Tough winter stretch highlighted by 4-3 win over Dartmouth

Bruno finds success against Arizona State, Dartmouth, frustrated by string of home losses

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, January 26, 2017

The men’s hockey team continued its season over the winter break, picking up one victory, one draw and five losses, to drop to a record of 4-14-1 and 3-9-0 in ECAC play.

The Bears travelled to Arizona late December for two contests in the Desert Hockey Classic tournament, in which they finished in second place. After three periods of play in the tournament’s opening matchup against host Arizona State (9-17-2), the teams were deadlocked in an 8-8 draw. Max Willman ’18 secured Bruno a spot in the title game with a 3-on-3 goal in double overtime. “Everything just seemed to find the back of the net,” said Charlie Corcoran ’18, who recorded his first career hat trick in the contest, leading the Bears with four goals. “I don’t think we played a great game defensively, but … by scoring eight goals it gave our forwards a lot of confidence,” he said. Corcoran was named ECAC Player of the Week for his efforts in the matchup.

The next day, Bruno was unable to maintain an early lead against the UConn (9-10-6, 5-6-2 Hockey East) in the tournament’s championship game. After a first period goal from Tyler Bird ’18, the Huskies dominated offensive play in the second and third stanzas, sending three consecutive shots past netminder Gavin Nieto ’20. UConn added an empty-net goal on the power play in the last frame to bring the score to 4-1, edging out the Bears for the title. The Huskies outshot Bruno 34-16 in the contest.

The following weekend saw Bruno return to home ice in a non-conference matchup against New Hampshire (11-9-4, 6-3-3). Though the Bears posted a late comeback in the third period by notching three consecutive goals in the final 10 minutes, they were unable to recover from an early deficit and fell to the Wildcats by a tally of 7-4.

“We need to work on moving forward and being ready for that opening faceoff and not waiting to settle into the game,” Willman said. Against the Wildcats, Willman picked up three points, scoring two goals and recording one assist.

“It is good to see that we can come back and score some goals, but at the same time we don’t want to put ourselves in that situation too often,” Corcoran said. “Getting down in those holes because we aren’t playing well defensively or because we have mental lapses in turning the puck over is not something that we can really afford.”

The following weekend, Bruno resumed conference play with a close matchup against No. 16/15 St. Lawrence (13-7-6, 9-2-3). The Bears entered the third period with a 1-0 advantage, but conceded two consecutive goals to the Saints in a losing effort. Zack Pryzbek ’17 sent a shot past Saints netminder Kyle Hayton in the second stanza for Bruno’s only score of the evening, while Andrew Doane ’17 and Max Gottlieb ’19 recorded assists on the play.

The following day’s contest against Clarkson (11-10-4, 6-5-2) proved difficult for the Bears. Brown entered the third period trailing 5-0, eventually falling by a score of 7-2.  Bird and Samuel Lafferty ’18 scored one goal apiece in the final 20 minutes.

Bruno finished the next weekend’s Ivy League double-header with mixed results. Friday night, No. 6 Harvard (12-5-2, 8-4-2) blanked the Bears in Cambridge, sending two shots past Nieto before posting an empty netter late in the third period for a 3-0 victory. Nieto made a career-high 39 saves in the contest.

“I thought we played them hard and played them tough, but didn’t get the result we wanted,” Willman said.

The Bears found success against Dartmouth (7-10-3, 4-7-2) Saturday, mounting a comeback from a two-goal deficit in the first frame. Brent Beaudoin ’20, Davey Middleton ’17 and Willman each posted goals for Bruno in regulation, and the game concluded in a 3-3 draw. Doane secured the Bears’ victory halfway through overtime, sending a shot past Big Green netminder Devin Buffalo off a rebound.

“I thought we took a step in the right direction this weekend,” Willman said. “We got a nice (overtime) win there, which … hopefully helps turn around the rest of the year for us.”

Brown’s final 10 games will all come against ECAC opponents.

“It’s an exciting time of the year, knowing that we still have all these teams to play,” he added.

“I think it’s just a matter of showing up ready to compete,” Corcoran said. ”We’re very optimistic and ready for the challenge.”

Bruno will host the home leg of a double-header against Yale tonight at 7 p.m.  at Meehan Auditorium.