Freshman Ben Walter scored two goals, but a stellar goaltending effort from Brown goaltender Yann Danis gave the Bears a 2-2 tie against Massachusetts-Lowell Friday evening at Meehan Auditorium.
The tie is the first of the season for the River Hawks, and the second overtime game in as many trips to Providence.
“We bounced back and played well in all three zones this evening after a disappointing loss last time out,” said head coach Blaise MacDonald afterwards. “We played great in our own zone, and that helped to get us off to a really good start. Goaltending was the difference in this game. Our goaltender played fine, but Brown’s was great.”
Brown controlled the tempo early, showing a strong presence in neutral ice. The River Hawks started to find cracks in the Bear defense, generating good opportunities in front of Danis.
After failing to convert on a power play, UML broke the scoreless tie at 8:35 with Walter’s first goal of the game. Junior Anders Strome had the puck down low on the left side and fired a shot at net that Danis saved. The puck bounced away from Danis, though, and Walter was unprotected on the right side, scooping up the rebound and making it 1-0 UML.
The Bears tied the game at one near the end of the first. Moments after the second power play of the evening for Brown ended, senior Tye Korbel’s shot redirected off a UML skater low on the left side to knot the game at one apiece at 14:26.
UML came out of the gate in the second, outshooting the Bears 5-1, but a quick lapse early on gave Brown a 2-1 lead. Capitalizing on their third power play, the Bears used crisp passing down low to find junior Brent Robinson on the left side low at 6:02.
Brown’s goal may have been the best thing to happen to the River Hawks, as it sparked an offensive surge for UML for the remainder of the period. Thirty seconds after the Bears’ marker, senior Mark Concannon sent a beautiful pass to freshman Elias Godoy low on the left side, tying the game at two at 6:27.
The River Hawks regained the lead at 13:02 with Walter’s second goal of the evening. Walter took a feed from the right corner low on Danis, and although the junior netminder made the initial save, he was unable to prevent Walter from stuffing the puck into the net to make it 3-2.
The Bears tied the game with their second power-play goal of the game just 1:39 into the third when Scott Ford sent a one-timer from the blue line past Smart low.
The game went to overtime, and although UML senior captain Ed McGrane had two outstanding looks at the net low, Danis came up big to preserve the shutout.
Smart made 15 saves in the game, seeing no shots in overtime, while Danis stopped 45 attempts. The penalty killing unit struggled for UML, allowing 2-of-4 Brown advantages, while the River Hawks converted none of their four chances.
“We did a good job killing penalties, and then all of the sudden it got away from us twice,” said MacDonald. “For the most part, Brown never had any offensive time on their power-play, and then boom, a couple of breakdowns, and its in our net.”
“It was clearly a game we could have won 10-2. In overtime, we had many good opportunities to win the game, and we didn’t. But the fact remains that we allowed the game to get to overtime.”