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Two ties for w. hockey as it looks for an elusive win

Having been shut out for past three straight games, the women's hockey team went into the third period against Rensselaer on Saturday facing a 1-0 deficit. Unwilling to fold, the Bears battled back. Kelly Griffin '13 scored the tying goal less than four minutes into the period, and the Bears held on for the 1-1 tie.

Brown played to a scoreless tie the day before — the team's second tie in three games — against Union, leaving the Capital District of New York two crucial points higher in the ECAC Hockey standings. The Bears ran their record to 1-4-3 overall and 0-3-3 in league play behind the goaltending of Katie Jamieson '13, who made 67 total saves en route to being named the ECAC Goalie of the Week.

"Without Katie Jamieson's play this year, we don't have any points," said Head Coach Digit Murphy. "She's just come up big in so many situations that you can't even name them. To seamlessly come in and — with the exception of a couple games, a couple bad goals, and you have to give that to a freshman — she's done an outstanding job."

"Without the D and the goaltending, Brown hockey is not Brown hockey," she added.

Brown 0, Union 0

Brown and Union (2-9-1, 0-5-1) battled to a scoreless tie in Schenectady, N.Y., Friday evening. Strong performances by Jamieson and Union goalie Alana Marcinko kept both teams out of the net.

Brown failed to convert on nine power plays — totaling just seven shots with the advantage — thanks to an aggressive Union forecheck and the team's still-unsettled personnel groupings, Murphy said.

"We had a lot of chances that just missed, you know. We just couldn't finish," Griffin said. "It's definitely going to be something we'll work on for the upcoming weekend."

Brown 1, RPI 1

The Bears did just that the following afternoon in the 1-1 tie with RPI (4-6-4, 2-2-2) in Troy, N.Y.

The Engineers took the lead 3:48 before the first intermission on a fluky goal. RPI's Allysen Weidner cleared the puck in from the blue line, but the puck hit a rough patch of ice and bounced over Jamieson's shoulder.

"It happens to every goalie, I think — unlucky bounces here and there," Jamieson said. "Not really much I can do about it."

Murphy said that because it was not a quality goal, it did not discourage the team as much.
"We knew that we could skate with them, we knew that our forecheck was working, we knew that we were going to get opportunities if we just did things like stay out of the box," she said.

The Bears gave the Engineers only three power plays, none coming after the second period.

The stage was set for Brown's comeback.

The goal 3:41 into the third period broke a scoreless streak of 282:05 for the Bears. Erica Kromm '11 took the puck up the boards before finding Griffin near the circle. With Jenna Dancewicz '11 screening RPI goalie Sonja van der Bliek, Griffin lifted a shot over the netminder's shoulder to tie the game.

"It started with momentum from all the other lines," Griffin said. "We were coming together as a team, and I was the lucky person who put it in, but I can't really take credit for that. There were 19 other players on the team working just as hard as I was."

The Bears continued to play well down the stretch, tallying more shots in the third period than they had in the first two combined.

"It was really important to come from behind, score a goal and continue to fight the good fight," Murphy said. "We haven't done that in a while."

But when the Engineers recovered to post a strong overtime, it was up to Jamieson and the defense in front of her to repulse the charge.

"I saw most of the shots," Jamieson said. "That had a huge impact on the game."

"Our D was exceptional — from top to bottom, they all contributed," Murphy said. "Nicole Brown ('10) has just done a great job of being converted — she was a forward last year. Her size and reach is one of the reasons why we put her back there. She's patient and poised with the puck."

Jamieson made six overtime saves to finish with 37 in the game and 67 on the weekend, continuing her strong first season.

"I worked pretty hard in the offseason, and I think that definitely is a huge factor to how I'm doing this season," Jamieson said, adding that she is surprised by how well she is playing. "This is a big jump, and the girls are a lot stronger and faster — so, yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself overall."

The Bears will return to Meehan Auditorium this weekend to host Dartmouth (2-3-1, 2-31 ECAC) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Harvard  (3-3-0, 3-3-0 ECAC) on Saturday at 4 p.m. Murphy said the weekend will probably come down to the performance of the power play and penalty kill units.

"We really need to bear down and figure out a way to put a couple (goals) in and to play good D," Murphy said.

Griffin said she is optimistic about the Bears' chances.

"I think coming in as the underdog is a great advantage," she said. "We have nothing to lose. We have a great team, we've worked really, really hard for this weekend — this is a big weekend for us."



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