March 12, 2010

Bears Set to Face #6 and Top-Seeded Yale in ECAC Quarterfinals

This Weekend: The 11th-seeded Bears, fresh off a first round series win over RPI (two-games to-one) face #6 Yale, the #1 seed, in a best-of-three Quarterfinal series. It marks the second straight that year that Brown will play a Quarterfinal series, both of which have been at Yale. Brown will look to pick up its first victory in the Quarerfinals since the 2003 season when the Bears defeated Yale in three games. Brown was swept by Harvard in 2004 and by Colgate in 2005.

All-Time in the ECAC Quarterfinals: Since the first season that the ECAC hosted a Quarterfinal Round of the playoffs (1961-62), Brown has played in the Quarterfinals 22 times. The Bears were 4-7-0 in single-elimination games between 1961-62 and 1981-82, when the League switched to a best-of-three series for the Quarterfinals. The 1991-92 season was also single-elimination for the Quarterfinals, with Brown losing its only game. In best-of-three games, Brown is 6-16-1, winning the series three times (1993, 1994, 2003).

Brown’s All-Time Quarterfinal Round Results:
1963    at Clarkson 3, Brown 1       
1965    at Brown 4, Cornell 3 (ot)           
1966    at Brown 4, St. Lawrence 2       
1967    at Cornell 11, Brown 2       
1968    at Clarkson 7, Brown 3           
1970    at Clarkson 6, Brown 5 (ot)  
1971    at Harvard 4, Brown 3           
1975    at Boston U. 5, Brown 4 (ot)      
1976    at Brown 5, Dartmouth 4 (ot)  
1977    at UNH 4, Brown 3 (ot)           
1978    Brown 6, at Clarkson 2       
1987    at Harvard 6, Brown 2               
           at Harvard 5, Brown 2       
1990    at Rensselaer 5, Brown 3          
           at Rensselaer 6, Brown 4
1992    at Clarkson 8, Brown 3
1993    at Brown 3, Yale 3 (ot)
           at Brown 5, Yale 3
1994    Vermont 8, at Brown 5
           at Brown 3, Vermont 2
           at Brown 3, Vermont 2
1995    Princeton 4, at Brown 2
           at Brown 3, Princeton 2
           Princeton 3, at Brown 2 (ot)
1996    at Clarkson 5, Brown 2
           at Clarkson 5, Brown 3
2003    Brown 4, at Yale 3 (ot)
           at Yale 2, Brown 1
           Brown 4, at Yale 0
2004    Harvard 4, at Brown 2
           Harvard 3, at Brown 2 (ot)
2005    at Colgate 4, Brown 1
           at Colgate 3, Brown 0
2009    at Yale 4, Brown 2
           at Yale 2, Brown 0

Last Time Out: The Bears earned their second straight First Round series win, defeating sixth-seeded RPI in three games, a year after sweeping Harvard. Brown won the first game, 3-1, scoring three third-period goals, to take a lead in the series. RPI evened the series with a 4-1 victory in game two. The Bears clinched the series win on Sunday night, scoring a goal in each period to take a 3-0 lead and then withstanding the Engineers vicious comeback attempt. Senior Aaron Volpatti led all players with three goals, scoring once in each game, and two assists, while sophomore Bobby Farnham (1g, 2a), senior Devin Timberlake (3a), and junior Harry Zolnierczyk (2a) all had multiple points on the weekend. Sophomore Mike Clemente stopped 82 of 89 shots in the series, including 52 of 55 in the two wins. In addition, he had a .945 save percentage and 1.50 GAA in Brown’s two victories.

These Dates Historically Speaking: All-time, Brown is 3-5-1 in games played on March 12th, 1-6-0 in games played on March 13th, and 3-1-0 in games played on March 14th. In away games, the Bears are 0-2-0 on March 12th, 0-2-0 on March 13th, and 1-1-0 on March 14th. Brown and Yale have met one other time on March 12th, a 3-3 tie in 1993, one other time on March 13th, a 4-2 Yale win 2009, and three times on March 14th. Yale earned a 2-0 win in 2009, Brown earned a 4-3 win in overtime in 2003, and Brown earned a 5-3 win in 1993.

Brown vs. Yale: Yale leads the all-time series with Brown, which dates back to the 1897-1898 season, by an 87-69-8 margin, including five straight wins last year and 11 straight wins dating back to December 9, 2006 when Brown earned a 3-2 overtime win. This season, Brown is one of just three teams to score at least five goals against Yale, joining RPI and St. Lawrence. However, Brown scored five goals in both games against the Bulldogs, while the Engineers and Saints accomplished it only once. Yale has not allowed more than five goals to any opponent this season. Senior Jordan Pietrus is Brown’s statistical leader against the Bulldogs with 8 points (4g, 4a) in 11 career games, but he will not be playing this weekend. Junior Harry Zolnierczyk adds 6 career points (3g, 3a) in 9 games, while seniors Devin Timberlake (3g, 2a) and Aaron Volpatti (2g, 3a), and sophomore Jeff Buvinow (5a) all have five career points in 9, 11, and 7 games, respectively.

Brown vs. Yale in the Playoffs: Brown and Yale have met eight times in the playoffs with the Bulldogs holding a 4-3-1 advantage in the eight games. Yale won the very first post-season meeting, a 2-1 victory in a game hosted by Brown in 1991. Two years later, in 1993, the Bears again hosted Yale, and this time, earned the series with a 3-3 tie in the first game and a 5-3 win in the second game. In 2003, Brown traveled to New Haven as the five-seed and earned a 4-3 overtime win in game one. Yale tied the series with a 2-1 win in game two, but Brown clinched the series the next night with a dominating 4-0 victory. This was the last time that Brown advanced to the ECAC Hockey semi-finals, where the Bears fell to top-seeded Cornell, 2-0. Last year, Brown fell to the Bulldogs in two games, 4-2 in game one, and 2-0 in game two.

Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs entered their two week bye following a 4-3 loss to Quinnipiac in the final game of the regular season. The loss to the Bobcats snapped a seven-game winning streak for Yale, which had outscored its opposition, 37-22 during that time. The Bulldogs are led by junior Broc Little, who has 38 points (25g, 13a), including a team-high 7 game-winning goals, in 29 games. Sophomore Brian O’Neill (12g, 24a), senior Sean Backman (21g, 14a), and junior Denny Kearney (8g, 22a) have all also reached 30 points this season with Backman leading the team with nine power play goals. An additional eight players have posted double digits in scoring, while 12 other players have posted at least a point this year. Freshman Nick Maricic has seen the majority of time in net this season, earning a 2.95 GAA and a .888 save percentage in 14 games (771:52). Freshman Jeff Malcolm is second among Yale’s four goalies in minutes (478:10) and has a 2.89 GAA and .882 save percentage in nine games.

Complete release is available here.

Pictured: Devin Timberlake ’10. Photo by DSPics.net.