Sports

Men’s hockey scores unexpected split

Seniors falter against Princeton but rebound against Quinnipiac

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, February 16, 2014

Massimo Lamacchia ’15 scored in a 4-2 win over fourth-ranked Quinnipiac Saturday. The Bears fell to last-place Princeton Friday night.

The men’s hockey team picked up some surprising results at home this weekend, falling to last-place Princeton but defeating No. 4 Quinnipiac.

It was a weekend for upsets all across the ECAC, with the teams that entered each conference game lower in the standings going 6-3-3 overall. The bottom three teams entering the weekend — Harvard, Dartmouth and Princeton — went a combined 4-1-1.

Rensselaer, which led Brown in the standings by two points entering the weekend, went 1-0-1 to expand its lead on the Bears to three points. St. Lawrence, with which Brown was tied, was 0-1-1 this weekend to fall a point behind Bruno and into a tie with Harvard for ninth place.

 

Friday: Princeton 3, Brown 2

The Tigers (5-20-0, 4-14-0 ECAC) won their second road game of the season at Brown (10-12-3, 7-10-1) Friday despite goals from Mark Naclerio ’16 and Matt Lorito ’15.

Princeton took a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second period, but Brown struck back a minute later with Naclerio’s goal and tied it up three minutes afterward on a penalty shot by Lorito. But Princeton scored a power-play goal shortly after that, and neither team would score for the rest of the game.

The loss was Brown’s fourth straight after falling to Cornell two weeks ago, and to Union and RPI last weekend.

After his team lost to the last-place team in the conference, Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94 had some harsh words for his players.

“I thought we were awful,” Whittet said. “Our team thought we were much better than we were, and we got outworked and out-battled and outcompeted. They outplayed us and they beat us.”

Whittet put his upperclassmen specifically on blast, all but blaming them for the loss.

“It’s our older guys,” he said. “The older guys are letting us down, and it’s got to change, or this season will be a short one going forward.”

Whittet was upset with the effort he saw from the entire team, saying, “When you come down to the rink you’d better be ready to go.”

“I think we have effort in spurts,” Whittet said. “I think we work when we want. I think as that game wore on we realized, ‘You know what, they’re not going to roll over for us,’ and then we realized we had to actually win some battles and by then it was too late.”

The Bears actually outshot the Tigers 38-31, but Princeton’s Colton Phinney allowed just two goals while Tyler Steel ’17 allowed three. But Whittet put little stock in these numbers.

“I don’t care how many shots we had. I don’t care how many attempts we had. I don’t care how many pipes we hit. They wanted to win more than we did,” he said.

“I’ve got to do a better job of making sure my message gets through,” he added.

Whatever Whittet said in the locker room, his message got through the next day.

 

Saturday: Brown 4, No. 4 Quinnipiac 2

After losing arguably its worst game of the season, Bruno rebounded Saturday with its most significant win so far, defeating the highly ranked Bobcats (21-6-5, 11-4-3) at home.

The Bears jumped on Quinnipiac much like Princeton had jumped on them, taking a 2-0 lead out of the first period and leading 4-1 in the middle of the second.

A day after Whittet called out the juniors and seniors for their play, they led the way in beating a top-five team. Garnet Hathaway ’14 scored two goals, Massimo Lamacchia ’15 notched another, Dennis Robertson ’14 had two assists and Marco De Filippo ’14 made 23 saves in just his second start since November.

“I think the biggest thing is just forgetting about what happened,” Hathaway said. “You can’t change the past.”

Whittet agreed, and said he noticed the team’s improved preparation against Quinnipiac.

“I thought we were really good,” he said. “I could tell, going into the room, that the guys were ready tonight.”

“I think we just worked hard today,” Nick Lappin ’16 said. “We won a lot more battles. … Right from the drop of the puck tonight we were ready.”

Penalties were a big part of the game, as Quinnipiac committed 25 minutes’ worth of them in the third period. The Bears found themselves on the power play for 11:25 of the final frame, including 3:35 of 5-on-3 hockey. But the Bears failed to score for the entire period.

Whittet was less than happy with the power-play offense. “You’ve got to execute, and we’ll continue to work on that,” he said.

Despite scoring such a marquee win, the loss to Princeton still soured the weekend for the players.

Hathaway said he is “not satisfied unless we get two wins.”

“We expect to win every game,” Lappin added.

Still, the win against Quinnipiac provides some momentum for the Bears’ final four regular-season games.

“Hopefully we can just build off tonight and get four points next weekend,” Lappin said.

The Bears take on Dartmouth (6-16-3, 5-12-1) and Harvard (9-12-4, 5-9-4) next weekend.