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Unable to build on wins, m. icers lose two road games

After consecutive wins over Harvard and Dartmouth on Feb. 1 and 2, the men's hockey team was hoping to pick up some momentum. But the Bears took two tough road losses this weekend: a 3-2 defeat to No. 19 Princeton on Friday and a 3-0 loss to No. 16 Quinnipiac on Sunday. These outcomes drop Brown's record to 3-16-4 overall, with a 3-10-3 mark in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hockey League.

The familiar problem of defensive lapses late in the game afflicted the Bears on Friday night, when they allowed three third-period goals to surrender the slim 1-0 lead that they held at the end of the second period.

Through the first two periods Brown played flawless defense, including a kill of a two-minute five-on-three advantage for the Tigers, during which Captain Sean Hurley '08 and Assistant Captain David Robertson '08, along with Devin Timberlake '10, stifled Princeton's attack. Goalie Dan Rosen '10 also made two key saves to keep the Tigers out of the net.

Bruno finally broke the scoreless tie when it got a two-man advantage of its own late in the second period. After the Princeton goalie deflected shots by Assistant Captain Jeff Prough '08 and Timberlake, Hurley picked up the loose puck in the slot and lifted a shot past the goalie for only his second goal of the year, his first since Nov. 30.

Early in the final frame, the Bears caught a bad break when a Princeton shot deflected off a Brown player's skate and into the net to tie the game 3:36 into the period. Then, less than two minutes later, the Tigers finally capitalized on a power play opportunity, their seventh of the night, when they took the lead just 11 seconds into the man-advantage. In the middle of the period, the Bears had a chance to tie when Prough and Timberlake attacked the net, but again, the goalie came up with consecutive saves, and Bruno was unable to find the net. Princeton then took the puck the other way and, with Rosen knocked down, scored again to increase its lead to 3-1 with 10:01 remaining in the game.

"We kind of got away from what makes us a good team, which is hitting, playing the body, and using our speed, and instead we got caught in their game and let them dictate what was going to happen," Rosen said. "They outplayed us at the end, and they deserved to win."

With 5:34 left to play, Ryan Garbutt '09 cut the deficit to 3-2 after picking up a rebound off a shot from Paul Baier '08, but that was as close as the Bears would come.

On Sunday, Brown again came out with a strong defensive effort, holding Quinnipiac to a mere two shots in the opening 10 minutes. With 1:12 left in the period, though, Quinnipiac's Mike Atkinson got a clear look at the goal and sent a shot under Rosen's leg to put the Bobcats up 1-0.

Rosen's goal-tending kept it a close game in the second period, despite Quinnipiac's two power plays and 15 shots. Meanwhile, the Bears got off just seven shots on goal, and the game stayed 1-0 going into the final period.

The Bobcats expanded their lead 3:42 into the period, scoring on a three-on-two attack, and added another goal in the final minute, with Rosen pulled from the net. Throughout the third period, Quinnipiac goalie Bud Fisher continued to stonewall Brown, and the game ended with the score at 3-0.

"In the first period, we were right there with them, even outplaying them," Rosen said. "In the second and third periods it was like a different team came out on the ice for us. We let them dictate play again, and they overwhelmed us at times."

Bruno's offensive struggles came as a disappointment to the team, which showed a burst of offense in the previous weekend's games, scoring four goals against both Harvard and Dartmouth. The Bears will face tough competition this coming weekend when they face off on Friday night against Clarkson (16-9-3 Overall, 11-3-2 ECAC), ranked No. 11 on United States College Hockey Organization's Web site. They will return to the ice Saturday night to play St. Lawrence (10-14-4, 5-9-2). But Brown had strong road showings against both of these teams earlier in the year, tying St. Lawrence 4-4 and losing narrowly, 4-2, to Clarkson, so the Bears will take to the ice at home this weekend with confidence.

"Things have been clicking more than they had been earlier in the season ... and everyone's pretty confident heading into this weekend's games," Rosen said. "We know what we're capable of, now it's just a matter of making sure that the same strong, confident team comes out for the whole game."


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