The men’s hockey team rounded out its four-game homestand this weekend, toppling St. Lawrence University 3-2 Saturday after being edged 2-1 by No. 8 Clarkson University in overtime Friday.
Saturday night, three different Bears scored in the first period to power Bruno past the Saints. The weekend also saw a pair of impressive performances in net from goaltender Gavin Nieto ’20, who combined for 62 saves in the contests.
Brown 1, Clarkson 2 (OT)
Friday night’s contest against the Golden Knights (10-3-1, 5-1-0 ECAC) marked the Bears’ first overtime tilt of the season. Zach Giuttari ’20 equalized the game with a power-play goal late in the second stanza, before a scoreless third period sent the teams into extra time.
The two sides exchanged blows in a physical, fast-paced first period, which was capped off by a late goal from the Golden Knights’ Anthony Callin. Callin sent a wrist shot from the right circle top shelf into the Brown net for the early lead.
The Bears (3-5-0, 3-5-0) killed off a pair of penalties in the first half of the second period, which was highlighted by several critical saves from Nieto. Giuttari notched his first goal of the season in the final minute of the stanza, scoring on a one-timer on the power play to even the tally. After receiving a feed from Tony Stillwell ’21 at the top of the left circle, Giuttari fired a shot past Clarkson goaltender Frank Marotte for the equalizer. Tristan Crozier ’22 also recorded an assist on the play.
“Our special teams have been really good — our power play has really given us a boost this year with some timely goals and our PK has been really solid,” Nieto said. “Our new coach (Jason Smith) has done a really good job of implementing a new PK system — we kind of keep teams to the outside and don’t give them too many chances, so it’s been working really well for us.”
The Bears continued to exert offensive pressure as both teams peppered one another with shots in the third period. Marotte drove away consecutive bids from Ben Taylor ’21 and Jack Gessert ’20 in the 17th minute to preserve the tie and force overtime.
Nieto turned away six shots in the extra frame, but Golden Knights defenseman Greg Moro scored with just under two minutes remaining to clinch the victory for Clarkson.
We “take the positives and there are a lot of them — (Clarkson is) an excellent hockey team,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “We battled them tooth and nail, and that game could have gone either way — it just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Brown 3, St. Lawrence 2
The following day, Justin Jallen ’22, Luke Krys ’23 and Brent Beaudoin ’20 each scored in the first period to give the Bears an early advantage over the Saints (3-10-1, 1-5-0). Colin Burston ’21 also notched a pair of assists in the victory.
Jallen put Brown on the board in the fourth minute of the first period with his team-high seventh goal of the season. After Burston capitalized on a turnover in the offensive zone and sent the puck to Jallen in the slot, Jallen buried a shot in the St. Lawrence net for the early advantage.
Krys followed late in the period with his first career goal for the Bears, launching a clean shot from the edge of the right circle past Saints netminder Daniel Mannella. Chris Berger ’21 and Cole Quisenberry ’23 each notched assists on the play.
Beaudoin tacked on another goal to widen the lead with just under three minutes remaining in the stanza. After receiving a pass from Trey Dodd ’20 in the offensive zone, Burston fed the puck across the crease to Beaudoin, who finished the play for the 3-0 advantage entering the first intermission.
“We passed up a lot of opportunities on Friday night so we really had an emphasis of trying to get every opportunity we could toward the net, and it paid off with three goals in the first period,” Nieto said.
Following a scoreless second period, St. Lawrence notched a pair of goals in the final frame to trim Bruno’s lead to one. The Saints started to gain momentum and began to pressure the Brown net in the final 10 minutes, but Nieto made multiple key saves to fend off the attack and secure the victory for the Bears.
“We need to keep generating shots — we were shooting the puck in the first and we were capitalizing on our chances,” Krys said. “We’ve got to bear down on pucks more often, and when we get a chance to score, we’ve got to put it in the back of the net.”
As the team progresses further into its season, Whittet emphasized the importance of remaining persistent and present for the full three periods of each contest.
“We’ve got to play the game with energy and tenacity every time we step on the ice,” he said.
“We can improve on playing a full 60 minutes and not taking any time off there, and just really trying to take a step forward every game that we play,” Krys added.
The Bears seek to carry the energy from Saturday’s victory into a pair of non-conference matchups against Bentley University and No. 12 Providence College this week.
“Winning this game is huge — it’s going to give us some momentum and confidence,” Nieto said. “We’re excited where we’re at, and we believe in this team so it’s an exciting time.”
“We’re moving in the right direction,” Krys said. “We’ve just got to keep moving forward, and all eyes (are) on Tuesday and trying to get two points again.”
Bruno visits Bentley Tuesday and Providence for the annual Mayor’s Cup contest Saturday. The team will resume conference play at Union College Dec. 6.