Brown Wins, 2-0, to Complete Playoff Upset of Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. —Mike Clemente made 47 saves to shut out the Harvard men’s hockey team for the second straight night, clinching the teams’ Bank of America ECAC Hockey Championship first-round series and ending the Crimson’s season Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center.

No. 5 seed Harvard (9-16-6) held a 47-26 edge in shots, but Aaron Volpatti logged a goal and an assist for the 12th-seeded Bears (5-21-5), while Eric Slais also scored and Matt Vokes had two helpers. Combined with Friday night’s 1-0 win, Brown handed the Crimson its first back-to-back shutout losses to an American collegiate opponent.

Sophomore Ryan Carroll made 24 saves for the Crimson, allowing two goals or fewer for the seventh time in the last eight games. The series loss was Harvard’s first at home since 1995, a span of 10 home playoff rounds.

The Bears carried their momentum from Friday night’s opening upset, taking the lead less than three minutes into the game. Vokes moved the puck ahead to Slais going up the left side. Slais skated deep into the zone, curled back toward the net and slipped a backhand shot by Carroll.

Harvard appeared to tie the score in the middle of the period, when senior co-captain Jimmy Fraser roofed a shot that beat Clemente and seemed to ricochet off the back of the goal and back out. The referee waved off the goal, the Crimson continued to try to fight back from behind.

The Crimson picked up its play after the no-goal call. A Brown power play expired at 15:44 of the first, and from that point on, Harvard outshot the Bears, 7-1. Harvard’s two best chances did not count as shots on net. Daniel Moriarty beat Clemente with a shot from the slot that hit the left post, and fellow freshman Eric Kroshus collected a loose puck and nearly pulled it around the net and in. Harvard held a 15-8 edge in total first-period shots.

Harvard outshot Brown, 14-9, in a scoreless second period. Each team had a power-play chance but failed to convert. Junior Alex Biega tried to jumpstart the Crimson offense by jumping into the play. He led Harvard with five shots in the period, including a bad-angle chance from the right that Clemente only partially saved, but not including a hard wrist shot from the left that clanked off the post.

Brown added a second tally on the power play at 3:27 of the final period. Two Harvard penalties resulted in a 33-second two-man advantage for the Bears. The Crimson killed the first penalty, but Volpatti managed to barely push the puck across the line before Harvard could clear. Vokes and Ryan Garbutt assisted.

The Crimson carried the play the rest of the way but Clemente and the Bears held strong. A Brown penalty in the final two minutes gave Harvard a two-man advantage with Carroll pulled. Junior Doug Rogers had yet another shot off the post in the final seconds. That attempt came after Harvard had the final 11 shots of the game.

The Bears advanced to the quarterfinal round, where they will face Yale next weekend in New Haven, Conn.