Sports

Men’s hockey set for two grueling weekend matchups

Hosting two nationally ranked opponents, Bears hope to bounce back from 6-0 loss

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, January 31, 2014

After going 1-1 against then-No. 10 Yale last weekend, the men’s ice hockey team is set to take on two more ranked teams at home this weekend — No. 18 Colgate and No. 11 Cornell.

The Bears (8-8-3, ECAC 5-6-1) had seemed to be on a hot streak before Saturday’s 6-0 loss: Heading into last weekend, the team had lost just one of its seven games since November. Bruno will look to regain the momentum of last Friday’s victory over Yale as the team heads into the weekend.

 

Friday: Colgate at Brown

The Raiders are perhaps the hottest team in college hockey. After starting 7-9-2, Colgate (13-9-3, 9-3-1) has not lost a game in its last seven, with six consecutive victories helping the team rocket up the national polls.

After the Raiders defeated the Bears 3-1 at Colgate Nov. 23, they dropped their next two home games to the University of Massachusetts (7-16-2). The team has not lost since. Colgate’s recent success may be concerning for the Bears, but Bruno has reason for optimism. Of Colgate’s seven-game hot streak, only three matches have been true road games, two of which came against ECAC doormats Dartmouth (3-14-3, 2-10-1) and Harvard (5-11-3, 2-9-3). On the other hand, the third matchup was a tie against No. 1 Minnesota (18-2-4, Big Ten 7-0-1).

Colgate sophomore forwards Darcy Murphy and Tyson Spink lead the Raiders with 11 goals and 22 points, respectively. First-year goalie Charlie Finn has started 16 of the team’s 25 games. He has posted a .912 save percentage, just north of Bruno goalie Tyler Steel’s ’17 .906 mark. Finn locked down the Bears when the teams first played, notching 38 saves on 39 shots, while Mark Borkowski led the Raiders’ offensive charge, scoring a shorthanded goal and tallying an assist. Marco De Filippo ’14 started the game in goal and acquitted himself well, allowing only two goals on 28 shots ­— Colgate’s third came on an empty netter. If Finn fails to duplicate his brick wall performance and the Bears can outshoot the Raiders by eight again, Bruno will be in great shape, but it remains to be seen whether Colgate, hot on the heels of its sixth straight win, will look anything like the team Bruno faced in November.

 

Saturday: Cornell at Brown

The Bears will have their hands full with a hot Cornell team (10-4-5, 6-3-4) that has lost just one of its past 12 games. The Big Red clobbered the Bears 5-1 in Ithaca at the teams’ first matchup, but their record indicates they have been a different team on the road this year.

Cornell has taken care of business at home, beating No. 13 Yale (10-5-4, 5-4-3) and No. 15 Clarkson (15-9-2, 8-4-0) and losing just once, to No. 3 Quinnipiac (18-4-5, 8-2-3). But the Big Red is a paltry 5-3-3 on the road and at neutral sites, with no wins over ranked teams and some ugly losses and ties. Cornell fell to Boston University (8-14-2, HEA 3-8-1) at Madison Square Garden and tied at Dartmouth (3-14-3, 2-10-1), which is in last place in the ECAC.

Junior forward Brian Ferlin leads the Big Red with nine goals and 20 total points. Goalie Andy Iles has started all but one game and has notched a .918 save percentage. The Bears will have their eye on first-year Eric Freschi, who scored two goals in the teams’ last meeting, though one was an empty-netter to seal the game. Bruno will look to get revenge for one of its worst games of the year, and Steel will attempt to redeem himself after allowing four goals on 27 shots.

The weekend does not provide Bruno much opportunity for advancement in the ECAC standings. Even if the Bears win both their games, the only team they can only overtake is Yale, though the Elis need only muster one point this weekend to keep their position. Yale also hosts Cornell and Colgate this weekend.