PROVIDENCE, RI – Trailing, 2-0, after the first period of play, the Bears' second power play unit connected twice in the second period to help lead the Brown men's hockey team (8-8-3, 5-5-2) past #12 Union (13-6-6, 7-3-3) on Saturday evening at Meehan Auditorium. For Brown, it is the first season sweep of the Dutchmen since 2004-05, while the win vaults the Bears into a three-way tie for sixth place in the ECAC hockey standings.
With the score tied 2-2 entering the final 20 minutes of play, junior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) scored on a back-hander just 2:38 into the third period to break the tie and lift Brown to the come-from-behind win. Freshman Massimo Lamacchia (Maple, ONT) won the critical offensive zone faceoff leading up to the goal to cap a three-point night, as he scored Brown's first goal and assisted the second, both of which came on the power play.
The Dutchmen wasted little time in taking a 1-0 lead, as Jeremy Welsh deflected a shot from Shawn Stuart past senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) just 33 seconds after the opening faceoff. Stationed at the top of the crease, Welsh tipped Stuart's shot, beating Clemente five-hole for his 17th goal of the year.
Union doubled its lead with 1:30 left in the period when Mat Bodie took a faceoff win from Kelly Zajac at the center of the blueline and sent a fluttering shot in on Clemente that beat the senior netminder glove-side.
With Brown killing its second penalty five minutes into the second period, senior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA) had a short-handed bit turned aside by Troy Grosenick to keep the Bears off the board.
The Bears earned their first power play of the game nearly seven minutes into the second period and Lamacchia converted the man-advantage with 20 seconds left to get the Bears on the board at the 8:32 mark. After collecting the puck from Farnham, sophomore Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC) blasted a shot from the center of the blueline that Lamacchia tipped past Grosenick for his fifth goal of the year.
Brown tied the game at 2-2 with 1:24 left in the second period with another power play goal, scored by Farnham. After collecting the puck from Lamacchia at the center of the blueline, Farnham hesitated for a split second before firing a hard shot that went through traffic and beat Grosenick glove-side, as the teams headed into the second intermission knotted at 2-2.
Farnham's goal would set up Zaires' game-winner, as the junior has now scored three goals in three games.
With Brown still clinging to the 3-2 lead and less than 10 minutes to play, Union would earn three straight power play chances, including one with 2:08 left in regulation. The Dutchmen pulled Grosenick with 1:03 left for a six-on-four advantage and then called a timeout with 57 seconds remaining.
Union had several great opportunities to win it, but Clemente and the rest of the Bears' defense did their part to clear pucks, as Brown held on for the victory.
For the game, Clemente finished with 38 saves, while Grosenick made 20 for the Dutchmen. Brown returns to action next weekend when it travels to Dartmouth and Harvard for a pair of ECAC and Ivy League games Friday and Saturday. Both games are critical for League positioning, as the Bears are tied with Harvard and Dartmouth sits just one point behind.
UNION 2 0 0 x - 2
BROWN 0 2 1 x - 3
First period – U, Welsh (Novak, Stuart), 0:33; U, Bodie (Zajac), 18:30. Penalties – U, 0-0; B, 1-2.
Second period – B, Lamacchia (Robertson, Farnham), PP, 8:32; B, Farnham (Lamacchia, Crowley), PP, 18:36. Penalties – U, 4-8; B, 3-6.
Third Period – B, Zaires (Lamacchia), 2:38. Penalties – U, 2-12; B, 3-6.
U, Troy Grosenick (58:57), 7-8-5-x – 20; B, Mike Clemente (60:00), 12-13-13-x – 38.
Pictured: Massimo Lamacchia '15. Photo by DSPics.net.