Sports

Bears sweep Harvard, Dartmouth at home

Lafferty ’18 earns third-period hat trick, Kania ’21 posts career-high 41 saves against Crimson

By
Sports Editor
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Following visits to Cornell and Colgate last weekend, the men’s hockey team closed out its regular season with a pair of home victories over Harvard 6-4 Friday and Dartmouth 3-0 Saturday.

Sam Lafferty ’18 scored his first career hat trick in the third period Friday, fueling the Bears (8-17-4, 7-14-1 ECAC) to their first win over the Crimson since the 2014-15 season. Rookie goaltender Luke Kania ’21 posted a career-high 41 saves against Harvard, before stopping 29 shots for his first collegiate shutout against Dartmouth the following night.

Brown 6, Harvard 4

Friday night, a four-goal third period powered Bruno to victory over Harvard (13-12-4, 11-8-3).

Alex Brink ’19 opened scoring for the Bears midway through the first period, firing a shot from the right circle past goaltender Michael Lackey. Bruno peppered the Harvard net with shots, outshooting the Crimson 14-10 in the stanza.

Early in the second period, Trey Dodd ’20 added a shorthanded goal on a breakaway to widen the Bears’ lead. After taking advantage of a turnover in Bruno’s defensive zone, Dodd skated past Crimson defenseman Adam Fox and sent the puck over Lackey’s shoulder from the edge of the right circle.

Harvard answered with a pair of power play goals later in the frame to send the teams into the third period deadlocked in a 2-2 tie. But the Bears quickly reclaimed the advantage four minutes into the final stanza when Josh McArdle ’18 scored on a one-timer in front of the net.

“They’ve got a good power play, so it wasn’t good by us to take those penalties, but I thought we were resilient,” Lafferty said. “We responded well.”

A minute and a half later, Lafferty capitalized on a power play, sending a wrist shot past Lackey from the slot to begin his three-goal streak.

Ryan Donato scored on a power play and brought the Crimson within one goal of the Bears midway through the period, but Lafferty added two goals — including one on a 5-on-3 power play — to secure the victory for Bruno.

“We just stuck with it, and we kept getting pucks to the net,” Lafferty said. “We were pretty opportunistic in the third.”

Ty Pelton-Byce scored when Harvard pulled Lackey for an extra skater with two minutes remaining, but the Bears fended off the Crimson attack to the buzzer.

Kania made 41 saves as the Bears were outshot by the Crimson 45-29.

Brown 3, Dartmouth 0

The following night, goals from three different Bears and a shutout performance from Kania in net fueled Bruno to a senior night sweep of the Big Green (13-14-2, 11-10-1). The victory marked Brown’s first shutout against Dartmouth since 1995.

After a scoreless first period, Tommy Marchin ’19 put the Bears on the board late in the second stanza with his team-high 11th goal of the season. Two minutes later, Charlie Corcoran ’18 knocked in a rebound from the left side of the net to widen the lead.

“We just stuck to our systems and kept getting pucks in deep,” Corcoran said. “It was good (that) the guys didn’t get frustrated, stayed with our systems and kept believing in what we do. When we play that way, I think we can play with anyone, and it worked out for us.”

The Bears capitalized on two Dartmouth penalties in the final period when Max Gottlieb ’19 converted on a power play with 40 seconds remaining. Gottlieb fired a shot from the point past goaltender Adrian Clark to clinch the win for Bruno.

Zach Giuttari ’20 assisted on all three goals in the contest.

The tenth-seeded Bears will open playoff competition in a best-of-three series at Princeton this weekend. The winner of the series will advance to the quarterfinal round, which will take place March  11 to 13.

In the leadup to Friday’s contest against the Tigers, Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94 emphasized the importance of playing with intensity and focus.

In “playoff hockey, you have to play with desperation every time you step on the ice, every shift,” Whittet said. “You have to understand that there’s going to be a price you have to pay if you’re going to be successful. The guys will be on top of it no matter where we are, and it’s just good to go into playoffs with a little bit of positive momentum.”

Bruno’s Ivy sweep marks the first time that the team has defeated the Crimson and Big Green in the same weekend series since the 2013-14 season. Closing out the regular season with this success is particularly meaningful for the graduating senior class, Whittet said.

“It’s a good thing for the seniors to be rewarded for their work,” Whittet said. “They’re all good leaders in their own right, they’re good hockey players, they’re even better people and they want Brown hockey to do well. They’re selfless in what they do.”

“It’s pretty awesome,” Corcoran said. “We’re a really close group of guys, and we’re a really close team, so it was just really cool to close out like that.”

The Bears will open the first round of the ECAC Tournament at Princeton Friday. Face-off is at 7 p.m.