January 12, 2013

Lorito’s Pair Not Enough; Bears Edged by St. Lawrence, 3-2

CANTON, NY – Sophomore leading scorer Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario) scored a pair of goals, his 11th and 12th of the season, and helped the Bears battle back from a 1-0 deficit, but St. Lawrence (9-10-2, 2-5-2) answered with two goals in a span of 6:37 to earn a 3-2 win over the Brown men's hockey team (5-7-4, 1-4-4) on Saturday evening at Appleton Arena. All four of the Bears' ECAC Hockey losses have come by a single goal.

After Lorito's second goal of the night snapped a 1-1 tie just 1:30 into the third period, St. Lawrence's Chris Martin responded less than two minutes later to tie the score at 2-2. Martin would score the eventual game-winner just shy of the 10-minute mark in the third period, helping to lift the Saints to the victory.

"That was a great hockey game," said head coach Brendan Whittet '94. "Unfortunately we came out on the wrong end. When you have a one-goal lead in the third period on the road, you have to play shut down intelligent hockey, which we didn't really do. It's disappointing. This was a chance to move up in the standings and we didn't grasp the opportunity."

The two teams had trouble establishing any sort of rhythm in the opening period, playing just over 10 minutes of five-on-five action, while combining for five penalties from the 3:21 through 15:47 of the period. St. Lawrence held a 13-10 advantage in shots, but its best opportunity came on a short-handed bid by Gunnar Hughes, who beat a Brown defenseman in a footrace and skated in on a breakaway. However, his wrist shot from the slot was saved by senior Anthony Borelli (Grand Island, NY) with under seven minutes left in the frame to keep the game scoreless.

Brown had two quality chances in the opening 20 minutes, one by freshman Nick Lappin (Geneva, IL) just 40 seconds in and another by sophomore Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, CO) in the seventh minute when his back-hander from the top of the crease was saved by Matt Weninger. 

The second period was more of the same with the teams alternating penalties. However, on what was Brown's fourth power play chance of the game, St. Lawrence capitalized on a Bears' turnover just 11 seconds into the man advantage to take a 1-0 lead on George Hughes' short-handed goal at 14:05.

However, Lorito tied the game at 1-1 just 3:23 later, taking advantage of a St. Lawrence turnover inside its own zone. Lorito collected the puck at the right faceoff circle and beat Weninger with a wrist shot over his left shoulder for his 11th goal of the season at the 17:28 mark. Earlier in the frame, Lorito missed a short-handed bid of his own, as senior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) fed the sophomore in the slot, but Weninger made a big save to keep the game scoreless at the time.

The Bears went up on their fifth power play 58 seconds into the third period and just 32 seconds later, Lorito scored his second of the night to give Brown a 2-1 lead. After collecting the puck from Zaires, Lorito skated down the left board, before cutting across the ice towards the goal. He pulled the puck to his backhand, waited for Weninger to drop, moved the puck back to his forehand and wristed the puck over Weninger's glove for his 12th of the year.

The lead was short-lived, though, as St. Lawrence went up on its fifth power play less than a minute later and Martin capitalized on the player advantage at 3:11 to tie the game at 2-2. Martin added his second of the game before the 10-minute mark, as the hosts reclaimed the lead, 3-2, with 10:12 left to play.

Brown outshot St. Lawrence, 15-8, throughout the final 20 minutes but could not get another puck past Weninger, despite playing with the extra attacker for the final 1:14. Freshman Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, British Columbia) had the best opportunity for the tying goal with about 10 seconds left in regulation, but with a wide open net to shoot at, he just missed connecting with a bouncing puck in the slot.

Following the final buzzer, the referees went into the tunnel for a lengthy review, but eventually came back out and signaled no goal, as Brown suffered its fourth one-goal defeat in ECAC Hockey competition.

For the game, Borelli recorded 30 saves, while Weninger made 31 for the Saints, as shots were even at 33 a piece. Brown finished 1-6 on the power play, while St. Lawrence was 1-4 and also scored a short-handed goal.

Brown continues action next weekend when it welcomes ECAC and Ivy League rivals Dartmouth and Harvard to Meehan Auditorium. Friday's game against the Big Green begins at 7:00 p.m., while Saturday's contest against the Crimson begins at 4:00 p.m.

BROWN                        0            1            1            x            -             2
ST. LAWRENCE            0            1            2            x            -             3

First period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 2-4; S, 3-6.

Second period – S, George Hughes (Essery, McGovern), SH, 14:05; B, Lorito (unassisted), 17:28. Penalties – B, 2-4; S, 2-4.

Third Period – B, Lorito (Zaires, Robertson), PP, 1:30; S, Martin (Dewey, Raley), PP, 3:11; S, Martin (Doherty, Gunnar Hughes), 9:48. Penalties – B, 2-4; S, 3-6.

Saves
B, Borelli (58:46), 13-11-6-x – 30; S, Weninger (59:55), 10-7-14-x – 31.

Pictured: Matt Lorito '15. Photo by DSPics.net.