Brown struck late and quickly for the second game in a row, scoring three times over a span of 2:16 in the middle of the third period to sweep Princeton in the first round of the playoffs. Yann Danis was spectacular all weekend, making 36 saves Saturday and stopping 72 of 74 for the series.
Sophomore forward Chris Swon led the offense in a big way this weekend. He scored the game-tying goal Friday night early in the third, and Saturday tallied the game winner and added an assist. Shane Mudryk also had a two-point night.
Much like last night, the game started slowly, with Princeton looking just a step quicker to every puck. The Bears came back in the second, but the game went to the third scoreless. It was another goaltenders’ duel — Tiger freshman Eric Leroux was impressive all weekend in net. He made 40 saves tonight, 18 of which came in the second.
Brown took a 1-0 lead at the 9:26 point of the third. Pascal Denis fed Mudryk, whose one-time attempt was well off the mark. Luckily for Brown, the shot bounced to senior Keith Kirley on the left doorstep, who fired it home.
24 seconds later, Swon put in another rebound goal to make it 2-0. Leading scorer Brent Robinson received a nice pass from freshman Adam Tichauer, which sent him in all alone. In an attempt to knock away the puck, Leroux got himself way out of position, and Swon netted the game winner.
Princeton Coach Len Quesnelle immediately called a timeout to settle his team. Ten seconds later, Tiger center Scott Prime went barreling into Brown’s franchise player, Danis. The game was full of penalties, with Princeton leading in minutes by a 27-18 margin.
“The only thing that was said in that timeout was there is a lot of time left in the game,” said Quesnelle. “And we were only down by two. There was plenty of hockey left.”
On the resulting five-minute major, Princeton netted a shorthanded goal. And they did it quickly, off the next faceoff. Matt Maglione finally solved Danis with a shot past his glove.
But the Bears netted a goal of their own just 1:31 later, to make it 3-1 and assure the Bears a trip to Yale for the next round of the playoffs. Mudryk knocked in the rebound of captain Tye Korbl’s shot. Swon was credited with an assist.
“We’re just going to get ready for Yale,” said Korbl. “Our program has come a long way, and we want to take the next step.”
The Tigers didn’t put much more pressure on Danis. His best saves came earlier — he stuffed Maglione walking in from the right side in the second and made a great glove save on a pass across the zone moving to his left.
The Tigers went home fairly happy with their effort. They stayed in both games late and got a lot of their young players valuable playoff experience.
The Brown power play fizzled all weekend, and turned the puck over too often early in both games. Head coach Roger Grillo will look to keep his team on its recent roll against the Bulldogs — and it will help to have Danis come up big again next weekend.
“I think we just gotta go down there and play solid. You have to be patient in the playoffs and let things happen,” Grillo said.