PROVIDENCE — Brown and freshman goaltender Yann Danis picked up their second consecutive win, defeating UMass-Lowell, 5-4. Brown’s senior forward and leading scorer, Matt Kohansky, scored the game winner 6:10 into the third period on a power play.
The Bears entered the third trailing the visiting River Hawks, 4-3, after giving up three unanswered goals in the second. They rebounded, however, with two goals early in the final period and hung on for the win. Danis finished strong, with 14 saves and no goals allowed in the third.
Freshman forward Brent Robinson knotted the game up at 4-4 with 18:01 left in the game. Robinson received a nice pass from the right shot, fired one on net, and hustled to slam his own rebound home.
“It felt great to get my first goal in a big spot,” Robinson said. “We were up and down all game. We came out to play early in the third though. Two wins in a row is definitely a step in the right direction for us, though.”
After UML junior defenseman Chris Gustafson took a penalty a few minutes later, Brown jumped out in front on the ensuing power play. After a shot from the point was half-fanned on, Brown’s captain Jon Zielinski threw a shot on net and Kohansky cashed in on the rebound.
“The rebound bounced right out onto my stick,” Kohansky said. “I had a nice wide open net, all I had to do is whack it in.”
It was the River Hawks that broke the ice in the first period. After they killed a Brown five-on-three opportunity with an aggressive penalty kill, UML jumped up 1-0 after several Brown clearing attempts failed.
Gustafson was the scorer for the River Hawks, as he picked up a loose puck inside the blueline and beat Danis with a backhand upstairs.
Brown answered just past the midway point. Zielinski scored just after a four-on-four ended, and the Bears were up a man. After a giveaway in front, Zielinski took his time beating Cam McCormick with a backhand.
Minutes later, sophomore blueliner Paul Esdale put the Bears up 2-1. A shot from the point deflected off a UML defender’s stick and through for the goal.
“Some guys just didn’t come out to play tonight,” UML head coach Tim Whitehead said. “That is what really hurt us in the end.”
In the second, Brown extended its lead to 3-1 early on. J-F Labarre scored his second goal in as many games on a very low angle shot.
“Once again the line of Labarre, Robinson, and [Shane] Mudryk played well for us,” Brown head coach Roger Grillo said. “As long as we can continue to get production from guys like that, and the others chip in, we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
But things turned south in the rest of the second for the Bears. The River Hawks dominated the rest of the period, storming back with three goals.
Anders Strome got things going for the River Hawks. Center Nick Carso won the draw back to Ron Hainsey, who fired a shot in on net, which was deflected by Strome.
Hainsey got the equalizer at the 14:50 mark of the second. The sophomore defenseman threw the puck at the net from behind the goal line and it bounced off the skate of Danis and into the Brown net.
Then Hainsey added another with just a few minutes left in the second. This time a high shot from the left point beat the screened Danis. The River Hawks had all the momentum, but the Bears grabbed it back quickly in the third.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” Whitehead said. “Then we climbed out of the whole strong in the second. But a few players stopped playing the game plan we had set.”
UML had only a few good chances late in the game, as Danis looked very solid and confident in the third. Hainsey had a few more shots on net from the point, but Danis was able to turn them aside.
“We played terrible for the last 10 minutes of the second period,” Grillo said. “There were other times we were just hanging on too. We can’t have big chunks of time like that in Minnesota or we’ll be in trouble.”
Brown heads out for three tough games in Minnesota; one against the Golden Gophers and two versus St. Cloud. The River Hawks get back into conference action as they travel to Boston University this weekend.