PRINCETON, N.J. — Special teams came through for Brown in a 4-2 win over Princeton at Hobey Baker Rink Saturday night. The Bears (12-6-3, 7-5-2 ECACHL) scored three power-play goals and got a two-goal performance from forward Antonin Roux while holding the second-best power-play team in the ECACHL to 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
“[The power play] was hot last night and it was hot again tonight,” Brown head coach Roger Grillo said. “I’m very pleased with that. The guys did a great job. They capitalized on some of the chances and that’s a big swing for us because we struggled on it up until this weekend.”
Princeton jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 4:24 of the first while on the power play. Forward Patrick Neundorfer deflected a Luc Paquin shot in past Adam D’Alba.
But Brown came back late in the first with two power-play goals of its own. Roux’s shot at 15:45 trickled in through Eric Leroux’s legs, and less than two minutes later, Mike Meech knocked in a loose puck near the crease to give Princeton a 2-1 lead.
Forward Darroll Powe tied the game for Princeton at 16:01 of the second. He took a Neil Stevenson-Moore pass and zipped a shot from the right faceoff circle that beat D’Alba.
But the Bears made Powe pay for his delay-of-game penalty five minutes later. Sean Hurley took a shot from the top of the circle that was blocked, but Jeff Prough picked up the rebound and shot it in at 10:29 for Brown’s third power-play goal of the game and a 3-2 lead.
“We didn’t do a great job at [penalty killing],” Princeton head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Those guys, they do deserve a better fate in terms of work ethic. They certainly are working, but we’re finding different areas of our game to be deficient, and tonight it was the penalty kill, and that certainly cost us. In this league that’s going to be enough to lose a game.”
Brown dominated in shots through the first two periods, with a 21-9 advantage. Grillo acknowledged that sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
“We possessed the puck and actually did a good job in the offensive zone of working it down low,” Grillo said. “We didn’t create a lot of scoring chances, but obviously it’s tougher for them to create scoring chances if we’ve got the puck. We’ve gotten pretty good at that lately and it’s one of our weapons, so to speak.”
The Tigers pressed to tie the game in the third period and generated some offensive momentum, ending up with a 14-10 shot advantage. However, they could not beat D’Alba, who finished the game with 21 saves. The freshman had entered the night tied with Harvard’s Dov Grumet-Morris for the nation’s top save percentage (.943).
Brown got a little breathing room at 12:36 of the third as Roux took advantage of a pressing Tiger offense by scoring on a breakaway for his second goal of the game.
“The play was in our own zone and Sean Hurley just saw me coming off the bench,” Roux said, “and I just saw the defense going in our zone, so I just sneaked behind them, and he really made a nice pass and I just got the breakaway.”
“Tony’s been great for us,” Grillo said. “He’s really played well. Last night we had Michael Meech step up and get a hat trick, and tonight we had Tony step up. A lot of guys played really well.”
The Bears return home Friday night to face Vermont, and the Tigers travel to St. Lawrence.
“It was a good weekend for the team,” Roux said. “We’ve been working hard all year. We can’t take a day off. Every game is important.