It took Union just over two periods to finally solve Brown goalie Yann Danis. By then, it was too late.
Two late third-period goals weren’t enough to overcome Danis and the Bears as the Dutchmen’s five-game winning streak ended with a 3-2 ECAC loss Friday night at Achilles Rink.
The Dutchmen (8-6-2 ECAC, 12-12-4 overall), who had a 25-15 shot advantage, dropped into a third-place tie with Yale, which defeated St. Lawrence, 7-2. Brown (8-6-1, 10-9-2) is a point back in fifth.
To make matters worse for the Dutchmen, they lost three players for next Friday’s game against Yale.
Forwards Nathan Gillies and Scott Seney and defenseman Jason Kean were given game disqualifications for participating in a fight at the end of the game. Brown lost defensemen Gerry Burke and Vince Macri and forward Keith Kirley for Saturday’s game at Rensselaer.
“I think we frustrated throughout the game,” Kean said. “It came out then, but you can’t have that at the end of the game.”
If the Dutchmen had shown that kind of spirit throughout the game, then they may have had a better chance to get more pucks past Danis.
“It’s frustrating more than upsetting,” Union forward Jordan Webb said. “I thought we played well enough to win, other than lack of execution on the power play. We had better scoring chances.”
Danis had 23 saves and made life miserable for the Dutchmen. They held an 11-4 shot advantage in the first period and had a great opportunity to score just over one minute into the game.
Webb slipped a pass to Gillies on the right wing, and Gillies sent it to the net to Joel Beal, whose redirection was stopped by Danis.
Danis made three strong saves in an 11-second stretch midway in the first period. He stopped Webb from five feet out in the slot, made a stop of a Kris Goodjohn shot from the left the side and recovered in time when the rebound came out to Seney.
“I don’t know if they were too tough defensively,” Beal said. “It had a lot to do with a hot goaltender. Their goalie played very well.”
Despite so few shots, Brown scored the only goal of the period. Paul Crosty got the puck to Jason Wilson, creating a two-on-one break. Wilson then sent the puck to Chris Legg on the left wing, and he wristed the puck past goalie Kris Mayotte at 8:31.
Brown took the 1-0 lead into the third period and quickly struck for two goals in 1:12. Kirley scored a power-play goal at 2:50, when he one-timed a Les Haggett pass past Mayotte.
A turnover behind the Union net led to Jason Wilson’s goal at 4:02.
“That third goal was kind of tough one to swallow,” Union coach Kevin Sneddon said. “It hit a skate or something, and came out on to [Wilson’s] stick from the back of our net.”
With the way Danis was playing, a 3-0 lead seemed safe. But Brian Kerr changed that when his soft wrist shot from the top of the right circle sneaked by a surprised Danis with 7:46 left.
With Mayotte out for an extra attacker, Webb scored his team-leading 16th goal of the season with 1:10 remaining.
But the Dutchmen couldn’t get set up for the tying goal.
“It was amazing because I thought we played pretty well defensively,” Brown coach Roger Grillo said. “We gave them some good chances to score.”
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.