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M. icers strike first but Huskies manage to hold on

The men's hockey team squandered a two-goal lead at No. 12 Northeastern University on Friday night and lost 4-3, to drop the team's record to 1-5-3.

In the opening period, Brown capitalized on four Northeastern penalties, building a 2-0 lead off of a pair of power play goals. The first goal came on a four-on-three advantage with 8:46 left in the period, when Chris Poli '08 sent a shot to the left post. The Northeastern goaltender deflected the shot, but captain Sean Hurley '08 was quick to gather the rebound, and with the goalie still on the left post, Hurley fired a shot to the upper right corner to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Bruno struck again with 31 seconds remaining in the first period and 19 seconds left on a power play. This time it was Poli who scored for the Bears, when he got his stick on a shot from Hurley and redirected it past the goalie to give Brown a 2-0 cushion at the end of the opening frame.

In the second period, Northeastern's Steve Silva scored two goals just over five minutes apart to tie the game. His first goal came off a face-off win for the Huskies, when he tipped a teammate's shot past goaltender Mark Sibbald '09 to cut the lead to 2-1. In the middle of the period, the Bears killed a Northeastern power play, but just 23 seconds later, Silva struck again, on another redirection, to tie the game at 2-2 with 7:10 left to play in the second period.

Later in the period, Brown had a power play opportunity of its own but failed to muster even a shot on goal during the two-minute man advantage, and the two teams headed into the final period with the score deadlocked at 2-2.

"In the second period, the things that we weren't doing well enough in the first period came back to haunt us," said Head Coach Roger Grillo. "We weren't battling hard enough for the puck, and we weren't skating well enough."

Only 2:02 into the third period the Huskies took the lead, when Northeastern's Jimmy Russo beat his defender and, despite a save from Sibbald, got his own rebound and fired his second shot into the net to give his team a 3-2 lead.

But Northeastern gave Brown another power play opportunity later in the period, and the Bears attacked the shorthanded Huskies to get the equalizer. Dave Robertson '08 intercepted a clearing attempt from a Northeastern defenseman and made a pass to Sean Muncy '09 on his right, who skated to the middle of the face-off circle and put the puck past the goalie to tie the game at three, with 7:09 remaining.

Bruno was unable to prevent Northeastern, from getting the goal back. With 5:32 remaining, Denis Chisholm shot the puck from the left side and put it past Sibbald to give the Huskies a 4-3 lead, which they held for the remainder of the contest.

Despite allowing four goals, Sibbald played a strong game in the net for the Bears, making a career-high 37 saves in a game in which Brown was out-shot by a margin of 41-27.

"I felt that Mark has worked really hard. One bright spot this season has been the consistent effort of our goaltenders," Grillo said. "I think our goaltending can be better, but it's been pretty solid. I'm really happy about where those guys are with their work ethic, their effort and their daily commitment to this team."

Friday's game marked the end of a tough stretch for the Bears, who have played their last four games on the road, with three of the opponents ranked 12th or higher nationally. It was a difficult string of games for Brown, who, after tying Saint Lawrence University, lost three straight to ranked opponents Clarkson University, the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern.

"We've had a pretty tough schedule, all on the road, but the bottom line is, we've got to be better," Grillo said. "We can beat those teams if we play with consistency, pace, and toughness."

On Tuesday at 7 p.m., the Bears will face off at crosstown-rival Providence College for the 22nd annual Mayor's Cup.


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