Men’s hockey offense struggles in weekend contests

Bruno goes scoreless against Cornell, ties Colgate in disappointing weekend matchups

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, November 23, 2015

Bruno’s defense, anchored by Tim Ernst ‘18 with 16 saves total, could not salvage this weekend’s games against Cornell and Colgate.

After scoring and allowing at least two goals in every single game this year, the men’s hockey team reversed both trends this weekend against Colgate and Cornell at home.

The Raiders (4-8-1, 1-4-1 ECAC) entered their tilt with Brown (1-4-2, 1-3-2) as one of the ECAC’s worst teams — a far cry from the offensive success they had last year. But Bruno all but handed the first period to them Friday.

The Bears committed five penalties in the frame, enabling Colgate to take a one-goal lead heading into the second period. Brett Corkey and Tylor Spink set up Tyson Spink masterfully on Bruno’s fourth penalty, courtesy of a charging call against Alex Brink ’19.

“We did a better job limiting grade A scoring chances, for the most part,” said captain Mark Naclerio ’16. Goalie “Tim (Ernst ’17) was excellent both nights and did a great job all weekend.”

Ernst made 16 saves in a sloppy first period for the Bears and kept his team in the game, while the offense only mustered three shots of its own. Bruno’s best chances came toward the end of the period, when it took its first man-advantage sequence of the game. But a penalty shortly thereafter from Tommy Marchin ’19 negated any Brown offensive threat.

The second period was a much different story, as Brown dominated on both ends of the ice and limited needless penalties. The team seems to have solved last season’s penalty struggles, and this game was no exception after the first period. Nick Lappin ’16 scored his fourth goal in three games on the man-advantage to tie the game up, thanks to a Marchin shot that redirected right onto the senior’s stick.

“He has had a lot of good chances,” Naclerio said. “He uses his speed really well and finds ways to get open in the offensive zone. He’s been great for us so far and is a large part of our team.”

Though there were a combined 24 shots in the third period, neither team could break the deadlock because of some impressive goaltending by both Ernst and Charlie Finn. Two Bears hit the post on back-to-back shots, as Marchin’s shot appeared to strike both the crossbar and the post before bouncing out. The no-goal call stood after review by the referees.

In overtime, it was the Ernst show: Sprawling from one side of the net to the other, he was able to keep an impressive Colgate offense out of the net.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Naclerio said. “And he is finding ways to make incredible saves. He gives us a chance to win each night, and he always competes.”

Neither side could break the deadlock, and the game ended in a tie.

The contest against Cornell (6-1-1, 4-1-1) was even more disappointing for the Bears: The Bruno offense that had been firing on all cylinders before the weekend was shut out for the first time in 20 games, dating back to last season.

Despite carrying the momentum for most of the first and second period, Brown went down 1-0 about halfway through the game. Brown outshot Cornell by 10 in the first two periods but was unable to sneak anything by goaltender Mitch Gillam.

Cornell’s tenacious, physical game wore the Bears down by the third period, as Brown only outshot the Big Red by one. Gillam held on, giving the Bears their first 1-0 loss since January of last season.

“In both games, both teams blocked a lot of shots,” Naclerio said. “We had a lot of opportunities. We just need to find a way to get shots through.”

Brown heads to Northern Ireland on Monday for the inaugural Friendship Four tournament, in which it will face Colgate for a second time in as many weeks.