After ending the regular season with back-to-back wins, the men's hockey team finished its season with a whimper this weekend. The Bears (10-16-5, 8-12-2 ECAC) lost the first two games of a best-of-three series to Quinnipiac (15-13-8, 6-9-7) 4-0, sealing their elimination from the ECAC tournament. The final weekend capped an up-and-down season for Bruno in which the team ended with a losing record but also defeated perennial powerhouse Boston University 6-1, beat then-No. 1-ranked Yale and won both games of the Cornell-Colgate road trip for the first time in Brown history.
Quinnipiac 4, Brown 0
The tournament's opening game got off to a nightmarish start for Bruno. Only 15 seconds into the game, Quinnipiac forward Jeremy Langlois beat Mike Clemente '12 on the game's first shot to give the Bobcats a quick lead.
"We just came out flat," said forward Mark Hourihan '14. "They got a goal right off the bat, and we never got anything going the whole game."
The Bears outshot Quinnipiac for the rest of the first period, but they were unable to capitalize on any of their chances. Quinnipiac, on the other hand, took advantage of its opportunities. On only their fourth shot of the night, the Bobcats doubled their lead with a tap-in goal by forward Yuri Bouharevich.
In the second period, Quinnipiac added another pair of goals to give themselves a four-goal advantage. After the final goal at 5:57, Clemente was pulled in favor of Anthony Borelli '13, who stopped all 15 shots sent his way.
The Bears' undisciplined play precluded any chance of a comeback. They spent half of the first 10 minutes in the final period on the penalty kill and were unable to gain any offensive momentum.
Quinnipiac 4, Brown 0
The following evening was more of the same. Brown came out stronger than they had the previous evening, but neither side could break through in the first. Clemente, who had been shaky in the early going of Friday's defeat, stopped all eight of the Bobcats' shots.
But in the second period, Quinnipiac wasted no time in finding the back of the net. Defenseman Zack Currie beat Clemente just 35 seconds in, and less than two minutes later, Langlois doubled his side's lead.
Quinnipiac added two more in the third, while goalie Eric Hartzell kept the Bears off the scoreboard with 26 saves. Prior to this weekend, the Bears had been shut out only twice all year.
"We definitely had our chances," Hourihan said. "We had a couple of good opportunities, but it just didn't seem like things were bouncing our way."
Quinnipiac will now advance to the quarterfinals for the sixth straight season.
While the first-round exit was a disappointing finish to the Bears' season, Hourihan said the team has a bright future ahead. Despite losing key seniors captain Harry Zolnierczyk '11, assistant captains David Brownschidle '11 and Jeremy Russell '11, along with Jesse Fratkin '11, Brown will welcome back a score of nightly contributors, including 10 first-years.
Among the returning players will be Hobey Baker Award finalist Jack Maclellan '12, whose season was cut short by injury, and second team All-Ivy defenseman Dennis Robertson '14.
"We're obviously going to miss a couple of great players," Hourihan said. "Some guys are definitely going to have to step up but the future is bright. … We're going to keep getting better."