In a showdown of two of the nation’s top goaltenders, host Brown gave No. 3 Cornell all it could handle in a 2-2 tie. The Bears tied it up with a late goal from sophomore Les Haggett, his 11th of the season.
Yann Danis, who was an All-American as a sophomore last season for Brown, made 44 saves — some of which were spectacular. His poise and ability to control rebounds stymied the Big Red offense, which scored 14 times last weekend in ECAC play.
Sophomore David LeNeveu was strong in the other net, but one slipup cost his team the win. Trailing 2-1 with under five minutes to play, Les Haggett came streaking down the left wing and fired a long shot on target. LeNeveu made the initial stop, but failed to secure the loose puck as it fell to the ice, and slowly trickled in to make it 2-2.
“In my two years with [LeNeveu] I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give up that type of goal,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer. “How that puck rolled in the net, I don’t know.”
The tie broke a Cornell five-game winning streak against Brown. Dating back to 1998, the Big Red are 8-0-2 against the Bears including earlier this season, when Cornell cruised to a 5-0 win at home.
Cornell came into Providence riding a three-game winning streak, and had won nine of its last ten. But early on it was evident that Brown would match Cornell’s intensity.
The Bears’ game plan was to play physically and aggressively, especially in the Big Red zone. And in their own end, clearing rebounds quickly and killing penalties well (Cornell was 0-for-2) helped Danis’ cause.
“This was a big point for us,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “They are a tough team to play against. We expected them to be big and fast and execute their game plan well, and they did.”
After a scoreless first period, the Big Red, which has suffered all of its four losses on the road, looked frustrated. Danis and the Brown penalty kill were successful twice in the frame.
Danis’ best save came early in the second. Daniel Pegoraro picked up a loose puck all alone on the Brown cage, and waited for at least two seconds for Danis to commit. But he simply did not move until Pegoraro fired, and Danis soundly covered up the low shot.
Later in the second, Brown’s Jarrett Robertson came streaking in on a breakaway, but was pulled down before he could get a shot off. The resulting power play led to a Brown goal.
Brent Robinson scored his fifth power-play goal of the season on a high shot from the right point that beat LeNeveu to the glove side. The Brown power play is third in the ECAC.
Cornell responded quickly to tie it up at 1-1. Shane Hynes knocked in the rebound of a shot from the right boards.
The Big Red then took the lead just after the midway point of the third. Chris Abbott scored on a rebound of his brother Cam’s shot. At that point, it looked like Cornell might run away with the win. But Brown’s intensity, while worn down by Big Red’s toughness, kept up to get the tie.
Robinson assisted on Haggett’s goal, and now leads the team with 28 points. Haggett is just behind him with 27.
After Brown nearly missed taking the lead on a late power-play chance, the game went to overtime. Danis made a few more good stops after scrambles in front of the cage.
Cornell travels to Harvard for a key matchup for the top spot in the league Saturday night. Brown hosts Colgate, against which it will look to break another streak. The Bears have lost to the Red Raiders nine straight times.