Sports

Men’s hockey teases conference victories in split weekend

Bruno falls to Quinnipiac, ties with Princeton in home series, holds last spot in ECAC table

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, February 5, 2017

Veteran forward Tyler Bird ’18 handles the puck in the opposing third. After a 3-3 tie against Princeton Saturday, Bruno has just six games remaining in the regular season and will face Colgate Friday at 7 p.m.

The men’s hockey team had mixed results this weekend, falling to No. 19 Quinnipiac Friday and drawing with Princeton Saturday by tallies of 1-0 and 3-3, respectively.

Friday saw the Bears (4-17-2, 3-12-1 ECAC) slighted by Quinnipiac (16-11-12, 10-6-1) on home ice. Bo Pieper grabbed an early lead for the Bobcats seven minutes into the opening frame, putting a shot past Brown netminder Gavin Nieto ’20 stick side for the only goal of the evening.

After being outshot 23-6 in the first two stanzas, the Bears generated more offensive pressure in the third, taking 15 shots compared to the Bobcats’ nine. Bruno pulled Nieto for the extra skater with 1:47 remaining, but was denied by Bobcats goaltender Andrew Shortridge, who made 21 saves in total for the shutout.

“We got off to a slow start, but we picked it up as the game went on,” said Nieto, who made 31 saves in the loss. “We have to come out ready to go.”

“There’s a little bit of urgency that we need to play with from the drop of the puck,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “You have to be ready to go for the full 60 minutes.”

The following day, the Bears were unable to maintain an early lead against Princeton (9-11-3, 4-9-3) in a close matchup at Meehan Auditorium. Bruno scored three times in the first period, but the Tigers responded with three unanswered goals to even up the tally by the end of the second. A scoreless third frame sent the teams into a five-minute overtime, which concluded in a 3-3 draw.

Tyler Bird ’18 posted a shorthanded goal four minutes into the first period, slotting the puck past Tigers netminder Colton Phinney for the first score of the evening.

Three minutes later, Charlie Corcoran ’18 netted a backhand shot — his team-high 14th goal of the season — off a pass from Brent Beaudoin ’20. Max Willman ’18 then notched a goal in front 10:37 into the stanza, giving the Bears a 3-0 advantage. Sam Lafferty ’18 and Nolan Aibel ’20 recorded assists on the play.

“We got out to a pretty strong start,” Bird said. “The key tonight was to just keep playing the way we were to get us those three goals.”

“We played a great first,” Whittet said. “It’s a 60 minute game — you’ve just got to find a way to sustain that process from shift-to-shift and period-to-period.”

Whittet cited injuries as a challenge for the team. “We’ve got a lot of injuries up front, so guys were stepping into roles that they haven’t been in,” he said. “It just shuffles things around.”

The Bears are in the final stretch of their season, with six games remaining before the ECAC playoffs.

“We have to learn from what we did well,” Nieto said. “If we can just take the positives … and put them towards the rest of the conference play heading into playoffs, I think we’ll start to win some games and surprise some teams.”