Women’s ice hockey loses Mayor’s Cup in overtime defeat

The Friars made an important score on a Brown power play to tie up the game in the second period

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, December 2, 2013

Jessica Hoyle ’14 scored to put Bruno up 2-1 when penalties on both sides led to a four-on-four situation on the ice.

While most students recovered from Thanksgiving, the women’s hockey team hit the ice Saturday to try and defend the Mayor’s Cup in the annual game against Providence College. Bruno has held the cup for two consecutive years, but the Friars recaptured it in a 3-2 battle.

This year’s installation of the 19-year-old series — in which Bruno holds a 9-7-3 advantage — provided plenty of excitement with a shorthanded goal, a come-from-behind win, 12 total penalties, big shots and heroic saves.

“When we play the Mayor’s Cup game each year, you never know who will win … Even if one team is far superior, crazy things always seem to happen in this contest,” said Head Coach Amy Bourbeau in an email to The Herald. Facing up against her alma mater, where she played varsity hockey for four seasons and won three championships, Bourbeau said she recognized that the teams were very evenly matched and that the result would come down to “executing our game.”

Bruno (1-8-2, 0-5-1 ECAC) took an early lead over Providence (7-10-0) at 14 minutes, 17 seconds into the first period after Aubree Moore ’14 blocked convincing passes from a Friar power play.

“Defensively, Moore made a ton of saves for us in key situations,” Bourbeau said. Moore has been a defensive backbone and lifeline for the consistently outshot team. After Moore successfully defended two more man-down scoring situations, Bruno made the first move on the scoreboard with a goal from Ariana Rucker ’16, giving the Bears a 1-0 advantage going into the second period despite further close scoring attempts from Sarah Robson ’15 and Erin Conway ’17.

Just over four minutes into the second period, the Friars garnered a body checking penalty, giving the Bears a power play opportunity. Bruno failed to capitalize and the tables turned as Molly Illikainen of Providence intercepted a pass in Brown territory and slapped a wrist shot into the back of the net to tie up the game.

“Our offense was there making plays and getting chances … but our power play was off and it didn’t help get us,” Bourbeau said.

The second period continued with a big breakaway chance for the Friars, blocked by Moore, as well as a well-executed steal by Janice Yang ’15 fed to Kaitlyn Keon ’15 for a scoring attempt in the midst of a line change for the Friars. Bruno encountered another power play near the end of the period, allowing Sarah Robson ’15 to take a point blank shot on goal that was caught in the glove of Providence goalie Sarah Bryant. The Bears equalized the power play by notching a penalty of their own for delay of game as Moore scrambled for a puck, and neither team had the advantage as they played four on four. The real danger came when a slashing penalty with 10 seconds left in the second period gave the Friars a five-on-three advantage going into the third period.

With the tie intact, Providence had 27 seconds of five-on-three play to produce as much damage as possible. A tough Bruno defense of Jennifer Nedow ’14, Kelly Micholson ’16 and Kelly Kittredge ’14 held the Friars at bay, killing the penalty as Moore blocked four quick shots in succession. When both teams incurred penalties once again for another four-on-four situation, Jessica Hoyle ’14 delivered the go-ahead goal from behind the Friars’ net, putting the Bears up 2-1. With less than six minutes to go, Providence tied the game back up with a resounding slapshot off the goal post. In a hockey equivalent of a “Hail Mary,” Bruno got one more swipe at taking the game in regulation with a long shot attempt from defender Micholson.

Going over regulation for the third time in as many games, Bruno was quickly put on the defensive with two opportunistic shots from the Friars, one off a faceoff breakaway and one off an interception. While these were blocked away by Moore, it took barely a minute and a half for Janine Weber of Providence to elude the defenders and fire straight on goal for a shot that Moore could not block and changed the hands on the Mayor’s Cup.

“Overall we worked hard, but we had one more breakdown than them. Sadly it came in overtime,” Bourbeau said.

Bruno was outshot 39 to 26 in this contest and won 28 faceoffs to Providence’s 37. Both teams encountered six power plays but neither squad scored off them, though Providence scored on a Brown power play. The contest was a nonconference game for the Bears and followed their previous overtime loss to the University of Vermont 4-3. They will play at the University of Maine (0-12-4) Dec. 6 and 7 to wind up their non-ECAC stretch of play, before taking on Cornell (9-1-2, 6-0-2) and Colgate (3-12-2, 1-7-0) at home in the new year.