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Brown Edges Dartmouth, 5-3, to Conclude Liberty Hockey Invite

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By Mark Washburn

NEWARK, N.J. – A back-and-forth game all afternoon concluded with two straight third-period goals for Brown as it prevailed over the Dartmouth men’s hockey team, 5-3, Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Hockey Invitational at the Prudential Center.

The win was the first for the Bears (2-0-0) against the Big Green (0-2-0) in 13 tries, snapping a skid of 0-11-1 against the team from the Upper Valley dating back to the 2008-09 season.

The teams traded goals all day, starting with Brandon Pfeil beating Dartmouth starter Cab Morris just 26 seconds into the opening period, setting the pace for the rest of the contest.

Freshman Troy Crema scored the first goal of his career on a redirect just two seconds after a Dartmouth power play expired to tie the game at 1-1. Stationed at the top of the crease, Crema was able to change the course of an Andy Simpson shot from the point after Brandon McNally worked the puck to the defenseman with a nice drop-pass just inside the zone.

The celebration was short lived as Bears forward and leading scorer from a season ago Matt Lorito answered back and gave his team the one-goal lead again just 11 seconds later.

Eric Neiley netted his second of the weekend at the 14:20 mark of the middle frame, slamming home a rebound into an open netmouth while on the power play. Brown’s Tyler Steel kicked initial Eric Robinson shot out to the left circle where Neiley was waiting for the booming shot.

The teams traded power-play goals in the third as Nick Lappin laid out in the low slot at 5:50 to put the Bears back on top by one again. Less than four minutes later, junior Brandon McNally got just enough of Brett Patterson’s point shot to see the puck trickle through Steel’s pads for the equalizer at 9:14.

With just under five minutes remaining in regulation, Mark Neclario made a claim for weekend MVP honors as he scored his third of the tournament, finding space along the ice to give Brown its fourth lead of the afternoon.

That goal would stand as the winner with Garnett Hathaway adding an empty netter in the final seconds to seal the non-conference win and guarantee the Bears at least a share of the Liberty Invitational title after knocking off Yale on Friday night.

Shots were 31 apiece, with Morris finishing the game with 26 saves to Steel’s 28 at the other end of the ice. Dartmouth’s 2-for-6 figure on the power play helped keep it close, while Brown was 1-for-2 with the man-advantage.

The Big Green will open the home portion of their 2013-14 season next weekend with Friday and Saturday contests against Union and Rensselear. Both games are set for 7 p.m. at Thompson Arena.