The men’s ice hockey team has already defeated Brown once this season, but this game actually matters.

In their first non-conference game of the season, the Bulldogs (3-1-0, 1-1 ECAC) beat the Bears (0-3-1, 0-1-1), 6-3, at a showcase at Brown’s Meehan Auditorium in Providence, R.I., on Nov. 1. This Saturday’s 7 p.m. contest at Ingalls Rink, however, counts as an ECAC matchup, whereas the first did not affect conference standings.

According to head coach Keith Allain ’80, his team’s previous game against the Bears helps the Bulldogs know what to expect come Saturday.

“I think it does help having played Brown already,” he said. “Our guys know first hand how hard they compete and the tempo that they play at. We know that we will have to be at our best to have any success.”

Forward Shawn Backman ’10 leads the Elis in scoring with four goals and one assist, while center Mark Arcobello ’10 is not far behind with three goals and three assists. Two of his goals came in Yale’s 2-1 win at the University of Connecticut on Tuesday.

Despite a positive start to the 2008-2009 campaign, the Bulldogs are already suffering from injuries within the first two weeks. Forward Chris Cahill ’10 has missed the last three games due to injury and is his status is questionable for this weekend, while defenseman Nick Jaskowiak ’12, who was injured during the UConn game, will not play.

The Elis have won the last five contests against the Bears, including a three game sweep last season.