The men’s hockey team gave up four power-play goals to allow No. 13 Yale to come from behind and win 4-3 Saturday night in New Haven, Conn.
After the Bears (3-5-2, 0-3-2 ECAC) built a 3-1 lead early in the second period, the Bulldogs (6-2-1, 3-2 ECAC) responded emphatically with three goals to erase the margin and steal a win.
“For long stretches, we were the dominant team,” said Bruno Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94.
The Bears grabbed an early lead when captain Dennis Robertson ’14 notched his first goal of the year. Robertson’s shot had to travel a long way through a field of bodies, but eventually found the back of the net to put the first score on the board. Assistant captain Chris Zaires ’13 doubled the lead four minutes later by knocking home a pass from Matt Wahl ’14 to push the lead to 2-0.
The Bulldogs cut the margin in half late in the first stanza, but Matt Harlow ’15 answered in the second stanza with his first goal of the season. Bruno took advantage of a power play when Matt Lorito ’15 maneuvered through the left circle and found Harlow with a pass to the right crease.
But Yale’s special teams play proved too much for the Bears in the second period. The Bulldogs’ forward Kenny Agostino scored the first of Yale’s three goals, cutting the lead to one with a hard shot from the top right circle. Yale continued the attack with forwards Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere scoring another two goals within 35 seconds to give the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish.
“The area we need to shore up is our intelligence on ice. Mentally, we’re a little weak right now, taking penalties at real inopportune times that obviously led to us losing,” Whittet said.
Robertson said the best defense for the power play is to avoid penalties in the first place.
“We’ve just got to stay out of box,” he said. “When you give a good team enough chances on the power play, they’re eventually going to score no matter how well you’re able to kill it off.”
But the Bears did not go down without a fight. Trailing by one in the final period, the Bears fired off 14 shots to try to close the margin but came up empty.
The game marked Bruno’s return to conference play after a three-week break. The Bears remain winless in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, with all three losses coming by a single goal.
“We had them on their heels toward the end of the game, but we just couldn’t seem to find a way, and that’s what were missing - to find a way to win those close games,” Robertson said. “When we do that, we’ll be a lot better. It’s disheartening, but I think everyone is still confident.”
Putting a win on the books will not get any easier for the Bears when they host last year’s ECAC champion Union College Friday night.
“We are definitively a better team than we were a year ago, (but) it hasn’t shown yet in terms of wins,” Whittet said, adding that a victory this weekend is crucial to proving the team’s improvement.
“We’ve got to better in all areas,” he said. “Absolutely no excuses.”