PROVIDENCE, RI – Junior leading scorer Jack Maclellan (Calgary, ALB) helped salvage a 4-4 tie in the 25th annual Mayor's Cup battle, scoring twice in the final five minutes of regulation, as Brown (3-4-4) came back from a 4-2 third-period deficit to earn the tie against its cross-town rival, Providence (6-6-5).
Maclellan, who also had an assist for a three-point night, started the come-back with 4:53 left to play when he beat PC's Alex Beaudry on a blistering wrist shot from the top of the left circle that hit the back of the net and popped out before Beaudry had time to react. Just 3:45 later, and with junior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) out of the net in favor of the extra attacker, Maclellan took a pass from junior Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) and pushed it over the line for the tying goal at 18:52.
The two teams battled back-and-forth in the early going with Brown seeing the majority of the quality chances. However, it would be Providence that would score the game's first goal, as Matt Germain fired the puck past Clemente, stick-side, from the top of the right faceoff circle just seven seconds after the Friars third straight power play had expired.
However, just prior to the goal, freshman Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC) and senior Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT) were robbed on a pair of high quality changes, allowing Providence to grab the first period lead. Robertson was set up for a one-timer from the slot on a face-off win by freshman Mike Juola (Lake Forest, CA), who made his career debut tonight. Alex Beaudry made the glove save at 11:22 to keep the game scoreless and a Brown penalty on the whistle gave PC its second power play of the night.
Just 53 seconds into the man advantage, the Friars would go up on a five-on-three. However, the best chance of their power play was actually for Brown, as Zolnierczyk intercepted a pass at the blueline, freeing himself for a breakaway, before shooting right into Beaudry's chest.
Brown opened the second period with a full two minutes on the power play after a slashing call on PC's Tim Schaller at the end of the first period. However, the closest the Bears would get to scoring on the advantage came 39 seconds in when Buvinow's shot from the slot clanged off the right post.
The Bears eventually evened things up at 1-1 when Robertson beat Beaudry glove-side, low, with a shot from the left point for his fifth goal of the season. Maclellan started things with a pass from the right half boards up to freshman Matt Wahl (Wellington, FL) at the right point. Wahl slid the puck over the Robertson, who quickly shot, tying the Brown record for goals in a season by a rookie defenseman.
However, Providence would score twice in the final 1:30 of the period to gain a 3-1 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes. Andy Balysky gave the Friars a 2-1 lead with exactly 1:30 left when he poked the puck past Clemente, who had made three saves in a row on attempts by Tim Schaller, Chris Rooney, and Balysky. Following the goal, Brown was issued a bench minor and Derek Army converted a wrap-around 57 seconds into the man-advantage to increase the lead to 3-1.
Similar to the start of the second period, the Bears opened the third with a full two-minute power play after a PC penalty at the 20th minute of the second period. This time, the Bears capitalized, cutting the deficit to one goal. On a series of beautiful passes by Brown's first unit, Zolnierczyk finished a feed from Wahl at the top of the crease, knocking the puck into the partially open net for his 7th goal of the year with eight seconds left on the man-advantage.
Prior to the goal, the other four members of the top unit all touched the puck, as it went from Maclellan in the corner, to Zaires at the half-boards, up to Robertson at the center of the blueline, down to Wahl at the right circle, and finally over to Zolnierczyk for the finish.
However, with Brown on its second power play of the period just two minutes later, Ian O'Connor scored a short-handed break away to regain the two-goal lead for the Friars. O'Connor's goal was some what of a redemption, as he hit the post on a partial breakaway less than three minutes prior to his goal.
Maclellan's last minute heroics were even more impressive, given the fact that it appeared he had gotten injured midway through the period when he blocked a PC shot. After a quick trip to the tunnel, he came back out and played the remainder of the game.
Clemente finished with 35 saves, while Beaudry stopped 31 shots for the Friars. The Bears now enter a three-week break for exams and the holidays. They resume action on New Year's Day with a rematch against Boston University, currently ranked 7th in the country, in the first round of Notre Dame's Shillelagh Tournament.
PROVIDENCE 1 2 1 0 - 4
BROWN 0 1 3 0 - 4
First Period – P, Germain (Schaller, Adams), 14:22. Penalties – P, 3-6; B, 3-6.
Second Period – B, Robertson (Wahl, Maclellan), 14:29; P, Balysky (Rooney, Schaller), 18:30; P, Army (Baier), PP, 19:27. Penalties – P, 1-2; B, 2-4.
Third Period – B, Zolnierczyk (Wahl, Robertson), PP, 1:52; P, O'Connor, SH, 5:02; B, Maclellan (Zolnierczyk, Wahl), 15:07; B, Maclellan (Buvinow, Russell), ex, 18:52. Penalties – P, 2-4; B, 2-4.
B, Mike Clemente (64:45) – 9-14-12-0 – 35; P, Alex Beaudry (65:00) – 12-6-10-3 – 31.