POTSDAM, NEW YORK – The Brown University women's ice hockey team wrapped up their road weekend with a hard-fought loss to the third-ranked Clarkson Golden Knights. Since the start of the 2012-2013 campaign, the Bears have faced three of the top ten teams in the country and, while they have not yet emerged victorious, they have played extremely impressive hockey, loosing each contest by a slim margin. Tonight's result brings Brown to 1-5-0 on the season, with a 1-5-0 league mark, while Clarkson improves to 10-2 and a 4-0 undefeated record in ECAC play.
The late afternoon game at Cheel Arena featured strong defensive play by both squads, as neither team was allowed more than 30 shots on goal, with Clarkson out shooting Brown, 29-17. The first period provided the highest number of offensive opportunities for both teams, as a penalty-free stanza allowed for uninterrupted action, but each net minder played with poise to keep the score tied at zero until late in the period. With just 1:35 left on the clock, Clarkson junior Shelby Nisbet blasted a shot from the point. The Golden Knights' captain, Carly Mercer, was waiting by the net and managed to tip the puck past Brown goalie, junior Aubree Moore (Bowie, MD), putting her team on the board. The goal was also assisted by freshman Olivia Howe.
Looking to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with, the Bears didn't wait long to attack in the second period. Just 4:39 after the teams hit the ice, sophomore Sarah Robson (Mississauga, Ontario) fired a powerful shot from the left circle, beating Clarkson's goalie Erica Howe to tie the game, 1-1. Robson's goal, her second of the weekend and third of the season, was unassisted.
Brown's goal was quickly followed by the afternoon's first power play, as Emilie Dolan (Montreal West, Quebec) was called for holding, giving the Golden Knights the man advantage. In a period where neither team took more than 10 shots on goal, Brown's penalty kill was able to keep the scored locked until the teams returned to full strength.
With just a little over five minutes left in the second, Clarkson's Mercer scored her second goal of the game, the eventual game-winner, receiving a pass from Danielle Skirrow that she was able to slip right by Moore. Nisbet also assisted on the goal, tallying her second helper of the night.
The second period goal put a cap on scoring for the afternoon, as the Bears were unable to find a way to capitalize offensively while Moore refused to let another puck past the crease. Brown was out shot, 8-5, in both the second and third period, and Moore finished the game with 27 saves for another solid performance between the posts for the Bears. Neither team performed on the power play, as Clarkson was 0 for 4 and Brown was 0 for 1 in the game.
"Clarkson is a strong team," said Brown's head coach, Amy Bourbeau. "They have the ability to capitalize on the other team's mistakes, and that is what happened to us in today's game. It was a battle out there, the girls played really strong hockey, but we made one mistake too many and they were able to come out on top."
Today's game was the Bears' last ECAC contest for the month, as they will play a series of games against non-league opponents throughout the rest of November, beginning with two games against RIT at Meehan Auditorium next weekend. Saturday marks the first time this season that both Brown hockey teams will play on the same day, as the women face-off at 4:00pm, with the men taking on Army at 7:00pm. The Bears will return to league action when they travel to face Union and Rensselaer during the first weekend in December.
Clarkson: 1 - 1 - 0 - x - 3
Brown: 0 - 1 - 0 - x - 1
First period - C, Mercer (Nisbet, Howe), 18:25. Penalties: none.
Second period - B, Robson (unassisted) , 4:39. C, Mercer (Skirrow, Nisbet), 14:54. Penalties: B, 2-4, C, 1-3.
Third period – Penalties: B, 2-4.
Saves: B, Moore (58:37), 12- 7 - 8 - x - 27. C, MacDonald (59:38), 7 - 4- 5 - x - 16.