March 13, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The rust of a two-week layoff took just 20 minutes to dissolve for the No. 10 Yale men's hockey team. The Bulldogs overcame a 2-0 deficit with four straight goals to beat Brown 4-2 in the first game of the best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal Series before a very loud Ingalls Rink crowd.
The Bulldogs (21-7-2), who scored three special teams goals, got tallies from Patrick Brosnihan, Denny Kearney, Broc Little and Kevin Limbert, while Alec Richards survived a tough start to record 26 saves in the Yale net for his fifth post-season win.
Brown freshman goalie Mike Clemente, who made saves on the first 100 shots of his young playoff career (over three-plus games), finally gave one up in the middle of the second period tonight. That opened the gates on the rookie who finished with 31 stops. Clemente, who had 18 of those in a wild second period, was coming off a pair of shutouts at Harvard last weekend.
"Brown had six periods of playoff hockey under their belts, and they are a good team," said Keith Allain '80 Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "It took us a while to get going. Getting two power-play goals and a shorthander is a nice special teams day.
The Elis outshot Brown 35-28 and stopped all four Bear power plays while going 2-for-7 with their own advantage.
The Bears carried the momentum from last week's success into the first period and outshot the Blue 15-4 while notching the only goal of the frame.
Both teams came up short on power-play chances, though Limbert had Yale's best opportunity to score when he carried to the edge of the crease but found no angle on Clemente, who needed just four saves to keep the home team off the board.
The Bears killed off Yale's man-advantage and immediately jumped all over a Bulldog mistake to get on the scoreboard. Jordan Pietrus blocked a Sean Backman shot just inside the blueline and the Brown center zipped up the right side a step ahead of the defense. He flicked a shot off the pipe and into the net from a few feet from the crease for his fifth goal of the year at 15:57.
The visitors cashed in on a break to make it 2-0 early in the second period. David Brownschidle jumped off the bench and quickly received a perfect lead pass from Ryan Garbutt on his way over the blueline. Brownschidle (1st goal), with no defender on him, waited to enter the slot before firing a wrister past Richards at 2:16.
The Elis, with a man-advantage, had a golden opportunity to get on the board in the second when a Brown player was called for throwing the puck out of the defensive end to put the Blue up two guys. Yale's 70 seconds of 5-on-3 produced six shots, five of which were blocked while the other went wide of the net.
The Bulldogs finally cracked the egg at 11:27 when Brosnihan, the senior forward, snapped a one-timer from the lower right circle that appeared to be saved but actually trickled over the goal line after bouncing off a defenseman. Brosnihan's sixth of the year, off a Chris Cahill pass, provided some extra juice for the Bulldogs, who ended up outshooting Brown 20-7 in the period.
That goal ended Brown's shutout streak at seven periods, and wasn't the last of the period. A series of penalties at the end of the middle frame resulted in the equalizer for the home team.
The Elis, trying to kill off a 4-on-3 with time running out in the frame, got a delayed penalty call on Brown and Richards quickly went to the bench for a skater. Kearney, who had a two-point night, carried the puck into the right circle with a defender all over him and tried to get a shot off. The puck went beyond the goal line on the right side where blueliner Jimmy Martin grabbed it. The sophomore immediately sent a backhanded pass toward Kearney (8th goal), who one-timed a shot past Clemente with just three seconds left for Yale's ninth shorthanded goal.
"I stole the puck in the neutral zone and came into the Brown end and saw the referee's arm go up," said Kearney, who has two shorthanders this year. "I took a shot and the puck went to Jimmy [Martin]. I was screaming for it. They stayed on him. Jimmy made a great pass and I one-timed it."
The momentum had clearly gone in the other direction.
The Elis finally grabbed the lead 3:06 into the third on Little's power-play goal. The sophomore took a pass from the point, circled out of the right corner and waited for a look at the net before flipping a rising wrister past Clemente for his 14th of the season.
The home squad, which had an 11-6 advantage in shots over the last 20 minutes, continued to pour it on.
The next Yale man-advantage led to a Limbert goal and a 4-2 Bulldog lead at 9:17. Limbert, the freshman center, skated into the left circle after taking a Sean Backman drop pass and used a pair of defenders to screen the Brown goalie before whipping the puck inside the near post.
Clemente went to the bench with 55 seconds left and Richards needed a quick save to keep the lead at two before the Elis ran out the rest of the clock.
"It took us a period to get it going and start playing our game," said Little, who had a two-point night.
Game two is Saturday night at 7:00, and there are tickets available for purchase at the Ingalls Rink ticket office starting at 5:30 p.m.
Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director
Video by David Dikranian