PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Nick Lappin (Geneva, Ill.) evened the score with less than three minutes left in regulation, but Clarkson responded with the game-winning goal just 1:03 later as the Brown men's hockey team fell to the No. 17 Golden Knights, 4-3, in Friday evening's home and ECAC Hockey opener at Meehan Auditorium.
Brown fell to 2-1-0 overall and 0-1-0 in ECAC action, while Clarkson improved to 7-1-1 on the season and 1-0-0 in league play. Juniors Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario) joined Lappin as the goal scorers for the Bears.
Brown struck first with a goal by Jacobson at 4:15 in the opening period. Senior Michael Juola (Lake Forest, Calif.) fielded a pass from junior Joey de Concilys (St. Catherine's, Ontario) and launched a shot from point blank, only to be saved by Lewis, but Jacobson corralled the rebounded in the slot and blasted the puck into the back of the net to give the home side the early lead, 1-0.
Clarkson answered back with a pair of power-play goals in just over a two-minute span to take a one-goal lead. Sam Labrecque notched the equalizer at 13:01 on a pass from James de Haas, before Will Frederick scored the go-ahead goal at 15:06 to push the Golden Knights in front, 2-1.
Clarkson maintained its momentum down the stretch as Allan McPherson one-timed a rebound with 30 seconds left in the period to give the Golden Knights a 3-1 advantage at the first intermission. Clarkson held a 16-10 edge in shots during the opening 20 minutes.
Brown started the second half with a man advantage, and secured another power play midway through the stanza, but the Golden Knights killed off both penalties to preserve the lead.
The Golden Knights threatened to increase the lead late in the period when Marco De Filippo (Auronzo Di Cadore, Italy) was forced to come out of the net to make a sliding save, leaving the goal open for a follow-up shot, but defenseman Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, BC) knocked away the point-blank attempt to deny the goal. Brown outshot the Golden Knights by a 13-8 margin in the second period.
The Bears scored just 20 seconds into the third period to trim the deficit to one goal. Sophomore Mark Naclerio (Milford, Conn.) sent a shot from the right circle into the crease, where Lorito was angled out in front as the puck deflected off his skate and past the line to pull the Bears within one, 3-2. Lappin was also credited with an assist on the play.
After several chances on both ends of the ice, the Bears broke through with the equalizer at 17:04. Lappin passed the puck from the left side back to senior Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC) at the blue line, who rifled a shot at the net, before Lappin deflected the pass into the goal to even the score at 3-3.
Nevertheless, Clarkson responded at 18:07 when A.J. Fossen notched the game-winner on a feed from Tory Josephs for the eventual victory.
De Filippo made 31 saves in net for the Bears to move to 1-1-0 on the season, while counterpart Greg Lewis registered 30 stops in between the pipes for the Golden Knights. Clarkson held a slim 35-33 shot advantage in the contest.
Brown returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 2 when they play host to St. Lawrence at 7 p.m. For tickets, purchase online, call the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or walk up to the Box Office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.