Providence, RI – Brown and Colgate entered Friday night’s contest, as two teams that were heading in the right direction. Although, Brown lost 6-0 to Yale on Friday night but had been trending in the right direction. Colgate entered the night on a national leading seven game unbeaten streak and six game winning streak. Tonight, though, showed a new level for the Bears , as it scored two late goals in the first period and never looked back.
The Bears opened the scoring at 14 minutes, 54 seconds when Garnet Hathaway took a misplay in the neutral zone by the Colgate defense all the way for the goal. The goal was a preview of things to come for both teams. Moments later, Mark Naclerio would get rebound for his first of two goals on the night. The Bears took the 2-0 lead into the second. The second was much of the same, as Brown would find the back of the net three times. Colgate got two goals by the Spink twins in the period and it was 5-2 after two periods of play.
The third period was a stalemate between the teams, as neither was able to find the back of the net. Brown left with an impressive 5-2 victory over Colgate. The loss was the Raiders first in seven second half tilts and it snapped a six game winning streak, a streak that put it atop this week’s ECAC Power Rankings. With the win Brown improves to 9-8-3 overall, 5-6-1 in the ECAC. Colgate falls to 13-10-3, 9-4-1. The loss sends Colgate back into third place in the standings two points behind first place Quinnipiac, while Brown is in a tie for sixth place just eight points back.
What I Saw
- Brown took advantage of poor Colgate neutral zone and defensive play. Of the five goals, all of which were the direct result of either an odd-man rush or a missed defensive coverage. Really all three zones and the goaltender struggled for the Raiders. Finn gave up rebounds, yes, but his teammates in front of him didn’t really help. Finn bailed his teammates out on multiple occasions but he could only do so much. Tonight, the Raiders just laid an egg.
- Brown did a great job of being opportunistic but the line of Nick Lappin, Mark Naclerio and Michael Juola did a lot of the work for the Bears. On this night, that line was the most opportunistic and it showed on the scoresheet. The line combined for three goals and five assists, for eight points. It won most of the puck battles and when called upon it made the necessary extra pass. Most of its work was on odd man rushes, but their passing and crisp play spearheaded the Bears effort.
What I Thought
- If Colgate wants to be taken seriously nationally, it needs to get more consistent in all three zones EVERY NIGHT. Wins against Minnesota, Union, Clarkson and Ferris State twice will only take them so far if it continues to not show up on random occasions, like tonight. On the season, the Raiders have given up five or more goals on six occasions. In its 9 losses, Colgate has given up 45 goals or five per game. In 13 wins, the Raiders have given up just two a game or just 26 of its 76 goals allowed on the season. This type of discrepancy cannot happen. Tonight was an ever-evident case of a non-inspired Raider effort, which seems to happen every now and then.
- Brown has put together many of solid efforts in the second half. It faced a lot of injuries in the first half. This effort and the tie against Boston College are standouts in terms of its season but the Bears also have two wins against Yale. The Bears are now 4-2-2 in the second half, which makes its first half where it stayed afloat with injuries something of a win. The win tonight put it back above.500 on the season for the first time since a four game losing streak early in November. Since that streak, the Bears are 5-2-2. It also hasn’t lost at home since its first home game against Clarkson. The Bears are 4-1-2 at Meehan, with a tie to Boston College included.
What They Said
Colgate Coach Don Vaughn said,
“It just wasn’t a very good game for us. Right from the get-go I didn’t think we had any energy tonight, which is very unusual for us. I can’t remember a game this year where we have given up this many odd-man rushes. We were not on our game at all but you have to give Brown credit, as they stuck with their gameplan.”
“It was just one of those nights, I guess.”
“We just got caught too much tonight, when we were trying to generate when it wasn’t there. We weren’t a very patient team, in the first period especially, and you can’t play that way on the road. We got beat.”
Brown forward Nick Lappin said,
“I thought the D was doing good job getting the puck up to us right away. It allowed us to have a lot of odd man rushes. The one I scored and the ones Mark scored were on odd man rushes from quick transition plays.”
Brown forward Mark Naclerio said,
“We had a couple of two on ones out there (Lappin and him). Lorito and Hathaway also had a few. it is just about converting on those. That can be the difference in the game so we just have to continue getting the puck to net, trying to score.”
Brown coach Brendan Whittet said,
“I thought that we played really intelligent, disciplined hockey. Systematically we were just very good and we had a lot of working to get pucks. It was nice to get a lead and it was great for us to respond when they scored. We showed pretty good resiliency.”
“We have a big game tomorrow night against a really good Cornell team. Our goal tomorrow night is to stay out of the box. We just gotta play uptempo hockey. It is another game against a ranked team for us.”
What Else You Should Know
Brown will host Cornell on Saturday night. The Big Red enters the night off a 3-2 overtime win, on the road, against Yale. It will enter the contest in a tie fourth place with 18 points. Brown sits five points back of them in the ECAC standings.
Colgate will look to bounce back against Yale at Ingalls Rink on Saturday night. The loss was its first of the second half and snapped a six game winning streak, which was the longest in the nation. The loss ruined its opportunity to gain a shot at first place in the conference.