March 14, 2013

Bears Travel to Rensselaer to Face Engineers in Best-of-Three Quarterfinal Series

This Weekend: Brown travels to Rensselaer to face the Engineers in a best-of-three Quarterfinal series, advancing past the first round for the first time since 2010. Ironically, the Bears advanced to the Quarterfinals, and then subsequently the ECAC Final Four, with a First Round series win at RPI, besting the Engineers in three games.

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 23 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 8-17-1, winning the series four times (1993, 1994, 2003, 2010).

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
2010 Brown 3, at Yale 2
          at Yale 6, Brown 3
          Brown 1, at Yale 0 

Last Time Out: Brown earend its first weekend sweep of the season, defeating Clarkson, 3-0 and 4-3, in last weekend's ECAC Hockey First Round series. It marked the first time since 2005 that the Bears have hosted a First Round series and was also the first time since 2010 that the Bears have moved past that round. On Friday night, senior Anthony Borelli recorded 31 saves to earn his third shutout of the season, while the line of sophomore Matt Lorito (1g, 1a), and freshmen Mark Naclerio (1g, 1a) and Nick Lappin (2a) all contributed two points. The Bears third goal was an empty net tally by sophomore Joey de Concilys and was assisted by senior Jeff Ryan and junior Mark Hourihan. In game two on Saturday, the Bears came out flying, building leads of 3-0 and 4-1, before a third period comeback attempt by the Golden Knights. The win marked the first victory for the Bears this season when allowing three or more goals, as Brown is now 1-9-4 in games when it allowed three goals or more to the opposition. Junior Jake Goldberg scored a career-high two goals, including the game-winner, while Lorito and junior Dennis Robertson also scored in the win. Lappin had another two-assist night, while junior Garnet Hathaway also had a pair of assists. Borelli recorded 34 saves, including 15 in the third period.

Brown vs. Rensselaer: This weekend will mark the 86th, 87th and possibly 88th meetings between Brown and RPI, dating back to a 5-0 Brown win during the 1951-52 season. The Engineers currently lead the all-time series, 56-21-8, including a season sweep in both 2010-11 and 2011-12. The Bears halted RPI's four-game winning streak with a 2-2 tie in Providence earlier this year, but the Engineers won the season series with a 5-1 victory in Troy. Brown's last victory over Rensselaer came during the 2009-10 season, when the current seniors were freshman. The two teams split the regular season that year with each team winning in its own rink. The Bears then faced RPI in the first round of the playoffs, eliminating the 6th-seeded Engineers in three games with wins in game #1 and game #3. The split during the 2009-10 regular season marked the first time in four seasons that Brown earned a win over RPI in the regular season, as the Engineers were 7-0-1 from January 2006 through February 2009, including sweeping the season in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Senior Chris Zaires (3g, 1a in 9 games), junior Dennis Robertson (2a in 6 games), and sophomore Matt Lorito (1g, 1a in 3 games) are Brown's statistical leaders against the Engineers. 

Brown vs. RPI in the Playoffs: The Bears have faced RPI just three other times in the playoffs, most recently in 2010 when 6th-seeded RPI hosted the 11th-seeded Bears in a best-of-three First Round series. Brown won the series, two games to one, and advanced to the ECAC Final Four that season with a two games to one series win over Yale in the Quarterfinals. In 2005, sixth-seeded Brown swept 11th-seeded RPI, 7-4 in game one and 4-3 (ot) in game two, in a First Round series hosted by the Bears. In 1990, eight-seeded Brown defeated ninth-seeded Vermont, 7-5, in a single game to advance to the Quarterfinals, where the Bears traveled to Troy to face second-seeded RPI. The Engineers swept that series, winning 5-3 in game one and 6-4 in game two.

Brown's All-Time ECAC Tournament Results vs. RPI
1990 at RPI 5, Brown 3
          at RPI 6, Brown 4
2005 at Brown 7, RPI 4
          at Brown 4, RPI 3 (ot)
2010 Brown 3, at RPI 1
          at RPI 4, Brown 1
          Brown 3, at RPI 2 

Scouting Rensselaer: The Engineers enter this weekend's best-of-three Quarterfinal series following a bye week last weekend. RPI closed out the regular season with a 9-1-0 record dating back to February 1st and an 11-2-0 record dating back to January 18th. The lone blemishes during the late season push to a second place finish in the ECAC Hockey regular season standings were a 3-2 loss against Union on January 26th and a 4-1 loss at Cornell on February 22nd. Senior Nick Bailen leads the team in scoring with 31 points (12g, 19a) in 33 games, while three other players, all sophomores, have all posted at least 20 points on the season. Matt Neal is second on the team with 27 points (8g, 19a), Jacob Laliberte is third with 26 points (9g, 17a), and Ryan Haggerty is fourth with 25 points (12g, 13a). Bailen also leads the team with seven power play goals, while Laliberte is second with five goals on the man-advantage. Sophomore Mark McGowan has a team-high three game-winning goals, while five other players are tied for second with two game-winning goals each. Freshman Jason Kasdorf has seen the bulk of work in net for RPI and has a 1.51 GAA, fourth in the country, and a .940 save percentage, sixth in the country, in 20 games (13-3-2). Senior Bryce Merriam has appeared in 10 games (2.80, .900), while sophomore Scott Diebold has played in seven games (3.22, .873).

Pictured: Richie Crowley '13. Photo by DSPics.net.