PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Three power play goals by the Brown Bears would the difference in a 6-3 victory over the Quinnipiac Bobcats at Meehan Auditorium in ECACHL action in Providence, R.I.
“Brown played well and we didn’t,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Teams are ready for us now.”
Brown had 11 goals in 116 chances in conference play this season; a 9.5 percent conversion rate. The power play awoke scoring three, to help lead Brown to the conference victory.
“When were good we have intensity on the penalty kill, but there was no intensity on out part,” Pecknold said.
It was the Bobcats who scored first though, on Ben Nelson’s eight goal of the season. Jamie Bates behind the net fed Bryan Leitch, who found Nelson in the left circle. Nelson made contact with the puck and it fluttered over Brown goaltender, Dan Rosen’s left shoulder and into the net at 9:01 of the first.
Brown tied the score at one on the power play with an unassisted goal to Ryan Garbutt. Garbutt was able to coral the puck on his stick and threw the puck on net, to tie the score at one.
In the opening minutes of the second period, the Bobcats had a five-on-three power play. Brown was able to kill off the first penalty, but Bates found the back of the net for the 2-1 lead. Reid Cashman found Bated in the slot for the goal.
Brown tied it up with their second power play goal of the night, on a failed clear attempt by Quinnipiac.
Sean Hurley saved a clear by knocking it down with his glove, passing over to Jeff Prough, who went five-hole on Bud Fisher for goal to tie it at two at 15:03 of the second.
With the score tied at two, it was anyone’s game heading into the third period and the Bears answered the call.
Brown scored three goals in a matter of 3:13 in the third. The goal scorers were Jeremy Russell, Hurley on the power play, and Garbutt.
After the fifth goal, the Bobcats replaced Fisher in favor of Zach Kleiman.
“Bud had a tough weekend,” Pecknold said. “He will bounce back and has had a pretty good year.”
Quinnipiac cut the deficit to two with Ben Nelson’s second goal of the game when he came across the crease and popped the puck into the net. Bates and Matt Sorteberg were credited with assists.
Quinnipiac would have quality scoring chances throughout the period, but the Brown defenders and Rosen played strong to preserve the lead and victory.
The Bobcats would have a power play with over three minutes remaining and pulled Kleiman for the two man advantage, but Brown would add an empty net goal to seal the victory.
A scuffle would break out after the goal between the two teams, but the worst penalty to come out was a five minute major for contact to the head, assessed to Bates.
Fisher and Kleiman would combine for 17 saves in the losing effort, while Rosen would make 35 saves in the win.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Tuesday as the host Bentley, while Brown travels to North Country to play St. Lawrence and Clarkson.