PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown women's ice hockey team (3-9-1, 2-6-0 ECAC) withstood a late rally from the University of Maine (3-15-1, 1-8-0 Hockey East) to grab a 6-5 win in today's non-league contest at Meehan Auditorium. The Bears, who had scored just 12 goals coming into the game, were prolific on offense this afternoon, with Lauren Vella (Staten Island, NY) and senior co-captain Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Montreal) each tallying a career-high three points to lead the charge.
Action went back and forth in the opening minutes of play, with the defense on both sides limiting shots on net, but the Bears' aggressive fore-checking enabled them to find a way onto the board just over thirteen minutes into the period. Jolin, who had the puck in the corner, passed it up to Victoria Smith (Montreal, Quebec). Smith fed fellow defenseman Vella, who took a quick and hard snapshot that went in at the bottom corner, glove side.
The goal, Vella's first of the season, gave Brown a 1-0 lead, but Maine exerted angry pressure to fight back and tie the game less than two minutes later. With Kaitlyn Keon (Toronto, Ontario) in the box for tripping, the Black Bears' power play unit enabled Brittany Dougherty to register her ninth goal of the season. Dougherty, the team's leading scorer, took a feed from Kayla Kaluzny and wrapped around to find the back of the net while senior goaltender Katie Jamieson (Waterloo, Ontario) was fighting to get back into position.
A Maine penalty created more opportunities for Brown, but the two teams went into the first intermission tied, 1-1.
Brown owned the second period of play, tallying two goals and entering the final stanza with a 3-1 lead over the opposition. An early tripping penalty for Maine's Hailey Browne gave the Bears the woman advantage, allowing Vella to score her second goal of the night, a career high, at just 2:18. Jolin, who was being pressured on the sideboards, sent the puck over to a wide-open Vella. She walked the puck into the middle, taking a low wrist shot that landed in the bottom corner of the net, glove side, putting the Bears up, 2-1.
The offense continued to pressure Maine as the second period wore on, while the defense assisted Jamieson at several crucial moments, forcing the Black Bears to use their time out midway through the stanza to regroup. The Bears persevered however, finally increasing their lead with just over a minute left to play on Jolin's third goal of the season. The puck popped out of a scrum along the boards and made its way right to Vella's stick. The sophomore took a hard shot from the point, and Jolin was there to tip it right past Maine's Brittany Ott in net.
Action in the third period rose to new levels of excitement, as the teams scored a combined seven goals in twenty minutes of play. With Maine's Meghann Treacy replacing Ott in net, their offense scored two goals in the first half of the stanza to tie the game, 3-3. With six minutes gone, Rachel Bellio, who was open at the backdoor, took a pass from Jillan Langtry to bring the Black Bears within one. After the Bears took a bench penalty for too many players on the ice, Maine found itself in a two-on-one heading towards the Brown net. Chloe Tinkler passed over to Audra Richards who flicked the puck high on the glove side to knot up the score.
Brown didn't wait long to respond however, regaining the lead just over a minute later and scoring two more goals within the next five minutes to give the Bears a 6-3 lead with just over four minutes left on the clock.
Freshman Kelly Micholson (Elk Grove Village, IL) scored her first career goal to put the Bears back in control, as a pass through the slot from classmate Ariana Rucker (Oakton, VA) set her up to one-time a shot into the top corner of the Maine net. Forty seconds later, senior co-captain Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) received the puck off of a beautiful passing sequence and put it away to build on the Bears' lead. Finally, with Jolin screening Maine's goalie, Monica Masucci (Toronto, Ontario) skated to the middle of the ice and took a wrist shot that hit the net on the top corner, blocker side, giving the freshman her first career goal and the ultimate game-winner.
Refusing to give up, the Black Bears fought back as Dougherty and Kaluzy teamed up again to bring the visitors within two points at 16:18. With the clock winding down, Maine moved to pull their goalie in favor of the extra attacker, but Brown called a timeout that forced them to rethink their approach. A penalty on Dougherty put the Bears on the power play, but Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) followed her to the box a few moments later, forcing the teams to skate four-on-four.
Maine tallied their fifth goal of the night at 18:23, as Browne swung around the net and passed it to Jennifer More who was waiting at the backdoor to put it away. Dougherty returned to the ice to put the Black Bears on the power play with just under a minute to go but the Bears stifled all of Maine's chances, holding on tightly to their lead. However, with the clock winding down, Dougherty took a desperate long-range shot from the far face-off circle at the buzzer that slid between Jamieson's knees and into the goal. Upon review, the referees ruled that time had run out when the puck crossed the crease, ending the game and giving Brown a hard-fought victory.
Shots were even in the contest, with both sides firing 27 pucks at the net. Jamieson recorded 22 saves for the win, while Ott and Treacy combined for 21 saves. Maine was two-for-six on the power play, while Brown capitalized on one of their five chances.
This afternoon's game concluded non-league play for the Bears, as their remaining 14 contests will feature ECAC opponents. Brown will play two more games at Meehan next weekend, taking on the #2 Clarkson Golden Knights at 7:00pm on Friday, January 11 and the St. Lawrence Saints at 4:00pm on Saturday, January 12.
Brown: 8 - 12 - 7 - x - 27
Maine: 10 - 8 - 9 - x - 27
First period – B, Vella (Smith, Jolin), 13:36. M, Dougherty (Kaluzny), PP, 15:11. Penalties: B, 1-2. M, 1-2.
Second period – B, Vella (Jolin), PP, 2:18. B, Jolin (Vella), 18:53. Penalties: B, 2-4. M, 2-4.
Third period – M, Bellio (Langtry, Dougherty), 6:18. M, Richards (Tinkler), PP, 9:03. B, Micholson (Rucker), 10:21. B, Polenska (Kittredge, Zary), 11:01. B, Masucci, 15:48. M, Dougherty (Kaluzny), 16:18. M, More (Browne), 18:23. Penalties: B, 3-6. M, 1-2.
Saves: B, Jamieson (60:00), 9 – 8 - 5 - x – 22. M, Ott (40:00), 7 – 10 - x– x – 17. M, Treacy (19:14), x – x – 4 – x – 4.