Union-Brown ECAC Hockey championship game pregame report (with video)
Good evening from Boardwalk Hall, where it’s Championship Saturday in the ECAC Hockey tournament. Fourth-seeded Union takes on seventh-seeded Brown.
Not only is the ECACH title at skate, but a berth in the NCAA tournament is on the line. The winner gets the automatic bid. However, the loser won’t get an at-large bid because some of the top seeds in other conference tournaments (Niagara in Atlantic Hockey and St. Cloud State in the WCHA) lost. Plus, Boston University, a bubble team, knocked off Boston College in the Hockey East semifinal and will play top-seeded UMass-Lowell tonight for the title. A BU win eliminates another at-large bid.
Union is 14th in the PairWise. A loss to Brown, which is tied for 20th, would knock the Dutchmen out.
The Dutchmen (20-12-5) played a solid game in their 5-0 victory over Yale in Friday’s semifinal. They jumped on the Bulldogs early, getting a goal from Wayne Simpson less than three minutes into the game. Daniel Carr added a goal late in the first, and Max Novak and Josh Jooris scored goals in the first five minutes of the second period. Goalie Troy Grosenick made 34 saves, and Sam Coatta added a late third-period goal.
I spoke with Union coach Rick Bennett after the team’s morning skate. To watch the interview, click here.
Union won the season series against Brown, 1-0-1. The teams skated to a 3-3 tie Dec. 7 in Providence. That game saw goalie Anthony Borelli inserted into the game after starter Marco DeFilippo was pulled late in the first period after allowing three goals. All Borelli did was shut down the Dutchmen, and he rode that to the No. 1 goalie spot.
Union won the second game, 2-0, Feb. 16 at Messa Rink. Borelli made 46 saves and allowed only one goal. The Dutchmen got an empty-net goal from Kyle Bodie late in the game.
There are no lineup changes for Union. Here is the Union lineup, starting with the forwards (LW-C-RW):
Daniel Ciampini/Kyle Bodie/Wayne Simpson
Daniel Carr/Josh Jooris/Matt Wilkins
Matt Hatch/Max Novak/Kevin Sullivan
Cole Ikkala/David Roy/Sam Coatta
The defensive pairings are:
Mat Bodie/Sebastien Gingras
Greg Coburn/Shayne Gostisbehere
Ryan Forgaard/Shawn Stuart
Grosenick starts in goal.
The Bears (16-13-6) rolled to a rather-easy 4-0 victory over top-seeded Quinnipiac. Matt Lorito scored twice, and Borelli made 29 saves as Brown dominated the Bobcats. It was so bad for Quinnipiac that Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold briefly pulled starting goalie Eric Hartzell, the ECACH Player of the Year and Ken Dryden Award winner, in the second period to give him a pep talk after allowing three goals.
The Bears have the reputation of being a defensive, clutch-and-grab team, especially when they get up by a couple of goals. But they were very aggressive, even after they took a 4-0 lead.
Here is the Brown lineup, starting with the forwards:
Matt Lorito/Mark Naclerio/Nick Lappin
Matt Harlow/Chris Zaires/Mike Juola
Garnet Hathaway/Mark Hourihan/Jeff Ryan
Francis Drolet/Marc Senecal/Joe Prescott
The defensive pairings are:
Dennis Robertson/Brandon Pfeil
Joey de Concilys/Matt Wahl
Richie Crowley/Jake Goldberg
Borelli starts in goal.
Robert St. Lawrence and Scott Whittemore are the referees. The linesmen are Dave Brown and Jim Briggs.
I’ll have updates on the on Twitter. If you’re not following me, my Twitter handle is @slapschotts. The hashtags I will use for this game are #UnionHockey, #BrownHockey and #ECACHockey. If you have any questions during the game, feel free to ask.
I’ll update my Parting Schotts blog after each period, and have more description of the game.
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Enjoy the game!