PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Friday night, Colgate proved once again that it matches up well with Brown. The Raiders battled to a 3-1 road win to sweep the season series and are now on a bit of a roll, having won four of their last six.
In early December in Hamilton, N.Y., with Brown coming off an emotional 3-3 tie at Cornell, Colgate shelled Hobey Baker candidate Yann Danis in a 6-1 win. Friday’s game was much closer.
Junior goaltender Steve Silverthorn played well, stopping 24 of 25 and shutting down the Bears’ inconsistent offensive attack for the second time in a just over a month.
The loss was just Brown’s third in its last 29 home games. Brown’s offense came out strong and showed signs of life throughout, but was unable to sniff out rebound chances on Silverthorn.
On the other hand, the Raiders were more persistent. Danis made a number of good saves (25 in total), but the constant traffic in front of him and second opportunities for Colgate did him in.
“We have a lot of respect for [Danis] and know he’s going to make all the first saves,” said Colgate interim head coach Stan Moore. “It’s just a question of the second chances. In both the games this year we’ve really tried to screen him and look for redirections and rebounds.”
That game plan didn’t shell Danis, but was good enough for a win. The first goal of the game, coming past the midway point of the first, wasn’t a second chance at all. It was a fourth chance.
During a four-on-four stint, junior forward Adam Mitchell muscled himself some position in front of the Brown cage. When Danis stopped Ryan Smyth’s soft shot from the right circle, Mitchell slapped it right back at Danis. His first two shots were stuffed, but the third beat Danis inside the post for a 1-0 lead.
Mitchell then assisted on the game winner late in the second. With the score tied 1-1, he fed Paul Kelly on the right wing. Kelly’s bouncing shot deflected off a Brown defender and over Danis’ shoulder to make it 2-1.
From there, Colgate played soundly in its own end and killed off a few late penalties to earn the win. Kyle Wilson scored his 11th goal of the year on an empty netter that deflated the Bears with just :34 left in the game.
Brown’s second-in-the-nation power play has been relied on all season for offense. It accounted for the Bears’ only goal, but was ineffective late when the Bears looked poised to tie it up. Brown was 1 for 7 on the night with the man-advantage.
“Our power play was off tonight,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “When the game’s on the line, those guys have got to step it up. And they didn’t tonight. But overall I am not disappointed with the way our guys played and battled.”
With 5:36 left and a 2-1 lead, Colgate’s Kyle Doyle took a holding penalty. The Brown power play managed just one shot, as Colgate’s aggressive penalty kill kept them off balance. Just moments after that power play expired, the Raiders took another penalty. This time, the power play was even less imposing, managing no shots on net as they panicked and misconnected on short passes in the zone.
Brown’s only goal was a nice one, converting on a rush up ice. Power players Brian Ihnacak and Brent Robinson combined to give defenseman senior Vince Macri his third goal of the season on a one-timer from the slot that made it 1-1 at the time.
Brown will have a chance to rebound against a tough team Saturday night, hosting Cornell. Colgate heads up to face Harvard, which beat the Raiders 4-2 earlier this season.