This weekend, the men’s hockey team took its final road trip of the regular season, paying visits to Ivy rivals No. 17 Harvard and Dartmouth. The Bears fell to the Crimson 4-2 Friday but bounced back the following night in Hanover to earn a 2-0 shutout victory over the Big Green.
Tommy Marchin ’19 led the Bears with a goal and a pair of assists over the weekend. Goaltender Luke Kania ’21 made 30 saves against Dartmouth for his first clean slate of the season and second of his career.
The results came after Bruno drew a pair of contests against No. 9 Cornell and Colgate University at home last week. The Bears are currently tied for sixth place in the ECAC with the Big Green, with two games remaining before playoffs open in March.
Brown 2, Harvard 4
Friday night, the Bears (11-11-5, 8-7-5 ECAC) jumped out to an early lead with a pair of power play goals in the first period, but the Crimson (16-8-3, 12-6-2) scored four times in the final two periods to secure the victory in Cambridge.
Zach Giuttari ’20 opened scoring on the power play midway through the opening frame, firing a shot from in front of the blue line past Crimson goaltender Cameron Gornet. Chris Berger ’21 found the back of the net six minutes later, redirecting a feed from Marchin in the right circle to double Bruno’s lead and increase his goal streak to five games.
Though the Bears continued to pressure the Harvard net in the final two periods, the Crimson were able to break through the team’s defense and mount a comeback. Lewis Zerter-Gossage put Harvard on the board three minutes into the second stanza, before Reilly Walsh capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play late in the frame to send the teams into the third period tied at two.
Nathan Krusko reclaimed the lead for the Crimson early in the third, scoring a wraparound goal at the two-minute mark. John Marino added another tally to secure the victory for Harvard late in the stanza.
The Bears pulled Kania for an extra skater in the final two minutes, but the Crimson were able to fend off the attack.
Brown 2, Dartmouth 0
The following day, goals from Marchin and Brady Schoo ’19 and a 30-save performance from Kania fueled Bruno to its second shutout victory of the season. The win completed a season sweep over the Big Green (10-13-4, 9-8-3), following a 4-2 victory over Dartmouth at home Nov. 9.
The Bears pressured the Dartmouth net from the drop of the puck, outshooting the Big Green 11-8 in a scoreless first period. Marchin put Bruno on the board eight and a half minutes into the second stanza, capitalizing on a power play opportunity to take the lead. Tristan Crozier ’22 sent a pass to the left circle, where Marchin blasted a one-timer past Dartmouth netminder Adrian Clark.
Schoo widened the Bears’ advantage seven minutes into the final frame, finishing off a rebound after Clark made the initial save on a shot from Marchin. Dartmouth pulled Clark with just over two minutes remaining, but Kania denied a bid from Big Green forward Drew O’Connor with a catcher save to preserve the shutout.
“Our defensemen just had really good gaps and kept the shots out, out towards the boards and out to the outside for me, so it allowed me to make some simple saves,” Kania said. “Our forwards were backchecking and blocking a lot of shots, so it just made my job a lot easier. The guys played a really good, sound game … We just clicked really well on Saturday night and found a way to win.”
The Bears’ three power play goals over the weekend account for a quarter of their power play goals so far this season. Increasing production on the power play has been an ongoing focus and recent success for the team, Schoo said.
“We made a couple personnel changes on the power play to kind of change up the groups, and I think that’s been helping us a lot,” he said. “If we can start producing more on the power play like we have been for the last three weeks or so, … it’s going to really help us down the stretch and hopefully turn some games into wins instead of losses or ties.”
“We all knew that we had the skill and the guys and the personnel to have a successful power play, and it was just a matter of putting guys in the right spots and giving them good opportunities,” Kania said. “It’s coming together right now and it’s a perfect time going into playoffs … so the guys are going keep working on it and keep it rolling.”
Bruno returns home to close out the regular season with a pair of contests against Princeton and No. 5 Quinnipiac University this weekend. Looking to its recent successes as a source of optimism, the team remains focused and poised entering the postseason.
“We’re definitely a different team than we’ve had at Brown in the past, so it’s going to be really exciting to see where we go in the playoffs,” Schoo said. “I think we can do something really special here, and we have the right guys to really make a good run at hopefully an ECAC title.”
The Bears host Princeton and Quinnipiac at Meehan Auditorium this weekend.