HANOVER, NH – Facing each other for the second time this season, but for the first time in League action, Brown and Dartmouth engaged in a physical battle for positioning in the standings, as the Bears entered the game just one point ahead of the Big Green. Dartmouth (9-8-2, 6-5-1) scored twice in the opening six minutes and never looked back, posting a 6-2 win over the Bears (8-9-3, 5-6-2) on Friday evening at Thompson Arena.
The loss is a particularly frustrating one for the Bears, who could have moved to 4th place in the standings with a win, but instead fall to 7th place, pending the Harvard-Yale result.
The Big Green grabbed a 1-0 lead just 3:43 into the game on the third goal of the year for Nick Walsh. After the Bears failed to clear the zone, the puck went right to Mike Keenan at the left point. Keenan sent a fluttering puck on net that caught sophomore Marco De Filippo (Auronzo Di Cadore, Italy) somewhat by surprise. He managed to get his glove on it, but couldn't corral the puck and Walsh was there to tap the rebound into the net from the right side of the crease.
Almost exactly two minutes later, Dartmouth doubled its lead, scoring on another second chance opportunity. After De Filippo made saves on attempts by Walsh and Connor Goggin, Doug Jones scooped up the rebound on the left side and beat De Filippo stick-side high for his seventh of the year at 5:44.
The Bears looked to pick up the intensity after a timeout by head coach Brendan Whittet and freshmen Matt Lorito (Oakville, ONT) and Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, CO) nearly got the Bears on the board with 7:30 left in the period. But, James Mello came up with two big saves on the first attempt by Lorito and then on Jacobson's follow up.
Dartmouth earned the game's first power play chance of the night with 2:45 left in the first period after a high sticking call on freshman Massimo Lamacchia (Maple, ONT) and just 19 seconds later, Brandon McNally gave the hosts a 3-0 lead when his blast from the top of the left faceoff circle beat De Filippo top shelf, knocking the water bottle into the air.
Following the goal, senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) replaced De Filippo, who had made seven saves, in Brown's net.
The Bears opened the second period with a full power play after a Dartmouth penalty with .5 seconds left in the first period. Though Brown was unable to convert the man-advantage, junior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) scored his fourth goal in as many games just six seconds after the Big Green returned to even strength to get Brown on the board at the 2:06 mark. Junior Richie Crowley (Canton, MA) kept the puck in at the left point and sent it across to senior Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ). With the Dartmouth player racing from the penalty box into the zone, Buvinow immediately crossed the puck down to Zaires, who one-timed the puck past James Mello near-side from the bottom of the left faceoff circle.
However, just as quickly as the Bears might have gained some momentum, Dartmouth stripped it away, as Tyler Sikura put the Big Green ahead, 4-1, just 20 seconds later, beating Clemente stick-side from the left face-off circle.
The next six minutes were marred by penalties to both teams, as neither side was able to establish much of a rhythm. However, Brown was able to come to within two goals with 1:21 left in the period on senior Jack Maclellan's (Calgary, ALB) team-leading 10th of the year. Lorito battled for the puck behind the Dartmouth net and it came out to Maclellan, who went for the wrap-around and tucked the puck past Mello.
Brown appeared to have scored its third goal of the contest less than two minutes into the third period when Zaires knocked the puck past Mello from the right side after a feed from senior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA). However, Zaires' momentum carried him into the net and knocked it off its anchors seconds before the puck went in and the goal was never reviewed.
Then, just four minutes later, Brown scored what would have been the tying goal when senior Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH) knocked the puck into the partially open net after Mello failed to cover a lose puck. However, the referees had blown the play dead after apparently losing sight of the puck.
With Dartmouth on its fifth power play chance of the night, a four-on-three advantage, and under six minutes to play, Connor Goggin put the Big Green up, 5-2, on a bit of an odd play. Standing at the blueline, Goggin caught freshman Kyle Quick's (Buffalo, NY) clearing attempt, dropped it to the ice and played it for Sikura on the right side. Sikura sent it back for Goggin and he fired a hard shot that beat Clemente glove-side low.
With the teams skating four-on-four, and offensive zone faceoff for the Bears, and 3:10 left in regulation, Brown pulled Clemente in favor of the extra attacker and Jason Bourgea added an empty net goal with nine seconds left for the 6-2 final.
Clemente finished with 26 saves in 40:01 of relief, while Mello made 20 for the Big Green. Brown returns to action tomorrow evening when it travels to Cambridge to face Harvard in a 7:00 p.m. ECAC and Ivy League contest.
BROWN 0 2 0 x - 2
DARTMOUTH 3 1 2 x - 6
First period – D, N. Walsh (Jones, Keenan), 3:43; D, Jones (N. Walsh, C. Goggin), 5:44; D, McNally (Robinson, Keenan), PP, 17:34. Penalties – B, 1-2; D, 1-2.
Second period – B, Zaires (Buvinow, Crowley), 2:06; D, Sikura (Neiley, M. Goggin), 2:26; B, Maclellan (Lorito, Jacobson), 18:39. Penalties – B, 2-4; D, 4-8.
Third Period – D, C. Goggin (Sikura), PP, 15:27; D, Bourgea (Lee), EN, 19:51. Penalties – B, 9-42; D, 9-42.
B, Marco De Filippo (17:34), 7-x-x-x – 7; B, Mike Clemente (40:01), 0-15-11-x – 26; D, James Mello (59:45), 8-6-6-x – 20.