PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown relied on its dominant power play and great goaltending on the way to a 4-1 win to improve to 5-1-1 overall and grab the lead in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Clarkson, despite outshooting the host Bears 32-27, failed to beat Brown’s Yann Danis on a number of good chances.
Danis was spectacular again, holding Clarkson scoreless through the first two periods despite facing 11 shots each frame, and only lost his shutout late in the third on a quick shot from Chris Brekelmans that made it 4-1. The one-goal effort actually raised his goals against average (0.82 entering the game); he has allowed four goals in his last five games.
“It was good to get back on track tonight here and score some goals,” said Danis, who made 39 saves in a 1-1 tie at Providence on Tuesday. “I thought we were a little shaky in the first but we didn’t hit the panic button. We came back strong in the second and really played well physically.”
Danis made a number of jaw-dropping saves, but his best was probably a pad stop on Chris Blight from the slot during a Golden Knight power play in the second. And he finished with another great stop on a late shot from the edge in the final seconds.
The Bears have been amazing at home in the past few seasons. They have now lost only two of their last 30 games at Meehan Auditorium. Their top-ranked power play unit tallied two of the four goals. Senior defenseman Vince Macri fired in a low shot off an extra-man opportunity that deflected off a Clarkson defender’s stick before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-0 just five minutes in the game.
“Our power play is cooking right now,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “We were working hard and I think that does a lot for your power play, when you out work the penalty killers. They are a skilled group of guys.”
Brown came out even stronger in the second with a quick goal from Chris Swon. This one again was a bit fortunate for the Bears, as the pesky unit of forwards Swon, Sean Dersch, and Pascal Denis cashed in a lot of hard work with a goal that deflected in from a very low angle to make it 2-0.
“I thought five on five we were in pretty good shape tonight,” said Clarkson head coach George Roll. “We gave up a couple of unlucky goals, like the one that went in from behind the net, that take away your momentum. Their goalie also made some big stops. He’s as good as anyone I have seen all year.”
Another power play goal made it 3-0 later in the third. This time it was the other defenseman, Scott Ford, who scored. He received a nice pass at the point from Brent Robinson and walked it in to the slot before getting off a quick shot that careened off Clarkson’s Dustin Traylen (23 saves) and in to the net. Les Haggett assisted on both power play goals, and now has seven points in three games after missing a few early games due to injury.
The Bears then made it 4-0 early in the third. Senior center Nick Ringstad tallied his third goal of the season on a gorgeous play. He received a centering pass from linemate Shane Mudryk. He then patiently waited for the defenseman and then the goalie to go down before firing a high shot in to the netting.
Tomorrow night Brown will look to continue its winning ways at home as they host St. Lawrence tomorrow night. Clarkson heads up to Boston to face Harvard. The Golden Knights will have to hope for a better offensive showing from its tough and exciting forwards, who were matched physically by Brown tonight.
“I think we’re playing pretty decent hockey everywhere,” Grillo said. “We just seem to have a little extra zip when we are at home.”