W. icers near conference playoffs

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2012

Last season, reaching the playoffs was an impossibility for the women’s hockey team. But thanks to a strong start to 2012, the Bears (7-7-7, 4-6-4 ECAC) are in a good position to reach the conference playoffs for the first time in more than five years.

Under new Head Coach Amy Bourbeau, Bruno is 3-2-2 in January, falling only to ECAC foes St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Ties at Union and University of Connecticut, as well as wins against Rensselaer and Yale, have propelled the Bears into eighth place in the ECAC standings. They must maintain this spot for a playoff berth. Tuesday’s 4-1 win against Yale (1-20-0, 1-13-0) was Bruno’s second in a row, and the team hopes to ride this momentum into the season’s grueling finish.

“Moving into the new year, everything is just starting to click,” Bourbeau said. “Everyone is starting to get on the same page and understand what we’ve been trying to teach them. … And we’re outshooting our opponents now, which is incredible.”

“We had a good start to the second half of the season,” said co-captain Katelyn Landry ’12. “All our games left now are ECAC games, so we have more of a focus on making the playoffs and trying every game to get as many points as possible.”

Brown 4, Yale 1 

A hat trick from forward Sarah Robson ’15 helped Bruno grab a decisive victory against the Bulldogs Tuesday night at Meehan Auditorium. The Bears’ potent offense peppered the Yale goal with 45 shots in the game, while goaltender Aubree Moore ’14 made 25 saves to keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Bruno got an early lead midway through the first period thanks to Robson. After receiving a long pass through the neutral zone from forward Alena Polenska ’13, Robson slipped by a Yale defender at the blue line and fired a wrist shot past the keeper’s glove side to put the Bears up 1-0.

“We’ve been working on our offense, getting people up into the play and getting them to possess the puck on entry and take a shot versus dumping it in,” Bourbeau said.

The Bears doubled the lead midway through the second half after a piece of individual play from Landry. Bruno’s co-captain beat her defender to the puck in Yale’s defensive zone and fired a quick shot on frame. Collecting the rebound, she wrapped around the net and shot the puck into the goal, where Janice Yang ’15 redirected it home to bring the score to 2-0.

Despite a Bulldog’s goal less than a minute later, the Bears tightened their defense and rebounded with a pair of goals in the third courtesy of Robson. She completed her hat trick with one goal off a centered pass from JessicaHoyle ’14 and another from a power-play slap shot to secure Bruno’s 4-1 victory.

“We played a complete game,” Landry said. “It was great to see … our special teams working a little bit better, like our power play and our penalty kills, which will make a big difference in the next couple weeks.” 

The team will welcome ECAC foe Dartmouth (12-6-2, 8-4-2) to Meehan Auditorium Friday and will hope to continue its league success.

“We have to be ready for each and every game,” Bourbeau said. “If we can concentrate on us and make sure everyday in practice we’re getting better, no matter who we play, we’ll be successful.”

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