By Sam Scanlon ’19
The Providence College community lost a great one this year. Drew Brown ’16, a former Friar hockey player and National Champion, lost his courageous battle with cancer on November 11, 2017, at the age of 25.
The Friars hosted the University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen for a weekend series on Nov. 10-11. Earlier that week, the game against UMass Amherst was named “I Fight for Drew Brown Night” with all proceeds going to the Brown family. By doing this, it was a way the community could stand with Brown and fight alongside him. Unfortunately, hours before the game, Brown lost his battle. “I Fight for Drew Brown Night” proceeded as planned, with countless heartfelt tributes throughout the night.
With their fallen brother in mind, the Friars took the ice on Saturday night to play and fight for Drew Brown. Former teammate and captain of the Friars, Brian Pinho ’18, got the Friars going early as he deposited his first goal of the game in just under five minutes. Pinho’s emotion throughout the game was felt by everyone in the arena that night, so his first tally opened the floodgates and sparked the Friars’ onslaught.
Following Pinho’s first strike, four consecutive power play goals ensued for the Friars, starting with Scott Conway ’19, a pair from defenseman Ben Mirageas ’21, and Pinho’s second of the game. The power play success brought the score to 5-2 with one period left to play.
The Friars’ main goal was to win this contest against a Hockey East opponent. However, everyone’s mind was on winning for Drew Brown, and the entire locker room wanted to do something special for him.
A little over halfway through the third period, forward Erik Foley ’19 scored a beautiful goal to extend the Friar lead to 6-2. With time winding down and a sizeable lead for the Friars, something still felt missing from the game. The missing piece was provided by Kasper Björkqvist ’20 with under two minutes left to play on yet another power play goal. This goal, however, lit up the entirety of Schneider Arena. This goal was goal number seven for the Friars on “I Fight for Drew Brown Night”. In his time with the Friars, Drew Brown wore number seven.