PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown continued its roll, running its winning streak to six with a 2-1 win over Rensselaer, snapping the Engineers’ own six-game winning streak. Brown’s sophomore goaltender Yann Danis was big again, making some huge stops in the final seconds.
From the get-go it was a high-paced game, with the Engineers talented forwards getting many chances to crack Danis. At the other end of the ice, the Bears’ quickness and hard work in the RPI zone opened up opportunities for them as well.
After a scoreless first, Brown’s leading scorer, Brent Robinson, broke the ice and put the Bears on top. After a bit of a shooting gallery on RPI goaltender Nathan Marsters, the puck bounced out to the blueline, where Owen Walter was waiting for it. Walter walked in, and fired a low shot which was redirected by Keith Kirley to Robinson in front. After missing the first opportunity, Robinson lifted it over a sprawled out Marsters for the goal.
But the Engineer goaltender remained strong, keeping a solid Brown attack off the board until later in the third. Like last night, the Bears added a crucial goal in the third to give them a two-goal lead going into the final 10 minutes.
Last night, they allowed an extra-attacker goal from Union to cut the lead to one and keep it close late. Tonight, RPI added a goal with under five minutes to go to put that same late pressure on. But both nights, Danis and the Brown team defense settled down when it got tense, and found a way to preserve the win.
“I was upset with the way we gave up late goals both nights,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “That’s something we need to work on. But we didn’t panic at all.”
That crucial goal, which turned out to be the game winner, came from junior assistant captain Tye Korbl. Korbl received a nice pass in the slot and fired a one timer past Marsters’ glove to make it 2-0.
But late in the game, after it seemed Danis wouldn’t be beaten at all for the fourth time this season, the Engineers finally solved him. With four-on-four action on a faceoff outside the Brown blueline, the RPI offense struck quickly.
Matt Murley, who had set up at a defensive position on the faceoff, found his way in on an immediate two-on-one break for the Brown net. Murley received a nice pass on the right wing, skated in all alone on Danis and beat him to the upper corner to cut the lead in half.
Murley and linemates Mark Cavosie and Conrad Barnes were dangerous all night long. But thanks to disciplined defense and a couple of nice saves by Danis, the Bears got out of the night somewhat unscathed by the recently red-hot line. The final seconds ticked down with the puck in the RPI end, failing to muster a chance to tie.
Danis’ nicest save came in the third, on a rush into the Brown zone. The RPI forward faked a long angle shot and than quickly came around for the wraparound attempt, but Danis, always calm and poised in net, was there in plenty of time to make the stop look easy.
“The guys played great in front of me again,” Danis said. “We’re on a mission right now, and we’re playing well every night.”
With the win, Brown leapfrogs over RPI in the playoff hunt. The Bears are now tied for fifth with Colgate, and one point out of second place. The win broke seven-game unbeaten streak for RPI, despite another solid effort from the Engineers.
“I thought it took us a little time to get going,” said RPI head coach Dan Fridgen. “It was a well-played hockey game. We had a couple of breakdowns and they capitalized.”