Women’s Hockey Faces Providence for Mayor’s Cup, Falls 3-2 in OT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Jessica Hoyle (Toronto, Ontario) put the Brown women's hockey team ahead 2-1 early in the third period but Janine Weber fired in the game-winning goal 1:27 into overtime to help Providence College top Brown 3-2 and reclaim the Mayor's Cup at Schneider Arena on Saturday. The Bears, who held the Cup for two seasons after last year's 2-2 tie, fall to 1-8-2 overall, while the Friars improve to 7-10-0 on the season.

Hoyle and sophomore Ariana Rucker (Oakton, Va.) accounted for the Brown scoring for the second straight game, while senior Aubree Moore (Bowie, Md.) made 39 saves in net for the Bears.

For Providence, Beth Hanrahan scored the tying goal to force overtime and added a second-period assist, while Sarah Bryant made 26 saves between the pipes.

The Friars nearly took an early lead on a shorthanded 2-on-1 breakaway but Moore turned away a shot by Brittney Thunstrom crashing in from the right wing. The Bears countered with a pair of solid looks, the first on a quick pass by sophomore Kelly Micholson (Elk Grove, Ill.) to Hoyle for a lifted poke shot that wound up in Bryant's glove at the 4:00 mark. Brown then survived two man-down situations to set up a breakaway for Hoyle and freshman Erin Conway (Jackson, Mich.), but Conway's shot after a right-to-left juke clanked off Bryant's stick.

Less than a minute later at 14:17, Rucker faded to her left after a leading passes from juniors Janice Yang (Westport, Conn.) and Kaitlyn Keon (Toronto, Ontario) and put the Bears on top with a sharp wrist shot that found the upper right corner of the net. Junior Sarah Robson (Mississauga, Ontario) and Conway followed with close-range bids but Bryant closed the wickets both times to end the period with Brown leading 1-0.

Yang drew a body checking penalty at 4:33 in the second after skating around the back of the net looking for a wrap-around shot. On the ensuing power play, senior Kelly Kittredge (Mahwah, N.J.) served a pass from the blue line to Hoyle for a poke shot in front that flew off the mark.

On the following Brown possession, Molly Illikainen helped Providence tie the game at 1-1 by intercepting a pass at the Bears' blue line and lifting a wrist shot over Moore's stick side shoulder at 6:01.

The Friars kept the pressure high as Haley Frade challenged with a backhanded shot immediately off a faceoff and Weber followed with consecutive quick shots from the right side on a 2-on-1 breakaway, but Moore blocked the first and corralled the second to maintain the 1-1 score.

Yang orchestrated Brown's best chance of the period when she stole the puck midchange and fed Keon for a backhander at the top of the crease, but Bryant was poised for the blocker save. After a Friar penalty with 3:09 left in the period, Robson emerged with the puck after a scuffle against the boards and shook a defender with a sly pullback move, but her shot hit nothing but glove.

Brown's one-player advantage turned into 4-on-4 hockey after Moore fought for a loose puck and the Bears were whistled for a delay of game penalty. A Brown slash with 10 seconds left in the period allowed Providence to carry a 5-on-3 situation into the third for 27 seconds and the Friars rattled off four shots before the Bears returned to even strength, but blocks by senior Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario), Kittredge and Micholson helped slay the penalties.

Hoyle delivered some third period heroics for the second straight game and put the Bears up 2-1 during a 4-on-4 situation. Hoyle snagged the puck after a faceoff deep in the offensive zone, carved around the back of the net and pushed in a wrap-around shot for her third goal in two contests.

The Friars refused to fall in regulation, however, and Hanrahan split two defenders on the left wing before ripping a slapshot that clanked off the left post and in to knot the score at 2-2 with 5:45 left in the third. Brown got one last scoring chance in regulation on a long Micholson shot from the right wing that was blocked, sending the Bears into overtime for the third time in as many games.

Providence locked its sights on the net from the opening face off of the extra period as Hanrahan kicked off the stanza with a breakaway down the middle seam, but Moore stood strong from the stick save. Hanrahan had another straight-on look turned away after intercepting a Brown clearing pass 55 seconds into overtime, although Weber's shot at 1:27 found its way in for the game-winner. Weber beat two defenders down the middle and ripped a point-blank shot that scooted under Moore's arm to give Providence the 3-2 victory.

Brown returns to action on Friday, Dec. 6, in the first of two weekend contests at the University of Maine. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m.