PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The ranks of the unbeaten in ECAC Hockey League play decreased by one Friday night as Brown snapped St. Lawrence’s four-game unbeaten streak to start league play with a 4-1 win at Meehan Auditorium.
The Saints went into Friday night’s game as one of only three Division I teams in the country unbeaten in conference play, joining Minnesota (6-0-2) and Rensselaer (1-0-1). Brown, winners of four of the last five, continued a history of filching at least one point from the Saints in each of the last 14 seasons as it scored a pair of power-play goals en route a 3-0 lead and then held off the Saints in the final period.
“Give Brown a ton of credit,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “They capitalized on their power play and did a great job in their own end defensively in support of a good goaltending effort. They played a very solid game from start to finish and kept us from really sustaining any significant periods of offensive pressure.
“We knew going in that this would be a very tough road trip, and now we have to regroup and bounce back against a very good Yale team Saturday night.”
The Saints fall to 7-5-0 overall and 4-1-0 in the ECACHL, while Brown improves to 5-3-2 and 2-2-1 in the ECACHL.
The Bears scored the lone goal of the first period, converting on the first power-play opportunity of the game. Freshman defenseman Jeremy Russell scored his first collegiate goal on a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle as Saint goalie Alex Petizian was screened and never saw the shot which beat him along the ice. Petizian came up big the rest of the way, however, and kept Brown from adding to its lead with some solid saves including a point-blank stop on Eric Slais with 2:15 to go in the period.
The Bears increased their lead to 2-0 just 1:01 into the second period as Matt Vokes was credited with his fifth of the season after a Saint defensive turnover right in front of Petizian. The Saint goalie got a piece of the puck with his stick, but it ended up flipping into the back of the net. The Brown power play stuck again with 1:10 left in the period to put the Saints in a 3-0 hole as Brian Ihnacak scored his second of the season, slamming the puck past Petizian from the doorstep off a centering pass by Sean Dersch.
“Alex played a very solid game and made some big saves to give us any chance to come back,” said Marsh. “Both goalies were excellent tonight.”
Brown freshman Dan Rosen, who leads the nation in goals against average and save percentage, kept the Saints off the board through two, but Kyle Rank finally got a puck behind him when he tucked a centering pass from Kevin DeVergilio under the sprawled goalie at 6:35 of the third on a Saint power play with Charlie Giffin also assisting.
That was the only goal the Saints were able to muster as Rosen finished with 24 saves for the Bears, who outshot the Saints 35-25. . The Brown rookie came up big on Max Taylor’s shorthanded big with nine minutes to play to keep it a two-goal Brown lead
Brown added an empty netter with 1:02 to play as the Saints pulled Petizian for an extra attacker with almost three minutes to play, but couldn’t get one past Rosen. Sean Muncy scored the Brown goal to make it a 4-1 final.