Following a victory over Colgate University on the road last Saturday, the men’s hockey team continued conference play with a pair of losses to Ivy foes No. 13 Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend. The Bears fell to the Crimson Friday and the Big Green Saturday, each by tallies of 4-1 at Meehan Auditorium.
Brown 1, Harvard 4
Friday night, Chris Berger ’21 scored to equalize the game at one in the second period, but Harvard (5-0-0, 5-0-0 ECAC) notched a trio of unanswered goals to claim the victory and extend its undefeated streak.
The Crimson opened scoring midway through the first stanza when Henry Bowlby capitalized on a breakaway, mounting a backhanded shot that hit the crossbar before edging over the line and into the net.
After killing off a trio of penalties early in the second period, Bruno (2-4-2, 2-4-2) leveled the tally fifteen minutes into the frame. Berger collected a pass from Tony Stillwell ’21 on the power play before sending the puck neatly through traffic in front of the net and past Crimson goaltender Mitchell Gibson. Zach Giuttari ’20 also recorded an assist on the play.
Harvard responded with a power-play goal of its own to reclaim the lead four minutes later, before R.J. Murphy and Casey Dornbach each scored in the opening five minutes of the final stanza to secure a 4-1 advantage for the visitors. The Bears continued to exert offensive pressure and pepper the Crimson net with shots — outshooting Harvard 14-10 in the period — but Gibson held off the attack to seal the victory.
“We were very inconsistent from shift to shift,” said Head Coach Brendan Whittet ’94. “We really need more consistency from individuals, we need more consistency in terms of … our systems and how we’re executing. That inconsistency just unfortunately cost us an opportunity to actually win the game.”
“We have an identity, and we didn’t stick to it, and it showed on the ice,” Berger said. “In practice and into the games on Friday and Saturday, we need to be more consistent.”
Brown 1, Dartmouth 4
The following day, Justin Jallen ’22 scored his sixth goal of the season in the second period, but the Bears were unable to recover from a three-goal deficit against the Big Green (3-2-1, 3-1-1).
Dartmouth claimed an early advantage with a pair of goals in a 1:24 span late in the opening stanza. Fifteen minutes into play, goaltender Gavin Nieto ’20 made the initial save on a bid from Big Green defenseman Brendan Less, but Less finished the rebound to notch the visitors’ first tally of the evening. Forward Drew O’Connor followed, doubling the lead with a power-play goal.
The Big Green widened its advantage 30 seconds into the second stanza, as Will Graber found the puck at center ice and sent a shot into the Brown net top shelf from the right circle.
The Bears pressured the Dartmouth net in the second period, forcing goaltender Adrian Clark to make some gritty saves to preserve the score. Jallen put the Bears on the board with just over a minute remaining in the stanza, scoring on a one-timer from the slot after receiving a feed from Brent Beaudoin ’20. Anea Ferrario ’21 also posted an assist on the play.
Two minutes later, Colin Burston ’21 nearly trimmed the deficit to one as his shot bounced off the crossbar.
Bruno killed off a pair of penalties shortly thereafter to preserve the score. The Bears pulled Nieto for an extra skater with two and a half minutes remaining, but Clark fended off the attack, and O’Connor notched an empty-net goal to secure the win for Dartmouth.
“We just didn’t finish on our chances and they did, so that was the difference,” Jallen said.
With a pair of contests against ECAC opponents No. 7 Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University coming up this weekend, Whittet emphasized the importance of consistency and responsibility to the team’s success.
“We’ll be successful when we outwork teams, but (when) we also are very, very structured and disciplined and have good habits,” Whittet said. “That accountability has to exist each time we step on the ice in practice.”
“It’s a learning process, and it’s not going to happen overnight, but we’ll get there eventually,” Berger said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and everyone’s got to buy in.”
The Bears host Clarkson and St. Lawrence at Meehan Auditorium this weekend. Face-off is at 7 p.m. both nights.