November 2, 2007

Home Opener vs. Yale, Trip to #8 UConn on Tap for Bears

Nov. 2, 2007

Providence, RI - In a tough second-week slate, Brown will have the first of three home/away weekends this season, this against a pair of Nutmeg State foes. On Saturday, Brown hosts Yale for the first Ivy League contest of the season for both squads. Sunday, the Bears will travel to Storrs for a game with surging Connecticut, ranked #8 in both national women's hockey polls.

Last Week: Last weekend, the Bears opened their season with a split in New York's Capital District, topping Union, 1-0, then falling to Rensselaer, 3-1. Sophomore Nicole Brown scored her first career goal on Friday night to give Brown the win, while junior assistant captain Nicole Stock made 17 saves for her sixth career shutout. Sophomore Erin Connors scored Brown's lone goal the next day, while Stock made 31 saves to keep the team in the contest.

Yale This Season: The Bulldogs earned three points to open the season last week, tying Rensselaer, 1-1, and beating Union, 3-2. Junior forward Sarah Tittman leads Yale with two goals, while junior defenseman Helen Resor (1g, 1a) and sophomore forward Mandi Schwartz (2a) have two points each as well. Senior Shivon Zilis and freshman Jackee Snikeris split time in net last weekend, with Zilis stopping 32 of 33 shots against RPI and Snikeris stopping five of seven shots against Union.

The Brown-Yale Series: The teams have split their last five contests 2-2-1 after Brown had won 34 consecutive games against the Elis. Last season, Yale won, 2-1, in Providence, with Brown returning the favor with a 6-4 win in New Haven.

The Series: Brown vs. Yale
Series record: 57-5-1, Brown
Current streak: Brown, one win
First meeting: 2/4/76 (Brown 2-0)
Last meeting: Brown, 6-4 (1/23/07)
Coach Murphy vs. Yale: 35-2-1

Connecticut This Season: One of the most surprising teams in the country, the Huskies are on a roll, and will be Brown's first ranked opponent of the season. After losing their season opener against then and current #10 Ohio State, UConn has won a team-record eight in a row, including a win the next day against the Buckeyes, home wins against Minnesota State, road wins at then-#3 St. Lawrence and Colgate, a home shutout of Providence, a win at Northeastern and a road win at Rensselaer. Sophomore forward Dominique Thibault is currently third in the country with 2.11 points per game, totaling 19 points (10g, 9a) in nine games. Junior Brittany Wilson sees the majority of time in net, posting a .939 save pct. and 1.72 GAA in seven games. Thibault was named Hockey East TPS Player of the Month, and Wilson was named Hockey East ITECH Goaltender of the Month for October.

The Brown-Connecticut Series: The Bears have dominated the series with UConn, holding an 11-2-1 edge overall and holding a 3-1-1 edge since 2001. Last season, Savannah Smith scored both Brown goals, including the OT game-winner, both assisted by Andrea Hunter and Hayley Moore. Nicole Stock made 25 saves to pick up the win, while UConn's Brittany Wilson made 32 stops in defeat.

The Series: Brown vs. Connecticut
Series record: 11-2-1, Brown
Current Streak: Brown, two wins
First Meeting: 1/7/07 (Tie 2-2)
Last Meeting: Brown, 2-1 (2/10/07)
Coach Murphy vs. UConn: 1-0-1

Murphy Tops All-Time: Last season, Brown Head Coach Digit Murphy became the winningest coach in Division I women's ice hockey history. She finished the season by becoming the third collegiate women's hockey coach to surpass the 300-win mark, finishing at 301-160-43.

Bears Looking for Moore: Senior captain Hayley Moore enters the season already 17th all-time at Brown with 105 career points (56g, 49a). Her 56 goals tie her for ninth all-time. A First Team All-Ivy and Second Team All-ECAC Hockey honoree two seasons ago, Moore is the heart-and-soul of the Bears, serving her second season as a captain this year. With a typical, injury-free season, Moore should break into Brown's top 10 for career points by season's end.

Be There or B2: All 13 of Brown's home games this season, including Saturday's game with Yale, as well as road contests at Niagara, Mercyhurst, Clarkson, and St. Lawrence, will be video streamed live on the Web thanks to Brown's new partnership with B2 Networks. Fans can purchase single games for $6, or buy an ice hockey season pass good for both Brown men's and women's home games for $50. An All-Sports Pass is also available for all Brown home contests for $125. Audio-only feeds of all home games, as well as some away contests, will again be free this season.

Don't Call It a Comeback: One of the most successful programs in ECAC Hockey history, Brown had its first losing season since 1991-92 last year. However, the Bears went 9-6-1 after January 1, and will look to ride that momentum back into the ECAC Hockey playoffs this season. Departed players accounted for just two of the Bears' goals in 2006-07, with the rest of the team's scoring punch returning.

On the Shelf: Brown will be without two of its captains this weekend. Senior captain Rylee Olewinski is recovering from a shoulder injury, while senior assistant captain Emilie Bydwell will miss part of the season while competing for the United States' U-23 Rugby Team.

Vets In the Front, Kids In Back: This year's edition of the Bears has an interesting dynamic of returning players vs. newcomers. Thirteen letterwinners return at forward, including two players moving back to their natural positions after a year playing defense, while two freshmen join the corps. On defense, just one letterwinner returns, with four freshmen stepping right into the blue-line rotation.

Movin' On Up: Sophomores Nicole Brown and Amanda Asay, who spent last season as defensemen, will move back to their natural positions at forward this season. The move has already paid dividends, as Brown's first career goal gave the Bears a 1-0 win over Union in their season opener.

Special Teams: The Bears' penalty kill has been solid so far in this young season, successfully killing 12 of 13 penalties for a 92.3 percent success rate. The power play, however, is still looking to get on the board, as Brown hasn't scored in 11 man-up situations.