PROVIDENCE -- When you outwork one of the hardest-working, and best, teams in college hockey from start to finish, good things happen.
That is exactly what the Brown Bears did on Sunday, breaking a tie exactly halfway through overtime to topple No. 1-ranked Providence by a 4-3 score in overtime in the finale of the 30th Mayor's Cup at Meehan Auditorium.
Balanced scoring was the name of the game for the hosts as four different players found the back of the net, but it was outstanding freshman Tommy Marchin who delivered the winner on a rebound to lift Brown to its fourth win of the year.
"I thought we played very, very well from the drop of the puck until we scored in overtime," Brown head coach Brendan Whittet said. "I'm really proud of the effort. ... If you handle playing shift-by-shift and period-by-period, good things happen and the result takes care of itself. I know it's cliche, but we deserved that win."
Brown improved to 4-8-3 on the season, but the Friars reclaimed the Mayor's Cup title as a result of a plus-2 goal differential over the two-game series. PC won the first head-to-head meeting on Dec. 10 at Schneider Arena, 4-1.
The Bears gained early momentum and took a 1-0 lead just 2:50 into the first period as junior Andrew Doane scored the first goal of his collegiate career on a rebound in the low slot. The Holliston, Mass., native followed up his own initial shot and slid the puck between the pads of PC junior goaltender Nick Ellis.
"He's a guy who hasn't played a whole heck of a lot, but he earned the opportunity to play tonight and was rewarded for going to the net and scored a nice goal," Whittet said of Doane, who was playing in just his second game this season. "He provided a nice spark, kind of what we needed. I was proud of him."
Brown finished the frame with a 19-14 shots on goal advantage, but found itself down by a goal as seniors Brandon Tanev and Kevin Rooney scored goals to lift the crosstown visitors through 20 minutes of play.
Tanev's goal came on a beautiful wrist shot from the top of the right wing circle and off a feed from second-year linemate Brian Pinho at the 6:28 mark.
The Bears got sloppy in the defensive zone, allowing PC to take a 2-1 lead at the 18:09 marker. Ryan Tait picked the puck off from Brown goaltender Tim Ernst and fed senior Kevin Rooney crashing through the slot for an easy one-time score.
Brown held control of the game again in the second, scoring the period's first and last goals to knot the score at 3-3.
Sophomore Josh McArdle became the second Bear to score his first collegiate goal in the game, beating Ellis with a wrister from the outside at 6:35.
The Friars answered just two seconds after the game's midway mark, reclaiming a one-goal lead. Rookie defenseman Vincent Desharnais jumped into the play and delivered a beautiful pass to the doorstep and sophomore Brian Pinho for the easy tap-in goal.
Despite the Friars' resolve to take leads twice in the game, Providence head coach Nate Leaman was not happy with his team's overall effort.
"I think we wanted a soft, easy game tonight and I think they played hard," Leaman said. "It's second half of the season hockey, and you don't get soft games in the second half. They finished every hit and I thought they got to the net a lot better than we did tonight."
Brown would not be done before period's end, however, as Charlie Corcoran tipped home junior Tyler Wood's shot from the right point at 13:28. The goal was just the second of the Berkshire School product's career and his first this year.
Neither team found the back of the net in a pretty even third period, but the Bears tipped the scale for good and won in overtime for the second time this season. Max Gottlieb got credit for the primary assist on the winner, feeding the puck to the front of the net where Marchin knocked home his ninth goal of the season right on the doorstep.
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Creating a balanced attack was a nice sight for Whittet, whose team has received at least 14 points from each member of his top line ― Marchin and seniors Mark Naclerio and Nick Lappin.
But it was certainly nice to see Marchin, whose presence has shone across the ECAC this year, to find the back of the net to win the game.
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