The women's ice hockey team extended its unbeaten home run to four games with a thrilling 1-1 tie against Clarkson on Friday night. But on Saturday, an inspired St. Lawrence comprehensively outplayed Brown, defeating the Bears 5-2 and ending Bruno's longest unbeaten streak in five years.
Brown 1, Clarkson 1
The Clarkson Golden Knights (5-8-2, 3-1-1 ECAC) came into the game with an unbeaten 3-0-0 record in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Facing a Brown team (2-4-2, 1-3-2 ECAC) on a similar three-game unbeaten streak and fresh off a tough victory against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, fans expected a tough and evenly contested game, and the players delivered.
The tough and attritional first two periods were scoreless, as both teams proved unable to penetrate the opposition's defense. But with only five minutes left in the game, forward Melissa Waldie shot one past goalie Katie Jamieson '13 to put Clarkson up 1-0. Brown kept fighting hard, and the perseverance was rewarded when forward Laurie Jolin'13, ably aided by tri-captain Erica Kromm '11 and forward Vanessa Welten '14, scored a last-gasp equalizer with only 22 seconds left on the clock. Some fine saves by Clarkson goalie Erica Howe in overtime ensured both teams walked away from the game with a point each.
"Obviously, we were hoping to win, but it felt great to tie them — they are a great team," Kromm said after the game. "We never gave up and it was great that we could bounce back. (Our performance) really reminded us that every minute counts in this game."
St. Lawrence 5, Brown 2
There were few signs of the upcoming goal-fest in the first period of the Brown-St. Lawrence game, which remained scoreless as the Brown defense maintained the fine form it had showed in previous games.
Brown came out strong in the second period, maintaining pressure on the Saints' goal and scoring in the second minute, with a powerful slap shot by defender Samantha Woodward '14 pinging off all three goalposts before sliding past the goal line.
The Saints struck back quickly, making the most of a power play to equalize. In the following five minutes, St. Lawrence added two more goals to seize a decisive advantage against a shocked Brown defense. Precise passing and brilliant positional play were features of the Saints' offense in this period, and they continued into the third period.
St. Lawrence added a fourth tally five minutes into the third period. Goaltender Aubree Moore '14, after facing 33 shots in 45 minutes of play, was relieved by Jamieson. But even Jamieson, who had a stellar performances in her last few games, found the scintillating Saint offense hard to handle, conceding a fifth goal with 11 minutes to play.
Brown kept battling and managed a second goal with nine minutes to play, courtesy of forward Alena Polenska '13. Though the Bears surged and created opportunities in the last few minutes, ultimately there was too much ground lost to make a comeback.
"Those power play goals really cost us," Kromm said, referring to the first and third goals conceded in the second period. "We need to stay out of the box, but these are mistakes that even NHL players make. We knew they were a really talented team and we had to be very careful in the penalty-kill situations."
Kromm did note there were some positives emerging from the game.
"It's obviously very disappointing, but we're still optimistic. St. Lawrence are a very good team," she said. "It was great how everyone battled back to score that second goal. The offense has been getting progressively better and it's important that we stay positive."
Tri-captain Samantha Stortini '11 agreed.
"Obviously, we are disappointed, but we aren't feeling down or defeated. We've got a great team dynamic — we're strong enough to get past this and we are always learning from our mistakes. The team is really coming together and you can see that through our spirit. No one is giving up at any stage," she said.
Brown will be hoping that their defensive performance on Saturday — which was the foundation upon which they constructed their remarkable streak — was a blip. The Bears will try to rediscover their mojo as they take on Providence College for the Mayor's Cup on Friday at Meehan Auditorium.