PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rensselaer broke a scoreless contest with two goals early in the third period and added an empty-net tally to seal the win as the Brown men's hockey team fell to the Engineers, 3-0, in ECAC action Friday evening at Meehan Auditorium.
Brown dropped to 11-14-3 overall and 8-12-1 in ECAC play, while the Engineers improved to 14-13-6 on the season and 8-8-5 in conference action. Brown currently sits in eighth place in the standings and can secure home ice in the first round of the ECAC playoffs with a win in the season finale against No. 3 Union on Saturday.
Scott Diebold racked up 34 saves in net for the Engineers to earn the shutout win, while rookie Tyler Steel (Kelowna, British Columbia) made 24 stops for the Bears on the other end. Senior Jake Goldberg (Langhorne, Pa.) paced the Bears with five shots in the contest. Brown outshot the Engineers, 34-27.
Brown and Rensselaer skated to a scoreless first period as the Engineers outshot the Bears by an 11-7 margin. Brown put together a late flurry of shots in the waning minutes of the opening stanza, but back-to-back attempts by Joey de Concilys (St. Catherine's Ontario) and Goldberg were blocked, before Mark Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) fired a shot right into the chest of Diebold. Brown answered back on the other end as Goldberg blocked a shot with three seconds remaining to keep the game scoreless.
The Bears benefited from an RPI penalty just 1:43 into the second period, but the Engineers killed off the power play attempt to prevent an early goal. Brown answered back with sustained pressure midway through the second period, highlighted at the 11:50 mark, when Nick Lappin (Geneva, Ill.) skated to a puck in open ice and blasted a shot that rang off the right post.
The Bears made a strong run during a power play late in the stanza, when Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, Colo.), Michael Juola (Lake Forest, Calif.) and Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, British Columbia) posted consecutive shots, but Diebold turned away every attempt to remain scoreless at the second intermission. Brown outshot the Engineers by a 10-7 margin in the second frame.
Rensselaer opened up the scoring at the 5:45 mark in the third period, when Curtis Leonard blasted a puck at the net from in front of the blue line. Jacob Laliberte was positioned in the slot and hit the one-timer to push the visitors in front, 1-0.
Mark Miller added another goal for the Engineers at 10:58 when he received a pass from Bo Dolan in the neutral zone, skated into the left circle and sent a shot past Steel for the two-goal advantage.
Zach Schroeder tacked on an empty-net goal at 18:36 to secure the victory.
Brown returns to face No. 3 Union on Saturday, March 1 for Senior Day at 4 p.m. For tickets, purchase online, call the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or walk up to the Box Office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.