Sports

Men’s hockey claims 3-1 victory over St. Lawrence

Strong command of power play, dominant possession fuel Bruno to Saturday win against Saints

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Following Saturday’s victory over St. Lawrence, the Bears will continue conference play with visits to No. 16 Quinnipiac and Princeton.

Following a pair of losses to Dartmouth and No. 3 Harvard last week, the men’s hockey team prevailed over St. Lawrence for the first time since 2014 with a 3-1 victory Saturday. The win highlighted a weekend of opposite decisions as Bruno fell to No. 11 Clarkson 5-3 Friday.

Charlie Corcoran ’18 led the Bears with two goals and a pair of assists over the weekend, and Alec Mehr ’21 and Max Willman ’18 posted a goal and an assist each.

Clarkson 5, Brown 3

Friday night, Corcoran, Mehr and Zach Giuttari ’20 scored to bring the Bears (2-4, 2-4 ECAC) within one goal of the Golden Knights (8-3-1, 4-0), but Clarkson closed Bruno out in the final stretch.

A trio of first-period goals — including two on the power play — gave the Golden Knights an early lead. Corcoran put the Bears on the board in the 10th minute, capitalizing on a 6-on-4 advantage after goaltender Gavin Nieto ’20 was pulled for an extra skater. Tony Stillwell ’21 delivered a feed to Corcoran, who deflected the puck past Clarkson goaltender Jake Kielly.

Mehr answered another Clarkson power play goal late in the second stanza, firing a shot top shelf from the circle.

Bruno’s power play struck again when Giuttari trimmed the deficit to one in the final period. At the six minute mark, Giuttari collected a pass from Brent Beaudoin ’20 and launched a shot off the crossbar into the back of the net.

The Bears kept the pressure up, but Josh Dickinson added an empty netter in the final 30 seconds to secure the victory for Clarkson.

Bruno gained offensive momentum later in the contest, outshooting the Golden Knights in the second and third periods for a total shot advantage of 35-28.

“We just came out a lot faster in the second and third,” Corcoran said. “To start the game it was pretty tough — we didn’t come out with enough urgency.”

In net, Nieto made 23 saves.

Brown 3, St. Lawrence 1

The following day, Bruno converted twice on the power play to extend an early first-period advantage over the Saints (1-10-1, 0-3-1). A trio of seniors — Willman, Corcoran and Tyler Bird ’18 — recorded goals to clinch the victory for the Bears.

Willman opened scoring in the tenth minute, capitalizing on a 3-on-1 break. Corcoran sent a feed to Willman, who launched a one-timer from the center past Saints goaltender Daniel Mannella.

“The start was important — we played with a lot of jump,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “We wanted to make sure we were putting them on their heels, finishing checks and playing in the zone a lot, making them have to chase us.”

Corcoran took advantage of a St. Lawrence five-minute major penalty in the second stanza by adding a power play goal to widen the lead. Sam Lafferty ’18 and Stillwell each recorded assists.

The Bears’ power play struck again midway through the period when Bird answered a Saints goal, redirecting a pass from Corcoran into the left corner of the net.

“We did a pretty good job playing with the lead,” Bird said. “A thing that’s killed us in the past is that we get up a goal or two and then we’ll kind of sit back and stop doing what made us successful. So that was a good thing to just continue to play hard and continue to play with confidence.”

Rookie goaltender Luke Kania ’21 stopped 24 shots for his first career win.

The Bears dominated in terms of possession, outshooting the Saints 46-25.

“When you have the puck a lot, you’re going to have a lot of offensive opportunities,” Whittet said.

Bruno demonstrated command of its special teams play, going 2-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill against the Saints. The power play’s production has increased significantly since the beginning of the season, Whittet said.

“Our power play has been much better — we’re shooting pucks finally instead of trying to pass (around the perimeter),” Whittet said.

“We focused a lot in practice on just moving pucks quicker, keeping our heads up and shooting more,” Corcoran said.

Whittet also saw the team’s play in the defensive zone as a positive.

“We’re able to win some more battles, we’re not giving real easy looks at the net and we’re really defending with five players below the dots,” Whittet said. “We’re not allowing a lot of cycle play or possession play — we’re able to snuff that out.”

The victory over St. Lawrence serves as a source of optimism as the Bears delve deeper into their season.

“It was an important game for us,” Whittet said. “We had been playing some pretty good hockey and just hadn’t been rewarded for it.”

The Bears continue conference play with visits to No. 16 Quinnipiac Friday and Princeton Saturday.

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