PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown and Clarkson skated to an ugly 1-1 tie Friday night. In a game that could’ve been easily won by either team, the only bright spot were the goaltenders.
Brown’s Yann Danis, who has made his first two starts of the season in back-to-back games, was single-handedly responsible for getting Brown the tie, making 32 saves. Last week, he made 29 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss at Maine. He earned the No. 1 star of the game, as he made numerous saves to keep it tied.
At the other end of the ice, Clarkson’s Mike Walsh made 21 saves. He stood up to several hectic plays in front of his net, especially late in the third, to take it to overtime.
Both teams took advantage of power-play chances to get their only goals. For Clarkson, a team that averages over 20 penalty minutes a game in conference play, staying out of the box was again a problem.
“We’re obviously taking too many penalties at this point in the season,” Walsh said. “They are what kept us from winning this game.”
The Golden Knights played a tough game on the road to snap a four-game losing streak. Despite thoroughly peppering Danis in net, Clarkson, which before Brown was 3-0 in conference, couldn’t find the game winner to keep its record perfect.
“We’re not playing well right now,” said Clarkson head coach Mark Morris. “Taking penalties has been killing us. Our guys just aren’t learning.”
The Golden Knights used an aggressive attack to keep the pressure on Danis. A strong forecheck and pinching defensemen kept the puck in the Brown end for much of the second and third periods. But at times, the Bears proved their worth. They played a disciplined defensive game, limiting the amount of second-shot opportunities on Danis.
In the offensive end, Brown’s youthful and quick offense at times had the strong Clarkson defensive unit scrambling to defend its own net.
Brown jumped out to a 1-0 lead late in the first period on the power play. Junior defenseman Paul Esdale fired a shot from the point on net. Walsh made the save, but Brent Robinson came streaking across the front, grabbed the rebound, and sent it in for his second goal of the season.
Brown was put on its heels after that. The Golden Knights dominated the second period, a frame in which the Bears were very sloppy in the neutral zone and failed to capitalize on their chances.
Sophomore forward Tristian Lush got Clarkson’s only goal early in the second. As a power play was winding down, Lush sent a low-angle shot from the right boards.
Danis was stellar for the rest of the period, making several stops from point blank and the doorstep.
“I felt good out there,” said Danis, who started in place of Brian Eklund, Brown’s usual netminder. “When you don’t get a lot of shots, it’s hard to stay focused.”
The third period featured one Brown power play. The Bears mustered a few chances, but, in general, Clarkson held the advantage for most of the period. The Golden Knights took it to Danis, but couldn’t find the go-ahead goal.
In overtime, one shot from Clarkson’s point was strangely redirected behind Danis, but the puck slipped wide of the net.
“I thought Yann played really well tonight,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “We did some selfish things in the second. To win a game like that, you can’t give away 20 minutes to a tough opponent. That’s what we did in the second.”
This was the second game in a row in which Brown depended on the talented Danis in net. Both games went to overtime, and the one point he earned from the tie is all he has to show for it.
“It’s frustrating when we’re one goal against two good teams,” Danis said. “I think I have done a good job proving that I can be a No. 1 guy for us next year [after Eklund, a senior, graduates].”