TROY, N.Y. — For the longest time it looked like there would be a pair of eyeglasses on the scoreboard — you know … a 0-0 tie. But a late power-play goal by Brown gave the Bears a 1-0 ECAC win over the Engineers, breaking their 0-2-2 string and giving the Engineers their fifth loss in the last six games.
“We went into a little bit of a funk, and watching tonight, we may still be in it, but Yann looked like he broke out of it,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “In the last minute I thought he was huge for us.
“It was nice to win an ugly road game, like tonight. We haven’t done that yet this year.”
Said Danis, “It felt good. The last four games weren’t my best four games so tonight it felt good to get back into the groove, especially on the penalty kill. They did a great job in front of the net and I saw the puck all night.”
The Bears came into the game ranked second in the nation in penalty killing and third on the power play. The Bears had to kill eight Engineer power plays, bringing their season mark to just five goals allowed in 63 attempts. The Bears went 1-for-6 on the power play, bringing their season total to 18 goals on 66 attempts.
“That was a great job on special teams tonight and Yann’s a big part of that,” said Grillo. “Special teams have certainly carried us this year. Especially tonight.”
The game was scoreless during the first two periods, and the best chance came for the Engineers in the second. Scott Basiuk rang one of the posts past Yann Danis, but that was as close as the Engineers got in the first two periods.
“That was the only shot of the game that I did not see,” said Danis. “Otherwise, I saw everything out there.”
It took a while but the Bears got on the board on their sixth power play of the game. Les Haggett fed a puck right out in front and Nick Ringstad banged it home as he got loose atop the crease.
That was all Brown (7-3-3, 7-2-1 ECAC) needed as Danis hung on and picked up his fourth shutout of the season.
It wasn’t completely without chances; the Engineers (8-8-2, 3-3-1) had three opportunities in the last 25 seconds to score. The first came when a pass came through the crease and Ben Barr stuffed the puck, but right into Danis’ pads.
The next came on another centering pass and Kirk MacDonald had a chance, but his stick was lifted at the last minute by Vince Macri. The next chance came a few seconds later as Kevin Croxton fed Barr on a mini-two-on-one and Barr couldn’t play the puck as Danis had not gotten into position.
“They were going to get some opportunities and it’s my job to make the saves,” said Danis. “That’s all I did, I gave us a chance to get the win.”
The Bears will travel to Union on Saturday while the Engineers host Harvard.
“We’ve been struggling and we haven’t won a lot of tight games this year,” said Grillo. “To battle through and get a win is huge for us, especially over an RPI team that has done a great job this year.”