CAMBRIDGE, MA – Clinging to a 2-1 lead and on the penalty
kill with 1:11 remaining, senior Aaron Volpatti (Revelstoke, BC)
and sophomore Jack Maclellan (Calgary, ALB) scored a pair of
short-handed empty net goals 22 seconds apart to ice a 4-1 victory
for the Brown men’s hockey team (2-7-1, 1-4-1) over Harvard
(1-7-2, 1-5-2) on Tuesday evening at the Bright Hockey Center. For
the Bears, it was their third straight win over Harvard, as they
improve to 3-0-2 in their last five games against the Crimson.
Sophomores Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH) and Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) scored in the first and second periods, respectively, to give Brown a 2-0 lead before Harvard got on the board midway through the second.
The first period began with a flurry of Harvard shots in the opening minutes, several of which came from point blank range. However, once the Bears settled in, things began to even up for the two teams with both sophomore Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) and Harvard’s Kyle Richter making several quality saves. With just 1:58 remaining in the period, Smith broke through to give Brown a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
After winning the puck in a battle behind the Harvard net, Smith passed up to senior Jordan Pietrus (Winnipeg, MAN) at the top of the left circle. Pietrus spun around and floated a shot towards the net, where Smith deflected the puck past Richter from the left side of the crease for his second goal of the year.
The Crimson opened the second period with 1:16 remaining on a power play, but the aggressive penalty killing by the Bears prevented Harvard from taking a single shot. Just 24 seconds after the power play expired, junior Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT) was hooked down on a rush down the ice, setting up Brown’s third power play of the night.
After collecting the puck on the left point from freshman Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ), Buvinow sent a shot through traffic that beat Richer glove-side, sneaking in between the left post and his glove 2:15 into the period.
The Crimson got on the board at 13:15 of the second when Conor Morrison deflected the puck inside the near post from the bottom of the left circle. The goal ended Brown’s shutout streak against Harvard at 191:35, spanning four games.
The Crimson went up on the power play at 16:17 of the period and had the puck in the zone for the entire two-minute man-advantage. Pietrus, Zolnierczyk, freshman Richie Crowley (Canton, MA) and junior Sean Connauton (Edmonton, ALB) were on the ice for the entire time, but were able to withstand the pressure until sophomore Mike Wolff (Walpole, MA) came out of the penalty box and was able to ice the puck.
With 55 seconds left in the period, Harvard’s Alex Fallstrom received a five-minute penalty for hitting from behind, setting up a full five-minute power play that would extend 4:05 into the third period. However, Brown was unable to extend its lead, taking just two shots during the man-advantage, despite possessing the puck for a large chunk of the time.
The Crimson had a pair of third period power play chances, including one with 1:11 remaining in the game. Pietrus won the face-off to Clemente’s left and the Bears immediately pressured Harvard. After Richter was exchanged in favor of the extra attacker, the Crimson could never gain possession. Volpatti intercepted a pass just outside the blueline and skated it into the zone, before firing into the vacated net with 36.7 seconds remaining.
Richter remained out of the net after the goal and after Zolnierczyk blocked a shot by Harvard, he flicked the puck up to Maclellan on the right wing. Maclellan skate into the zone and added another empty net goal with 14.5 seconds left for the 4-1 final.
Clemente finished with 42 saves, while Richter made 29 for the Crimson. Brown will close the semester with three straight home games, against Princeton and #4 Quinnipiac this weekend and against AIC on Tuesday. The Bears are sponsoring a toy drive to benefit the Hasbro Children’s Hospital at all three games. Fans who bring a new unwrapped toy to the game will receive one free admission per toy.
BROWN 1 1 2 x 4
HARVARD 0 1 0 x 1
First Period – B, Smith (Pietrus), 18:02. Penalties – B, 2-4; H, 2-4.
Second Period – B, Buvinow (Zaires), PP, 2:15; H, Morrison (Moriarty, Huxley), 13:15. Penalties – B, 1-2; H, 3-17.
Third Period – B, Volpatti (unassisted), SH, EN, 19:24; B, Maclellan (Zolnierczyk), SH, EN, 19:45. Penalties – B, 2-4; H, 0-0.
B, Mike Clemente (60:00), 18-14-10-x – 42; H, Kyle Richter (40:00), 12-7-10-x – 29.