November 18, 2011

Leave it to Deaver: Nick Deaver Scores Game-Winner in Final Minutes as No. 18 Brown University Escapes Bucknell University, 11-10

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Brown University frosh Nick Deaver (Fr., Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) made his third goal of the game count the most by burying a man-up shot with 1:14 left in the fourth period to power No. 18 Brown University slipped past Bucknell University 11-10 in the opening round the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championship at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool.

The victory advances the Bears to the semifinals and a meeting with Southern Divsion champion/nine-time Eastern Champion/No. 15-ranked the United States Naval Academy, which disposed of Harvard University 20-5 in the first round, at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19.  For statistical buffs, the game will mark the first meeting between the Bears and Midshipmen this year as the duo did not meet in the regular season.

Bucknell falls into the consolation bracket and will face Harvard at 3:00 p.m. for a spot in the fifth place game.  The Bison handled Harvard 18-8 in their only meeting of the regular season.

In a battle that featured former Brown assistant coach/current Bucknell head coach John McBride facing his former boss Felix Mercado in a grudge match following an 8-7 victory by the Bears in the regular season, the game featured everything a fan could ask for: spectacular saves, phenomenal goals, firey emotions and an unlikely hero stepping out of the shadow from the defending Northern Division Most Valuable Player to make his mark on the league's penultimate event.

Leading 7-4 at halftime, the Bears appeared poised to put the game out of reach as Deaver dumped a shot over the outstretched arms of Bucknell goalie Matt Napleton (Jr., Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) to stake the Bears to an 8-4 lead with 7:25 remaining in the third period.  Following a score by Brian Barron (Jr., Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) to pull the Bison back to within three a 8-5 with 7:13 remaining in the period, Hank Fox (Fr., Mercer Island, Wash./Lakeside School) hammered home a tally on a man-up opportunity to put the Bears ahead 9-5.

With the clock winding down and another Bears' marker possible to double the Bison's offensive output, Bucknell went to work using Brown mistakes to make the Providence (R.I.) posse pay.

A man-up following an ejection to Cyrus Mojdehi (Sr., La Jolla, Calif./Bishops School), Julian Colina (So., San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) swam around his defender and deposited a shot past Brown goalie Walker Shockley (So., Diamond Bar, Calif./Damien) at 2:18 to make it a 9-6 game. Twenty-seven seconds later, Barron got in on the act cranking a ball into the upper 90 of the cage after an ejection to Fox to cut the margin to 9-7.

However, Deaver avenged one of the Brown errors by accepting a pass and torching the Bison for an even-strength strike with 11 seconds remaining in the period for a 10-7 lead.

The goal would prove crucial to the eventual outcome of the game as Colina uncorked a man-up goal at 7:19, Spencer Richley (Sr., Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) repeated the pattern with an advantage score at 2:26 and Mike Kimble (So., Lafayette, Calif./Acalanes) tossed in the equalizer with both squads at even-strength to tie the game with 1:41 showing on the clock.

Needing a goal to go back in front and stop the Bison charge to the closing horn, Player of the Game Deaver stepped into the spotlight taking advantage of an ejection to Bucknell's Nick Barnett (Sr., Houston, Texas/Clear Lake) and burying the ensuing man-up opportunity with 1:14 to go to put the Bears back in front.

From there, it was all up to Shockley and the Brown defense which stymied the Bison the rest of the way, allowing only one shot on goal and running the clock down on its pair of possessions in the final minute of play to hang on and advance to meet the Midshipmen.

The first half was the reverse of the later 16 minutes of play as Brown held tight in the first period and pulled away in the second to build its lead.

Stefanovic opened the scoring in the game converting on a man-up chance just 26 seconds into the game to give Brown an ealry 1-0 lead.  The margin lasted for slightly over a minute until Richley equaled the performance with an advantage score of his own to balance the scoreboard.

Following a natural goal by Stefanovic tot put the Bears back ahead at 2-1, Fox caught a pass and punched in his squad's third strike of the day at 3:33 to provide the Bears a two-goal lead.  Barnett cut the deficit in half prior to the period ending horn as he cocked and fired a shot from the wing with 2:26 showing on the clock to pull the Bison to within 3-2 at the end of the first period.

Brown then went on a scoring spurt as Espinosa (7:31) and Stefanovic (6:50, 6:15) pumped in back-to-back-to-back goals to construct a 6-2 lead less than two minutes into the second period.

Facing the potential of Brown gaining irrefutable control of the contest prior to halftime, the Bison turned to Colina who connected on a blast at 5:03 to trim the deficit to 6-3.  Barron inched the Bison closer to the Bears as he bounced a ball off the water and into the cage at 2:48 on a man-up chance to make it 6-4 before Stefanovic torqued his fifth goal of the half, and third of the second period, into the twine with 52 seconds showing for a 7-4 Brown lead at the break.

Overall, the story of the game was Brown's balanced scoring attack as three-time Northern Division Most Valuable Player Svetozar Stefanovic (Jr., Belgrade, Serbia/Russian Embassy) rifled in five goals in the first half before Deaver took advantage of the Bison flocking to Stefanovic and deposited three in the second half as the dynamic duo accounted for all but three of the Bears' scoring strikes in the contest.

Fox chipped in a pair of markers, while Toby Espinosa (Sr., Palo Alto, Calif./Menlo) tacked on a solo marker in the second period as Brown used a balanced attack to take down the Bison.

In cage, Shockley stopped four shots, with two saves in both the second and fourth periods, to earn the win, while Napleton accounted for eight saves in suffering the loss for Bucknell.

Colina and Barron led the Bison on offense with hat-tricks, while Richley contributed two scores with Barnett and Kimble each finding the cage once.

 

----Article courtesy of the CWPA