PROVIDENCE, RI – 15th-ranked Rensselaer (8-4-3, 3-3-0) scored twice in the first period and twice in the first five minutes of the second period to build a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-2 victory over the Brown men's hockey team (3-4-3, 2-3-1) on Saturday afternoon at Meehan Auditorium.
The Bears came out strong and were controlling the play during the early going, while going up on the game's first power play just 6:04 in. However, the power play would prove to be Brown's undoing, as back-to-back penalties on the Bears 1:15 apart eventually led to a two-man advantage for RPI before the midway point of the period.
Brown killed the five-on-three, but before the Bears could get a skater back out into the play, RPI would go ahead, 1-0, when Tyler Helfrich converted a two-on-one feed from Brock Higgs at 8:56.
The Bears would outshoot RPI, 8-4, in the period, but the Engineers skated into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead after Johnny Rogic tipped a shot from Jeff Foss past junior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) with just 3.7 seconds remaining in the period. Rogic's goal came just 19 seconds after RPI had successfully killed Brown's third man-advantage of the period.
The Engineers extended their lead to 3-0 just 1:35 into the second period when Helfrich, all alone in the slot, took a pass from Chase Polacek and beat Clemente stick-side with each team skating four players.
Just 24 seconds later, junior Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) looked to get Brown on the board, skating into the zone along the right wing. But, his shot to the near side clanged off the post, as Brown was kept of the board.
Another RPI power play goal, scored by Nick Bailen at 5:11 of the period, increased the Engineers lead to 4-0, forcing head coach Brendan Whittet to use his timeout.
Following the timeout, sophomore Anthony Borelli (Grand Island, NY) replaced Clemente in net, making his first appearance of the season.
Junior leading scorer Jack Maclellan (Calgary, ALB) finally got the Bears on the board at the 8:38 mark of the second period, scoring his fourth goal in three games. Freshman Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC) collected the puck at the left point on a failed clear by the Engineers and immediately sent it down to Maclellan, alone at the bottom of the right circle. With only goalie Allen York to beat, Maclellan lifted the puck into the partially open net for his team-leading 7th goal of the season.
Brown opened the final period with 42 seconds remaining on its fourth power play of the game, but just seven second into the period, Maclellan took a slashing call, as the teams would each skate four players, before the Engineers went up on their fifth man-advantage of the evening.
Just 16 seconds after Brown killed the RPI power play, junior Mike Wolff (Walpole, MA) brought the Bears to within 4-2, scoring his first of the season at 2:23. Maclellan carried the puck and sent it into the zone. The puck hit an RPI defender and went right to Wolff, who took a few strides into the zone, before ripping a shot that beat York glove-side high. It was his first goal in 51 games, dating back to February 21, 2009.
Brown had another power play, late, and could do nothing with it and the Engineers took a 5-2 lead with 4:16 left to play when Greg Burgdoerfer, alone in the slot, received a pass from Patrick Cullen and wristed a shot over Borelli's shoulder for his first of the year. Pat Koudys' first career goal about two minutes later accounted for the 6-2 final.
Clemente finished with eight saves in just over 25 minutes, while Borelli stopped 11 in relief. York made 33 saves for the Engineers, including 17 in the third period, during which Brown outshot RPI, 18-7. The Bears close out their three-game homestand and the first semester on Tuesday evening when they host cross-town rival Providence College in the 25th annual Mayor's Cup. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
UNION 0 1 1 x - 2
RENSSELAER 2 2 2 x - 6
First Period – R, Helfrich (Higgs), PP, 8:56; R, Rogic (Foss, Bergin), 19:56. Penalties – R, 3-6; B, 2-4.
Second Period – R, Helfrich (Polacek), 4x4, 1:35; R, Bailen (Dolan, Polacek), PP, 5:11; B, Maclellan (Robertson), 8:38. Penalties – R, 3-6; B, 4-8.
Third Period – B, Wolff (Maclellan), 2:23; R, Burgdoerfer (Cullen), 15:44; R, Koudys (Cullen, Polacek), 17:33. Penalties – R, 0-0; B, 1-2.
B, Mike Clemente (25:11) – 2-6-x-x – 8; B, Anthony Borelli (34:49) – x-6-5-x – 11; R, Allen York (60:00) – 8-8-17-x – 33.
Pictured: Jack Maclellan '12. Photo by DSPics.net.