The men’s hockey team took two conference opponents into overtime on consecutive nights this weekend, battling both No. 13 St. Lawrence University and Clarkson University to 3-3 ties at Meehan Auditorium.
Brown 3, No.13 St. Lawrence 3
The Bears (1-3-2, 0-2-2 ECAC) faced a tough task Friday, battling a nationally ranked team with one of the highest scoring offenses in the country. The Saints have racked up an average of almost four goals per game in their first seven matchups. To be successful against St. Lawrence (5-1-1, 0-0-1 ECAC), captain Dennis Robertson ’14 said the team had to concentrate on its own game plan.
“We need to play our game, not focus on their superstars,” he said. “That’s what we got away from, and that’s why we got in trouble early in the game.”
Bruno’s poor start turned into three goals for the high-powered Saints offense. The outlook was bleak for the Bears as St. Lawrence held the comfortable three-goal margin late into the second period. But the Bears caught fire with under a minute remaining in the period. Taki Pantziris ’15 stretched to reach the puck Nick Lappin ’16 had laid in front of the net for him and flicked a shot past goaltender Matt Weninger at full speed.
The Bears carried that momentum into the final stanza as Matt Lorito ’15 found the back of the net just three minutes into the period. After taking a feed from Robertson in front of the goal, Lorito maneuvered the puck around the goalie and into the back of the net to cut the lead to one.
Lorito stepped up again two minutes later to help complete the Bruno comeback. Just 15 seconds into a man advantage stemming from a St. Lawrence kneeing penalty, Lorito sent a shot toward the crease, and it was redirected in for the Bears’ first power play goal this season.
“Our power play has been struggling, so it’s nice to get one on there. That’s huge for us,” Lorito said. “Their ‘D’ got confused and the puck was just laying there … I threw it on net, and I think it hit Nick Lappin’s knee and it dropped down between the goalie’s legs and slid in.”
With the score leveled at three apiece, the Bears had chances to break the tie and grab an upset victory. Bruno put seven shots on net in the overtime period, while St. Lawrence registered none. The crowd erupted a minute into extra play when a Robertson slap shot found the back of the net for the apparent game-winning goal. But following a lengthy official review, Bruno was called for goalie interference, the goal was disallowed, and play resumed.
“That’s just something you’ve got to live with,” Robertson said about the waived goal.
“To come back against a very good hockey team, a team that plays with energy and is in your face, I am proud of the guys,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94.
But Whittet added that in order to win a game against such a competitive opponent, it is important to come out strong from the first period. “We’ve got to start with much more tenacity, pace and intensity.”
Brown 3, Clarkson 3
After Friday night’s long game, Bruno needed to reload quickly for a Saturday matinee. Whittet said the quick turnaround took a toll on the Bears late in the game against Clarkson (1-4-4, 1-0-1 ECAC).
“I thought we were very tired at the end of the game,” Whittet said. “We played a really short bench, and it’s a long weekend – six periods in less than 24 hours. But I thought we battled hard.”
A first-period Clarkson score put Bruno in the hole early for the second time in the weekend, but Michael Juola ’14 tied the game with his first goal of the season. After Pantziris delivered the puck to Juola near the neutral zone, Juola did the rest of the work, using his speed to skate by a Golden Knights defender and then steer the puck around goalie Greg Lewis on the far side.
Clarkson answered with a goal of its own in the first, but the Bears took the lead with two early goals in the second period. Ryan Jacobson ’15 tallied his first of the year with a long-range slapshot that went untouched through a field of bodies to slam into the back of the net. Following the Jacobson goal, Juola scored his second goal of the night with some fancy stick work. Assistant captain Richie Crowley ’13 fired the puck toward the goalie’s chest, but Juola deflected it just in time and sent it bouncing into the net.
When Adam Pawlick answered for the Golden Knights a minute later, the game reached a stalemate that would not be broken. The remainder of the game was racked with penalties and aggressive play. The teams tallied 18 penalties, totaling 58 minutes in the penalty box and two game misconducts.
“They like to mix it up in front of the net, so we’ve got to hold our ground there too,” Juola said of the physical play.
With neither team able to break the tie through overtime, the Bears ended the weekend with a second tie. Juola said the team will use these two matchups as a learning opportunity as it moves out of conference play next weekend to face Army.
“We obviously would have loved to get a couple of wins, but the bounces didn’t go our way,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better.”