Sports

After win, women’s hockey faces top-ranked Clarkson, St. Lawrence

Standout goalie Elvin ’17, Donovan rookies will be tested by strong ECAC opposition

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, January 30, 2015

The women’s ice hockey team gained some much-needed momentum Jan. 23 when it picked up a win over Yale to snap its 10-game losing streak. The squad hopes to carry that momentum over to this weekend, when it will face two top-ranked squads in Clarkson (15-7-3, 9-2-2 ECAC) and St. Lawrence (14-8-3, 8-3-2) on the road.

Clarkson, the defending NCAA women’s ice hockey champion, will undoubtedly give the Bears (5-16-0, 2-12-0) a tough run. Ranked eighth nationally and third in the ECAC — a testament to the competitiveness of the conference — the Golden Knights boast a fierce offense. Cayley Mercer and Shannon MacAulay lead the ECAC in points, guiding their squad to an average of 3.08 goals per game. In comparison, Brown scores about two goals per game and has no players in the top five of any offensive categories.

But the Bears do have Monica Elvin ’17, who stepped up to start in goal this season, filling the big shoes of former standout goaltender Aubree Moore ’14. Elvin ranks fourth in the conference in total saves and boasts a respectable save percentage of .879 — ranking above a number of goalies from more successful teams.

Bruno has also proved potent on the power play, ranking near the top of the conference in conversion percentage. In their overtime win over Yale, the Bears showed grit and a never-say-die resilience that drove them to victory. They found success in their passes and connections, which paid off on the scoreboard.

“We moved the puck well during certain times of the games, and we want to continue to do this going into the weekend,” said Janice Yang ’15. “We have been successful on the power play, and hopefully this will carry over into the weekend.”

Bruno will need to replicate these strengths against St. Lawrence, another tough ECAC foe. The Saints, who are currently riding a five-game winning streak, have only dropped two home games this season. They feature a deep roster, with four different players having amassed more than 20 points on the season. Co-captain Kaitlyn Keon ’15 leads the Bears with 16 points. For the Saints, Brooke Webster has been especially lethal on offense, and Carmen MacDonald has played well in goal, earning an impressive .925 save percentage.

Clarkson and St. Lawrence are “two physical and offensively gifted teams,” Yang said. The two squads will pose unique but formidable challenges to a talented Brown squad that has struggled to put together wins.

In preparation for this weekend, the team is focusing “on utilizing our strengths and minimizing our mistakes,” Yang said. “If we do that, we know we’ll be successful.”

To win this weekend, Bruno will have to perform consistently and aggressively, racking up shots on goal and playing a smart game. In practice, the Bears have been working on defensive zone play and their ability to read situations, Yang said. To be competitive, they must continue to capitalize on power plays and maintain solid defense against their higher-scoring rivals.

Bruno’s goal leaders, Keon and rookie Sam Donovan ’18, have lead the charge against opponents’ defenses, but the Bears have still been outscored by 37 goals this season. They are hoping to break that trend this weekend against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. Otherwise, it seems unlikely that they will emerge from the cellar of the ECAC.