Bears get icy reception on road, drop in standings

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, January 30, 2012

In a weekend where the men’s hockey team could have made a jump into third place in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference  standings, the team instead slipped to ninth place after coming away empty-handed in its pair of away games.

In the first game Friday, Brown (8-10-3, 5-7-2 ECAC) received an early and rude awakening. Dartmouth (9-8-2, 6-5-1) tallied three goals in the first period, prompting Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94 to pull Marco De Filippo ’14 in goal in favor of Mike Clemente ’12.  

“We felt we were ready against Dartmouth and just a couple mistakes in the first period put us in a hole early,” said captain Jack Maclellan ’12.

Though Chris Zaires ’13 and Maclellan lit the lamp in the second period, Bruno couldn’t close the gap, only pulling within two goals. The game ended 6-2 after Dartmouth tacked on an empty-net goal in the closing moments.

“We pushed back, and we had chances,” Maclellan said. “You can’t put yourself in that situation.”

After the lopsided game on Friday, Brown looked to bounce back against Harvard (6-6-8, 5-4-6), who was playing strong hockey coming off a convincing 4-3 win against Yale (9-10-2, 6-7-1) the night before.

As has been the trend this season, the Bears again responded following a loss. Brown came out aggressive Saturday and compiled an 8-3 shooting advantage in the first period.  

Clemente kept the game scoreless through the first period, including a great stop on a Crimson breakaway. Bruno then struck pay dirt in the second period when a shot from Francis Drolet ’13 was deflected and fell to the stick of Jarred Smith ’12, who cleaned it up to give Brown a 1-0 lead.

But Harvard tied the game and later seized the lead in the third period — and didn’t look back. Harvard finished with three goals in the final period, the last of which was scored after Clemente had been pulled.

“Things didn’t fall for us on Saturday against Harvard,” Maclellan said. “We were happy how we were playing after two periods. There were just a couple mistakes. You can’t expect a win when you only score one goal.”

Maclellan said the defense played very well but also said that as a whole, the team needs to be “hungrier around the net.”

The weekend performance hurts the Bears’ playoff positioning — the current rankings would force the team on the road for the entirety of its playoff run.  

“We have to get as many points as we can to ensure we get a home game and maybe a bye,” Maclellan said. “We have to approach every game like it’s the difference between home ice and being on the road.”

This upcoming weekend, Bruno will be playing a pair of home games against Clarkson (12-11-5, 6-5-3) and last-place St. Lawrence (8-15-3, 4-9-1). In the Bears’ trip to upstate New York earlier in the season, Brown grabbed three points, tying the Golden Knights 2-2 in overtime and defeating the Saints 4-1.

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