Sports

Men’s hockey team secures home ice in first round of tournament

Bruno rebounded from its loss to Cornell and cruised over Colgate on Senior Day

By
Contributing Writer
Monday, March 4, 2013

Matt Lorito ’15 faces Cornell player Braden Birch, who scored his first goal of the season for the Big Red and led the team to win against the Bears 4-1.

The scene could not have been more satisfying for the seniors on the men’s ice hockey team. On Senior Day, with their families in attendance, Bruno’s upperclassmen led the squad to a 5-1 victory over Colgate University, securing home-ice advantage in the opening round of the ECAC tournament for the first time since 2005.

“It’s just a culmination of all our hard work,” said Anthony Borelli ’13. “It’s like we finally got rewarded for the past four years. The past three seasons hadn’t ended the way we wanted them to, and this season everything seems to be coming together.”

After falling to Cornell 4-1 Friday night, Brown (11-12-6, 7-9-6 ECAC) not only needed to beat Colgate on Saturday, but also hoped for Cornell (12-14-3, 8-11-3) or Clarkson losses.

The stars aligned for the Bears as No. 14 Yale (16-10-3, 12-9-1) tallied a 2-1 victory over Cornell, and Clarkson suffered its second consecutive shutout in a 4-0 loss to Union.

Brown will host the Clarkson Golden Knights (9-18-7, 8-11-3) as the ECAC’s No. 7 seed Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday in a best-of-three series at the Meehan Auditorium. All games will start at 7:00 p.m.

 

Cornell 4, Brown 1

The weekend started off on a low note for the Bears, when the team fell behind on a wraparound goal by Christian Hilbrich midway through the first period. The Big Red then stretched its lead to 2-0 on a Dustin Mowrey goal later in the frame.

In the second period, Braden Birch added his first goal of the season for Cornell, who took a 3-0 lead despite being outshot 12-6 by Brown.

Mark Naclerio ’16 finally put Brown on the board less than three minutes into the third, set up by assists from Michael Juola ’14 and Dennis Robertson ’14.

Brian Ferlin tallied another goal for the Big Red, bringing the final score to 4-1.

“We played a really good hockey team that doesn’t beat themselves,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “We coughed it up. We just made some poor, poor decisions. We forced things that weren’t there … We got exactly what we deserved.”

 

Brown 5, Colgate 1

Saturday brought a reversal of fortunes for Bruno. Matt Harlow ’15 led the Bears to victory with two goals, and Borelli stopped 33 of 34 shots on goal.

Matt Lorito ’15 opened the scoring midway through the first with his team-leading 15th goal of the season, assisted by Nick Lappin ’16 and Matt Wahl ’14.

Jeremy Price responded for the Raiders (14-16-4, 6-13-3) at the end of the first period with a power-play goal, tying the game at one.

After that, Brown held the upper-hand. Mark Hourihan ’14 put Bruno up 2-1 with 11:06 remaining in the second, set up by Richie Crowley ’13 and Harlow.

Harlow widened the margin to 3-1 less than five minutes later on a shot from the blue line that banked off the left post before going in. He was assisted by Lappin and Hourihan on the goal.

“Obviously, there was a lot of luck involved on that one,” Harlow said. “Good things happen when you get the puck on net.”

Juola added his name to the scoring column early in the third period, and Harlow scored his second goal of the game on a power play shortly after.

“Guys really, really stuck together,” Whittet said. “They came together, they played with a lot of heart and they battled for each other. That’s all you can ask.”

Before the game, Brown recognized seniors Francis Drolet ’13, Marc Senecal ’13, Chris Zaires ’13, Jeff Ryan ’13, Borelli and Crowley, along with their family members.

“I’m very lucky to have my whole family here and my brother, who’s in the Navy right now,” Ryan said. “This will be the second time he’s seen me suit up in a Brown uniform, so I have a lot of emotions running high … I’m very blessed to have a good group of guys on my team for seniors. We’ve been through a lot.”

Bruno will begin preparation Monday for its ECAC matchup against Clarkson.

“It’s definitely pretty cool to be the first senior class that’s (secured home ice) since 2005,” Borelli said. “It’s a nice accomplishment temporarily, but our main focus is on the big goal, which is winning the ECAC championship.”

In other first-round ECAC tournament matchups, No. 5 seed Dartmouth (13-11-5, 9-9-4) will host No. 12 Harvard (9-17-3, 6-14-2), No. 11 Colgate will travel to No. 6 St. Lawrence (16-14-4, 9-9-4) and No. 9 Cornell will square off against No. 8 Princeton (10-14-5, 8-10-4) on the road.