2002-2003 Season Outlook

October 26, 2002

After last year's break-through season, the Brown men's ice hockey team is looking forward to the 2002-2003 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 five members of last year's squad, which finished sixth in the ECAC standings. The 2002-2003 edition of Brown ice hockey returns its top-ten scorers and 23 letterwinners from last season. The Bears return an All-American goaltender, their entire front line and 75% of their defensive unit for Brown's 78th season of collegiate ice hockey.

GOAL
Returning: 2; Lost: 1; Newcomers: 1

With the return of junior netminder Yann Danis, a Second Team All-American, Brown's goaltending should be among the best in the league.

Danis posted a 1.86 goals against average, fifth in the country, and a .938 save percentage, second in the nation in 24 games. He registered 685 saves and 45 goals against, while earning USCHO Defensive Player of the Week honors twice. A second-team All-ECAC selection, Danis tied the Brown record for shutouts in a season with three, while breaking both the goals against average and save percentage single season records at Brown. He capped of last year with a career-high 66-save performanc, second at Brown all time, against Harvard.

Sophomore Scott Rowan spent last season in a back-up role, while learning the college game. He will look to challenge Danis along with newcomer, Kevin Kliman.

DEFENSE
Returning: 6; Lost: 2; Newcomers: 3

With almost the entire defensive unit returning, the Bears will look to continue their success along the blueline. Last season's defensemen allowed just 80 goals, 27 less than the 2000-2001 season. Assistant Captains, senior Paul Esdale and junior Scott Ford have been regulars on the blueline since their freshman campaigns and will lead the defense. Sophomore Gerry Burke and junior Vince Macri gained a tremendous amount of experience last season, making Brown's defense a force to be reckoned with.

Brown's second-leading scorer last season, Esdale finished the year with 5-13-14 totals. The Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection plays with the mindset of a forward, possessing very quick hands when shooting, and a knack for putting the puck in the net. A crucial part of the Brown special teams, Esdale had three power-play goals to go along with one short-handed tally. Ford has a dominating appearance on the ice and is an intelligent player. A natural leader, he will be looked upon for leadership both on and off the ice. Ford is a critical part of the Brown special teams, and finished last year with 1-6-7 numbers, second among the defensemen.

Burke made an immediate impact as a freshman last season and will add experience to the blueline. He tallied his first career point in an early season win at Vermont and boasted a team-high +10 rating. Macri finished the season with 1-5-6 totals in 25 games, third among all defensemen. He has the size and power to be successful on both ends of the ice.

Rounding out the returnees are senior Owen Walter and sophomore Paul Crosty, both of whom should challenge for a more permanent position this season. Walter appeared in 15 games last season and is one of the hardest workers on the team. Crosty played in 11 contests as a rookie and finished with three assists.

Three new faces join this group which could be the makings of one of the most talented defensive lines in the league. Dami Amurawaiye, Pete LeCain, and Adam Tichauer bring size, and strength to the backline.

FORWARD
Returning: 13; Lost: 2; Newcomers: 4

With the return of the top 14 scorers from last year, the Bears will be looking to build upon last season's accomplishments.

Senior Captain Tye Korbl, and senior Assistant Captain Keith Kirley, and juniors Brent Robinson, Shane Mudryk, and Adam Saunders are all impact players on the Bears' front line. Korbl finished last season as the third-leading scorer with 7-10-17 totals and a +6 rating, also third on the team. An assistant captain last season, he is the top-checking forward and one of the most consistent skaters on the team, playing with an aggressive mentality. The center of the top-line, he earned ECAC Player of the Week honors once last season. Kirley, the fourth-leading scorer on the team last season, finished with 8-8-16 numbers in 31 games. He has a great scoring touch with an amazing work ethic and should be among the top scorers again this season.

Robinson adds size and strength to both the center and left wing positions. He was last season's leading scorer, finishing with 9-13-22 totals, including a team-high four power-play goals. He scored two game-winning goals, and finished with just two penalties to go along with a +1 rating. Mudryk and Saunders also had break-out years, finishing with 7-9-16 totals and 8-7-15 totals, respectively. Mudryk played most of the year at center on the second line, with Robinson on his left and Saunders on his right, while Saunders ended the season on the top line.

Seniors Chris Legg and Jason Wilson, and junior Pascal Denis will also help to lead the team offensively. Legg, who was drafted in July of 1999 by the Edmonton Oilers, has natural scoring ability and could become one of the key go-to forwards this season. He finished last year with 4-6-10 totals, while spending a team-low four minutes in the penalty box. Wilson had a break-out year for Brown, returning to the success of his freshman campaign. He played in 28 games and contributed 3-2-5 numbers, while finishing with a +2 rating. Denis also had a successful year, finishing with 5-3-8 numbers, including his first career goal in Brown's season-opening win at Harvard. In addition, his +7 rating was second on the team. One of the most aggressive penalty killers and fastest skaters on the team, he led the ECAC with two short-handed goals, one the game-winner at Clarkson, and the other at Yale.

Rounding out the returning forwards are sophomores Les Haggett, Mike Meech, Chris Swon, Jarrett Robertson, and Chris Davidson, and junior Nick Ringstad. Haggett led all freshmen in scoring with 6-7-13 totals in 27 games, including some key goals in Brown wins. He was on his way to becoming the first rookie since Josh Barker '02 to play in every game of his freshman season, but a shoulder injury at St. Lawrence sidelined him for four games. Meech was right behind Haggett in scoring, with 2-7-9 numbers in 28 games. After sitting out the first two games of the year, Meech earned a spot in the lineup for the rest of the season until a shoulder injury forced him out of the lineup for the final game of the year. Swon (2-4-6), Robertson (0-2-2), and Davidson (0-1-1) each gained experience as rookies last season and will look for a more permanent spot in the lineup in 2002-2003, along with Ringstad, who contributed 1-2-3 totals in 17 games.

Four forwards make up the Class of 2006: Joe Bauer, Cory Caouette, Mike Carthas, and Rugo Santini. All four add size, talent and strength to the roster and have the potential to make an immediate impact.