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M. icers struggle over break

The men's hockey team (1-12-4, 1-7-3 ECAC Hockey) had a rough winter break. Over December and January, the Bears went 1-6-2 and are currently in the midst of an eight-game winless streak that dates back to their 5-4 home victory over Union on Dec. 5. The rough stretch landed Brown in last place in the ECAC, with only five points.

Assistant Captain Matt Vokes '09 has remained one of the few bright spots on the team through the break. Vokes has scored six goals and added three assists in the nine games since the start of December.

Captain Devin Timberlake '10 showed promise despite battling injuries for much of the last two months. Jeff Buvinow '12, the second leader in points behind Vokes, continued a strong freshman campaign with two goals and five assists over the break.

Defenseman Mike Stuart '09 added some offense by recording two assists and netting a goal, bringing his season totals to two goals and three assists.

Dan Rosen '10, the starting goaltender who had been one of the only consistencies on the team before December, played brilliantly at times and struggled at others. He let in four goals in the first period against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and five goals in the game against Minnesota. He then came back with a career performance against Harvard, stopping all but one of the 51 shots he faced in a 1-1 tie.

Rosen's ups and downs caused Head Coach Roger Grillo to experiment with different personnel in goal. Fellow goalies Mark Sibbald '09 and Mike Clemente '12 both got starts in place of Rosen during the break.

The team's troubles, though, extend outside of the net, as the Bears have been out-shot in all but one of their games this season. Ironically, the only game in which Brown held a shot advantage was its Dec. 6 match-up against RPI, which resulted in a 7-2 loss.

"We're definitely frustrated," Rosen said. "But I think everyone is just trying to find a way to stay positive and just keep working so that we can turn it around."

Though the team didn't go all-out to celebrate the New Year together, Rosen does have some resolutions for the rest of the season. "It's important to get back to basics and remember that we're here because we were recruited to be here so we can obviously all play. I think we just need to start playing with more confidence."

Brown 5, Union 4

On Dec. 5 at Meehan Auditorium, Timberlake made Union look like a junior varsity team in his first game back after being sidelined for three contests with a back injury. Timberlake had an assist and his first two goals of the season to lead Brown past Union for the Bears' only win so far this year.

Union got out to an early lead in a shootout of a first period that ended with Union ahead 3-2. With the Bears ahead 4-3 in the middle period, Buvinow sent a pass from the point to Ryan Garbutt '09, who was waiting for the one-timer at the right face-off circle. Garbutt's goal gave Brown a two-goal cushion at 5-3, and the Bears held on to the lead for the remainder of the contest.

RPI 7, Brown 2

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute embarrassed Brown on the Bears' home ice the night after the Union victory. The game was all but over after the first period, when RPI had a 4-1 advantage.

Rosen stopped only six of the 10 shots he saw in the opening period, so Sibbald replaced him in goal before the second period. Sibbald stopped 16 shots in the next two periods, but was still rung up for three goals.

Providence 4, Brown 3

Sibbald started in net for the first time this season on Dec. 9, but he couldn't chalk up a win in the 23rd annual Mayor's Cup at Meehan Auditorium. Brown came back in the third period, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Friars' 2-0 lead.

Stuart fired a shot with under a minute and a half left in the game and Brown down 4-2. Assistant Captain Aaron Volpatti '10 took the rebound at the bottom of the left face-off circle and put the puck in the back of the net to make it a one-goal game. But Brown couldn't make up the last goal, despite last-minute attempts to pull Sibbald in favor of an extra attacker.

No. 4 Minnesota 6, Brown 2

The Bears opened up the four-team Dodge Holiday Classic on Jan. 2 in Minneapolis against one of the nation's best. The Golden Gophers dominated the first two periods, outshooting Brown 35-2 to gain a 4-0 advantage heading into the final frame.

A goal from Assistant Captain Jordan Pietrus '10 and another from Timberlake gave the Bears a respectable two-goal deficit in the third period, but the Golden Gophers regained their four-goal lead before the final buzzer sounded.

Brown 1, Western Michigan 1

A strong performance in goal by Clemente in his first career start helped the Bears earn a tie in the consolation game of the Dodge Holiday Classic the night after they lost to Minnesota. With 1:45 left in the second period, the Broncos got on the scoreboard first. But Clemente shut down the goal for the remainder of the game, tallying 43 saves.

Clemente's goaltending gave Brown a chance, and the Bears capitalized on it 11:02 into the final period. Eric Slais '09 passed to Sean McMonagle '10, who fed Stuart for a one-timer. Stuart's goal proved to be the game-tying goal as neither team could score in the rest of the third period or in overtime.

Brown 1, Harvard 1

In what players and coaches called the oldest rivalry in college hockey, Brown and Harvard tied for the second time this season, this time in Cambridge on Jan. 9. Rosen returned to goal and had a career-high 50 saves.

Harvard took a 1-0 lead early in the second period and held on until 5:05 remained in the contest, when Buvinow fired the game-tying goal from the left point.

Dartmouth 5, Brown 1

After Bobby Farnham '12 scored the Bears' lone goal to even the score 1-1 minutes into the second period, Dartmouth ran away with the game on its home ice, scoring four goals in the second period alone. The Big Green finished the Jan. 10 game with a 5-1 advantage.

Rosen was perfect in goal in the third period, stopping all 18 shots he faced. But his effort was too little too late, as Brown's offense couldn't come up with a goal.

St. Lawrence 6, Brown 1

The Bears opened up the game with an even first period on their home ice. Both teams scored once on nine chances. But, like the Dartmouth game, the Bears let this one get out of control in the final two frames.

With 7:10 left in the middle period, Rosen let the third goal slip by him, giving St. Lawrence a two-goal advantage. Grillo pulled Rosen after the goal in favor of Clemente, who finished the period without giving up a goal.

St. Lawrence made the game look like a bigger blowout than it was by scoring a pair of goals in the last two minutes.

Clarkson 4, Brown 3 (OT)

In a gutsy move, Clarkson pulled its goalie with 1:11 left in overtime with the score tied, 3-3. Golden Knight Shea Guthrie fired a shot and Matt Beca put in the rebound to win the game for Clarkson.

Vokes scored two goals and Buvinow added another for the Bears. Clemente had 36 saves in goal.

The Bears will get a chance to knock off Colgate, the team tied with Brown for last in ECAC Hockey, on Friday at 7 p.m.


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