Poli's Game-Winner 5:33 into Overtime Gives Brown Series Sweep over RPI
March 5, 2005
PROVIDENCE, RI - Freshman Chris Poli (Medfield, MA) scored his third career goal, and third goal of the weekend, at 5:33 of overtime to lift he Brown men's ice hockey team (16-12-3, 9-11-2) to a 4-3 victory over Rensselaer (14-22-2, 6-15-1), in game #2 of the best-of-three ECACHL First Round series on Saturday evening at Meehan Auditorium. The win gave Brown the series sweep, as the Bears will play at either Colgate or Vermont next weekend for a best-of-three quarterfinal series.
Following Friday night's 7-4 Brown victory, game two of the series started in an identical fashion with the two teams trading goals and heading into the first intermission with Brown leading 2-1. Freshman Jeff Prough (Farmington Hills, MI) started things off with a power-play goal just 3:52 into the game. Senior Mike Meech (Coquitlam, BC) crossed the puck to freshman Sean Hurley (Rutland, VT) at the blueline. Hurley rifled the puck on net and the rebound popped out to Prough waiting at the edge of the crease to knock the puck in for his ninth tally of the season.
However, just like last night, RPI answered, scoring a power-play goal of its own at 10:23 of the period when Alexander Valentin sent a back-hander over freshman Adam D'Alba's (Glencoe, IL) right shoulder.
But Brown responded with a nice back-hander from Meech. Freshman David Robertson (Saunderstown, RI) collected the puck at Brown's blueline and connected with Poli along the boards. Poli saw Meech streaking into the zone and the senior Assistant Captain gave the Bears a 2-1 lead at 12:44 of the first.
The two teams played a scoreless second period, though Meech had a goal called back for Brown at 5:21 of the period that would have given the Bears a 3-1 lead.
RPI scored back-to-back goals at 8:24 and 9:32 of the third period to take their first lead of the series, earning a 3-2 lead on an unassisted goal by Kevin Croxton. However, the Bears quickly answered, when senior Gerry Burke (Milton, MA) blasted a shot from the blueline at 10:51, after receiving a pass from classmate Chris Swon (Mendham, NJ).
After a 15:00 intermission, the two teams headed into a 20:00 sudden-death overtime period. But, the Bears only needed 33 seconds more than the normal 5:00 overtime to net the game-winner. Junior Rugo Santini (Winchester, MA) dug the puck out from behind the net and fed Poli in the slot. Poli took a second to settle the puck and buried it with a wrist shot, emptying the Brown bench.
In net for Brown, D'Alba recorded 23 saves, while Martin stopped 23 shots for RPI. The Bears continue action next weekend when they travel to either Colgate or Vermont for a best-of-three ECACHL Quarterfinal series. Dartmouth and Yale will face-off in game three of their series tomorrow. If Dartmouth wins tomorrow, Brown travels to Colgate, if Yale wins, the Bears will travel to Vermont.
RENSSELAER 1 0 2 0 - 3
BROWN 2 0 1 1 - 4
First Period - B (PPG), Jeff Prough (Sean Hurley, Mike Meech), 3:52;
R (PPG), Alexander Valentin (Kevin Broad, Oren Eizenman); 10:23;
B, Mike Meech (Chris Poli, David Robertson), 12:44.
Penalties - R, 2-4; B, 3-6.
Second Period - No Scoring. Penalties - R, 3-6; B, 2-4.
R, Martin (65:33) - 5-7-6-5 - 23;
B, D'Alba (65:33) - 11-4-7-1 - 23