March 13, 2009
NEW HAVEN, CT - Trailing, 2-0, midway through the second period, #10 Yale (21-7-2), the top seed in the ECAC Hockey Tournament, scored four straight goals to erase the two-goal deficit and hand the Brown men's ice hockey team (5-22-5), seeded 12th in the Tournament, a 4-2 loss in game one of the best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal series on Friday evening at Ingalls Rink.
The Bears came out flying and limited Yale to just four shots while taking 15 of their own in the opening period. Most of the Bulldogs came in the first five minutes of the game, as Brown dictated the pace for roughly the final 15 minutes of the frame.
Brown had a great opportunity 3:15 into the game when freshman Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) generated a three-on-two rush with senior Matt Vokes (Auburn, MA) and junior Aaron Volpatti (Revelstoke, BC). Vokes made a nice move to get around his defenseman and took a quick shot on net that Alec Richards saved. However, the puck bounced out to Volpatti, who was staring into a wide-open net. Unfortunately the puck hit his skate and trickled wide of the net to keep the game scoreless.
Brown went up on the first power-play of the game at 8:57 and had three shots but Richards was up to the task, stopping all of them to keep the game scoreless. Yale then earned a power-play at 13:53 and the Bears held the Bulldogs to just a single shot. With time ticking down on the power-play, junior Jordan Pietrus (Vermilion, ALB) blocked a shot by the Bulldogs just inside the blueline. He collected the puck and skated into the zone on a breakaway, beating Richards from the bottom left of the right face-off circle just as the penalty expired.
The second period was a different story, as Yale held a 20-8 advantage in shots on goal for the frame, while outscoring Brown, 2-1, in the middle 20 minutes. The Bears opened the scoring just 2:17 into the period when sophomore David Brownschidle (Lawrenceville, NJ) scored his first goal of the season off a feed from senior Ryan Garbutt (Winnipeg, MAN). The Bears were in the midst of a line change just prior to the goal, but senior Mike Stuart (Rome, NY) found Garbutt on the left wing. Brownschidle had just come off the Brown bench and created a two-on-one rush. Garbutt passed over to Brownschidle, who got around his defender and had just Richards to beat for his first goal in 36 games.
From that point on, the period was all Yale, as the Bulldogs earned four straight power-plays, including a 70-second five-on-three chance. Volpatti was outstanding during the two-man advantage, blocking three shots for Brown. Though they didn't score on any of the power-play chances, it seemed to provide some momentum for the ECAC regular season champs, and they made it a one-goal game at 11:27 when the puck deflected past freshman Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) off the stick of a Brown defenseman. The goal was the first allowed by Clemente in 151:27.
The final 1:50 of the period was marred by penalties, as the two teams combined for three penalties and a delayed call on the Bears that led to Yale's second goal of the game with just three seconds remaining in the period.
Brown earned a power-play at 18:10, but just 19 seconds in, the Bears were whistled for tripping, as each team sent four players out onto the ice. Another Yale penalty at 19:22 gave Brown a four-on-three advantage, but with just 10 seconds left in the period, the referee signaled a delayed penalty on the Bears and Yale promptly pulled Richards for the extra attacker. Denny Kearney was alone in the slot and tied the game with just three seconds left before intermission to tie the game at 2-2.
Brown opened the third period with 10 seconds remaining on the four-on-three carried over from the second frame. After the initial 10 seconds, the team skated four-on-four for 19 seconds, and then the Bears had a five-on-four power-play for 54 seconds, on which they failed to convert.
The Bulldogs then went on their seventh power-play 2:53 into the frame and needed just 13 seconds to take a 3-2 lead as Broc Little beat Clemente glove-side high on a shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle 3:06 into the period. Yale increased its lead to 4-2 at 9:17 of the third when Kevin Limbert converted on another Bulldog power-play, scoring from just inside the left point.
The Bears had a late power-play and had their best chance directly after the face-off, but Vokes' shot from the left circle, which had Richards beat, clanged off the near post and Brown failed to register another quality shot during the remainder of the man-advantage.
Brown pulled Clemente, who finished with 31 saves, with 56 seconds remaining in favor of the extra attacker and Yale was able to hold on for the win and the 1-0 lead in the series.
Richards made 26 saves for the Bulldogs, who ended up outshooting the Bears, 29-13 over the final 40 minutes and 35-28 for the game. Brown and Yale faceoff tomorrow night, March 14, in game two of the best-of-three series.
BROWN 1 1 0 x - 2
YALE 0 2 2 x - 4
FIRST PERIOD - B, Pietrus (unassisted), 15:53. Penalties - B, 1-2; Y, 1-2.
SECOND PERIOD - B, Brownschidle (Garbutt, Palmer), 2:16; Y, Brosnihan (Cahill, Brockett), 11:27; Y, Kearney (Martin, Donald), EA, 19:57. Penalties - B, 5-10; Y, 2-4.
THIRD PERIOD - Y, Little (Kearney, Matczak), PP, 3:06; Y, Limbert (Backman, Little), PP, 9:17. Penalties - B, 3-6; Y, 2-4.
B, Clemente (59:05), 4-18-9-x -31; B, Richards (59:47), 14-6-6-x - 26.