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Men’s hockey sweeps RPI, No. 16 Union

Team finds further success with four-point weekend following tournament victory over winter break

Following a series of wins during the winter break, the men’s hockey team continued to heat up this weekend with a pair of victories over New York opponents Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and No. 16 Union College. The Bears recorded their first shutout of the season with a 3-0 sweep of the Engineers Friday, before earning a 3-2 victory over the Dutchmen to close out the road trip the following night.

“It was a really important weekend for us,” said goaltender Gavin Nieto ’20. “We needed to come out and have a good weekend in order to move up in the standings. … We played well this weekend and did the things we needed to do, (and) more importantly we played really well defensively and capitalized on some defensive breakdowns of the other team.”

The wins come after Bruno (8-9-3, 5-5-3 ECAC) bested Robert Morris University and Union (12-7-4, 5-6-1) to take home the Three Rivers Classic tournament crown in early January. The Bears split their last weekend at home with a victory over St. Lawrence and a loss to No. 10 Clarkson, and currently sit at seventh place in the league standings, four points behind joint leaders No. 12 Cornell and No. 20 Yale.

Brown 3, RPI 0

Friday night, a trio of third-period goals fueled the Bears to their second victory of the season against the Engineers (7-17, 4-9). Brent Beaudoin ’20 bookended the final stanza with a pair of tallies and Zach Giuttari ’20 also scored to power Bruno to the shutout win. In net, Nieto made 19 saves, recording the second clean slate of his career.

“We just showed a lot of character in our team, our ability to find ways to win and just dig deep when it mattered most,” said Michael Maloney ’22.

The teams exchanged blows from the drop of the puck, notching five shots each in a scoreless first period. Late in the frame, Brady Ferner found the back of the net for RPI on a shot from the slot, but the goal was disallowed after video review due to goaltender interference.

Nieto stopped nine shots to preserve the score in the middle frame, including a series of saves against RPI’s power play unit late in the stanza. Beaudoin opened scoring seven minutes into the third, redirecting a shot from Justin Jallen ’22 past Engineers netminder Owen Savory.

Two minutes later, Jack Gessert ’20 won a faceoff in the RPI zone and sent the puck to Giuttari, who fired a wrist shot past Savory from the left circle to widen Bruno’s lead. Beaudoin sealed the victory for the Bears with an empty net goal in the final minute.

“You have to be able to manage the game and capitalize on (the opponent’s) mistakes, and we did that,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “We were very, very solid defensively, we didn’t make a lot of errors with the puck and we pounced on them when they did.”

Brown 3, Union 2

The following day saw the Bears match up with a familiar foe as they took on the Dutchmen for the third time this season. Maloney scored the game-winning goal late in the final period to cement the victory and give Bruno a 2-0-1 advantage in the series against Union.

The Dutchmen opened scoring early as Liam Morgan sent a backhanded shot into the Brown net on the first shift. But the Bears fought back with intensity, equalizing the game midway through the period as Jake Harris ’22 deflected a shot from Will Scherer ’19 past Union goaltender Jake Kupsky.

Bruno continued to apply offensive pressure in the Dutchmen’s zone, notching an 11-6 advantage in shots on goal in the first stanza. Colin Burston ’21 gave the Bears a lead late in the second period, directing the puck into the net off a feed from Gessert. Gessert capitalized on a turnover behind the Union goal and sent the puck to Burston, who was waiting to finish the play at the top of the crease.

Jack Adams evened the tally again four minutes into the final stanza, but Maloney blasted a shot past Kupsky from the left circle with three and a half minutes remaining to secure the victory for Brown.

The team has found greater depth in its production across lines, which has contributed to its recent successes, Maloney said.

“Our depth and all four lines kind of rolling, all buying in and contributing in their own ways has been a huge success for us,” Maloney said.

“We’re getting production up and down our lineup — it’s not just one line or a small group of guys that are producing for us,” Nieto added. “That’s been a big positive for us — that we don’t have to rely on one specific line or a set group of people, we can kind of roll lines and be confident that anyone can go out there and produce for us and help us win games.”

The Bears seek to carry momentum from their recent successes forward into the remainder of their season, which continues with a visit to Ivy rival Yale. Prior to the end of regular season competition in March, the team looks to climb further up the ECAC standings and ensure home ice advantage for the playoffs.

“We’ve been able to win some games here after break and kind of get on a little run, so … we’ve just got to keep our confidence up and do the little things right in order to get some more wins and continue to move up the standings,” Nieto said.

“For us to get four points on the road was a good step in the right direction,” Whittet added. “We’re a team that’s trending upwards, we’re a team that’s growing and we’re a really dangerous hockey team right now.”

The Bears return to action with a visit to Yale Saturday. Face-off is at 7 p.m.


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