PROVIDENCE, RI - Defensemen Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) and Sean Connauton (Edmonton, ALB) scored a pair of goals and sophomore Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) made 22 saves to lead the Brown men's hockey team (4-7-1, 3-4-1) to a 2-1 victory over #4 Quinnipiac (12-3-0, 7-2-0) on Saturday evening at Meehan Auditorium. It was the fourth-straight win for the Bears, who have allowed just four goals during this span, while scoring 17.
"The guys are very confident," said head coach Brendan Whittet. "And, I can tell you what, we deserve everything we're getting. The guys are working extremely hard. We possessed the puck for long stretches in their zone tonight," a major factor in helping limit a team that had been averaging four goals-per-game to just one goal tonight.
The Bears came out flying and outshot Quinnipiac, 17-6, during the opening 20 minutes, despite having to kill one penalty towards the middle of the frame. Senior Aaron Volpatti (Revelstoke, BC) led the Bears with five shots, as the Bears had several attempts from point-blank range that Dan Clarke was able to stop to keep Brown off the board.
Quinnipiac opened the second period with a clean sheet and a full power play opportunity after a too many men call on the Bears at the 20-minute mark of the first. However, the Bobcats were kept off the board again thanks to the Bears' aggressive penalty-kill.
Brown would earn three straight power play chances over the next 10 minutes, but Quinnpiac did a good job at limiting the Bears' scoring opportunities, as Brown only mustered one shot, which came on the final chance.
For as quiet as the first two periods were, the third period provided plenty of excitement for the 957 fans in attendance with all three of the game's goals and then an intense final 42 seconds.
Buvinow and Connauton, who tallied his first career goal, struck just 1:23 apart early in the period to give Brown a 2-0 lead. Buvinow's goal came after a great shift by a mixed line of Volpatti, senior Devin Timberlake (Port Alberni, BC) and junior Jesse Fratkin (Burnaby, BC). After winning a battle along the board behind the net, Volpatti cycled the puck and crossed it up to Buvinow, who was inching his way down from the blueline. With a partially open net to shoot at, Buvinow buried his shot to the near post for a 1-0 lead at 3:56.
Connauton doubled Brown's lead at the 5:19 mark, scoring on a blast from the center of the blueline that Clarke never saw. Sophomore Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH) and senior Jordan Pietrus (Winnipeg, MAN) assisted the goal.
Following the score, the Bobcats called a timeout and immediately pressured Brown, closing to within one just 1:13 after Connauton's goal. With both teams skating four players, Clemente made a save on Zach Hansen. However, the rebound popped out to Brandon Wong, who lifted the puck into the partially open net, just before it was knocked off its moorings.
The goal settled Brown down somewhat and after failing to convert on a power play at 9:58, the two teams both pressed for another goal. With 1:06 remaining in the game, Quinnipiac pulled Clarke in favor of the extra attacker. Then a penalty on the Bears gave the Bobcats a six-on-four for the final 42 seconds. Quinnipiac took just one shot on the man-advantage, due to Brown's relentless pressure on the penalty kill and hunger to win.
Junior Jeremy Russell (St. Albert, ALB) blocked a last chance shot by the Bobcats, caught the puck in the air on the rebound and skated it up the ice to help clinch the victory, Brown's first over a ranked team since February 3, 2007, also a win over Quinnipiac.
Clemente stopped 22 shots for the Bears, while Clarke made 29 saves for Quinnipiac. Brown returns to action on Tuesday night when it hosts AIC at 7:00 p.m., its final game of the semester. Any fan that brings a new, unwrapped toy to the game will receive one free admission to the game per toy. All toys will be donated to the Hasbro Children's Hospital by the Bears' hockey team the week of December 13th.
#4 QUINNIPIAC 0 0 1 x - 1
BROWN 0 0 2 x - 2
First Period - No Scoring. Penalties - Q, 0-0; B, 2-4.
Second Period - No Scoring. Penalties - Q, 4-8; B, 2-4.
Third Period - B, Buvinow (Volpatti, Timberlake), 3:56; B, Connauton (Pietrus, Smith), 5:19; Q, Wong (Hansen, Davies), 4x4, 6:32. Penalties - Q, 2-4; B, 3-14.
B, Mike Clemente (60:00) - 6-7-9-x - 22; Q, Dan Clarke (58:54) - 17-8-4-x - 29.