CAMBRIDGE, MA – Trailing, 1-0, to open the final 20 minutes of play, the Harvard Crimson (6-6-8, 5-4-6) scored three times in the third period to come back for a 3-1 victory over the Brown men's hockey team (8-10-3, 5-7-2) on Saturday evening at the Bright Hockey Center. The weekend sweep at the hands of Dartmouth and Harvard marks the first time that Brown suffered a regular-season weekend sweep since almost exactly a year ago (to the day), as the Bears fell at RPI and Union last January 28th and 29th.
Brown, which entered the weekend in 6th place with a chance to climb to as high as 3rd in the ECAC Hockey standings and gain some separation from the crowded middle of the pack, now finds itself in 9th place after getting swept by its Ivy rivals.
The Bears came out flying, outshooting Harvard, 8-3, through the first 15 minutes of the game. Brown's best chance of the period came with a little more than nine minutes left in the first period when freshman Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, MA) was denied by Steve Michalek on a chance into a partially open net that Michalek was able to recover for.
Despite getting outshot by the Bears, it was Harvard that had perhaps the best opportunity of the period, a short-handed breakaway by Colin Blackwell. Just 15 seconds into the first power play of the game, Blackwell raced end-to-end down the right wing, skating across the crease from right to left. However, senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) moved with him and made a pad save to keep the game scoreless.
The Bears grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2:34 into the second period on the second goal of the year for senior Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH). Senior Mike Wolff (Walpole, MA) started the play deep in the Bears' zone, passing up the left wing to Smith at the far blueline. Smith and junior Francis Drolet (Lachine, QUE) passed the puck back and forth in the corner and Drolet went for a wrap around from the left side. After his shot from the right side was saved by Michalek, the rebound came right to Smith in the slot and he fired it into the partially open net to give Brown a 1-0 lead. For Drolet, it was his first point in nearly two years, dating back to a goal against Quinnipiac on February 26, 2010, a stretch of 60 games.
With Brown still holding onto the 1-0 lead through the start of the third period, Harvard's Eric Kroshus knotted the game at 1-1 at the 4:06 mark, knocking the puck in after Luke Greiner was denied on a wraparound. The play started when Greiner beat the Bears to the hashmarks on what would have been a Harvard icing.
With both teams skating four players and under 10 minutes to play, Alex Killorn banked a shot from the left side off the near post and behind Clemente to give the Crimson a 2-1 lead at 12:20, just as Harvard was about to start its third power play of the game.
The Bears pulled Clemente in favor of the extra attacker with 1:03 left and Danny Biega added an empty net goal with 39 seconds remaining to clinch the win.
Clemente finished with 19 saves, while Michalek made 24 for the Crimson. Brown returns to action next weekend when it hosts Clarkson and St. Lawrence in a pair of ECAC Hockey contests Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
BROWN 0 1 0 x - 1
HARVARD 0 0 3 x - 3
First period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 0-0; H, 1-2.
Second period – B, Smith (Drolet, Wolff), 2:34. Penalties – B, 2-4; H, 2-4.
Third Period – H, Kroshus (Greiner, Grimshaw), 4:06; H, Killorn (Kroshus), 4x4, 12:20; H, D. Biega (unassisted), ENG, 19:21. Penalties – B, 3-14; H, 3-6.
B, Mike Clemente (59:36), 5-8-6-x – 19; H, Steve Michalek (60:00), 10-7-7-x – 24.
Pictured: Jarred Smith '12. Photo by DSPics.net.