Sports

Veteran Bears grab tie on Senior Day

By
Sports Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The women’s ice hockey team fought gamely but ultimately lost 4-2 to Ivy rivals Yale and Princeton before ending on a more positive note in its last game of the season, drawing 3-3 against Quinnipiac. The Bears finished with an overall 2-21-4 record and a 1-15-4 record in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Yale 4, Brown 2

The Bears, who have been plagued by weak offensive starts in the first period all year, surged out against Yale (9-17-3, 8-12-2 ECAC) and launched a flurry of shots against the Yale goal. But Bulldog goaltender Jackee Snikeris parried all of the Bears’ attempts. Brown conceded several consecutive penalties midway through the first period, but did well to kill a full minute of a five-on-three situation without conceding a goal. Though Brown won power plays later in the period, they were unable to convert. The first period ended scoreless, despite the Bears outshooting the Bulldogs 12-6.

Ten minutes into the second period, Yale then went up 1-0 after forward Jenna Ciotti slapped the puck into the back of the net.

It looked bleak for Brown when Yale added two more goals six minutes into the third, as a now all-too-familiar Brown defensive hiccup allowed Yale to find the back of the net twice in 25 seconds. But Brown responded with two quick goals of its own. Forward Laurie Jolin ’13 beat Snikeris to get Brown on the board, before assisting Alena Polenska ’13 a minute later to get Brown within one. The Bears peppered the Yale goal with shots in the third period, doubling up the Bulldogs, 16-9, but even pulling the goalie did not help them find a way past Snikeris a third time. Yale snuck in a last-gasp empty-net goal with four seconds remaining to close out the game.

Princeton 4, Brown 2

It was the same story against Princeton (16-12-1, 13-8-1) Friday inside Meehan Auditorium. Brown again conceded a 3-0 lead before scoring two in the third period, but the team was unable to score the elusive equalizer.

Princeton forwards Olivia Mucha and Gabie Figueroa scored rapidly, putting the Tigers up 2-0 five minutes into the game, as Brown lapsed into its habit of starting poorly. When Kelly Cooke scored late in the second, the Bears were again staring at a three-goal deficit.

Vanessa Welten ’14 pulled one back for the Bears, converting an opportunity presented by tri-captain Erica Kromm ’11, before play was interrupted by a fire alarm. Polenska was able to add another after resumption of play, but as in the previous match, the Bears conceded a late empty-netter in pursuit of the final goal.

“We didn’t come out as strong as we wanted,” said tri-captain Jenna Dancewicz ’11 after the game. “We’ve been working hard during the warm-ups and trying different things to motivate each other. But I guess we are just a little bit more motivated when we are behind.”

Quinnipiac 3, Brown 3

The atmosphere was slightly bittersweet as Brown lined up against Quinnipiac (20-11-3, 12-9-1), with all four seniors — Kromm, Dancewicz, defender Samantha Stortini ’11 and goaltender Joy Joung ’11 — starting in their final match for the Bears.

The added motivation was apparent as Brown took an early lead. Forward Erica Farrer ’13 found a way past the crush of players in front of the net to put Brown up a goal. Joung, starting her first game in two seasons, had a brilliant first period, blocking 16 shots to keep Brown ahead after the first.

Sophomore forwards Jolin and Polenska then combined again to double Brown’s tally for the game early in the second period, but the two-goal advantage was short-lived — the Bobcats pulled one back a minute later. Jolin then scored in the 10th minute with a fine unassisted wrap-around attempt, but Quinnipiac responded soon after to narrow the deficit to a goal, 3-2, at the end of the second.

Though Brown kept Quinnipiac quiet for most of the third, the Bobcats took full advantage of a power play to equalize, as Regan Boulton beat Joung with four minutes to play. Neither team was able to add another goal to win outright in the remaining time, and the match ended even. Joung, in particular, had a fine match, recording 38 saves.

“It was slightly surreal,” Dancewicz said after her final game for Brown, “but we tried to focus on the game itself. We came out like it was any other game. We were really motivated to win, and I’m glad we finished on a positive note. It was great to see the goalie, Joy, play the whole game — she had a great game.”

Despite having a difficult season, the outgoing captains were optimistic about the team’s future prospects.

“They’ll learn a lot from the things we went through this year,” Kromm said. “No one wants to go through a season where you lose almost every game.”

Dancewicz agreed.

“We’ve definitely had our ups and downs — everyone is looking forward to improving the program next year,” she said. “Everyone is going to work hard and we’re going to have a better season next year.”