College Hockey:
Brown Widens ECAC Lead, Downs Reeling Union

— Union didn’t have to worry about blowing a lead in the third period for the third straight game Saturday.

That’s because Brown never gave the Dutchmen a chance.

The Bears scored two power-play goals in the first period, and an even-strength goal in the second before allowing one to get past goalie Yann Danis in a 4-1 ECAC hockey victory at Frank L. Messa Rink at Achilles Center.

The loss extended the reeling Dutchmen’s winless streak to eight games (0-7-1), which includes a seven-game losing skid.

In four of those games, Union wasted leads, including the last two games against Massachusetts-Lowell last Sunday and Harvard on Friday. In the latter two contests, the Dutchmen (7-9-3, 2-5-1 ECAC) took leads into the third period.

“I don’t know if it’s a funk or not,” said Union defenseman Chris DiStefano, who scored the team’s lone goal. “We’re having a tough time putting the puck in the net. We’re working hard and getting our chances. But a bounce here and there, and it’s a totally different ballgame.”

Union did have an opportunity to score the game’s first goal early in the first period. Max Seel deflected A.J. Palkovich’s right-point shot, and goalie Yann Danis made the save. The puck trickled to his left, where Union center Colin Hohman was stationed. He put a shot under Danis’ left pad, but it didn’t get past it.

Brian Ihnacak scored the first power-play goal for ECAC-leading Brown (8-3-3, 8-2-1). He put in the rebound of a Brent Robinson shot past goalie Kris Mayotte at 7:14.

Robinson got the second one during a two-man advantage when he fired a shot past Mayotte at 17:38.

“It was nice to score on the power play,” said Robinson, who had three assists in the game to go along with his goal. “So far this year, we’ve been good on the power play.”

Mike Meech made it 3-0 at 5:06 of the second period when he shook off Union defenseman Matt Vagvolgyi as he skated from behind the net and put a backhander past Mayotte.

The Dutchmen had numerous opportunities to beat Danis in the second period, especially with four power-play chances. But Danis, who made 30 saves in the game, showed why he is the nation’s leading goalie, stopping 14 of 15 shots in the period. Only DiStefano was able to beat him at 9:40.

Union also had three open nets that it failed to convert.

“[Danis'] the best goaltender in the nation,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “When they have him in net, and we miss three open nets, you’ve got to convert when you can.”

The Bears scored a killer goal with 23.3 seconds left. Cory Caouette’s shot from the right circle hit the post, then caromed off Mayotte’s left skate and trickled over the goal line.

“It was real tough to swallow,” DiStefano said. “We got our first goal when we were rolling, but the fourth goal took the wind out of our sails. It was had to come back. We played hard in the third. We got a lot of chances, and we got shots on net. We couldn’t put it in.”

Notes: Union faces Rensselaer in a home-and-home series next weekend. The Dutchmen travel to Houston Field House for a 7 p.m. game Friday, then host the Engineers the next night, also at 7 p.m. … The Dutchmen outshot Brown, 31-20. They attempted 62 shots, compared to the Bears’ 39. … Hohman, a junior picked up his first career point when he assisted on DiStefano’s goal. Hohman had played in just one game his first two years with Union. He played in his ninth game Saturday.

Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.

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