NCAA First Round: Virginia Pulls Away From Brown, Advances to Quarterfinals For Third Consecutive Season

(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Athletics)

For the third consecutive time, the Virginia Cavaliers are moving onto the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Cavaliers pulled away from the Brown Bears in a 17-10 victory on the road on Saturday night.

Connor Shellenberger led the way for Virginia with eight points off four goals and four assists. Payton Cormier had five goals.

Additionally, Petey LaSalla went 20-for-31 (64%) and Matthew Nunes made 16 saves in the cage with a 61% save percentage.

Brown’s Andrian Enchill and Nolen Rockefeller each found the back of the net within 30 seconds time to knot things back up at 9-9 with 8:08 left in the third quarter. That is the last time this game, which has seen five ties and four lead changes up until that point, would be in striking distance for the Bears.

At the 5:39 mark of the third, Matt Moore found Xander Dickson for a man-up score to put Virginia back up 10-9. From that point on it would be all Cavaliers. Jack Peele converted on a transition score before Cormier and Moore each found the back of the net within the final minute of that third frame.

Two more from Cormier, another score from Moore, as well as Dickson extended the Virginia run to eight goals and essentially put the game out of reach with still 6:29 on the clock. Virginia outscored Brown 10-3 in the final two frames.

During that game-changing Virginia run, Brown was able to get off 11 shots. However, five went wide, two hit the post, and four were stopped by Nunes. That includes three saves in the final 8:23 of the fourth quarter. Nunes made eight saves per half as he stood on his head, facing a Brown offense that put 26 of its 44 shots on cage.

On top of Nunes’ dominance down the stretch, LaSalla won each of the last eight faceoffs to essentially turn into a game of make-it-take-it during that final leg of play.

Brown had nine different goal-scorers and 11 different point-getters. The Bears were led by Ryan Aughavin (2G/1A) while Brian Antonelli also had two goals.

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