First-years shine in season-debut win for men’s hockey

Bruno’s future seems bright after four rookies notch points during season’s first game

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 3, 2014

After seeing his team fade down the stretch last year, Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94 knew that this year’s men’s hockey team needed to focus on a consistency of effort each and every game.

After a 4-2 win over Army, things seem good so far.

“I was excited about how our team looked,” Whittet said. “We did a lot of really good things and had a lot of contributions from our second-string players.”

Max Willman ’18 opened the scoring for the Bears (1-0) after five minutes, latching onto a pass from fellow freshman Sam Lafferty ’18 to put Bruno up 1-0. Army (2-4-1) responded two minutes later on the back end of a power play due to an interference call on defenseman Brandon Pfeil ’16. Penalties were one of Bruno’s few problems on the day.

The Bears dominated the second period and were rewarded with two goals from forward Davey Middleton ’17 and forward Charlie Corcoran ’18. It is the second time Corcoran appeared on the scoresheet for the Bears after tallying a goal in a 3-1 preseason victory over Dartmouth.

“Charlie’s a really good player,” Whittet said. “He’s very creative and plays really hard, and that’s a great combination to see in a young player.”

Kyle Kramer ’17 wrapped up the scoring — and the game — for the Bears nine minutes into the third period, but the drama did not end there. Dane Cooper ’18 was issued a game misconduct for hitting from behind, which gave the Black Knights a power play that they converted for their second goal of the game.

The Bears tallied 19 penalty minutes to Army’s two, with the Black Knights going 2-for-3 on the power play and Brown going 0-for-1.

“There’s still a lot of things we need to work on,” Whittet said.

Goalie Tyler Steel ’17 saved 29 of 31 shots that he faced, showing the flashes of greatness that made Whittet decide to make him the starter halfway through last season.

“He looked good,” Whittet said. “He was very calm and was very impressive in terms of his positioning and the angles he took.”

The first line for the Bears — Mark Naclerio ’16, Nick Lappin ’16 and Matt Lorito ’15 — was unable to get on the scoresheet, but together, the trio accrued seven shots and looked dangerous throughout the game. Lorito — as part of the penalty kill team — was on the ice for both of the Army goals, but when all three of the first-liners played together, they effectively stunted the Black Knights’ offensive buildup.

“Whenever you win a game 4-2 and your first line does not score a goal, that means you had a pretty good team game,” Whittet said. “A lot of our secondary contributors played really well.”

The win was the Bears’ fourth straight opening game victory, and they look to build a winning streak next weekend at home against St. Lawrence (4-3-1) and Clarkson (2-4-2).

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