PROVIDENCE, RI – Senior Anthony Borelli (Grand Island, NY) made a career-high 38 saves and helped to lead the Brown men's hockey team (7-9-5, 3-6-5) to a 1-1 tie with #2 Quinnipiac (18-3-4, 11-0-2) on Friday evening at Meehan Auditorium. Freshman Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, British Columbia) scored for the Bears, who joined RPI as the only ECAC Hockey team to earn a point against the Bobcats this season.
The game pitted two of the top three goalies in the League against each other, statistically speaking, with Quinnipiac's Eric Hartzell stopping 30 shots in what turned out to be a goalie dual.
Brown's entire defense was critical in helping the team earn the point, blocking a season-high 29 Quinnipiac shots, led by junior captain Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, British Columbia) with seven.
"I thought we played really well," said head coach Brendan Whittet '94. "I don't think we could play much harder. There's not a lot of room out there. They are a really good defensive team and so are we. I thought we had our chances. We had a 1-0 lead and unfortunately, we gave it right back to them. But, we performed very well. I couldn't ask for anything more of the guys. They left it on the ice. They played as hard as they could."
With the score knotted at zero late in the second period, Pfeil took the rebound of his own shot at the right half-wall and fired a wrist shot through a screen that beat Eric Hartzell to the far corner of the net for his second goal of the season at 13:01 of the second. Freshman Mark Naclerio (Milford, CT) earned his third point in as many games, starting the play by winning the faceoff back to Pfeil from the right circle.
However, just 56 seconds following the goal, Quinnipiac would go up on its third man-advantage of the night. The Bears were just 32 seconds away from killing the power play, but Connor Jones took a pass from Matthew Peca at the right side of the crease and banked the puck off the skate of a Brown defenseman and past Borelli to tie the score at 1-1 at 15:25.
That is how the score would remain through the final 24:35 of regulation and five minutes of overtime, thanks to solid goaltending by both Borelli and Hartzell.
Freshman Nick Lappin (Geneva, IL) had a chance to win it with under a minute left in regulation. Skating in on the right side, the rookie forward displayed tremendous stick-skills, toe-dragging the puck around a Quinnipiac defenseman, before spinning and firing a back-hander to the far side. Hartzell, however, made that save and another on a late attempt by Robertson, as the game headed for overtime.
The two teams played a scoreless first period with Quinnipiac edging Brown in shots, 12-9. Brown was not without chances, as sophomore Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, CO) nearly gave the Bears a 1-0 lead with 3:40 left in the first, but his shot from the inside of the left faceoff circle clanged off the near post. Less than a minute later, Naclerio was taken down just in front of the crease while driving towards the net and with Hartzell out of position.
At the other end of the ice, Borelli was critical, stopping the Jones' brothers on back-to-back attempts from the doorstep to keep Quinnipiac off the board early.
Brown, which remains tied for eight place in the ECAC Hockey standings, continues action tomorrow afternoon against the Princeton Tigers. The puck drops at 4:00 p.m.
#2 QUINNIPIAC 0 1 0 0 - 1
BROWN 0 1 0 0 - 1
First period – No Scoring. Penalties – Q, 3-6; B, 1-2.
Second period – B, Pfeil (Naclerio), 13:01; Q, C. Jones (Peca, K. Jones), PP, 15:25. Penalties – Q, 1-2; B, 3-6.
Third Period – No Scoring. Penalties – Q, 0-0; B, 2-4.
Overtime – No Scoring. Penalties – Q, 0-0; B, 0-0.
Q, Hartzell (65:00), 9-12-6-3 – 30; B, Borelli (65:00), 12-15-8-3 – 38.
Pictured: Brandon Pfeil '16. Photo by DSPics.net.