Brown blanks Princeton, claims Game 1 in ECAC Hockey First Round

Brown blanks Princeton, claims Game 1 in ECAC Hockey First Round

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Gavin Nieto (Yorba Linda, Calif.) stopped all 21 shots he faced and three different players scored as the Brown men's hockey team blanked ninth-seeded Princeton, 3-0, in game one of the ECAC First Round series Friday at Meehan Auditorium.
 
Brown, the eighth seed in the ECAC Tournament, improved to 12-13-5 after taking game one of the best-of-three series. Princeton dropped to 10-17-3. Brown outshot the Tigers, 33-21.
 
"I thought we played great hockey, I really did," said head coach Brendan Whittet. "We played really hard-nosed, defensive playoff hockey. They're hard to shut down, so I thought we did an excellent job. I thought the turning point in terms of a momentum boost, was when we killed a 5-on-3 against one of the best power plays in the country, and Gavin made some great stops."
 
Chris Berger (Buffalo, N.Y.) scored in the second period before Max Gottlieb (Old Bridge, N.J.) and Justin Jallen (St. Paul, Minn.) added goals in the third, while Brent Beaudoin (Londonderry, N.H.) tacked on a pair of assists.
 
Nieto earned his second shutout of the season and the third of his career, marking the first playoff shutout for the Bears since the 2012-13 season. Jeremie Forget had 33 stops for the Tigers.
 
The two teams played a scoreless opening period as the Bears held the advantage in shots, 10-6.
 
After Princeton killed a third penalty to start the second, back-to-back Brown penalties gave the Tigers a 5-on-3 power play, but Nieto came up with several big stops during the stretch as the Bears kept the game scoreless.
 
Berger opened the scoring at 9:35 for his eighth goal of the season. After Tristan Crozier (Calgary, Alberta) won a faceoff in the offensive end, Tommy Marchin (Algonac, Mich.) quickly put a shot on net that was turned away by Forget, but Berger was right there for the rebound to give the Bears the lead.
 
Gottlieb gave the Bears a two-goal advantage at 17:37 when he blasted a shot from in front of the blue line for his fourth tally of the season. Jallen tacked on an empty-net goal 21 seconds later to clinch the victory.
 
Gottlieb led all players with five shots.
 
Brown will host Princeton in game two of the series Saturday at 7 PM. Brown will advance to the ECAC Quarterfinals with a win.