PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown University women's ice hockey team (1-7-1, 1-5-0 ECAC) came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie cross-town rival Providence College (7-5-4, 5-2-2 Hockey East) in the 18th annual Mayor's Cup game, held tonight at Meehan Auditorium. Mayor Angel Taveras was on hand to present the trophy to the captains of both squads, but, as Brown was victorious in last year's game, the Bears will keep the cup on College Hill for another season.
Playing one of their best games thus far, the Bears were aggressive from the start, but it was the Friars who struck first, giving Providence a 1-0 lead at 14:07 into the period. Play on the tally began when freshman Maggie Pendleton cleared the puck out of the visitor's defensive zone, right to the stick of Corinne Buie. She passed quickly to Allison Micheletti, waiting on the left side of the net, but constant pressure from the Bears' defense forced Micheletti to dump the puck back to Buie. She shot high and right, just under the cross bar and over the shoulder of junior goaltender Aubree Moore (Bowie, MD) for her fifth goal of the season and the Providence lead.
Brown responded quickly, forcing Friar goaltender Sarah Bryant to make some big saves as the period drew to a close, but the Providence lead stood as the teams went into the locker rooms for the first intermission. Both squads took seven shots on net in the first period, and Providence accumulated the only penalty at 19:22, giving the Bears the player advantage when the two teams returned to the ice.
Brown started the second period on the power play, but the Friars came out firing, creating several dangerous chances around the net in the opening minutes and capitalizing for a second time at 9:10 into the period. After a series of incredible saves by Moore and gutsy blocks by the Brown defense, the puck bounced to the stick of Beth Hanrahan who fired into the upper left corner of the net to give Providence a 2-0 lead halfway through the game. The sophomore's fifth goal of the season was unassisted.
A Providence checking penalty called a little over three minutes later gave Brown the opportunity it needed however, as the Bears tallied their first goal of the night on the power play, narrowing the Friars' lead to one. Controlling the play in their offensive zone, freshman Kelly Micholson (Elk Grove Village, IL) sent the puck to co-captain Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) who was waiting just right of the net. Polenska found Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Montreal) on the left, and the senior co-captain tipped the puck in for her second goal of the season. Micholson's assist was her first career point as a Brown Bear.
Fresh off of an 18 save second period, Moore was incredible in net for the last 20 minutes of regulation, keeping the Bears alive as the game began to draw to a close. Both teams has ample offensive opportunities in the third period, but strong goaltending and defensive force prevented either team from finding the back of the net.
Both coaches called timeouts in the last three minutes of regulation, and Brown elected to pull Moore from between the pipes with just over a minute to play. The extra attacker made the difference for the Bears, as Polenska snuck one by Bryant to score the tying goal and send the game into overtime. With Moore on the bench, sophomore Lauren Vella (Staten Island, NY) took a shot that was deflected into the corner. Jolin fought for the rebound, sending it in front to Polenska who shot low and into the back of the net. The goal was initially waved off, but, after review, was ruled to be good, locking the score at two.
Neither team was able to break the tie in the five minute overtime period, as both goalies and each squad's defensive unit halted any chances, marking the third time that the two teams have tied for the Mayor's Cup title. Providence out shot Brown, 39-27, in 65 minutes of play, with Moore making 37 saves in goal and Bryant keeping 25 pucks out of the Friar net.
"I'm really proud of our team tonight," said Head Coach Amy Bourbeau. "That was probably our best-played game of the season, and it came at the right time. We needed to get going a little bit. Our team was so prepared, they had great energy and when they came out they were on a mission. We had a lot of offense going today and we created a lot more opportunity then we have in the past."
The Bears will take to the road again next weekend, traveling to Canada for non-league contests against the University of Montreal and McGill.
Providence: 7 - 19 - 11 - 2 - 39
Brown: 7 - 7 - 12 - 1 - 27
First period – P, Buie (Micheletti), 14:07. Penalties: P, 1-2.
Second period – P, Hanrahan, 9:10. B, Jolin (Polenska, Micholson), PP, 13:31. B, 1-2 P, 1-2.
Third period – B, Polenska (Jolin, Vella), 19:16.
Overtime – none.
Saves: B, Moore (64:31), 6 - 18 - 11 - 2 - 37. P, Bryant (65:00), 7 - 6 - 11 – 1 - 25.
Three Stars: 1. Alena Polenska (Brown) 2. Aubree Moore (Brown) 3. Beth Hanrahan (Providence)