Sports

Offense remains cold in women’s hockey’s pair of weekend losses

Team still in search of first win after falling to Dartmouth, No. 9 Harvard over weekend

By
Staff Writer
Monday, November 9, 2015

Sam Donovan ’18 maneuvers on the ice to gain control of the puck. Donovan, who led the team with 12 goals last season, scored the Bears’ only goal over the weekend in Saturday’s contest against Harvard. The forward’s shot came off sharp passes from Alli Rolandelli ’16 and Bridget Carey ’19.

In two games against top ECAC competition, the women’s ice hockey team played four solid periods of hockey. But, one bad period against a good team can be costly, and that was proved to be the case for Brown in weekend losses to Dartmouth and Harvard.

The Bears (0-6, 0-4 ECAC) squared off against the Big Green (2-1-2, 2-1-2) Friday night, and the teams appeared to be well-matched after 20 minutes of scoreless hockey. Brown goaltender Monica Elvin ’17 continued her solid play with 13 first-period saves.

Dartmouth’s Kennedy Ottenbreit broke the deadlock with a goal three minutes into the second.

Seven minutes later, the Big Green got a chance on the power play after the referees called a penalty on Samantha Swanstrom ’18 for body checking. Dartmouth moved the puck well with the man advantage, and Bruno struggled to clear its zone. Just over one minute into the penalty, Dartmouth captain Laura Stacey unleashed a slap shot from just inside the blue line and found the back of the net.

Dartmouth continued its second-period onslaught with a highlight-reel goal from Alyssa Baker, who weaved through the Bruno defense and put a backhand shot past Elvin as she fell to her knees.

The three second-period tallies would prove to be enough, as the Dartmouth defense kept the Bears off the scoreboard. Stacey added her second goal with seven minutes left, and the score held at 4-0 for the remainder of the game.

A bright spot for Bruno was the first line of Sam Donovan ’18, Maddie Woo ’17 and Bridget Carey ’19. The trio generated much of the Bears’ offense, including 11 of the team’s 22 shots on goal.

Head Coach Bob Kenneally ’90 complimented the three forwards, citing Donovan’s move to center and Woo’s to wing as beneficial.

“They’re really starting to come together,” Kenneally said. “Going forward, I think they’re going to be a line to reckon with.”

Elvin made 34 saves in her third start of the season, coming off of a 33-save performance the previous week against Quinnipiac.

Bruno would need a quick turnaround, as No. 9 Harvard (3-1-1, 3-1-1) rolled into Meehan Auditorium Saturday. Brown generated several good chances in the first period, putting seven shots on net. Julianne Landry ’18 got the start in net for Bruno and turned away 11 shots from Harvard to keep the game 0-0.

Despite two goals for the Crimson in the second period, Bruno appeared to have all of the momentum toward the end of the period, consistently keeping the puck in the Harvard zone.

Kenneally called a timeout with less than a minute in the second, making the decision to pull Landry for an extra attacker in an attempt to cut the lead in half. The move seemed to pay off, with Erin Conway ’17 burying a rebound as the buzzer sounded to end the period. The referees then spent nearly 10 minutes reviewing the play to determine whether the puck had crossed the line before time had expired. They eventually ruled in Brown’s favor, and it appeared as though the Bears would start the third down by only one.

But after a full 15-minute intermission, and before the referee dropped the puck, another stoppage occurred as the officials reviewed the play for a second time. The goal was waved off after another 10 minutes, much to the confusion of many in attendance. Over 20 minutes after the play had occurred, the goal was taken off of the scoreboard.

Kenneally expressed the Bears’ excitement after what they thought was their first goal in four games and his frustration with the sudden change by the officials.

“They called it a good goal; they tried to review it; they called it a good goal again,” Kenneally said. “I don’t think you can go back a third time.”

Just 1:18 into the last period, Harvard’s Audrey Warner put a rebound past Landry. Three minutes later, the Crimson added a power play goal from Briana Mastel. The disallowed goal turned into a three-goal swing in Harvard’s favor in just four minutes of play.

After the game, Kenneally filed an official protest with the ECAC over the situation. ECAC commissioner Steve Hagwell said he had been informed of the incident and was seeking further information about the officials’ decision. But he noted that as a rule, the NCAA does not recognize game protests.

“It’s basically a moot point,” Hagwell said.

Bruno would not be kept scoreless, as Donovan scored in the final minutes of play to give the team its first official goal since Oct. 24 at Maine. The goal marked the first of the season for Donovan, who was the Bears’ leading scorer last season.

Harvard scored with 15 seconds left, putting an exclamation point on the 5-1 rout. Landry made a career-high 41 saves for Brown.

Through four conference games, the Bears have played four of the early favorites to win the league. Kenneally expressed hope that the tough games will build the team’s character going forward.

“They remain positive and working hard right until the last whistle,” he said. “The teams that played us would say that we battled them.”

The Bears will continue the quest for their first win Saturday against Sacred Heart at Meehan Auditorium.