Did You Know: The Clarkson Hockey program has amassed 10,001 goals since the 1920-21 season?

Monday, September 24, 2007

ECAC Preview

Brown University Bears

Last Year's Finish - 11th
Last Year's CHF Predicted Finish - 12th

Key Losses - Sean Dersch F, Antonin Roux F, Brian Ihnacak F

Key Returnees - Jeff Prough Sr. F, Sean Hurley Sr. D, Brian McNary Sr. F

Brown seems to be the enigma of the league. Head coach Roger Grillo and his staff search high and low amongst the recruits and always seem to find some diamonds in the rough, particularly in the facet of goaltending. Brown always has a goalie that can stop 55 shots and steal his team a win. Usually in the most inopportune time for the opponent. Unfortunately for Brown the talent in net has not produced the results on the ice. This can mainly be attested to a defense that allows on average about 33 shots per game. When a team is giving up that many chances in a game a goalie can only do so much to preserve a victory.

Last year was more of the same from the Brown Bears. A freshman phenom goalie named Dan Rosen made headlines in the first half of the year. Brown took some games from some of the league heavyweights and was looking to make a run in the second half of the year. This did not happen as the Bears lost 11 of their last 18 and sputtered to a 11th place finish. In classic Brown fashion the Bears took the first game at Hobey Baker rink, but fell to the Tigers in the first round of the playoffs.

Brown returns their top three scorers but will bring back a defense that will be considered shaky at best. Hurley needs to be a leader and draft pick Paul Baier will need to step up his game and play to the NHL level talent he is expected to have. The defense must reduce the number of shots on Rosen. The offensive output of the team is not enough to over come the bad game from Rosen, or even the average game. For Brown to have success they will need to overcome the gaps in their defense, and with the talent they have now, we just don't see that happening.

Much like every team in the league, the Brown Bears should not be taken lightly. Prough is a talented goal scorer and McNary can be dangerous. As shown in the past years when teams take Brown lightly they usually leave with a loss. Brown could surprise a couple of teams along the way, but this will be the exception to the rule.

Brown has been in this position before. Riding in with low expectations and riding a goaltender to a surprise finish. However the stress of a season where the goaltender is expected to shoulder a near impossible load usually does not bode well for the Bears.

Best Case Finish - 9th
Worst Case Finish - 12th

Clarkson Hockey Fan's Prediction - 11th


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