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Mike Hutter
12-11-2012, 12:26 AM
Kdiff - are you posting anything on the U and RPI games? From other threads it appears we played well, and, especially, cut down on penalties. The goalie situation is interesting. Marco is having his ups and downs, plays well in spurts, but then gives up a soft goal; and Borelli is putting up solid numbers when he gets the replacement call. I hope the situation is straightened out by the start of league play in January. RPI seems to have settled on its freshman goalie after playing all 3 of theirs since the start of the season. We should too.

BrunoFan00
12-11-2012, 01:20 PM
For what it's worth, I've thought about some considerations of this team following the symbolic first half's end and the exam/holiday break:

Biggest concerns:

1. From the blue-line back, the Bears are legitimately one key injury away from this becoming a cardiac arrest unit. I did not realize what a significant loss Widman would be, never mind Widman and Quick. While Brandon Pfeil has developed into an able defenseman, he is still a first-year, and yet I find more comfort with him out there than Crowley, at times. Crowley has been wildly inconsistent and still seems to panic at times with the puck. Joey D has gotten some more minutes, but I've yet to see him elevate his game to the next level. And for every good shift Taki has had, there has been a disaster -hence is absence from the lineup against Union and conspicuous lack of shifts against Yale late in the game. If Wahl or Robertson has anything go wrong, well, this team is in trouble, since they are averaging 30 minutes a game.

2. While Borelli has cauterized the wound that was goaltending, he occasionally has a propensity toward flying around the crease and leaving rebounds out that can and will cause problems if left uncleared. That said, at least he moves. Marco looked flat-footed at best against Yale and Union, and while I do not pin all the Bears' PK woes in those two games on him, there were a number of shots that I'm sure he wishes he wants back - namely, since he saw them, one would hope at least ONE would have been stopped. His lack of ability to maneuver in the crease was exploited by traffic in front, and so I think the break comes at an opportune time. We may see him for one of the games at UConn, but Borelli, for now, has earned the job.

3. Will someone besides the first line please step up? I would like to think that a guy like Hathaway is ready to step into the Volpatti/Harry Z power forward role, and at times we see it. But there are still a few too many penalties and inconsistencies from some of the forwards we need to contribute. See also: Harlow, Hourihan, Prescott - and I understand two of those three are young.

4. Special teams. That said, if the numbers all even out in the end, I'm hoping the PK issues are fixed - see above re: Borelli - and the power play, which looked better this past weekend, can pick up a couple more goals here and there.


Biggest Positives

1. Matt Lorito is the real deal. He's on pace for (gasp!) a 20-goal season, which we haven't seen since Damian Prescott. That was 15 years ago. He has the best shot on the team, and he elevates the play of all the skaters around him. He has rejuvenated Zaires - whose goals this past weekend were timely and skillful. Even Juola looks like a different player on the line with #19. As Euler said a few weeks ago, I'm happy he is on our side.

2. Lamacchia has been a consistent presence; he stays out of the box, wins face offs, gets to the puck, and plays a gritty brand that this team needs to win. That - and he always keeps his skates moving. I think he is one of the players who has absolutely elevated his game in a year's time.

3. Jeff Ryan has shows he belongs. There were at least 3 shifts this past weekend that turned into decent possessions for the Bears because of his work on the forecheck or along the boards. He is a physical guy who plays smart, and while he isn't going to score 15 goals, or even 10 for that matter, I liked what he brought in terms of energy. He is absolutely getting the most of his ability.

4. Attitude. This team, minus the PC game, has been in every game, has come back more than once, and shown its mettle in a number of contests. They deserved better against Yale, probably should have won the SLU game, had gritty comebacks against HC, Union, Clarkson, SLU and RPI, and had a shot to beat both RPI and Harvard. I just hope that at some point they have opportunities to play with the lead - and hold said lead - in the second half of the season, because that goose-egg in the win column in the league is not going away by itself.

kdiff77
12-11-2012, 03:13 PM
Kdiff - are you posting anything on the U and RPI games? From other threads it appears we played well, and, especially, cut down on penalties. The goalie situation is interesting. Marco is having his ups and downs, plays well in spurts, but then gives up a soft goal; and Borelli is putting up solid numbers when he gets the replacement call. I hope the situation is straightened out by the start of league play in January. RPI seems to have settled on its freshman goalie after playing all 3 of theirs since the start of the season. We should too.

I'll have something on the blog in the next few days. I haven't had a whole lot of free time this week, but I should be able to post something soon. I'll link it when I do.

Mike Hutter
12-14-2012, 02:25 PM
Not hockey but interesting. A classmate of mine who is involved with Brown's lacrosse program mentioned to me the other day that Brown received a commitment "to the admissions" process from a high school sophmore. One year of HS lacrosse and presumably a summer camp!! I would think it is difficult to gauge ability to play D1 lax from such limited playing time/ Must be a real stud. BTW, when does Brown's coaching staff and othe D1 hockey teams start focusing on potential recruits?

Brunofan
12-18-2012, 01:21 PM
Not hockey but interesting. A classmate of mine who is involved with Brown's lacrosse program mentioned to me the other day that Brown received a commitment "to the admissions" process from a high school sophmore. One year of HS lacrosse and presumably a summer camp!! I would think it is difficult to gauge ability to play D1 lax from such limited playing time/ Must be a real stud. BTW, when does Brown's coaching staff and othe D1 hockey teams start focusing on potential recruits?

I'm wondering if this is unique to lacrosse? - as a friend who's son is a freshman at prep school last year (is on a good club team but only made the JV as a Frosh in a very strong program) got a 'verbal' or commitment 'to the admissions'process from Michigan. I didn't think that was possible in hockey or other NCAA sports as a freshman, but he says a 1/2 dozen teammates on his club team received the same offers from various schools. Not sure it is binding on either side.

kdiff77
12-19-2012, 12:01 PM
http://www.uscho.com/2012/12/19/choice-for-first-half-breakout-player-may-surprise-you/

Brian Sullivan names Matt Lorito his breakout player of the first half. Pretty cool!

Also, Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reported on Twitter that instead of a home-and-home with Providence next season, Brown will host Boston College (yes, THAT Boston College) at home in January 2014. The planned home-and-home with PC will begin in 2014-2015.

kdiff77
12-19-2012, 05:37 PM
On a dimmer note, Divver also tweeted that Taki Pantziris has left Brown because he was unhappy with his role. Divver says we're now down to just 6 defensemen, but by my calculation, it's 5 (Robertson, Wahl, Crowley, Pfeil, De Concylis).

With Quick and Widman almost certainly out for the rest of the season and an unstable goaltending situation, we could see a lot of goals scored on us this year. This is problematic because the offense hasn't been all that good. Obviously, we'll need to drop a forward back to defense to fill the void, but the question is who and how much can he provide? And how quickly can he make the adjustment? I know Goldberg dressed as a 13th forward/6th defenseman against Union and RPI, but I don't think he played much D, if any at all.

The Zlax45
12-20-2012, 10:37 AM
http://www.uscho.com/2012/12/19/choice-for-first-half-breakout-player-may-surprise-you/

Brian Sullivan names Matt Lorito his breakout player of the first half. Pretty cool!

Also, Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reported on Twitter that instead of a home-and-home with Providence next season, Brown will host Boston College (yes, THAT Boston College) at home in January 2014. The planned home-and-home with PC will begin in 2014-2015.

No idea why Boston College would schedule Brown....not like the Eagles get anything out of it.

kdiff77
12-20-2012, 05:39 PM
No idea why Boston College would schedule Brown....not like the Eagles get anything out of it.

In the ProJo today, Divver wrote that BC actually approached Brown about the possibility of coming to Meehan. There was no mention of even a home-and-home over the course of two seasons, so I have no idea why BC would want to do it. If you're Brown, there's absolutely no way you pass this opportunity up- it'll be a good draw during winter break when no students are around, and we could even see a TV opportunity if NESN wants it (doubtful). Plus, you have a shot to knock off the best program in the country.

All BC gets out of it is a likely W and a chance to play at the rink in Providence that doesn't suck. :p

kdiff77
12-20-2012, 05:45 PM
Additionally, we play Denver, Colorado College, and UNH next year. WHAT?! So our non-conference schedule is the Ivy Showcase games against any two of Dartmouth (always kills us), Yale (usually beats us) and Princeton (wild card), four consistent national powers, and an up-and-coming rival who just slaughtered us on our own ice (and the game is in their barn next year). Only the BC game is at home. Yikes.

Humanoid
12-20-2012, 07:43 PM
In the ProJo today, Divver wrote that BC actually approached Brown about the possibility of coming to Meehan. There was no mention of even a home-and-home over the course of two seasons, so I have no idea why BC would want to do it. If you're Brown, there's absolutely no way you pass this opportunity up- it'll be a good draw during winter break when no students are around, and we could even see a TV opportunity if NESN wants it (doubtful). Plus, you have a shot to knock off the best program in the country.

All BC gets out of it is a likely W and a chance to play at the rink in Providence that doesn't suck. :p

BC is going to play Brown because they're gaining roughly 7 OOC games. When Hockey East expands to 11 teams, they're going to drop the number of conference games down big time. Right now they play the 9 other teams 3 times for a total of 27 conference games. When they expand, they're going to play everyone twice in a home-and-home format, save for the trips to Vermont, Maine, and Notre Dame (which will be strictly home or strictly road). That means they'll play 20 conference games for one year before they add Connecticut, at which point they haven't decided what's going to happen (I imagine they'll play everyone 4 times with a home and away travel partner format of some sort, again save for Maine and Notre Dame).

BC has to add, then, 7 more games to their schedule. It's likely BC owuld like those to be like the games against Vermont or the lower tier games in Hockey East; they're not going to want to add games against national powerhouse teams that they might lose to, when they'll have enough of those games a) in conference or b) in general. So it becomes natural to add a team like Brown, who, no offense, hasn't been the strongest of teams as of late (even though they had success a couple years back against BU).

And Jerry York has ALWAYS been gracious at scheduling teams on the road or on neutral sites. He's playing UAH in the first round of the Minnesota tournament this year (in which he'll break the all time record). He's a huge proponent of smaller college hockey, in terms of playing games against lower-tier teams.

kdiff77
12-21-2012, 05:50 PM
Humanoid, do you know that the HE format is changing for a fact, or is that your own speculation? Even if it is just speculation, it does seem very likely to be the case. Why else would Boston College, a team that could literally schedule anyone in the country, specifically want to play against a team that hasn't finished higher than 9th in the ECAC in almost a decade?

With regard to York: he is truly the classiest act in all of college hockey. I've always pulled for BU and rooted pretty heavily against BC, but if anyone is going to succeed at BC, there's no one I'd rather have do it than Jerry York.

Brown09
12-21-2012, 05:56 PM
On a dimmer note, Divver also tweeted that Taki Pantziris has left Brown because he was unhappy with his role. Divver says we're now down to just 6 defensemen, but by my calculation, it's 5 (Robertson, Wahl, Crowley, Pfeil, De Concylis).

Taki Pantziris has left the team to play junior hockey in Canada.

The 6th defenseman is sophomore Greg Tang. I don't believe he's ever dressed for a regular season game.

Humanoid
12-21-2012, 06:28 PM
Humanoid, do you know that the HE format is changing for a fact, or is that your own speculation? Even if it is just speculation, it does seem very likely to be the case. Why else would Boston College, a team that could literally schedule anyone in the country, specifically want to play against a team that hasn't finished higher than 9th in the ECAC in almost a decade?

With regard to York: he is truly the classiest act in all of college hockey. I've always pulled for BU and rooted pretty heavily against BC, but if anyone is going to succeed at BC, there's no one I'd rather have do it than Jerry York.


The changing format heading into next year with the addition of ND is fact. They will switch to playing each team twice in home-home format. So a BC-BU weekend will feature one game at BC and one game at BU. the exceptions are trips to Vermont, Notre Dame, and Maine.

It takes a format where they played the 9 other schools 3 times (for 27 conference games) and makes it so they'll play each of the 10 other schools twice (for 20). That's factual.

I'm not sure what's happening when UConn goes. They haven't announced that. Also not sure why BC would come to brown. Everything I said was speculatory

Humanoid
12-21-2012, 06:29 PM
Taki Pantziris has left the team to play junior hockey in Canada.

The 6th defenseman is sophomore Greg Tang. I don't believe he's ever dressed for a regular season game.

Tang was an all star in the EJHL. Very fast. Puck moving dman who is much in line with guys like Grzelcyk from Bu and Weinstein from Bentley. Not sure how he will translate to college though but he has an agile style that's atypical of your stereotypical dman

Humanoid
12-21-2012, 06:50 PM
My last point (now that I'm not on my mobile phone internet and can actually type without fat fingering everything. Guarantee there's some spelling issues cmoing yuor wya -- see what I did there??)...

Brown only has two defensemen recruited for next season - Cameron Romoff of Portland (EJHL) and Aleksi Rossi of Waterloo (USHL). Both are due to arrive at Brown next year and are not future recruits. That means next year Brown will have a full complement of D skaters. They also have a goalie in Tyler Steel out of the BCHL and a future recruit for 2014 in the form of Conor Maher. SO the future is very bright. I've followed Maher for a while since he's out of Marshfield, and he's developed into a very solid netminder. So while this year things look bleak, the future is very bright.

My guess is that Brown is looking inwards to determine if a converted forward will take over on the third pairing or if it'll be Tang. My guess is that they'll try Tang, but he will only shine if he has a chance to move the puck. If the Brown system keeps him planted at the blue line, then he's going to fail. When I saw him in the EJ's, he was great when allowed to make creative moves and flow the puck. He failed when he planted himself at the blue line.

What Brown can do is convert a forward back and see who wants it badly. If someone is going to put in the effort, then said person will earn the right to set foot on the ice. Brown has absolutely nothing to lose by doing this. It might help too to get some forwards exposed to the defensemen mentality. Maybe those guys on the third line who are struggling to crack the top six get a shot in this regard. They're going to have to get very creative in the way they approach the games since a straight up approach from here on out isn't going to work.

Brown essentially has to patchwork the rest of the year, and like BrunoFan00 said - if anything happens to Wahl or Robertson, this defense automatically becomes "cardiac arrest." IMHO - if anything happens to either one of those guys, then the season is, for all intents and purposes, over defensively and Brown will have the worst unit in the country. Crowley as a senior should be much better than he is, and the adventures in netminding that a nightly basis gives makes things tough.

I've seen worse. UConn one year was positively horrible defensively, but they recruited a goalie who stepped in for teh 2nd half of the year. It cost Garrett Bartus an entire year of eligibility, but his ability to stop 40 pucks per night earned him stripes and he's now one of the better goalies in the AHA. It's a shame he lost that year because I was really excited to see him a) not play a year and then b) redshirt so he'd be a senior when UConn left for Hockey East. And their defense gave up 45 shots per game that year. I doubt Brown could do something like this because of admissions - highly doubt you're getting a mid-year call up out of anybody (is that even possible?). Or at least one that Northeastern won't go and recruit on you during the first half of the year (hehehehehe).

It's doable but the entire playbook goes out the window now. It's like running a football offense - when your offensive line is turrible, you rebuild into a split veer option that doesn't get your QB killed. Brown's going to need to make a radical change to keep their goalies from getting killed every night.

kdiff77
12-21-2012, 10:35 PM
PC brought in Alex Beaudry in the middle of the season a few years ago, and he essentially did the same thing as the UConn kid you mentioned. I really don't think Whittet has any plans to bring on another goaltender, or if he does, he's been very quiet about it. Borelli looked good against Union and RPI, but we don't yet know if he's the answer for the full season. DeFilippo appears lost right now, but if he can regain his confidence, we have a very good netminder right there.

As for the recruited goalie you mentioned- I would hope they end up recruiting a second goalie to join him. Borelli graduates this year, and DeFilippo will be a senior next year, along with Joe Mello. However, I doubt Mello is viewed as a viable Division 1 goaltender, because he played for the Brown club team for two years. If possible, I would think Whittet would look to find a better option for a third-string goaltender.

Speaking of third-string goalies, that's exactly what Borelli was prior to this season. And now he's poised to be our starter for the foreseeable future. Yikes.

Onion Man
12-22-2012, 08:35 AM
No idea why Boston College would schedule Brown....not like the Eagles get anything out of it.

Can't wait for that one.

Carmine Scarpaglia
12-22-2012, 10:51 AM
And Jerry York has ALWAYS been gracious at scheduling teams on the road or on neutral sites. He's playing UAH in the first round of the Minnesota tournament this year (in which he'll break the all time record).

To be fair, he didn't exactly pick that game against UAH. They made BC and Minnesota play the other two teams and guaranteed a matchup between BC and MINN on the 2nd night. Usually the folks running that tournament in Minnesota determine how that all works and any team usually just agrees to play in it in any given year.

Mike Hutter
12-22-2012, 11:51 AM
PC brought in Alex Beaudry in the middle of the season a few years ago, and he essentially did the same thing as the UConn kid you mentioned. I really don't think Whittet has any plans to bring on another goaltender, or if he does, he's been very quiet about it. Borelli looked good against Union and RPI, but we don't yet know if he's the answer for the full season. DeFilippo appears lost right now, but if he can regain his confidence, we have a very good netminder right there.

As for the recruited goalie you mentioned- I would hope they end up recruiting a second goalie to join him. Borelli graduates this year, and DeFilippo will be a senior next year, along with Joe Mello. However, I doubt Mello is viewed as a viable Division 1 goaltender, because he played for the Brown club team for two years. If possible, I would think Whittet would look to find a better option for a third-string goaltender.

Speaking of third-string goalies, that's exactly what Borelli was prior to this season. And now he's poised to be our starter for the foreseeable future. Yikes.

By all accounts that I have heard Borelli played solid games against U and RPI. Seems like he should get the call and let him play until he shows he cannot handle the job. UConn Tournament is coming at a great time to allow Brown to see if Borelli can do it and find that 6th Dman, Tang or someone else.