March 14, 2003
NEW HAVEN, CT - Junior Brent Robinson (Pointe Claire, QUE) scored the game-winning goal 9:40 into a sudden-death 20-minute overtime, while junior Yann Danis (Saint-Jerome, QUE) sopped 41 shots as the Bears (15-11-5, 10-8-4) defeated Yale (17-13-0, 13-9-0), 4-3, in game one of the ECAC Quarterfinal best-of-three series Friday evening at Ingalls Rink.
With Yale coming into the game after a 13-day rest due to a first round bye, the Bears grabbed a 1-0 lead just 4:06 into the game when freshman Cory Caouette (Spruce Grove, ALB) scored his first career goal. Junior Nick Ringstad (Fairbanks, AK) skate the puck up ice off a pass from sophomore Gerry Burke (Milton, MA), taking a slap shot from the right point. Caouette was on the right doorstep, tipping the puck in for the first score of the game.
However, with the Bulldogs on their second power-play of the night, Vin Hellemeyer, who rifled a shot from the center of the blue-line, knotted the game 7:55 later with just 14 seconds left on the man-advantage.
Just 27 seconds into the second period, Brown took advantage of a Yale defensive zone turnover to grab a 2-1 lead. Senior Chris Legg (London, ONT) collected the puck off the turnover and used senior Paul Esdale (Edmonton, ALB) on his left for a two-on-one. Esdale skate the puck in and beat Yale's Josh Gartner for his ninth goal of the year.
At the six-minute mark of the middle period, Brown increased its lead to 3-1 with both teams skating four players. Esdale fired a shot on Gartner, who left the rebound out for sophomore Les Haggett (Norwood, NY), who scored his 13th of the season on the rebound.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Yale's marquee player, Chris Higgins, brought the bulldogs back to within one just 52 seconds later with a four-on-four goal for the home team.
With 1:45 remaining in the period, the Bears narrowly missed taking a 4-2 lead. Legg and sophomore Chris Swon (Mendham, NJ) beat one Yale defenseman on a two-on-one break, pulling Gartner way out of the net, but Legg's shot hit the cross-bar as Brown headed into the break leading 3-2.
The Bulldogs outshot Brown 16-6 in the third period and with the game looking as though it would end in favor of the Bears, Christian Jensen beat Danis top-shelf, scoring an unassisted goal with just 2:53 remaining, forcing a 20-minute sudden-death overtime.
Brown gained momentum in the overtime, taking control early, winning the game on Robinson's 13th goal of the year. Swon was along the right boards and chipped the puck over to Haggett, on the left point. Haggett hit Robinson, who went top-shelf with the puck, clearing the Brown bench.
For the game, Danis stopped 41 shots in net, while Josh Gartner made 31 saves for the Bulldogs. Brown and Yale will face off tomorrow, March 15, in game two of the best-of-three series at 7:00 p.m.
BROWN 1 2 0 1 - 4
YALE 1 1 1 0 -- 3
Third period - Y, Christian Jensen (unassisted), 17:07.
Penalties - BR, 1-2; Y, 0-0.
Y, Josh Gartner, 13-8-6-4 - 31 (69:40);
BR, Yann Danis, 8-13-15-5 - 41 (69:40).
Records - BR, 15-11-5, 10-8-4; Y, 17-13-0, 13-9-0.
Attendance - 3,486 (Ingalls Rink).