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M. icers fall short in upset attempt, splitting weekend

Midway through the first period of Friday night's men's hockey game, Devin Timberlake '10 scored to put the Bears up 2-0, and Brown looked poised for a shocking upset over No. 11 Clarkson (17-10-3 overall, 12-4-2 Eastern College Athletic Conference).

It was not to be, however, as the Golden Knights rallied for a 4-3 overtime win. The Bears rebounded the following night, when Assistant Captain Jeff Prough '08 notched his 100th career point and Jesse Fratkin '11 scored his first career goal on the way to a 3-1 victory over St. Lawrence (10-16-4 overall, 5-11-2 ECAC). The weekend leaves the team at 4-17-4 and 4-11-3 in the ECAC.

Bruno jumped on top of favored Clarkson in the first period, when Sean McMonagle '10 hit Aaron Volpatti '10 with a pass near the net, and Volpatti beat the goaltender to give Brown a 1-0 lead at 9:05.

Though Volpatti entered this weekend's games with only one goal this season, he displayed a burst of scoring this weekend, scoring two goals on Friday and connecting for another against St. Lawrence on Saturday.

Volpatti "has played well from the start of the season, and been one (of) our most consistent players," said Head Coach Roger Grillo. "For him to step up like he did this weekend was great to see."

At 10:36, Prough took a shot that was deflected, but Timberlake was there to crash the net and put home the rebound to give the Bears a two-goal cushion over the top-ranked team in the ECAC. But Clarkson cut Bruno's lead to one goal at 13:25, when Shea Guthrie picked up a loose puck near the crease off a deflected shot and put it past goalie Dan Rosen '10.

With just under five minutes remaining in the second period, Clarkson tied the game on another goal scored off a rebound. Rosen made a save on the initial shot by Chris D'Alvise but was unable to cover the puck in the crease, and D'Alvise finished the opportunity he created to even the score, 2-2.

In the seventh minute of the third period, the Golden Knights scored their third goal in a row, capitalizing on a power play opportunity to take the lead. Rosen once again deflected a Clarkson shot, but the rebound slid into the slot, where Steve Zalewski got to it first and fired a shot into the back of the net to give Clarkson a 3-2 lead.

The Bears attacked hard to erase the deficit, out-shooting the Knights 13-5 in the third period. With just under five minutes left in the game, it paid off when Sean Muncy '09 found Volpatti, who got around his defender and beat the goalie to tie the game at 3-3 and force the extra period.

Brown could not find the net in overtime, though, and with just 47.7 seconds remaining, Clarkson's David Cayer received a pass off a faceoff and sent the puck into the top left corner of the net to give the Golden Knights the victory.

"It was nice that we hung in there the whole game. It showed everybody that if we play like we're capable of playing, we can play with anybody," Prough said. "The most important thing was that we rebounded to win on Saturday night, which can be hard to do after an emotional loss like the one we had on Friday."

The Bears jumped out to another early lead on Saturday, but this time they stayed in control for the duration of the game. In the fourth minute of the opening frame, Prough received the puck in the left faceoff circle and quickly found Timberlake, who beat the goalie to give Bruno a 1-0 lead. With the assist, Prough became the first Brown player in three years to reach the 100-point mark for his career.

"It was great to do it at home and hear it announced over the loudspeakers," Prough said. "It would have been nice to get it on a goal, but I had the first assist on the goal, so I made the play; it wasn't a cheapie."

"I think a lot of pressure is off him now, and the biggest issue for Jeff this season has been the pressure he's put on himself, to make things happen for himself and for the team," Grillo said.

The Bears clung to the 1-0 lead for the remainder of the period, as Rosen saved all 15 of St. Lawrence's shots. Rosen turned in another stellar performance, with 38 saves in 39 chances.

In the middle of the second period, Brown increased its lead to 2-0 on Fratkin's first career goal. Muncy took a shot that was deflected by the St. Lawrence goaltender, but Fratkin was in the right place to pick up the rebound at the top of the right faceoff circle, and he connected on a one-timer.

In the fifth minute of the final frame, Volpatti capped off his outstanding weekend with his third goal on a hard shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, to increase Brown's cushion to three goals. The Saints got one back with 3:51 remaining and the game out of reach, but never came any closer, as the Bears held on for the 3-1 win.

Brown is now in a tie with Dartmouth and Rensselaer for tenth place in the ECAC, with a 4-11-3 league record. This weekend the Bears have two games against foes they have already proven they can beat. They will travel to New Hampshire to take on Dartmouth, whom they beat 4-3 in their last meeting, on Friday, followed by a game at Harvard, a team the Bears beat 4-2 earlier this season. Every team in the league makes the playoffs, so Brown will look to continue to gain momentum heading into the postseason.

"We've got to maintain what we're doing and play with consistency," Grillo said. "Most importantly, we have to build off what we've been doing the last six games, when we've been playing pretty solid hockey."


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