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M. icers continue losing slide

Men's hockey was locked in a tight contest with No. 19 Darmouth Friday night early in the third period when the Big Green's Evan Stephens slipped a shot past Bears goalie Dan Rosen '10 to give his team the lead. Rosen laid his head on the ice in exasperation as Stephens celebrated.

The moment was a turning point for the Bears, who would lose the game and fail to score a goal the rest of the weekend.

Dartmouth (12-8-3, 9-5-2 ECAC Hockey) added two more goals before the final buzzer to make the score 5-2, and Merrimack blanked the Bears, 2-0, the next night in North Andover, Mass.

Brown (2-17-4, 2-11-3 ECAC) entered the weekend on a three-game losing streak, having dropped back-to-back-to-back 5-1 games at the hands of Cornell, Quinnipiac and Princeton.

Dartmouth 5, Brown 2

Dartmouth Coach Bob Gaudet, the predecessor of current Bears Head Coach Roger Grillo, returned to the Meehan Auditorium with a Dartmouth team that was undefeated in its last five games and that defeated the Bears, 5-1 in Hanover on Jan. 10.

"We came out flat when we were on the road" earlier in the season, said Assistant Captain Matt Vokes '09 after the game. "Tonight we came out well."

Vokes scored the game's first goal just under eight minutes after the puck dropped. Mike Wolff '12 passed up to Vokes, who took the puck down the right side. Vokes switched sides to avoid a defender, but the puck got tangled up in the defender's skates. Vokes got control of the puck at the bottom of the left face-off circle and threw it on net, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.

"A lot of that was pure luck, to be perfectly honest," Vokes said.

The Big Green evened the score on a power-play less than four minutes later. Doug Jones came from behind the net and passed across the crease to captain Rob Pritchard. Rosen tried to recover to the far side, but Pritchard one-timed the puck through the five-hole to make the score 1-1.

Dartmouth took its first lead of the game 3:14 into the middle frame on a 5-on-3 power-play. Adam Estoclet sent a cross-ice feed from the left goal line to Scott Fleming, who one-timed it into a half-open net.

Brown got that goal back less than two minutes before intermission. On a play that looked almost exactly the same as Dartmouth's previous goal, Vokes sent a cross-ice feed from the left goal-line to Jarred Smith '12, who one-timed it into a half-open net, making it a 2-2 game.

Grillo said that he told the team after the game that he "was happy with the way they played the first two periods."

"I was happy with the energy, the way they battled," he said.

With the score tied going into the final frame, Gaudet said he thought that the team that scored the next goal was going to win. Stephens' game-winner proved him right less than five minutes into the period.

Dartmouth's Pritchard fired a hard shot that Rosen blocked less than five minutes into the third period. Rosen couldn't control the puck, and the rebound went to Stephens, who beat Rosen on a partially-

open net.

"We made a mistake and gave them that third goal and the momentum shifted," Grillo said.

Dartmouth made it a two-goal game when Fleming, who leads the Big Green in goals, put in his second of the night. With heavy traffic around Rosen, Fleming found the puck and slapped it into the back of the net to make the game 4-2.

Grillo pulled Rosen in favor of an extra attacker, and Dartmouth scored an empty-net goal with 1:31 left in the game, making the game seem like more of a blowout than it was.

"Basically it was a one-goal game, despite the score at the end,"

Gaudet said.

"We shot ourselves in the foot in the third," Vokes said. "You know, that's kind of been our

Achilles' heel."

Merrimack 2, Brown 0

The Bears couldn't turn their weekend around when they headed to North Andover, Mass., to take the ice against Merrimack (6-17-3) the next night.

Merrimack entered the contest against Brown on an eight-game losing streak. Excluding two wins in the UConn Holiday Classic, the Warriors hadn't won a game since November.

In the first period of their match-up with the Bears, Merrimack led the shot count, 15-9. Joe Cannata of Merrimack and Mike Clemente '12 were perfect in net to keep the game scoreless.

The Warriors looked like they were going to score the game's first goal when Rob Ricci got on a breakaway midway through the second period. He took the puck all the way into the crease, but Clemente stoned a low shot from point blank.

Brown spent the first three minutes of the third period killing penalties. It was a telling beginning, as the Bears took seven penalties for a total of fourteen minutes in the twenty-minute long final frame.

Merrimack made use of the resulting power-play opportunities. The Warriors scored on a 5-on-3 advantage 6:15 into the period. Ricci made up for his missed opportunity earlier when he beat Clemente off of a rebound with a wrist shot.

Just 21 seconds later, Pat Bowen fired another hard shot at Clemente. Clemente stopped the first attempt, but Joe Cucci corralled the rebound and beat the goaltender with a try from the bottom of the left face-off circle to make it a 2-0 game.

The Bears will try to end their five-game losing streak when they travel to Troy, N.Y. next Friday to take on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 7 p.m. RPI got the best of Brown in a 7-2 game in Providence on Dec. 6.


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