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W. hockey tops Sacred Heart for first win

The women's ice hockey team registered a decisive 5-1 victory over the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Saturday at Meehan Auditorium. Both teams were coming off a series of tough games — the Bears (1-3, 0-2 ECAC) having lost the previous three on the road and the Pioneers (0-7) their previous six.

But Brown's dominant performance ensures the team winning momentum as it prepares for a series of games on home ice. Bruno is scheduled to meet Union at the Meehan on Friday.

With both teams anxious to register a win, the first 10 minutes of the game were frantic, with frequent deep incursions into the attacking zone by both teams undermined by equally frequent turnovers and offensive mistakes. Neither team was able to exert sustained pressure on the opposition's defense, and the few shots on either goal were comfortably dealt with by the goalies.

The Bears' offense then began to take control, creating several opportunities before forward Laurie Jolin '13 offered a fine scoring opportunity to forward tri-captain Erica Kromm '11. Kromm duly obliged with a shot past the out-of-position Pioneers goaltender to give Brown the lead with about five minutes remaining in the period.

Jolin was also involved in an enterprising short-handed shot that Pioneers' goalie Alexius Schutt barely managed to keep out. Sacred Heart tried to stage a late counterattack in the last few minutes of the first period, but the Brown defense held firm despite the consistent pressure and the score remained 1-0.

The second period began with Brown dominating the early exchanges, maintaining consistent pressure in the offensive zone and launching a barrage of shots at the goal. Though Brown created several opportunities, none were converted until a penalty left the Pioneers short-handed. Forward Kelly Griffin '13 exploited the opportunity, taking a pass from forward Erica Farrer '13 and shooting it past the goalie to give Brown a 2-0 lead. Defender Jennifer Nedow '14 also assisted on the goal.

But the Pioneers struck back soon after, as defender Caitlin Gottwald chipped a shot under goalie Katie Jamieson's '13 glove to find the back of the net in a rare mistake by the Brown defense. The momentum started to shift toward the Pioneers, who fired in several shots, all well-covered by the Bears' defense.

With four minutes remaining in the period, Sacred Heart had a golden opportunity with two Brown players in the penalty box, leading to some nervous minutes in the Brown camp. But the Bears' defense performed admirably during the five-on-three penalty kill, clearing the zone several times and maintaining the lead into the third period.

The game was still in the balance going into the third period with the score at 2-1, but in pursuit of the elusive equalizing goal, the Pioneers' defense began to crack. That was all the opportunity the Bears' offense needed to break through and slam the door shut on a Pioneers comeback.

Farrer was especially dominant during this passage of play, scoring twice and also assisting on forward Jessica Hoyle's '14 goal to build up a huge 5-1 lead. Despite being short-handed for much of the period because of three penalties, Brown's defense continued its solid performance, denying Sacred Heart any further opportunities.

Though the final score suggests a crushing victory by Brown, Sacred Heart was competitive for the first two periods and much of the third. But the Bears' strong defensive performance, particularly on the penalty kill, helped them claim their first win of the young season. With a tougher assignment against Union coming up on Friday, Brown will be hoping for a similarly assured performance on home ice.



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