Head Coach Brendan Whittet post-game video available here
HAMDEN, CT – Trailing, 3-0, to start the final 20 minutes of play, senior Jeff Buvinow (Turnersville, NJ) assisted a pair of goals 1:09 apart early in the third period, but that was as close as the Bears would get as Quinnipiac (19-12-6, 9-8-5) would hold on for a 4-2 win over the Brown men's hockey team (9-18-5, 5-13-4) on Sunday evening in the deciding game of the best-of-three first round series. The loss ends Brown's season in the ECAC First Round for the second year in a row, both series at the hands of Quinnipiac.
Highlighting the night was a 29-save effort from senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA), who moved into second all-time at Brown with 2,954 career saves. In addition with the pair of assists, Buvinow moved into Brown's all-time top 10 for career assists by a defenseman, posting the 46th and 47th of his career and passing John Slonim '81.
As has been the case the entire series, Quinnipiac converted a first-period power play to grab an early lead. After an interference call against senior Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH) exactly a minute into the game, Kellen Jones fired a blast from the center of the blueline that beat senior Clemente stick-side low 16 seconds into the men-advantage.
Freshman Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, MA) nearly got Brown on the board at 4:50 of the opening period. He skated the puck in on the right wing and fired a shot to the near side that Eric Hartzell saved. The puck bounced into the air and over Hartzell and was headed for the back of the net, but a Quinnipiac player sent sophomore Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, ME) into the net and it came off its pegs, preventing the goal.
The Bears earned their first power play chance 10:36 into the game and had two great chances denied by Hartzell after Quinnipiac returned to full strength. Hartzell saved a freshman Kyle Quick (Buffalo, NY) slap shot and then stopped sophomore Mark Hourihan (Lynnfield, MA) on the follow up from the right side of the crease.
Killing the third Quinnipiac power play to start the second period, Brown had two great chances 20 seconds after returning to full strength. Hartzell saved a shot from Hathaway from the ride side of the crease and then senior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA) was denied from the other side, as Hartzell slid from his left to his right to keep the Bears off the board.
Brown's unlucky streak with bounces continued, when freshman Ryan Jacobson's (Greenwood Village, CO) had Hartzell beat on a blast from the left point. However, the puck hit the top of the cross bar and bounced out.
Brown continued to press as the second period wore on, narrowly missing again on a power play chance in the 12th minute. Hartzell left a huge rebound out after a blast by sophomore Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC). But with the puck sitting in the crease, no one from Brown could get to it and Hartzell was able to clear. Another shot from the point by Hathaway nearly beat Hartzell, but he was able to get his skate on the puck to keep Brown off the board.
With Brown controlling the second period, Quinnipiac capitalized on a turnover in the offensive zone and a Bears' line change that led to a two-on-none for Spencer Heichman and Clay Harvey. Heichman skated the puck up the right side and with no one but Clemente to beat, passed to Harvey, who lifted the puck past Clemente at 16:35.
The Bears finally broke through at 2:34 of the third period when Farnham tipped a Buvinow shot past Hartzell with Brown on its fourth power play of the game. Junior Richie Crowley (Canton, MA) also assisted on the goal.
Just 1:09 later, another Buvinow shot was tipped in front, this one by Harlow, to bring the Bears to within 3-2. Hourihan also assisted on the goal.
The Bears had a late power play chance, and in an effort to catch Quinnipiac in a line change, Clemente sent the puck up ice. However, Brown had too many players on the ice and the power play was negated. After killing the ensuing Quinnipiac power play, Brown pulled Clemente in favor of the extra attacker with 42 seconds remaining.
The Bears couldn't gain possession after an offensive zone faceoff and a neutral zone turnover led to an empty net goal for Quinnipiac's Yuri Bouharevich with 15.3 seconds remaining, accounting for the 4-2 final.
Clemente finished with 29 saves, while Hartzell made 35 for Quinnipiac.
BROWN 0 0 2 x - 2
QUINNIPIAC 2 1 1 x - 4
First period – Q, K. Jones (Peca), PP, 1:16; Q, Bui (VanBrabant, Dalhuisen), 9:29. Penalties – B, 3-6; Q, 1-2.
Second period – Q, Harvey (Heichman, Currie), 16:35. Penalties – B, 2-4; Q, 2-4.
Third Period – B, Farnham (Buvinow, Crowley), PP, 2:34; B, Harlow (Buvinow, Hourihan), 3:43; Q, Bouharevich (unassisted), EN, 19:45. Penalties – B, 2-4; Q, 3-6.
B, Mike Clemente (59:30), 11-10-8-x – 29; Q, Eric Hartzell (60:00), 15-9-11-x – 35.
Pictured: Jeff Buvinow '12. Photo by DSPics.net.