PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Colgate junior center P.J. Yedon’s spoiled Brown’s home opener Friday with two goals in a 3-2 win.
In a sloppy back-and-forth game, the special teams were the difference. The Raiders went two-for-four on the power play, while the Bears’ power play was completely ineffective, failing on five chances.
Late in the second, with the score tied at 2-2, Brown looked ready to grab control of the game as a delay of game penalty led to a Brown power play that carried over to the third. But, as in much of the game, Brown mustered only a few chances. The Raiders’ aggressive penalty kill kept Brown frustrated and off-balance.
“We worked a lot on our penalty kill all week and right up to this game,” said Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. “It’s just such a big part of the game. I think tonight it was the difference.”
Senior goaltender Jason Lefevre made 28 saves in a very strong effort. When Colgate looked on its heels during much of the second and third periods, he stood tall.
Shortly after Colgate returned to even strength, Yedon got the game-winner.
A loose puck in the Brown end found its way into the hands of Raiders defenseman Tucker Veenis at the point. A wobbly shot was redirected in by Yedon to the back of the net to make it 3-2.
“I saw [Veenis] was gonna shoot so I went straight for the net,” Yedon said. “Luckily I got my stick on it and got a good bounce.”
Despite not converting on their early third-period chances, the Bears kept the pressure on Lefevre for most of the third. Brown finally earned a power-play opportunity with under four minutes to go, but that was quickly mitigated by a thoughtless offensive-zone penalty of their own.
Lefevre was strong on a couple chances during the four-on-four and in the last minute, when Brown emptied the net for the six-on-five advantage. But the chances were few, including a good rush opportunity and a shot blocked down from the point. Colgate finished strongly to preserve the 3-2 road win.
In a messy first period, the Raiders jumped out to an early lead and controlled most of the action throughout. Freshman winger Dmitry Yashin stunned Brown goalie Brian Eklund, who made just 16 saves on the night, with a wraparound power-play goal.
The Bears answered with a goal from sophomore center Nick Ringstad. He battled for a loose puck in front to finally knock it by Lefevre.
Brown grabbed the lead in the second. The fourth line, which was a factor for Brown all night, converted on an odd-man rush. Junior forward Jason Wilson collected a pass from freshman Les Haggett and beat Lefevre glove-side. Haggett, as well as linemate Mike Meech, each picked up their first collegiate points.
The Raiders made it 2-2 with five to go in the second. After a Brown clearing attempt hit the linesman and remained in the zone, Yedon eventually beat Eklund on a low-angle shot to the near side.
All night, Colgate seemed to have the edge. Every time the Bears seemed to be mounting momentum Lefevre made a big save, the power play changed the momentum, or they just plain failed to materialize on chances.
“We were just a step behind all night,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “There were way too many turnovers. It just seemed like we didn’t have the same energy we had in the first three games.”