PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Bears remained unbeaten at Meehan Auditorium on Friday night as Brown (2-3-2, 1-2-2) fought to a 1-1 overtime tie against Clarkson (5-7-2, 3-0-1). It looked as the streak may end as the Golden Knights scored late in the third, but the Bears were able to tie it up with just 22 seconds left to pick up the point. This is now the Bears' longest unbeaten steak since 2006-07.
The first six and half minutes of the opening period went by without a whistle as both teams' lines were tested early. Both defenses stood up however, before an icing call brought the game's first stoppage.
The initial frame was all about the D, but Brown got a great opportunity at the start of the second when a Clarkson interference call gave the Bears a player advantage, but yet again the Golden Knight defense and penalty kill group was able to overcome the Bear attack.
The Bears had their best chance of the game just after the 11-minute mark in the second period with the puck deep in the Clarkson zone. Sophomore Kelly Griffin (Apex, N.C.) had control and even after being knocked down to her knees, was able to pass over to classmate Alena Polenksa (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic). The second-year forward was set up in front of the net and made a strong play on the puck, but a Golden Knight defender was able to get her stick on and around, turning Polenska enough to alter the shot with no call being made on the play.
At the 12:20-mark in the third period the Bears appeared poised to strike. Senior Erica Kromm (Naramata, British Columbia) collected the puck in her own zone and streaked past the Clarkson blue line. Evading a defender on a nifty move, she was able to find freshman Jessica Hoyle (Toronto, Ontario) but after Hoyle move within five feet of the goal, the defensive pressure proved to be too much as she was unable to finish her move near the net.
Clarkson nearly took the lead with 8:22 left in regulation as the puck did find its way into the Brown net, but officials ruled it was kicked in by the Golden Knight skater, therefore did not count as a goal.
Just a minute later sophomore Victoria Smith (Senneville, Quebec) was able to unload on a shot which looked to have a clear path to the net, but a diving Clarkson defender who ended up on her stomach was able to deflect the shot by throwing up her legs at the last moment, getting a piece of the puck with her skate blade.
Clarkson took advantage quickly after the close call as Melissa Waldie went coast-to-coast with 5:41 to go, and picked up her fifth goal of the season. The goal ended the Bears' defensive scoreless streak at 176 minutes.
With just 22.3 seconds remaining in regulation, the Bears were able to capitalize as sophomore Lauire Jolin (Lachine, Quebec) took the pass from Kromm and freshman Vanessa Welten (Crysler, Ontatio), and went top shelf to beat the Clarkson goalie on the glove side and tie the game at one.
In overtime, the Bears had a chance to break the tie when Erica Farrer (Calgary, Alberta) raced into the Golden Knight zone to corral a lost puck and find Polenksa, who fed Hoyle just a foot off the crease. Hoyle made a great play on the puck, but Clarkson goalie Erica Howe made a fantastic kick save to persevere the tie.
Polenska had one last chance with six seconds left as she fired one in from the left face-off circle, but Howe made another quality save to assure the 1-1 final.