PROVIDENCE, RI – Last place RPI (5-16-1, 2-8-1) converted a pair of power plays in the second period en route to a 3-0 win over the Brown men's hockey team (7-8-3, 4-5-2) on Friday evening at Meehan Auditorium. The loss to RPI is the second by the Bears this season as both of the Engineers' ECAC Hockey wins have come against Brown, and both by shutout after RPI won, 1-0, in Troy earlier this year.
The Bears came out flying, earning a pair of power play chances in the first three minutes of the game and building an 8-2 shot advantage by the five-minute mark. However, RPI goalie Bryce Merriam and the rest of the defense kept Brown at bay and the two teams headed into the first intermission knotted at 0-0.
The Engineers grabbed a 1-0 lead just 1:39 into the second period when Nick Bailen converted RPI's second power play chance of the game. After collecting the puck from Jacob Laliberte, Bailen fired a hard shot from the blueline that hit the crossbar. The puck took a lucky bounce, falling behind sophomore Marco De Filippo (Auronzo Di Cadore, Italy), before trickling over the goal line.
Another Brown penalty led to RPI taking a 2-0 lead, as Marty O'Grady knocked the rebound of a shot by Brock Higgs past De Filippo after the Bears' defense failed to clear the puck.
With the Bears killing their third penalty in a row just 21 seconds after RPI's second goal, freshman Massimo Lamacchia (Maple, ONT) nearly got Brown on the board but was denied on a short-handed breakaway. Then as the penalty to freshman Matt Lorito (Oakville, ONT) expired, the rookie came out of the box for a breakaway of his own, but hit the near post from the right side of the crease.
The Engineers held onto the 2-0 lead throughout the majority of the third period and Brown pulled De Filippo in favor of the extra attacker with 1:53 left in the game. With the Bears' top line on the ice, Merriam made a flurry of saves to keep his team up by two and Zack Schroeder added an empty net goal with 1:30 left for the 3-0 final.
For the game, Di Filippo finished with 30 saves, while Bryce Merriam made 36 for the Engineers. Brown returns to action tomorrow evening when it hosts #12 Union in a 7:00 p.m. contest.
RENSSELAER 0 2 1 x - 3
BROWN 0 0 0 x - 0
First period – No Scoring. Penalties – R, 2-4; B, 1-2.
Second period – R, Bailen (Laliberte, Higgs), PP, 1:39; B, O'Grady (Higgs, Bailen), PP, 4:12. Penalties – R, 1-2; B, 4-8.
Third Period – R, Schroeder (unassisted), EN, 18:30. Penalties – R, 0-0; B, 0-0.
R, Bryce Merriam (60:00), 14-6-16-x – 36; B, Marco De Filippo (59:37), 10-8-12-x – 30.