Bears lose two over the weekend

Contributing Writer
Monday, November 5, 2012

The men’s hockey team dropped consecutive one-goal decisions at Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend to open its conference schedule. 

A three-goal second period by Harvard Friday night proved too much for the Bears as they lost 3-2. The following night, a late goal from the Big Green gave the home team a 2-1 win.

Harvard 3, Brown 2

Though the first stanza ended in a scoreless tie, injuries to young playmakers Nate Widman ’16 and Nick Lappin ’16 put the Bears (1-3, 0-2 ECAC) at a disadvantage after just half a period.”Nate’s a really solid defensive player, and Lappin is a great two-way forward who brings a lot of offense,” said assistant captain Richie Crowley ’13. He added that their absence means “a short bench, so less rest and everyone has to pick up a little bit of slack.”

But Bruno was able to battle through the injuries to score the game’s first goal just three minutes into the second period. Forward Chris Zaires ’13 notched the goal for both his first of the season and the first for the Bears in five periods. Dennis Robertson ’14 put the play in motion by pushing the puck up to Brandon Pfeil ’16, who promptly slapped a shot in front of the net that Zaires deflected past Crimson goaltender Raphael Girard.

The Bears could not hold the lead for long. The Crimson (2-1, 1-1 ECAC) broke the game open in the middle of the second period on three consecutive goals in the span of five minutes. The outburst featured goals by Colin Blackwell, Kyle Criscuolo and Brendan Rempel.

Crowley attributed the quick strikes to a loss of concentration. “We had a couple of mental breakdowns in the play,” he said. “Harvard is a good team. If you give them a couple opportunities, they are going to score on them. They quickly got us 3-1, and we had to crawl out of that hole the rest of the game.”

The Bears cut the lead in half with less than two minutes to play in the second period. Robertson began the play with a pass to Matt Harlow ’15 who centered the puck to a driving Matt Lorito ’15 for the shot. Lorito flicked the shot over the goalie for his second goal of the young season.

Bruno kept the pressure on throughout the third period, registering 12 shots, but Girard held strong and the Crimson emerged victorious. 

Dartmouth 2, Brown 1

Less than 24 hours later, the Bears took the ice in Hanover, N.H. Recent history did not favor the Bears – Brown has lost nine of their last 10 meetings with the Big Green (3-0-1, 2-0 ECAC), including a 4-0 shutout last week.

But the Bears were not fazed by the record books, as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead for the second straight night. 

“Our work ethic was better in the first period of last night’s game,” said forward Massimo Lamacchia ’15, comparing Saturday’s game to their first meeting with the Big Green. “We were sticking to our game plan a bit more, putting more pressure on their ‘D’. We were able to take advantage of some of their turnovers and create more offense.”

Lamacchia put the Bears on the board eight minutes into the game. After Jimmy Siers ’14 was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking, the Bears scored a shorthanded goal when Garnet Hathaway ’14 pushed a pass up the ice to Lamacchia, who fired a quick shot past goaltender Cab Morris.

The lead stood until late in the second period when Dartmouth’s Eric Neiley knotted up the score by weaving through the Bears’ defense and maneuvering the puck past goalie Marco De Filippo ’14. 

Bruno fired off 10 shots in the final period compared to the Big Green’s seven, but it was Eric Robinson’s shot that proved to be the decisive blow with under six minutes left. Robinson took a pass from Brandon McNally and found the back of the net, giving Dartmouth a lead it would not relinquish.

Though they were unable to pick up a win on the weekend, Lamacchia said the road trip provided the Bears with good experience that can help them against St. Lawrence University and Clarkson University. “They were definitely two tough losses against two good teams,” Lamacchia said. “I thought there were a lot of positives to take from both games that we could use as teaching points to help motivate us and prepare us for next weekend’s games.”