Balanced Attack and Timely Goals Lead Bears Past Quinnipiac, 4-1

HAMDEN, CT  – The Brown men's hockey team (9-16-5, 5-13-4), seeded 12th in the ECAC, rode the strength of 25 saves from senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) and timely goals from the offense to earn a 4-1 win over fifth-seeded Quinnipiac (17-12-6, 9-8-5) on Friday evening in game one of the best-of-three first round series at the TD Bank Sports Center.

After falling behind, 1-0, following a Quinnipiac power play goal at 12:53 of the first period, the Bears scored four unanswered goals to skate away with the hard-fought win. Senior Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH), junior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ), and freshman Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, CO) all had a goal and an assist in the win, while freshman Kyle Quick (Buffalo, NY) notched two points with a pair of assists.

The Bears had the better of the play at even strength, but Quinnipiac converted its first power play chance of the game to take a 1-0 lead at the 12:53 mark. Stationed to the left of Clemente, Connor Jones backhanded the puck across the crease to Zack Currie on the back-door. Currie had a partially open net to shoot at and he lifted the puck top shelf to give his team the 1-0 lead.          

The Bobcats nearly doubled their lead with just under three minutes left in the first period when Spencer Heichman's shot from the right faceoff circle beat Clemente to the far side, but clanged off the post.

Just 30 seconds later, Brown tied the score at 1-1 on Smith's fourth goal of the year. With a faceoff to Hartzell's left, Zaires won the puck back to Quick at the right point. Quick fired a blast that got through traffic in front and Smith tipped the puck past Hartzell glove-side high, tying the game at 1-1 with 2:16 left in the period.

The Bears grabbed a 2-1 lead at 8:51 of the second period on Jacobson's 12th goal of the season. Following a Brown icing, senior Jack Maclellan (Calgary, ALB) won the ensuing defensive zone faceoff to freshman Matt Lorito (Oakville, ONT). Lorito chipped the puck ahead on the left wing for Maclellan, who raced in with Jacobson on a two-on-one rush. Maclellan dished to Jacobson on his right and the rookie wing finished off the textbook play for his second goal in as many games.

Sophomore Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC) looked to add to the Bears' lead just five minutes into the third period, but his shot from the left point clanged off the near post.

With just over six minutes left in regulation, the Bears went up on an extended five-on-three opportunity. However, their best chance of the advantage was a shot by Robertson from the right faceoff circle that hit the outside of the net. As time expired on the two-man-advantage, Quinnipiac's Bryce Van Brabant came out of the penalty box and beat the Bears to a lose puck in the neutral zone, skating in for a semi-breakaway. Clemente came out of the net and beat Van Brabant to the puck, chipping it back out of the zone to end the threat.

Just 1:35 after the five-on-three, Zaires provided some insurance for the Bears with his seventh goal of the year. Senior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA) skated the puck up the right side and crossed it back up to Quick at the left point. With traffic in front, Quick sent the puck on net where Smith was able to tip it up to Zaires in the slot. Zaires one-timed the puck top-shelf with 2:48 left to play.

Almost immediately following the goal, Quinnipiac pulled Hartzell in favor of the extra attacker. However, Maclellan won the ensuing defensive zone faceoff back to Robertson. Robertson chipped the puck up to Jacobson, who then passed to Farnham, who skated the puck into the open net at 17:42, clinching the win.

Clemente finished with 25 saves, while Hartzell made 26 for Quinnipiac, as Brown held a 30-26 advantage in shots. The Bears and Bobcats face off again tomorrow evening in game two of the series, set to begin at 7:00 p.m.

BROWN                    1            1            2            x            -             4
QUINNIPIAC            1            0            0            x            -             1

First period – Q, Currie (C. Jones, Peca), PP, 12:53; B, Smith (Quick, Zaires), 17:44. Penalties – B, 1-2; Q, 1-2.

Second period – B, Jacobson (Maclellan, Lorito), 8:51. Penalties – B, 1-2; Q, 2-4.

Third Period – B, Zaires (Smith, Quick), 17:12; B, Farnham (Jacobson, Robertson), EN, 17:42. Penalties – B, 1-2; Q, 2-4.

Saves
B, Mike Clemente (59:48), 8-10-7-x – 25; Q, Eric Hartzell (59:51), 9-8-9-x – 26.

Attendance: 2,034

Pictured: Ryan Jacobson '15. Photo by DSPics.net.