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Hockey team continues on seven-game slide

The men's hockey team (2-19-4, 2-13-3 ECAC) fell to ECAC rivals Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (7-21-2, 6-11-1) and Union (15-13-2, 8-9-1) in away games last weekend, extending Brown's losing streak to seven games.

RPI had a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame on Friday night, and assistant captain Matt Vokes '09 scored his ninth goal of the season with just over seven minutes left in the game to bring the Bears within one goal. But the last minutes ticked away without either team netting another goal, making the final score 4-3.

The Bears lost again the next night when Union goaltender Corey Milan had a shut-out until Bobby Farnham '12 beat Milan with 1:17 remaining in the game to make the score 2-1. Union scored an empty-net goal with 2.8 seconds left to make the final score 3-1.

RPI 4, Brown 3The Bears headed to Troy, N.Y., on Friday night to close out the season's series with the RPI Engineers. When the teams faced off against each other earlier in the season, RPI handed Brown one of its worst defeats of the season in a 7-2 game.

The Engineers took to their home ice Friday night amid a four-game losing streak. The weekend before, they had lost a home and an away game, both to Union.

After a scoreless first period during which RPI outshot Brown 10-6, the Bears began the second period with 1:26 remaining on a power-play. Jeff Buvinow '12 took the puck from the top of the left face-off circle to the point and fired a rocket with under a minute remaining on the power-play. Assistant captain Aaron Volpatti '10 deflected the puck to Milan's five-hole to give Brown a 1-0 lead.

RPI evened the score 2:40 later when Jeff Foss tried a shot from the blue line. Mike Clemente '12 stopped the puck, but Justin Smith won the rebound. Smith took a shot from just outside of the crease and put the puck across the goal line.

Clemente started in net for the Bears on both nights last weekend. Head Coach Roger Grillo has experimented with different players in goal recently. Last weekend, Clemente and Dan Rosen '10 each got starts. The weekend before, Mark Sibbald '09 got a chance in net too.

"I think we have three very good goaltenders," Grillo said. "I don't think we have a definite number one."

Grillo said he was impressed with Clemente's play last weekend. "I thought he played really well. There's a goal or two that he'd probably want back and that's generally the case when you don't win," he said.

The Bears reclaimed the lead when Jack Maclellan '12 scored the third goal of the period 4:00 after the opening face-off. RPI goaltender Allen York stopped three shots in a row, but couldn't make the fourth save on Maclellan's shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle.

Brown maintained the 2-1 lead until RPI gained a 5-on-3 man advantage late in middle frame. Chase Polacek knotted the score at 2-2 with a slapshot 16:11 into the period.

The Engineers took the lead just 24 seconds later while they still had a one-man advantage. Clemente stopped one shot, but the puck went loose in the crease, and Alex Angers-Goulet managed to knock it into the net.

RPI's scoring spree continued when they put in their third goal in just over a minute on a shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle, giving the Engineers a 4-2 lead.

"You take out that 1:16 and we actually played a heck of a game," Grillo said.

Vokes added to his team-leading scoring statistics with 7:07 left in the game when he beat York with a wrist shot from point-blank, to make the game 4-3.

Grillo pulled Clemente, who tallied 26 saves on the night, with 1:13 left in favor of an extra attacker. Despite the man advantage, the Bears only managed to get off one shot before the buzzer sounded with RPI still ahead 4-3.

Union 3, Brown 1

Union came into their Saturday match-up against the Bears having won two of their last three games. They had fallen to No. 7 Yale (19-5-1, 14-3-1) the night before in a 4-2 game.

The first time Brown faced off against Union this season, the Bears left with their first victory of the season, a 5-4 win on Dec. 5 at Meehan Auditorium.

Grillo said the difference between the two games was Brown's power play. In the first game, the Bears were 3-for-6 with the man advantage. They went 0-for-8 on the power-play last Saturday.

Saturday's game was more of a defensive battle than the last match-up. Corey Milan, who gave up all five goals against Brown in the teams' first meeting, was perfect in net until he let one by him with 1:17 remaining.

Union took control in the first period, gaining a 16-5 shot advantage. It took Union all 16 shots to finally beat Clemente.

Brock Matheson fired the puck from the left point and teammate Adam Presizniuk deflected it past Clemente for his 13th goal of the season, to put Union ahead 1-0 at the end of the first period.

The goal siren lit up far fewer times in the second period on Saturday than it had the previous night, when Brown and RPI combined for six second-period goals. The middle frame was scoreless on Saturday until Jason Walters made it a 2-0 game with five seconds left in the period.

Milan passed to Lane Caffaro, who fed Walters on the left wing. With the last seconds ticking away, Walters threw a shot on net from the left boards. The shot that would prove to be the game-winning goal deflected off of a Brown defenseman's skate and went into the net.

"That was kind of a downer," Clemente said.

Like the first two periods, the last 20 minutes remained scoreless until the end of the frame. With Brown trailing 2-0 and just 1:35 remaining, Grillo pulled Clemente in favor of an extra attacker.

The strategy worked as Buvinow won the puck on the right wing and passed it off to Maclellan. Maclellan fed Farnham, who scored Brown's lone goal on the night.

The goal prevented the shutout, but it wasn't enough to bring the Bears back. Grillo pulled Clemente again after the face-off at mid-ice. This time, the extra attacker wasn't enough and Union scored an empty-net goal with 2.8 seconds left, making the score 3-1.

The two losses keep Brown at the bottom of the ECAC standings with only seven points.

"We're not giving up," Clemente said. "We're going to keep battling. Everyone is still coming to practice and working hard."

Brown will take on No. 10 Princeton for the third time this season in New Jersey next Friday at 7 p.m. The Bears lost their home opener, 4-1, against Princeton and lost another to the Tigers in a 5-1 game at Meehan on Jan. 31.

"The expectation is to go down to Princeton and beat them," Grillo said.


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