The women's hockey team found its offense over the weekend but still suffered a pair of one-goal losses to St. Cloud State.
Taking a break from ECAC play to host a Western Collegiate Hockey Association opponent, the Bears scored more than three goals in a two-game span for the first time since their opening weekend, but fell to the Huskies by the scores of 5-4 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday at Meehan Auditorium.
"We've really been struggling with scoring this season," said Samantha Stortini '11. "So to score four goals in the first game and two goals (Saturday) was a huge boost of confidence for our team. We know we can score now, so hopefully we'll take that into next week."
Bruno was doomed by five SCSU power-play goals, succumbing to a recurring problem to fall to 1-8-3 on the season.
"It's tough to be playing all the time on the penalty kill," said Sasha Van Muyen '10. "It's hard to get anything going because you have certain kids out there all the time and you get tired. We need to be more disciplined and take fewer penalties, because that's what's been killing us in games this year."
SCSU 5, Brown 4
On Friday, the Huskies (7-9-0 after the two games) roared out of the gate for the opening score five minutes in and doubled their lead with 5:34 left in the second period, notching both goals on power plays.
Brown's comeback began when SCSU was whistled for having too many players on the ice with 2:27 left before the second intermission. On the subsequent power play, blue-liner Stortini came up big.
"On the power play they put me at forward in front of the net (to) create a lot of havoc (and) chip at the players and goalie a little bit and just try to make myself big so that the goalie can't see," she said.
With 1:58 left, Stortini collected the rebound of a shot by Erica Kromm '11 and beat SCSU goalie Tayler VanDenakker top shelf. Laurie Jolin '13 also picked up an assist on the play.
It took another 68 seconds for the Bears to tie the game. Paige Pyett '12 intercepted a SCSU pass and fed Kromm, who leads Brown with five points on the season in her first year as a forward.
But the Huskies answered 43 seconds into the third period and took a 4-2 lead six minutes later.
Bruno once again rallied to tie the game. Kelly Griffin '13 scored her second goal of the season at 13:49, with the assists going to Jenna Dancewicz '11 and Pyett.
Sixty-six seconds later Van Muyen scored after receiving a crisp pass from Stortini.
"My two linemates (Erin Connors '10 and Katelyn Landry '12) were busting to the net, so I was trying to get a shot to get a rebound, and it ended up going in," Van Muyen said. Often "when we get down a goal or two, we kind of just deflate a bit."
This time, the Bears had tied the game with 5:05 left in regulation.
"It was definitely a big confidence boost for the team," Dancewicz said. "We all got a second wind."
But minutes later a controversial goal won the game for the Huskies.
Brown goalie Katie Jamieson '13 — who made 28 saves — was attempting to cover the puck as a group of Huskies converged on the net. The referee seemed to blow the whistle before Felicia Nelson prodded Jamieson's glove to push the puck across the line, but the goal was allowed.
"It's tough when a goal like that happens, because there's not much that you can do," Dancewicz said. "We were trying our best to ... help protect our goalie, and she was trying her best to cover the puck, but it's hard when the ref doesn't blow the whistle right away when there are three people on her slashing at her glove."
SCSU 3, Brown 2
On Saturday, the Bears got on the board 4:44 into the game when Connors grabbed the rebound of a shot by Nicole Brown '10 and found the back of the net. Kathleen Surbey '10 picked also up an assist as Brown opened the scoring in a game for the first time all season.
Stortini said the Bears were buoyed by their strong offensive showing the previous day.
"(We) thought of that and had a little bit of extra strength and grit to go into the second game and know that we could score and that we could play with such a good team," she said.
SCSU tied the game on a power-play goal with 7:58 left in the first period. The score remained 1-1 through the second intermission, as Joy Joung '11, making her first career start between the pipes, made 10 of her 22 saves in the first period.
But the Huskies took the lead 6:23 into the third period when they broke away for a shorthanded goal. They doubled their advantage 3:13 later on a power-play goal, marking their third goal of the game on special teams.
"A big part of the game now is special teams, so we have to be careful," Stortini said, citing a general crackdown by the referees to open up offenses. "We have to capitalize more on our opportunities when we get power plays."
The Bears tried to rally one more time. With 5:15 remaining, Dancewicz cut the deficit in half. Pyett passed to Jacquie Pierri '12 at the point, who had worked with Dancewicz on passes to the post.
"I took a quick shot right when it hit my stick and it went in on the side," Dancewicz said. "It felt so satisfying to see something that we practiced in practice actually happen and work in a game."
The Bears went on the power play and pulled Joung for the six-on-four advantage with 1:07 left, but could not notch the equalizer.
"Joy played a really great game," Dancewicz said. "We were trying to have a comeback so we could help our goalie out and win it."
This weekend the Bears will hit the road to face Colgate (3-11-3, 1-4-3 ECAC) on Friday and Cornell (7-4-1, 6-1-1) on Saturday, looking to improve on their 0-5-3 conference record.
"We have to go in there with confidence and know that we can play with all of these teams," Stortini said. "We know now that we can score goals, and we've always known that we can play defense."
Dancewicz said winning the first face-off and crashing the net would be crucial. "We just have to keep up the pressure, keep our heads up, keep our confidence and I think we should pull away with some big W's this weekend."