Sports

Ivy sweep keeps men’s hockey winless in conference

Two big losses to Harvard and Dartmouth leave Bruno 0-4 in ECAC play, its worst start in 14 years

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 17, 2014

Matt Lorito ’15 handles the puck. The senior scored a goal against Harvard, but that goal was one of just two that Bruno secured this weekend.

It had been 1,009 days since the men’s hockey team gave up a total of 12 goals in consecutive games — on Feb. 11, 2012 the Bears lost to Colgate 7-6, capping off a weekend in which they also lost to Cornell by a 5-2 final tally.

Now, that clock has to be reset: Bruno (1-4, 0-4 ECAC) fell to Harvard (3-1-2, 2-1-1) and Dartmouth (2-2-1, 2-2-1) this weekend by a combined score of 12-2, losing Friday to the Crimson, 6-2, and getting shut out Saturday by the Big Green, 6-0. Brown’s 0-4 ECAC record is its worst start to conference play since the 2000-01 season, in which the Bears did not register a conference point until their fifth game.

“We got overwhelmed by some good hockey teams,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “It’s something we need to rectify real quick.”

A Harvard goal 1:51 into the first period set the tone, as Tyler Moy scored his first career goal to put Brown in an early hole. Moy then doubled his total and the lead with a shorthanded goal 14 minutes into the first period — making it the third consecutive game that the Bears had gone down by two goals.

The second period was more of the same as Kyle Criscuolo scored a power play goal after Brandon Pfeil ’16 was called for slashing. Whittet then pulled goalie Tyler Steel ’17 in favor of fellow sophomore Tim Ernst ’17, but things did not get any better for Bruno. The Crimson all but clinched the game with five minutes left in the period, as Brian Hart scored another power play goal.

Playing for pride in the third period, the Bears were able to get a couple goals courtesy of Matt Harlow ’15 and Matt Lorito ’15. But Bruno also let in its third power play goal of the night — and the first of Max Everson’s career — while Hart got his second to close the game out at 6-2.

It was more of the same defensively against Dartmouth, as the Bears allowed three first period goals, their sixth, seventh and eighth first period goals allowed in conference play this year. For reference, three ECAC teams — Quinnipiac (7-2-1, 4-0-0), Clarkson (3-5-4, 1-1-2) and Cornell (1-4-1, 1-3-0) — have given up fewer than eight goals total in conference play. Ernst started the game for the Bears but was pulled after Dartmouth’s second goal 13 minutes into the game for Steel.

“I was trying to do something to get a spark going,” Whittet said. “Tim had worked hard and deserved a shot, but it didn’t work. We didn’t look good from goalie out this weekend. I just wish someone would step up and be a leader for our young guys.”

It did not get any better for Bruno after the first period, as Jack Barre scored the Big Green’s second power play goal of the game in the lone scoring play of the second period. Dartmouth added two more goals in the third period to add to its already domineering total, closing out Brown’s worst shutout loss since 2009, when it lost to Cornell by the same score.

Brown’s penalty kill unit — which was one of the Bears’ lone bright spots the previous weekend — was horrendous, giving up four goals in 16 minutes of ice time. Its power play team was arguably worse, going 0-for-7; Brown is now 0-for-14 this season on the power play. The loss of second-leading scorer Nick Lappin ’16 to a suspension added to the struggles, Whittet said.

“We missed Nick a lot,” Whittet said. “Our lines have been discombobulated all year — he was out both games this weekend and got kicked out of the two last weekend — and our special teams were an absolute disaster.”

Another problem for the Bears is that most of their key players are underclassmen, including three first-years on defense who have seen a lot of minutes.

“We have a lot of growing to do,” Whittet said. “It’s going to be a process. I think we had 14 underclassmen out of 20 skaters playing this weekend, and the other teams are more mature than we are. We just need to teach our guys how to compete, but there are going to be some growing pains.”

Brown’s four game road trip continues this weekend against Colgate (8-3-1, 2-1-1) and Cornell as Brown searches for its first conference points of the season.

“We have to play two good teams next weekend,” Whittet said. “We just have to forget about this weekend and get back to the drawing board.”