PROVIDENCE, RI – The men's hockey team (13-12-6, 7-9-6) utilized a three-goal first period, building a 4-1 lead, and then survived Clarkson's (9-20-7, 8-11-3) furious third-period comeback attempt to advance to the ECAC Quarterfinals with a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights in game two of the best-of-three series Saturday evening at Meehan Auditorium.
Brown was led by junior Jake Goldberg (Langhorne, PA), who scored two goals, including the game-winning goal, a power-play strike at 13:10 of the second period that gave the Bears a 4-1 lead at the time. Junior Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, ME) had a pair of assists, while sophomore Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario) and junior Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, British Columbia) also scored in the win.
"It's a really good feeling," said head coach Brendan Whittet '94. "We worked hard to get home ice and to host Clarkson. Clarkson put up a heck of a good fight tonight, that's for sure. When they were down and out, they came back and played really hard."
Facing the end of their season and trailing, 4-1, entering the final period, the Golden Knights mounted a furious comeback attempt, outshooting Brown, 17-3, during the last 20 minutes. Jarrett Burton scored a pair of power-play goals, including a five-on-three with 3:19 left in regulation, that brought his team back to within a goal, 4-3. Following Burton's goal, Clarkson still had 1:37 remaining on a power play. However, the Bears were able to kill the advantage, thanks in part to two huge saves by senior Anthony Borelli (Grand Island, NY), and that was as close as the Golden Knights would get.
Clarkson pulled Cody Rosen, who had replaced starting goalie Grant Lewis at the start of the third period, with 1:13 left in the game and kept the pressure on Brown's defense for much of the remaining time, and the Bears weathered the storm to move onto the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals for the first time since 2010.
"The third period was not how we play," said Whittet. "We went into a little bit of a prevent mode, which is never a good thing. You are trying to end a team's year; they came out really hard and they took it to us for the third period."
The Bears grabbed a 1-0 lead on their first power play chance of the game, converting just 47 seconds into the man-advantage. Freshman Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, British Columbia) fired a blast from the right point that went through traffic and ricocheted off the end boards. Freshman Mark Naclerio (Milford, CT) collected the puck behind the net and backhanded it to Lorito at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. With Lewis still on the far post, Lorito fired it into the partially open net for his 17th goal of the season at 8:16.
Brown extended its lead to 2-0 on Goldberg's first of the night just 4:15 later. After a Clarkson defenseman attempted to send the puck into the zone along the boards, Goldberg came up and blocked the pass, chipping it ahead for himself. He muscled his way past the Clarkson defenseman and skated coast-to-coast along the left wing with senior Jeff Ryan (Media, PA) on his right for a two-on-one. Goldberg opted to keep the puck, beating Lewis to the far side with a wrist shot from the left circle.
Robertson pushed Brown's lead to 3-0 at 16:28, finishing off a two-on-one rush with Hathaway. Freshman Nick Lappin (Geneva, IL) started the play when he chipped the puck out of the Bears' end ahead to Hathaway in the neutral zone. Hathaway carried the puck up the right wing and waited until he was at the goal, before passing it to Robertson for the tap-in from the top of the crease.
The Golden Knights called a timeout following Robertson's goal and Joe Zarbo almost immediately got them on the board, scoring Clarkson's first goal in 218:50.
Goldberg had the only goal of the second period, which would prove to be the game-winner. Senior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) held the puck to the right of the net and sent it across the crease to Goldberg, who one-timed it past Lewis from the far side to give Brown the 4-1 lead heading into the final period.
In all, Brown was 2-3 on the power play, while Clarkson was 2-4. Borelli finished with 34 saves, including 15 in the third period, while Lewis and Rosen combined for 19 for the Golden Knights.
"Moving on is what we want to do," said Whittet. "It is another step along the way in our march to an ECAC Championship and that's what we want to do and where we want to go. We want to hang a banner here."
Brown will face either second-seeded RPI or third-seeded Yale in next weekend's Quarterfinal series, pending results of Sunday's Dartmouth/Harvard game. A Dartmouth win would send the Bears to RPI, while a Harvard victory would send the Bears to Yale.
CLARKSON 1 0 2 x - 3
BROWN 3 1 0 x - 4
First period – B, Lorito (Naclerio, Pfeil), PP, 8:16; B, Goldberg (Hathaway), 12:31; B, Robertson (Hathaway, Lappin), 4x4, 16:28; C, J. Zarbo (M. Zarbo, Pokulok), 17:21. Penalties – C, 2-4; B, 1-2.
Second period – B, Goldberg (Zaires, Juola), PP, 13:10. Penalties – C, 2-4; B, 1-2.
Third Period – C, Burton (Sexton, Frederick), PP, 5:49; C, Burton (Sexton), 5x3, 16:41. Penalties – C, 0-0; B, 3-6.
C, Lewis (40:00), 8-8-x-x – 16; C, Rosen (19:07), x-x-3- 3; B, Borelli (60:00), 9-10-15-x – 34.
Pictured: Jake Goldberg '14. Photo by DSPics.net.