Brown always gives Union a hockey battle

No matter how good or bad Brown is, the Bears always seem to give Union fits.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Brown is the only college hockey team in the country that has yet to win a game this season.

It only had six victories last year, and hasn’t had a winning season since 2004-05.

But no matter how good or bad the Bears have been, they always seem to give Union fits.

Dutchmen coach Nate Leaman isn’t expecting anything different tonight, when his team faces the Bears in an ECAC Hockey game at 7 at Meehan Auditorium.

Since Leaman became Union’s coach in 2003, the Dutchmen (1-3 ECACH, 6-4-1 overall) have gone 2-5-3 against the Bears (0-3-2,

0-6-2). In the last 16 games against Brown, the Dutchmen are 4-8-4. They haven’t won the season

series from Brown since going 1-0-1

in 2005-06. The last time Union swept the two-game series was in the 1999-2000 season.

“They play hard. They always play hard,” Leaman said. “The other part of it is they’ve always gotten great goaltending when we played against them. Whether it be [Yann] Danis or [Dan] Rosen, they’ve gotten good goaltending. Last year when we were down there, we missed three or four empty nets. You’ve got to give them credit.”

Playing at Meehan Auditorium is like playing in a library — it’s very quiet. There aren’t many fans attending the games, and that may make it difficult for Brown’s op­ponents to get excited about playing the Bears in their building.

“It’s a matter of us going in there and performing,” Leaman said. “We’re not looking at the past. It’s just one game at a time. Every time you take the ice, it’s two different teams.

The Dutchmen certainly don’t want to have the Bears to win their first game at their expense. They realize they must perform better against them.

“I know the coaching staff gets us prepared, it’s just a lack of exec­ution in the couple of years I’ve been here,” said Union junior forward Jason Walters, who carries a five-game point scoring streak into the game. “We’ve had our chances to bury them. They’ve stuck around, and they get the breaks. We need these two points to get back up into the ECAC [standings].”

Tonight’s contest starts a stretch of five games in nine days for the Dutchmen. They will be at Yale at 7 p.m. Saturday, host American International at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Messa Rink and play a two-game series at Maine next weekend before the players head home for the Christmas break.

“I like it because it’s like a pro hockey schedule,” Leaman said. “The guys aren’t in school right now, and that’s how we’re selling it to the players. But a lot of our focus is on this weekend. We’re just focused on Brown right now, and worried about going down there and trying to get a win.”

RPI VISITS YALE

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will try to end its five-game losing streak when it visits Yale tonight at 7 at Ingalls Rink.

The Engineers (1-4, 2-10-1) have been outscored, 23-6, during their slump. Last weekend, they were beaten in their holiday tourn­ament by Mercyhurst, 4-1, and Northeastern, 5-1.

The last time RPI and Yale (3-1, 6-2) got together, they played three straight games at Ingalls. The Bulldogs won all of them, taking a 3-0 decision to close out the regular season March 1, and then winning a pair of 3-2 games the next weekend in the ECACH tournament first round. Both of those games went overtime, including a triple-OT

affair in the opener.

RPI visits Brown at 7 p.m. Saturday.

WOMEN IN ACTION

The Union and RPI women will be in ECACH action on the road this weekend.

Today, the Dutchwomen (0-6,

2-13-1) face Princeton (3-4, 5-6-1) at 4 p.m., while the Engineers (4-1-1, 8-5-2) visit Quinnipiac (1-5-1, 2-16-1) at 3 p.m.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, Union is at Quinnipiac, and RPI goes to Princeton.

Categories: College Sports

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