PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The 2003 Mayor’s Cup went home with Providence thanks to a third-period comeback. The Friars scored three times to take a physical 3-1 victory from crosstown rival Brown.
For the second year in a row the annual matchup was settled late with a Providence win. The Friars won in overtime last year at Schneider Arena. This year, Cody Loughlean got the game winner with just under five minutes to play on a perfect goalmouth pass from Chris Chaput to make it 2-1. The goal was Loughlean’s sixth of the season, and three of them have been winners.
“[Chaput] threw it in perfectly and it was just a tap-in,” Loughlean said. “This is a great rivalry for us. Only playing them one time is good because both teams really look forward to this game.”
Senior Doug Wright added an empty-net goal after several near game-tying goals were turned aside by Nolan Schaefer. Schaefer played spectacularly, turning aside 36 Brown shots, while allowing only one goal that came on a power-play opportunity. His best saves came in the second (17 of them) and during a l:11 five on three chance for Brown early in the third.
The game was energized by a slew of penalties late in the second period. With Brown up 1-0 on Scott Ford’s fifth goal of the year, the referee’s arm went up for a delayed penalty that would have put the Bears up two men.
As Yann Danis skated toward the bench for an extra forward, he collided with a Friar skater in the slot area. The collision left All-America junior Danis still skating toward the bench and the Providence player on the ice. But it led to a scuffle that escalated into a pile of players just inside the Brown blue line.
So, instead of the Bears’ power play going to a five-on-three advantage, they were somehow penalized more severely than Providence and the final seconds of the third were played four-on-four, with a total of 10 men packing the two penalty boxes.
“It was certainly a good break for us,” said Providence head coach Paul Pooley.
The carnage continued, resulting in another Brown penalty just before the second period ended. And the Friars finally solved Danis on that power play early in the third to tie it up. Senior right winger Jon DiSalvatore, who also assisted on the empty netter, walked around the back of the net and fired it inside the post to beat Danis, who at times seemed unbeatable.
There were plenty of hard hits throughout the game and some Brown white jerseys bloodied. Providence’s strong lineup seemed to wear down the Brown offense, as the Bears continued to get good chances late but were unable to bury the go-ahead goal. They outshot the visiting Friars 37-28.
Brown and Providence both completed their nonconference schedule and will look to hunt down a playoff spot in the remainder of the season. PC plays host to Northeastern and Massachusetts this weekend. The Bears travel to Cambridge for a Friday night matchup against Harvard in their only game of the weekend.
“I thought our guys played well and battled hard tonight,” Brown head coach Roger Grillo said. “I thought this game would come down to a bounce here or a bounce there and it did.”