January 2, 2009

Bears Fall to #4 Minnesota, 6-2, in Opening Round Action of the Dodge Holiday Classic

Jan. 2, 2009

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Juniors Jordan Pietrus (Vermillion, ALB) and Devin Timberlake (Port Alberni, BC) each scored third-period goals, but it wasn't enough to erase a 4-0 deficit, as #4 Minnesota (9-3-5) earned a 6-2 win over the Brown men's ice hockey team (1-9-2) in opening round action of the 2009 Dodge Holiday Classic, Friday evening at Mariucci Arena.

Despite getting outshot, 17-1, during the opening frame, the Bears escaped the first period facing just a 1-0 deficit heading into the second period, thanks in large part to junior Dan Rosen (Syosset, NY), who was a rock in net, stopping 16 Minnesota shots.

Things started slowly, as neither team was able to take a shot until the fourth minute of play when Minnesota finally put one on net. Exactly four minutes later, at 7:40, Mike Carman gave the hosts a 1-0 lead when he collected the puck off the boards in the neutral zone and fired a wrist-shot past Rosen stick-side from the right face-off dot.

The second period was almost identical to the first, with Minnesota holding an 18-1 advantage in shots on goal. However, this time they were more productive, scoring three goals to extend their lead to 4-0 after two periods.

Jay Barriball scored the first just 4:16 into the second when he collected the puck at the top of the crease and flicked it over Rosen. Just five minutes later, at 9:38, Justin Bostrom fired a shot on net off a rebound of a Sam Lofquist shot. Rosen made the save, but his momentum carried him over the goal-line, as Minnesota earned a 3-0 lead.

The Gophers' Nico Sacchetti increased the lead to 4-0 at 15:36 when he lifted the puck into a partially open net, after Rosen had made back-to-back stops on Bostrom and Kevin Wehrs.

Brown's best chance of the period came just before the fourth goal when senior Matt Vokes' (Auburn, MA) shot from the top of the right face-off circle clanged off the near post at 13:53.

The Bears got one back early in the third period when Pietrus picked up the puck after a wide shot by junior Hunter Thunell (Walpole, MA) and fired it back into the zone from the right point. The puck was on target and beat Alex Kangas near-side, finding its way into the net between Kangas' glove and the post at 2:44.

Brown made it a two-goal game just 3:23 later when Timberlake netted a power-play goal on just the third power-play chance of the game for the Bears. Vokes passed the puck along the blueline to freshman Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ), who moved to the center of the blueline and fired a shot on net. Timberlake was at the edge of the crease and took two swings at the puck before pushing it past Kangas.

Minnesota regained a three-goal lead at 8:52, when Patrick White beat Rosen five-hole from the inside edge of the right face-off circle just as the Gophers' eighth power-play chance had expired.

Brown nearly made it a 5-3 game with 8:03 remaining with a strong shift by the Bears' fourth line, freshman Mike Griffin (Hingham, MA) and Jarred Smith (Shaker Heights, OH), and sophomore Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT), but Kangas closed the door and got a little help from the goal itself when Buvinow nailed the cross-bar with a strong shot from the left point.

The Bears pulled Rosen, who finished with 36 saves, with 1:47 remaining for the extra attacker, and Joe Miller added an empty-net goal with 7.2 seconds left for the 6-2 final.

The Bears continue action on tomorrow afternoon when they face Western Michigan, which lost to Northeastern, 3-1, in today's earlier contest, in the third-place game, slated for 4:07 p.m. CT.

BROWN 0 0 2 x - 2
#4 MINNESOTA 1 3 2 x - 6

First period - M, Carman (Flynn, Hansen), 7:40. Penalties - B, 3-6; M, 1-2.
Second period - M, Barriball (Ness, Fischer), 4:16; M, Bostrom (Lofquist, Larson), 9:38; M, Sacchetti (Bostrom, Wehrs), 15:36. Penalties - B, 4-8; M, 1-2.
Third Period - B, Pietrus (Thunell, Palmer), 2:44; B, Timberlake (Buvinow, Vokes), PP, 6:07; M, White (Wehrs), 8:52; M, Miller (Anderson), EN, 19:52. Penalties - B, 2-4; M, 3-6.

Saves
B, Dan Rosen (58:07), 16-15-5-x - 36; M, Alex Kangas (59:55), 1-1-11-x - 13.