November 8, 2007

Bears Hit The Road For Two ECAC Hockey Contests

Nov. 8, 2007

Providence, RI - This weekend, the Bears travel to ECAC Hockey rivals Colgate and Cornell for their second full league weekend of the year. Both of Brown's opponents will be opening their respective ECAC Hockey seasons this weekend after six non-conference games apiece.

Last Week: The Bears' two games last weekend showed drastically different performances. Brown had its home opener against Yale on Saturday, falling to the Bulldogs, 3-0. On Sunday, the team looked much more energetic and aggressive against #8 Connecticut in Storrs, controlling play for most of the game before falling, 2-1, in overtime. Junior assistant captain Nicole Stock was named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week for her performance, as she stopped 72 of the 77 shots she faced. Freshman Samantha Stortini scored her first collegiate goal on Sunday to give the Bears a 1-0 lead over the Huskies.

Colgate This Season: Do not be fooled by the Raiders' 0-5-1 record - they have played arguably the toughest schedule in the country so far, or at least in all of ECAC Hockey. Four of the five teams Colgate has played are currently ranked - #10 Boston College (L 3-0), #1 New Hampshire (L 1-0), #8 Connecticut (L 2-1), and #3/2 Mercyhurst (L 5-1; L 6-4). The Raiders' tie came against Providence in Hamilton, 5-5. Colgate's goal-scoring has been spread among nine players, with freshman Hannah Milan and senior Kara Leene tied for the team lead with two apiece. Junior Sam Hunt leads the team with two assists, and is tied with Milan for the team lead with three points. Freshman Lisa Plenderleith and junior Elayna Hamashuk have split the starts in net, with Plenderleith holding advantages in GAA (3.16-4.02) and save pct. (.886-.833).

The Brown-Colgate Series: Brown leads the all-time series, 8-4-0, but Colgate has won four of the last five meetings between the two teams. Last year, the Raiders swept the Bears, 4-1 in Hamilton and 4-3 in Providence.

The Series: Brown vs. Colgate
Series record: 8-4-0, Brown
Current streak: Colgate, two wins
First meeting: 11/4/01 (Brown 2-0)
Last meeting: Colgate, 4-3 (1/19/07)
Coach Murphy vs. Colgate: 8-4-0

Cornell This Season: The Big Red have played all their games in New York so far, as they've hosted four games and traveled to Niagara for a pair. Their 3-3 record comes from a split with the Purple Eagles, a home sweep of Vermont, and a pair of home losses to Wayne State. Freshman Rebecca Johnston leads Cornell in goals and points (6-4-10), but will not play this weekend while she represents Canada at the Four Nations Cup. Freshman Karlee Overguard and senior Caeleigh Beerworth both lead the team with six assists. Sophomore Jenny Niewsluchowski has seen the majority of the time in net, posting a 2.73 GAA and .921 save pct.

The Brown-Cornell Series: Brown and Cornell first played at the Loyola Invitational in Montreal on Feb. 25, 1972, making this the oldest active rivalry in Brown women's hockey history. The Bears hold a 33-28-7 edge, but have held a 25-9-3 advantage since Head Coach Digit Murphy took the reins of the program.

The Series: Brown vs. Cornell
Series record: 33-28-7, Brown
Current Streak: Brown, one win
First Meeting: 2/25/72 (Brown 2-1)
Last Meeting: Brown, 3-0 (1/20/07)
Coach Murphy vs. Cornell: 25-9-3

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. She currently boasts a record of 302-163-43 overall (.637) and 214-102-27 in ECAC Hockey (.663).

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.

Century Club: Seniors Hayley Moore and Heather Lane will likely both play in their 100th career game on Sunday. Neither one has missed a game in their career. Seniors Rylee Olewinski (93 gp) and Emilie Bydwell (92 gp) will likely hit the mark later this season.

Be There or B2: All 13 of Brown's home games this season, 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.

Off the Shelf: Senior captain Rylee Olewinski is expected to see her first action of the season this weekend after missing the Bears' first four games while recovering from a shoulder injury. She is expected to step right back onto Brown's top line, as her 34 career points rank her second among current Brown players. Entering this season, Olewinski had missed just one game in her career.

Bydwell with Rugby: Senior assistant captain Emilie Bydwell will miss part of the season while competing for Brown's women's rugby team, which is currently ranked number one in the country. A two-time All-American in rugby, Bydwell leads the Northeast in scoring, totaling over 100 points this fall. She is a member of the United States' U-23 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.

Double Duty: Several Brown players play two varsity sports. Sophomore Amanda Asay plays on Brown's softball team, while freshmen Maggie Suprey and Macie Winship will debut for the women's lacrosse team in the spring. Senior assistant captain Emilie Bydwell and junior Frances Male also play for Brown's club women's rugby team.