The women’s hockey team (1-10-2, 1-6-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) lost to Merrimack College (5-11-1) in a non-conference matchup Wednesday at home. On Saturday, the Bears fell to another non-conference opponent, Providence College (5-5-4), in the annual Mayor’s Cup.
Brown 0, Merrimack 1
Despite allowing a season-low 27 shots on goal and holding Merrimack to one goal, Brown fell due to an inability to convert on the offensive end. Brown attempted a season-high 31 shots on goal, including eight shots in the final two minutes of the game, but could not find the back of the net.
Kaley Doyle ’24, Brown’s goaltender, made 26 saves for the Bears, including two from right in front of the net at the 7:41 mark of the second period to keep the game scoreless. But, just over two minutes later, Merrimack scored on a power play slap shot from the blue line, giving them the game-winning goal.
Brown 2, Providence 4
The yearly battle for the Mayor’s Cup between intra-city rivals resumed Saturday after last year’s game was canceled due to COVID-19. Many of Brown’s young players experienced this event for the first time, though it was the senior leadership of Shay Maloney ’22 that led the team’s offense in the loss.
Maloney gave the Bears a 1-0 lead at the midpoint of the opening period on an impressive individual effort. Approaching the net from the side wall one-on-four, Maloney skated behind the net and scored on a wrap-around goal.
With 36 seconds remaining in the opening period, the Friars tied the game at one when Ashlynn Garnett rebounded a missed shot in front of the goal.
Maloney responded at the 8:06 mark of the second period to put Brown ahead 2-1. Her goal was off a pass from Madie Stockfish ’23.5, who fed Maloney in the low slot. Maloney’s shot slid past Providence’s goaltender to give Brown its second lead of the game.
Brown maintained its lead until early in the final period when Providence scored two goals 52 seconds apart. Providence sealed its victory with a final goal with four minutes left in the game, prevailing over Brown 4-2.
Despite there being a larger difference in the final score against Providence, Head Coach Melanie Ruzzi was more proud of her team’s performance against the Friars. “Providence is one of the top teams in hockey and Merrimack is not … We performed far better (against Providence) than we did against Merrimack and honestly, if we performed this way against Merrimack we’d call it a (win),” Ruzzi said.
“Against Merrimack we didn’t really come out as strong in the first period, but (Saturday) we played three periods really hard, made some adjustments from Wednesday and I’m definitely proud of our effort,” said Anna Gallagher ’24, who also assisted Maloney’s second goal against Providence.
Maloney’s individual performance, though not enough to get the desired result, was motivational to Stockfish. “I get a lot of energy and motivation directly from my team. (Saturday) we had a lot of energy and excitement leading up to and during the game. Our team culture is so supportive, and I am lucky to play with a player like Shay who makes her teammates better,” Stockfish said.
As for Maloney’s individual performance, Ruzzi recalled giving pre-game talks to each of the lines about knowing their strengths and what they could bring to the table. “Shay really embraced that. She’s a strong player, incredibly skilled, incredibly fast and she leveraged her assets (Saturday),” Ruzzi said. “She’s a leader … she leads by example … and she stepped up in a huge way.”
Although this was Ruzzi’s first Mayor’s Cup at the helm of the Bears, this was not her first time coaching in the Mayor’s Cup in general. From 2011 to 2017, Ruzzi coached at Providence College, her alma mater.
“This was a hard one for me. People outside of our program might have thought we had very little chance of winning this game. We had every chance of winning this game,” Ruzzi said. “I’m really proud of our women because they really embraced the culture and tradition of Brown women’s hockey. Back when I played … Brown was really the dominant player in this game, and we’re working very hard to get back to that.”
The women’s hockey team also honored Thomas Bold during the opening ceremony Saturday. Bold, who will retire in December, has served as a longtime member of Brown’s athletic department. The Mayor’s Cup was Bold’s last women’s hockey game of his career.
“He does so much for the Brown athletics community, and we will absolutely miss him,” Ruzzi said.
The Bears will play another non-conference game at Saint Anselm College Thursday at 7 p.m.