Men’s hockey edged by Yale in home-and-home series

Bruno entered both final periods tied, specialty teams play led to consecutive losses

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, January 29, 2017

The men’s hockey team fell to Yale Friday and Saturday in a home-and-home series by tallies of 4-3 and 4-1, respectively. Bruno entered the final periods of each matchup tied, but was unable to grasp the lead in either contest.

Friday night saw the Bears (4-16-1, 3-11-0 ECAC) slighted by the Bulldogs (10-7-4, 6-5-3) in a close matchup on home ice. After Brown took a two-goal lead in the second period, Yale responded with three consecutive goals — including two on the power play — to snatch the victory. Bruno recorded a total of 20 penalty minutes in the contest.

“I think special teams ended up being the turning point,” said Sam Lafferty ’18, who picked up three points in the matchup, posting two goals and an assist.

“We have to find a way to kill, and our penalty kill struggles,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “Every time we’ve been in games where we’re short for basically a full period of hockey … we’re not going to have success.”

Max Willman ’18  opened scoringwith a power-play goal at 11:38 of the first frame to give the Bears an early lead. Lafferty sent two goals past Yale goaltender Patrick Spano in the second stanza, one of which was shorthanded.

“It was a hard fought game and I think it could’ve gone either way,” Lafferty said. “If we can just stay out of the box and be a little more disciplined, then … we’ll be good.”

“We’re right there, but the objective is to win,” Whittet said. “We have to find a way to win hockey games, and the only way we’re going to do that is by being consistent, by winning battles consistently, by winning shifts consistently and by winning periods.”

The following day, the Bears were unable to snap a 1-1 tie in a scoreless second period and conceded three unanswered goals in the final stanza, including one on an empty net.

Charlie Corcoran ’18 posted a shorthanded goal late in the first frame to give Bruno an early advantage, but this was quickly matched by the Bulldogs’ Ted Hart, who scored on the power play less than one minute later to even the count.

Gavin Nieto ’20 started in net for Brown in both contests, making 28 saves on home ice Friday and 22 Saturday.

The Bears will continue conference play next weekend with a pair of contests against No.17 Quinnipiac University and Princeton at Meehan Auditorium. Looking forward, Whittet emphasized the importance of both avoiding penalties and cleaning up the power play.

“Our specialty teams entail our power play too,” he said. “The guys try to be perfect; they all want to get to their spots, when in actuality they should simplify things.”

“When we play hard, 5-on-5, we’re a tough team to play against,” Lafferty said. “We just need to keep working on our special teams and keep getting better,”

The Bears will host Quinnipiac Friday at 7 p.m.

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