PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – In their first contest of the new year, the Brown women's ice hockey team (2-9-1, 2-6-0 ECAC) fell to the University of Maine Black Bears (3-14-1, 1-8-0 WHEA), 4-2, in the first game of a back-to-back weekend series. Maine scored two goals in each of the last two periods, and, despite a third period surge, Brown was unable to fight back for the win. Sophomores Sarah Robson (Mississauga, Ontario) and Brittany Moorehead (Clinton, NY) both tallied goals for the Bears, while junior Aubree Moore (Bowie, MD) stopped 21 of the Black Bears 25 shots in her eighth start of the season.
Brown dominated play in the first period, forcing multiple turnovers and holding Maine to just five shots on net, but neither side was able to light the lamp in the first 20 minutes of play, sending the teams into the locker room tied, 0-0. Brown out shot the visiting team, 11-5, due in large part to Maine's three penalties, but the Bears struggled to find a way around goaltender Brittany Ott, missing several opportunities to score by only a small margin.
The Bears continued to set the tone at the start of the second period, keeping control of the puck and centering play in their offensive end for the first half of the period. The Black Bears earned their first of two power plays in the period when freshman Kelly Micholson (Elk Grove Village, IL) was called for hooking, but it was a player advantage for the home team that gave the visitors their first goal of the night.
As the clock approached the halfway mark of the period and game, Maine's leading scorer, Brittany Dougherty, skated in and took a shot from the left side that was saved by Moore, bouncing back into play. In the chaos around the net, sophomore Brianne Kilgour got a piece of the rebound, sending it right underneath Moore's legs for a short-handed goal and her third tally of the season. Brooklyn Langlois also assisted on the play.
With the tide shifted, the Black Bears struck again less than four minutes later as freshman Shawna Lesperance capitalized on a Brown turnover to put Maine up, 2-0. The Bears appeared to win a scuffle for the puck against the backboards, but a misdirected pass landed right on Lesperance's stick. She skated around the right side of the net and slipped the puck right underneath Moore's legs to grab her second goal of the season.
Brown out shot Maine for a second consecutive period, 12-7, but the visitors headed to their locker room for the second intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Both teams skated hungrily in the third period, creating a flurry of goals and a few flared tempers. Just 16 seconds into the period, Robson notched her fourth goal of the season to bring the Bears to within one. Play began off of the opening face-off, with a series of passes that allowed Robson to skate in with the puck and take a wrist shot from the left of the net. She was assisted by Victoria Smith (Montreal, Quebec) and Samantha Woodward (Lexington, MA).
Just a few minutes later, with the Bears fighting to tie the game, the Black Bears scored two goals in less than 30 seconds to cement their eventual victory. At 3:39 in the third period, junior Kelly McDonald took a high wrist shot that found the back of the next in the lower corner on Moore's blocker side. Kilgour was credited with the assist on the ultimate game winner for her second point of the game.
At 4:23, sophomore Katy Massey scored Maine's last goal of the game, driving hard to the net to pick up Jillian Langtry's rebound and shooting it passed Moore to give the Black Bears a 4-1 lead.
Brown fought back, as Moorehead, assisted by Micholson and Kaitlyn Keon (Toronto, Ontario), driving to the middle at 12:12 of the period and slamming a wrist shot five-hole for her first goal of the season, but they were unable to gain anymore ground, falling to Maine, 4-2 at the buzzer.
The Bears out shot the Black Bears in this afternoon's contest, tallying a season-high 39 shots, and Moore made 21 saves in net. Neither team capitalized on a power play opportunity, with Brown going 0 for 6 and Maine going 0 for 3.
"We played hard in the first period," said head coach Amy Bourbeau. "We out shot them and had some great scoring chances too. At the same time, as the game went on we made some costly turnover mistakes that we hope to prevent tomorrow in the rematch. In order for us to succeed everyone has to play well and today was a mixed team effort."
The Bears and the Black Bears will play their second game of the weekend tomorrow afternoon at Meehan Auditorium. The puck will drop at 2:00pm on Brown's last non-league game of the season.
Brown: 11 - 12 - 16 - x - 39
Maine: 5 - 7 - 13 - x - 25
First period – no scoring. Penalties: M, 3-6.
Second period – M, Kilgour (Dougherty, Langlois), SH, 9:36. M, Lesperance, 13:14. Penalties: B, 2-4. M, 1-2.
Third period – B, Robson (Smith, Woodward), 0:16. M, McDonald (Kilgour), 3:59. M, Massey (Langtry, McDonald), 4:23. B, Moorehead (Micholson, Keon), 12:12. Penalties: M, 2-4. B, 1-2.
Saves: B, Moore (58:29), 5 – 5 - 11 - x – 21. M, Ott (60:00), 11 – 12 - 14 – x - 37.