STORRS, Conn. — Brown (7-4-2) scored five straight goals, including a three-goal third period, en route to a 5-2 win over Holy Cross (7-6-4) in the Championship game of the Toyota UConn Hockey Classic on Friday afternoon at the UConn Ice Arena. With the win the Bears improve to 6-0-1 in their last seven games and to 7-1-1 in their last nine. The Tournament victory is also Brown’s first Championship at a holiday tournament since winning The Downeast Tournament in 1984.
A defensive turnover in the Brown zone led to a 1-0 Holy Cross lead just 4:09 into the game when Brian Kolb banked a shot off the far post and past Adam D’Alba. The Crusaders scored their second goal in nearly the same way as the first when Andrew McKay scored over D’Alba’s right shoulder at the 13:23 mark of the first period.
Brian McNary brought the Bears to within one with a power-play goal at 4:15 of the second period, beating Holy Cross’ Ben Conway five-hole. Sean Dersch and Antonin Roux each assisted on the goal.
Jeff Prough knotted the game at 2-2 less than three minutes later with a short-handed tally at 6:07 of the second. Mike Meech assisted on the goal, Brown’s first short-handed goal of the season.
Brown’s special teams continued to dominate the second period and Les Haggett scored the Bears’ second power-play goal of the game. Brian Ihnacak fed Haggett in the slot, and he redirected the puck for his second goal of the weekend, and a 3-2 Brown lead at 14:51 of the period. Meech earned his second point of the game with an assist on the goal.
Dersch gave the Bears a 4-2 lead just 1:45 into the third period with Brown’s third power-play goal of the night. Ihnacak earned his second assist of the game, while Meech earned his third assist of the night on the goal. Just 1:21 later, Meech scored Brown’s first even-strength goal of the game to give the Bears a 5-2 lead. Prough and Sean Hurley each assisted on the goal.
D’Alba finished with 16 saves for the Bears, earning Classic MVP honors and a spot on the all-tournament team. Joining D’Alba on the all-tournament team were Meech, Haggett, Gerry Burke and Paul Baier, along with Tyler McGregor of Holy Cross.