ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Senior Anthony Borelli (Grand Island, NY) stopped 29 shots to earn his fourth shutout of the season and sophomore leading scorer Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario) scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, to help lead the Brown men's hockey team (16-13-6, 7-9-6) to a 4-0 win over #1 Quinnipiac (26-7-5, 17-2-3) in the semifinals of the ECAC Championship Friday afternoon at Boardwalk Hall.
The win gives the Bears a 1-0-2 record over Quinnipiac, which was ranked either #1 or #2 in the nation in all three of those games.
Brown's last trip to the ECAC Championship game was in 1993 when Brown defeated Harvard, 3-1, in the semifinals during head coach Brendan Whittet's junior campaign with the Bears.
"That was as complete a game as we have played all year," said Whittet. "We were really good in all our systems. We were excellent in taking care of the puck. We capitalized when we could and I couldn't ask for a better effort form all the guys. I thought we were really good from the drop of the puck on."
Offensively, the Bears were led by Lorito's pair of goals, as he scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season. Junior Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, ME) and senior Francis Drolet (Lachine, Quebec) also scored, while freshman Mark Naclerio (Milford, CT) had a pair of assists, assisting both Lorito goals.
Lorito opened the scoring on a strong shift by Brown's top line of Naclerio and freshman Nick Lappin (Geneva, IL) in addition to Lorito. Lappin worked the puck along the left side to Naclerio behind the goal. Naclerio sent a perfect feed up to Lorito at the right faceoff circle and he fired a quick one-timer that beat Eric Hartzell to the far side.
Brown increased its lead to 2-0 with just less four minutes left in the period when Hathaway drove up the left wing and knocked in the rebound of his own shot from the top of the crease. Senior Jeff Ryan (Media, PA) earned an assist on the goal, which came at 16:03.
Just prior to Hathaway's goal, Borelli made a nice glove-save on a short-handed two-on-one break for the Bobcats.
Brown edged Quinnipiac in shots during the second period, 11-9, and scored two more goals to take a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. Drolet increased the Bears' lead to 3-0 with 7:03 left in the second period when he collected the puck following a shot by senior Mark Senecal (North Bay, Ontario) and lifted it over Hartzell for his first goal of the season and first since 2010, when he also scored a goal against the Bobcats. Freshman Joe Prescott (Norwell, MA) also assisted the goal.
The Bobcats took back-to-back penalties within a span of 75 seconds shortly after Drolet's goal, and Lorito connected on the two-man advantage to give the Bears a four-goal lead. Junior Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, British Columbia) started the play when he fired the puck towards the goal from the left point. Naclerio caught the puck and dropped it to the ice, before passing it across to Lorito at the right circle. With Hartzell out of position, Lorito took his time, before lifting the puck into the partially open net.
With Brown still leading, 4-0, and the game approaching the midway point of the final period, Borelli came up with another big stop in the Brown net, denying Quinnipiac's Connor Jones on a breakaway attempt with just over 12 minutes left in regulation.
The Bears resume action tomorrow night at 7:00 when they face the winner of the Union-Yale game to play for the ECAC Championship and the League's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The game will be televised live on Fox College Sports, DirectTV channel 623.
BROWN 2 2 0 x - 4
#1 QUINNIPIAC 0 0 0 x - 0
First period – B, Lorito (Naclerio, Lappin), 9:05; B, Hathaway (Ryan), 16:03. Penalties – B, 1-2; Q, 1-2.
Second period – B, Drolet (Senecal, Prescott), 12:57; B, Lorito (Naclerio, Robertson) 5x3, 15:36. Penalties – B, 0-0; Q, 3-6.
Third Period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 2-4; Q, 3-6.
B, Borelli (60:00), 15-9-5-x – 29; Q, Hartzell (59:46), 6-9-4-x – 19; Q, Gerteig (0:14), x-0-x-x – 0.
Pictured: Anthony Borelli '13 makes a save on a Connor Jones breakaway during the third period. Photo by Mike Manger.