PRINCETON, NJ – Trailing, 2-0, with less than two minutes to play, Princeton (8-14-7, 6-12-4) scored a pair of goals with its goalie on the bench to come back and earn a 2-2 tie with the Brown men's hockey team (8-16-5, 5-13-4) Saturday afternoon at Baker Rink. With the tie, the Bears' winless skid stretched to 10 games (0-8-2), as Brown failed to win a game during the month of February, finishing last in the ECAC Hockey standings.
With Princeton goalie Sean Bonar looking on from the bench, Tyler Maugeri got his team on the board just 32 seconds after Brown had taken a 2-0 lead on a power play goal by junior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ). Rob Kleebaum capped the comeback, scoring the tying goal with 57 seconds left in regulation, also with Bonar on the bench.
Despite playing on short rest after arriving in Princeton after 1:30 this morning, the Bears came out flying and had the Tigers on their heals for the first five minutes of the game. However, the momentum would shift slightly when Brown was called for four straight penalties, two of which came in a span of 29 seconds, giving Princeton an extended two-man advantage.
The Bears' defense came up huge during the kill, as freshman Kyle Quick (Buffalo, NY) blocked a series of shots and senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) made a big save just 15 seconds into the five-on-three, stopping Andrew Calof, who had a wide open net from the edge of the crease. Clemente slid from his right to his left to make the save and keep the Tigers off the board.
Just two minutes after killing the five-on-three, Princeton went back on the man-advantage and Clemente made another big stop, saving an attempt by Will MacDonald, who was stationed at the right post.
Despite being a man down for nearly half of the period, Brown finished the first 20 minutes tied with the Tigers in shots, 11-11. The Bears' best chance came with under three minutes remaining when freshman Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, MA) was stopped by Bonar from the edge of the crease. Freshman Taki Pantziris (Toronto, ONT) sent a shot on net from the right point that Bonar saved. The rebound bounced right to Harlow in front and Bonar got there just in time, keeping the game scoreless.
The Bears appeared to grab a 1-0 lead at 5:24 of the second period when freshman Joey De Concilys (St. Catharine's, ONT) fired a blast from the left point that bounced off the post and in, lighting the lamp. However, the referee immediately signaled no-goal and the play was never reviewed. Then, less than a minute later, freshman Massimo Lamacchia (Maple, ONT) got free for a breakaway from the left side. However, Bonar came up with a big save, holding the score at 0-0.
The near-misses energized both teams, as the pace of play picked up immediately following. The Bears, who outshot Princeton, 15-5, during the period, finally broke through at 10:58 when senior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA) collected the puck in the neutral zone after a Princeton player fell down. Farnham raced in along the right wing, skated towards the net and patiently held the puck while waiting for his linemates to enter the zone. With freshman Matt Lorito (Oakville, ONT) in the middle, Farnham passed to freshman Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, CO) on the left and the rookie forward buried it for his 11th goal of the year. With the goal, he moved into 5th all-time at Brown for goals in a season by a freshman.
Just 30 seconds following the goal, senior Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) nearly increased the lead to 2-0, but his shot from the high slot clanged off the right post and bounced all the way back out into the neutral zone. Princeton nearly capitalized on the play, skating the other way on a two-on-none break. However, de Concilys raced back into the play just in time and forced a low-angle shot that Clemente was able to glove-down.
With Brown on a late power play after a penalty on Andrew Ammon, Zaires, playing in his home state, gave the Bears a 2-0 lead with 2:22 left in regulation and 10 seconds left on their fifth power play.
With their backs against the wall, Princeton pulled Bonar almost immediately following the goal and with 1:50 left to play, Maugeri got the Tigers on the board, tipping a shot by Derrick Pallis past Clemente. The goal was reviewed due to an apparent high-stick by Maugeri, but it did count. Princeton pulled Bonar for a second time with 1:23 left and just 26 seconds later, Kleebaum tied the score to force overtime, redirecting another Pallis shot.
Clemente finished with 26 saves, while Bonar made 34 for Princeton. The Bears will travel to the fifth seed for next weekend's first round, to be determined after the results of tonight's games. Brown can still face any of five opponents – Clarkson, Colgate, Harvard, Quinnipiac or Yale.
BROWN 0 1 1 0 - 2
PRINCETON 0 0 2 0 - 2
First period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 5-10; P, 1-2.
Second period – B, Jacobson (Farnham), 10:58. Penalties – B, 1-2; P, 2-4.
Third Period – B, Zaires (Robertson, Lamacchia), PP, 17:38; P, Maugeri (Pallis, Hagel), EA, 18:10; P, Kleebaum (Pallis, Sdao), EA, 19:03. Penalties – B, 2-4; P, 2-4.
Overtime – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 2-15; P, 0-0.
B, Mike Clemente (65:00), 11-5-7-3 – 26; P, Sean Bonar (64:20), 11-14-7-2 – 34.
Pictured: Ryan Jacobson '15. Photo by DSPics.net.