PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown University men's hockey team will close out the regular season when the Bears play host to Rensselaer and No. 3 Union this weekend. Brown will play RPI on Friday at 7 p.m. before hosting the Dutchmen in Saturday's Senior Day matchup at 4 p.m. Links to live video and live stats will be available at www.brownbears.com.
Brown (11-13-3, 8-11-1 ECAC) vs. Rensselaer (13-13-6, 7-8-5 ECAC)
Friday, Feb. 28 | 7 p.m. | Meehan Auditorium
Brown (11-13-3, 8-11-1 ECAC) vs. No. 3 Union (22-6-4, 16-3-1 ECAC)
Saturday, March 1 | 4 p.m. | Meehan Auditorium
Watch Live: Video of all home contests and all Ivy League games, home and away, will be broadcast live on BrownBears.TV. Fans can subscribe and view games by purchasing yearly, monthly, weekly or daily packages.
Last Time Out: Brown split a pair of road contests last weekend, first falling to Dartmouth in overtime, 2-1, before earning a shutout victory at Harvard, 2-0. Matt Lorito scored a power-play goal in the third period to force overtime against the Big Green, but the home side scored on the power play just 52 seconds into the extra period to earn the win. Brown bounced back the next night as Tyler Steel racked 30 saves against the Crimson for his first career shutout. Nick Lappin and Jake Goldberg took care of the offense with one goal apiece to help the Bears secure the win. Brown was a perfect 1-for-1 on the power play against the Crimson.
Brown vs. RPI: Friday's game will mark the 90th meeting 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, 58-23-8, 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 early last season, but the Engineers won the season series with a 5-1 victory in Troy. From there, the two teams met in the 2013 ECAC quarterfinals as the Bears claimed a 2-1 series victory on the road to move on to the semifinals. Rensselaer skated to a 4-1 home victory in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Scouting RPI: Rensselaer enters Friday's game at 13-13-6 overall and 7-8-5 in the ECAC for seventh place and one spot ahead of Brown in the league standings. The Engineers recorded one point last weekend, skating to a 2-2 draw at Clarkson after falling at St. Lawrence, 4-0, on Friday. Ryan Haggerty leads the ECAC with 24 goals this season and ranks second in the conference with 38 points (24-14-48). Brock Higgs and Matt Neal also have double figure goals with 14 and 10, respectively. Scott Diebold is 12-12-6 in net with a 2.44 GAA and a .914 save percentage. RPI ranks first in the conference with 16.2 penalty minutes per game. The Engineers score 43 percent of their goals in the first period with 39 of 91 goals scored in the opening frame.
Brown vs. Union: This weekend marks the 47th meeting between Brown and Union, dating back to a 3-2 Union victory on December 30, 1989. The Bears hold a 21-15-11 series advantage over the Dutchmen after the teams played to a 3-3 tie at Meehan and Union claimed a 2-0 victory in home last season. The two teams then met in the ECAC Championship game with the Dutchmen claiming the title behind a 3-1 victory. Since the 2010-11 season, when the current seniors were freshmen, Brown holds a 2-5-1 record. Dennis Robertson is Brown's statistical leader against Union with 1-6-7 totals in seven career games, while Massimo Lamacchia adds six points in four career games.
Scouting Union: Union captured the ECAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a 6-2 victory over St. Lawrence last weekend. Junior forward Daniel Ciampini finished with two goals and two assists in Union's weekend sweep of Clarkson and St. Lawrence to earn ECAC Player of the Week honors. He ranks second in team scoring (30 points) and has compiled 11 points (7g-4a) during his seven-game points streak. Daniel Carr leads the team with 34 points on 15 goals and 19 assists. Colin Stevens has played a majority of the minutes in net, standing at 19-4-2 on the season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.10 GAA. Union boasts the league's top offense at 3.69 goals per game and the second-best defense at 2.00 goals per game.
Playoff Picture: The Bears enter the weekend in eighth place in the ECAC standings and one point ahead of St. Lawrence. The top four teams earn a bye and the next four secure home ice for the first round in a best-of-three series. Brown has 17 points and can finish anywhere from seventh to 11th in the standings.
Steel Curtain: Rookie Tyler Steel stopped 30 shots in a 2-0 victory at Harvard to earn his first career shutout and Brown's first shutout of the season. Steel is 8-7-3 on the season and has registered at least 30 saves in five games.
Lorito's Point Streak: Matt Lorito enters the weekend on a six-game point streak, tied for longest on the team this season, racking up 2-6-8 totals in that span. Lorito posted a pair of assists in a 4-3 loss at Union to start the streak and also added a two-point performance against Princeton. The junior ranks third on the team with 29 points on 10 points and 19 assists.
Conference Ranks: Mark Naclerio ranks third in the ECAC in points per game (1.26) and second in the conference in goals per game (0.59).
Robertson a Finalist for Senior CLASS Award: Defenseman Dennis Robertson was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award for men's hockey. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 20 candidates announced in November. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through March 31. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Men's Frozen Final Four® in April. For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.