 games, while junior Scott Zurevinski (12g, 9a) and freshman Kellen Jones (7g, 14a) each have 21 points in 34 games played. Sophomore Jeremy Langlois has also reached the 20-point milestone and leads the team with 15 goals to go along with 5 assists. Connor Jones and Langlois also lead the team with six power play goals, while Zurevinski, sophomore Ben Arnt, freshman John Dunbar, and junior Spencer Heichmen share a team-high with two game-winning goals. Sophomore Eric Hartzell has seen the majority of time in net, posting a .923 save percentage and a 2.39 GAA in 25 games (10-6-6). Junior Dan Clarke has played in 13 games (3-7-2) and has a .883 save percentage and a 3.22 GAA.

All-Ivy Honors: Senior captain Harry Zolnierczyk was named the 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year, earning a spot on the All-Ivy First team, while freshman Dennis Robertson was named Second Team All-Ivy in a vote by the League's six head coaches, announced Thursday, March 3rd. Zolnierczyk is just the fourth-ever Brown player to earn Player of the Year honors and the first since 2004 when Yann Danis '04 earned the recognition. In addition to Danis, he joins former Brown Ivy Players of the Year Mike Brewer '92 and Ryan Mulhern '96. Zolnierczyk enters the Quinnipiac series ranked 1st on the team in both points (31) and goals (16), while also leading the team in power play goals (6), game-winning goals (3), and short handed goals (20).  In Ivy games only, Zolnierczyk led the League in both points (11) and goals (8). Robertson ranks 4th on the team in scoring with 17 points (6g, 11a), leading all Brown freshmen and defensemen in scoring. His 17 points rank 3rd all-time at Brown for points in a season by a rookie defenseman, while his 11 assists ranks 9th for assists in a season by a rookie defenseman, and his six goals is the Brown record for goals in a season by a rookie defenseman.

Maclellan for Hobey: Junior assistant captain Jack Maclellan, who shares the team scoring lead with 31 points (14g, 17a) in 25 games, is among the nominees for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Maclellan, who posted at least one point in 19 of the 25 games he played in, enters the Quinnipiac series ranked 23rd in the nation with 1.24 points per game, 20th nationally with 0.56 goals per game, 38th nationally with 0.68 assists per game, and 11th in the nation with two short-handed goals. An assistant captain this year, Maclellan has 71 career points (31g, 40a) in 91 games. Unfortunately, Maclellan was injured one shift into the Princeton game on February 18th and isn't expected back this season unless the Bears advance deep into the playoffs. Fans can vote for their choice once every 24 hours and as many times as they like at www.hobeybakeraward.com. When online voting closes, the votes are tabulated and the results carry a weight in the final selection process of the Hobey finalists and winner.

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, five regular season away games will be shown live via America One. This weekend's ECAC Hockey First Round series at Quinnipiac will be video streamed through America One for a fee of $8.00 per game. Free audio for all home games and select away games, including this weekend's First Round series at Quinnipiac, will also be available. 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. During the regular season this year, he helped lead the Bears to a 9th-place finish in the ECAC Hockey standings, Brown's highest finish since 2005. 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).

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.

Jack Maclellan and Matt Wahl Earn All-Tournament Honors: Following Brown's second place finish at Notre Dame's Shillelagh Tournament (6-1 win over #10 Boston University; 7-3 loss to Minnesota State), junior Jack Maclellan (2g, 1a) and freshman Matt Wahl (2a) were both named to the All-Tournament Team.

Harry Zolnierczyk Named ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Player of the Week: Following Brown's split with #1 Yale (L, 5-2; W, 3-2), which snapped Yale's winning streak at 10 games and handed the Bulldogs their first ECAC loss of the season, senior Harry Zolnierczyk was named ECAC Player of the Week. The Bears' second leading scorer had 4 points (2g, 2a) in the pair of games, including a short-handed goal that in the first game, that tied the score at 2-2, and the game-winning goal with 46 seconds left in regulation in the come-from-behind win in the second game. He also had the primary assist on both goals in the victory, and was +3 for the weekend.

Harry Zolnierczyk Named ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Player of the Week Again: Following Brown's sweep of Cornell (W, 3-2, ot) and Colgate (W, 6-4),  senior Harry Zolnierczyk was named ECAC Player of the Week for the second time both this season and in his career. The Bears' leading scorer had 4 goals in the pair of games, including two highlight reel worthy scores, one each night. His second goal against the Big Red was one for the ages. After collecting the puck from senior David Brownschidle, he raced in along the left wing boards, before angling sharply towards the net. With a Cornell defenseman coming in from the other side, Zolnierczyk leapt into the air, around the defenseman, while maintaining control and possession of the puck. After landing on his skates, he back-handed the puck into the near side of the net, giving Brown a 2-0 lead. The next night against Colgate, Zolnierczyk's goals gave Brown leads of 3-1 and 4-2.

Dennis Robertson Named ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Rookie of the Week: Following Brown's weekend sweep of Cornell (W, 3-2, ot) and Colgate (W, 6-4), freshman Dennis Robertson was named ECAC Rookie of the Week. The Bears' leading scorer among rookies and defensemen, Robertson posted a pair of assists in each game, including one on the overtime game-winner against Cornell, and finished the weekend with a +5 rating.

Pictured: Jesse Fratkin '11. Photo by DSPics.net.