PITTSBURGH – Three special teams' goals against ended up being the difference maker in Union's 6-3 loss to Brown in the Three Rivers Classic championship game on Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena.
The Bears (5-7-3) came out firing and took an early 3-0 lead behind a power-play goal and two short-handed goals in the first 13 minutes of the game. Brown quickly added a fourth goal, before Union (10-5-4) could finally get on the board before the end of the first period.
- Union scored three-straight goals, but never got closer than 5-3.
- Lucas Breault scored his first collegiate goal while on the power play to bring Union within one goal midway through the second period.
- The Dutchmen out-shot the Bears, 40-26, including 14-4 in the third period, but were unable to recover from the four-goal deficit suffered during the first period.
- Brown was 1-for-1 on the power play, while Union was 2-for-4 on the man advantage.
How It Happened
Brown gained an early power play within the first two minutes of the contest, and capitalized on it less than a minute later to open the scoring thanks to Tommy Marchin. Brown's Alex Brink would then score back-to-back goals, including one shorthanded to put the Bears up 3-0. However, Brown wasn't done, and ended up scoring a second short-handed goal on the next Union power-play chance to extend its lead to 4-0 less than 16 minutes into the game.
Union would end up responding before the end of the period, as Jack Adams scored his sixth of the season at the 18:10 mark to get the Dutchmen on the board.
Facing a three-goal deficit to start the second period, the Dutchmen quickly went to work creating offensive pressure. On the team's third power play chance, Union found the back of the net thanks to a rebound goal by Anthony Rinaldi.
The Dutchmen then scored again on the next power-play chance, which came midway through the period. This time Lucas Breault picked up a deflected shot and slipped it past Brown's netminder Gavin Nieto for his first collegiate goal.
Despite cutting Brown's lead down to one with half of the game still left to play, it would unfortunately be the final time Union would find the back of the net.
Brown's Jack Gessert scored with 31 seconds remaining in the second period to give the Bears a 5-3 lead heading into the final period.
Union would go on to out-shot the Bears, 14-4, in the third, but Brown would eventually score on the empty net in the final minute of play to secure the 6-3 win.
Up Next for the Dutchmen
Union returns to ECAC Hockey play with a trip to the North Country next weekend, taking on Clarkson and St. Lawrence, Jan. 11-12.