Brown Senior Works Refs for PIM Record
by Eben Novy-Williams/CHN Reporter
ALBANY, N.Y. Brown senior forward and captain Aaron Volpatti took the ice in Saturday afternoon’s ECAC Hockey consolation game against St. Lawrence with two objectives. First and foremost, he wanted earn the Bears a third-place conference finish. And if possible, he also wanted to set the program record for penalty minutes in a season.
Volpatti accomplished both in Brown’s 3-0 victory. First, he opened the scoring with a nice move and finish with five minutes twenty-six seconds remaining in the second period. Then, thanks in part to a brief pre-game discussion with referee Chip McDonald, Volpatti received a 10-minute misconduct to secure his place in the Brown record books.
“Before the game I was informed that I needed four or five penalty minutes for the single-season record,” Volpatti said. “So I saw Chip before the game and said, ‘Chip don’t be afraid, if things are going well, to give me a 10[-minute misconduct] at the end of the game.’”
The scenario played out as if Volpatti drew it up himself. With 4:33 remaining in the game, with Brown up 2-0, he was whistled for an aggressive two-minute slashing minor.
In the post-game press conference Volpatti explained what transgressed following the call.
He said: “I got that penalty, and I said to Chip, ‘Was that a 10?’ And he replies, ‘Do you want a ten?’ I can’t really say what was said after that but [I got the 10].”
Volpatti received a two-minute minor for slashing in Brown’s 3-0 loss to Cornell last night, pushing his season total to 103. The previous program record was 108, set by Ryan Mulhern in 1996. Volpatti’s 12 penalty minutes this afternoon jumped him past Mulhern and Mike Traggio’s 1995 total of 107.
“The guys that were ahead of him were guys that I played with,” said Brown head coach Bendan Whittet ’94. “They were a bunch of knuckleheads back then. I’m glad [Volpatti] is now the king of knuckleheads.”
Volpatti finishes his career with 236 penalty minutes, fifth all-time at Brown. Penalties aside, however, Volpatti also compiled a wonderful senior season for the Bears. He ended the year third on the team in points, with 32, and first in goals, with 17. His plus-4 differential was best amongst Brown forwards, and second only to senior defenseman Sean McMonagle.
Brown put together an incredible year. After starting the season 0-7-1, the Bears battled their way to the ECAC semifinals, knocking off Princeton and No. 9 Yale in the playoffs. The Brown returns to Providence, RI with the program’s first-ever third place ECAC finish, and a brand new addition to the record books as well.