2003-2004 Men's Ice Hockey Outlook
Nov. 4, 2003
After last year's breakthrough season where the Bears advanced to the ECAC Championship Tournament for the first time since 1994 and posted a winning season for the first time since 1995, the Brown men's ice hockey team is looking forward to the 2003-2004 season and continuing its resurgence.
Head Coach Roger Grillo and his team are poised to earn an ECAC playoff berth and a trip to Albany with a veteran team, having lost just eight members of last year's squad, which finished fifth in the ECAC standings. The 2003-2004 edition of Brown ice hockey returns six of its top 10 scorers from last season, including the top two, Assistant Captains Brent Robinson '04 and Les Haggett '05, who became Brown's first two 30-point scorers since 1995 with 38 and 33 points respectively.
In addition, Yann Danis '04, who has broken several Brown and ECAC goaltending records over the past two seasons, will look to lead the Bears again between the pipes. With four veteran blueliners also returning for 2003-2004, Brown's 79th season of collegiate ice hockey has the makings to be one of the most successful seasons in recent history.
Returning: 3; Lost: 0; Newcomers: 0
With the return of senior netminder Yann Danis, a two-time Second Team All-ECAC performer and a Third Team INCH.com All-American, Brown's goaltending should be among the best in the league.
Danis, the fourth two-time recipient of the Class of 1936 Hockey Trophy, as the team MVP, was also a repeat New England Hockey Writers Association All-Star Team selection, while earning Second Team All-Ivy and ECAC All-Tournament Team recognition. He is coming off a season in which he earned ECAC Goalie of the Week recognition five times, while breaking several Brown records, including shutouts in a season (5), third in the country; shutouts in a career (8); and single-season saves (1043). In addition, he etched his name in the ECAC Tournament record book with 243 saves in a single season (7 games) and 340 saves in a career (9 games). Danis will again look to be one of the best goalies in not only the ECAC, but also the country, finishing last season with a .929 save percentage, second in the nation, and a 2.31 GAA, eighth-best in the country.
Junior Scott Rowan gained valuable experience last season, making two appearances for the Bears. He played his first complete game in an exhibition contest against Manitoba in December, picking up a 6-3 win with 23 saves. Rowan made his first NCAA start a memorable one, posting 19 saves in a 4-0 shutout against Iona. Sophomore Kevin Kliman spent last season in a back-up role, while learning the college game.
Returning: 7; Lost: 2; Newcomers: 1
With almost the entire defensive unit returning, the Bears will look to continue their success along the blueline. Last season's defensemen allowed just 83 goals, while posting a team GAA of 2.37, sixth in the country. Senior Captain Scott Ford, senior Vince Macri and junior Gerry Burke will look to lead the defense this season. Ford and Burke have been regulars on the blueline since their freshman campaigns, while Macri has been a constant force on defense during the past two seasons. Junior Paul Crosty and sophomore Adam Tichauer both gained a tremendous amount of experience last season, making Brown's defense a force to be reckoned with.
An Assistant Captain and Brown's fifth-leading scorer last season, Ford finished the year with 6-11-17 totals, second among all defensemen. A crucial member of the power-play, five of his six goals were scored on the man advantage. He finished the year third on the team in power-play goals and fourth on the team in power-play points with 13. An intelligent player, Ford also has a dominating appearance on the ice and uses his 6-3 frame as an advantage. A natural leader, he will be looked upon for leadership both on and off the ice.
Burke made an immediate impact as a freshman two years ago and has played in all but two games during his first two seasons. He teamed with Macri as Brown's toughest defensive pairing, both with the size and power to be successful on both ends of the ice. Last season the duo finished as the third- (Macri) and fourth-leading defensemen in scoring. They were also paired in Brown's second power-play unit and both will challenge for time on the first power-play unit with the loss of Paul Esdale '03, who had been a mainstay on both the defense and the first power-play unit since his freshman season. Macri finished the season with 10 points and a team-high +13 rating, while Burke posted eight points.
Also adding experience to the blueline are Crosty and Tichauer, who are both physical players. After playing in just 11 games as a freshman, Crosty worked his way into the lineup at the start of last season and played in 27 games, finishing with two assists. Tichauer, who appeared in 18 games last year, was the first member of the class of 2006 to enter the lineup. He tallied one assist and finished with a +4 rating. Rounding out the returnees are sophomores Pete LeCain and Dami Amurawaiye. LeCain appeared in two games for the Bears, and finished the season with a +2 rating. Amurawaiye spent most of the season battling and recovering from mono. Both LeCain and Amurawaiye will challenge for time on the ice this season.
Returning: 12; Lost: 7; Newcomers: 4
Assistant Captains Brent Robinson and Les Haggett, and seniors Shane Mudryk and Pascal Denis are all impact players on the Bears' front line. Robinson and Haggett finished last season as top two scorers with 38 and 33 points respectively, as Brown had two 30-point scorers for the first time since 1995.
A Second Team All-Ivy selection last year, Robinson has been the Bears' leading scorer for the past two seasons. He can play both left wing and center and has become Brown's go-to goal-scorer, finishing ranked 13th in the ECAC with 15 goals and 10th in the ECAC with 23 assists. A member of the first power-play unit, Robinson also led Brown with seven power-play goals and will look to be an offensive leader again this year.
A linemate of Robinson's and a member of the first power-play unit, Haggett made vast improvements as the last season progressed, nearly tripling his freshman season point production last year. Haggett tallied six extra-man goals, second on the team, and finished with 16 power-play points, second on the team and ninth in the ECAC. He was named to the ECAC Honor Roll four times during the season, and had 10 multiple-point games during the season.
Mudryk and Denis also had successful seasons for the Bears, finishing with 5-8-13 and 8-5-13 totals, respectively. Mudryk played most of the year at left wing on Brown's second line, while Denis, who is one of the top penalty killers on the team, played center on the same line. Danis also finished second on the team with a +8 rating, while Mudryk was third with a +7 rating.
Junior Chris Swon and sophomore Cory Caouette will also help to lead the team offensively. Swon worked his way up to Brown's top line towards the end of the season and also saw time on both the top power-play and penalty-kill unit. He finished with 11 points, 10 of which were tallied while playing with Haggett and Robinson. Caouette will also compete for more time up front and help fill the voids in the lineup. The Bears' Rookie of the Year, Caouette, who can play both center and left wing, finished his freshman campaign with four points in 20 games.
Rounding out the returning forwards are senior Nick Ringstad, juniors Mike Meech and Rob Kapuscinski, and sophomores Joe Bauer, Mike Carthas, and Rugo Santini. Ringstad (0-3-3) has made steady improvements during his first three seasons and adds experience to a young offense. After a successful freshman campaign, Meech (1-1-2) battled injury for most of last year, but will look to return to the success he enjoyed as a rookie. After taking a year off from the team, Kapuscinski rejoins the Bears this season and will look to impact Brown's front line. Santini (1-1-2) and Bauer both saw action in a handful of games, while Carthas spent his rookie season learning the collegiate game.
Four forwards make up the Class of 2007: Sean Dersch, Brian Ihnacak, Antonin Roux, and Steve Sigaty. All four add size, talent and strength to the roster and have the potential to make an immediate impact.