Sports

Bears look to boost standing for season end

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2012

 

The men’s hockey team carried its momentum into the core of its schedule, coming off an inspiring victory against Yale Dec. 3, 6-4. While the rest of Brown was on vacation, Bruno (8-8-3, 5-5-2 ECAC) compiled a 4-2-2 record and currently sits sixth in the ECAC standings with 12 points.  

“The turning points for us were the last games before the break against Yale,” said captain Jack Maclellan ’12. “Before that, there wasn’t a lot of promise. When we got that win against Yale, we turned it around.” 

The Bears came out of their short hibernation hungry, beating up on non-conference opponents University of New Hampshire (9-12-2) and Providence College (10-11-2). The team rang in the new year with 5-2 wins over both teams, on Dec. 30 and Jan. 1.  

Though the stretch of games started off strong for the Bears, inconsistent play ended the team’s three-game winning streak and mired the team in the middle of a contested points battle in the standings. The Bears lost against Princeton (6-10-5) Jan. 6 and tied with Quinnipiac (13-8-5) Jan. 7.

“Times like our one-point weekend against Princeton and Quinnipiac are going to hurt us,” Maclellan said. 

Weekends filled with mixed results, like last week’s 3-0 loss at the hands of Rensselaer (6-17-1)  followed by a 3-2 win over No. 2 Union (13-6-6) make the team’s chase for a high playoff seed increasingly difficult. 

“We’ve really got to focus during the week on practice and show up big on Friday,” said assistant captain Bobby Farnham ’12. “It’s hard trying to salvage the weekend by doing whatever we can on Saturday.” 

For the final 10 games of the season, Brown will only be facing other ECAC opponents, all jostling for one of the top eight positions to guarantee at least one home game in the post-season.  

“We need to approach it like we’re already in the playoffs,” Farnham said. “We can’t afford to take a night off.”  

A key to the future play of the team will be the continued strong efforts from its first-year players and the return of players from injury, including forward Garnet Hathaway ’14, Farnham said.  

“The freshmen have been huge. They’ve stepped in and done more than you could ask of them,” he said. “They’ve been mature in their consistency and their ability to help win games.”  

Forward Ryan Jacobson ’15 ranks second on the team with 15 points overall and is climbing up Brown’s all-time list for goals scored by a rookie. Jacobson and fellow forward Matt Lorito ’15 — who in only 11 games has accumulated 12 points — have made their presence felt.  

“We knew we were going to be a young team,” Maclellan said. “But every freshman has stepped up and contributed.” 

As the team goes up against Dartmouth (8-8-2) and Harvard (4-6-8) this weekend on the road, it will be fighting for a better spot in the standings. Brown is currently tied with Harvard for sixth place, while Dartmouth is tied for ninth at 11 points. The outcome of this weekend will have major playoff ramifications ­— Bruno could drop to ninth or catapult to third.

“It comes down to everyone playing a part, playing a role,” Farnham said. “All zones need to be top-notch and disciplined.”