By Rob Adams
What a difference a day makes in sports.
The Brunswick ice hockey team hosted an out-of-conference matchup with Delbarton (N.J.) on Friday, beating the Green Wave 3-0.
On Saturday, the Bruins traveled to Pottstown, PA to face off with conference foe Hill, falling to the Rams 4-1.
“You see it at all levels in all sports,” Brunswick head coach Ron VanBelle said. “One day a team looks great and the next day they look not so great. “It was the same lineup both Friday and Saturday but they looked like two different teams.”
The Bruins were especially sharp in their Friday game with Delbarton, excelling on special teams as they shut out the Green Wave. Goalie Alexander Rohlf made 23 saves for Brunswick.
Co-captain Christian LeSueur opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the year in the first period, as the Bruins converted on the power play at the 6:40 mark.
In the second, co-captain Ryan Carmichael reached the back of the net for a shorthanded goal at 9:30, giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Senior forwards Brendan Gregoire and Nick Boardman picked up the assists.
The Bruins added an even strength goal in the third, as sophomore Henry Foster scored his first of the year, opening up a 3-0 lead at 7:20.
The defense, led by Carmichael, with Patrick Burkinshaw, Henry Hill, Cooper Moore, Shayan Farjam, Jack Griffin, and Andy McBurney, kept the Wave silent, as they fell to 11-4-1.
“We played three solid periods,” VanBelle said. “Our D-zone coverage was great and our forecheck and neutral zone play was strong. As a result we outshot and outplayed a good opponent and won the game.
“Alexander Rohlf played well between the pipes and got the shutout which was great to see.”
The story was different on Saturday in Pennsylvania, as the Bruins played their second game in two days. Despite a Cooper Moore goal just 19 seconds into the game off a turnover in the offensive zone, the Bruins dropped the game to fall to 8-8-3 overall and 7-7-3 in NEPSIHA action.
Brunswick held a 1-0 lead after 18 minutes of play, but CJ Duvall, Michael Rockovich, and Alex Kiviniemi scored in the second period for the Rams. A Ryan Long power play goal in the third was the final tally.
Bruins’ goalie Dan Dachille made 21 saves in the loss, as Brunswick outshot Hill 37-21.
“We looked good during the first period,” VanBelle said. “But then, for some reason, we could not do anything right the second and third periods. We had some costly giveaways, some bad penalties, and some mental mistakes.”
The Bruins got back on the ice on Monday at home, defeating the Hoosac Owls 4-3 in overtime. LeSueur snapped a right wing shot for the win in the extra session, as the Bruins improved to 9-8-3.
Down 1-0 after the first period, Boardman scored to tie the game before the Owls netted two goals to open a 3-1 lead. The Bruins scored twice in a span of 42 seconds, as Charles Shaffer and Moore – with an assist from Shaffer – tied the game.
“At this point we are a few spots out of a playoff so we need to start getting some wins to get back into the playoff picture,” VanBelle said. “The biggest issue has been an inability to score goals. Goals are tough to come by in this league so we need to figure out ways to take advantage of our opportunities when we get them.”
The Bruins are in the middle of a four-game homestand, beginning with the Hoosac game, which was a makeup from earlier in January, when the Owls couldn’t travel to Brunswick due to a flu outbreak. The Bruins host Cheshire Academy on Wednesday, Williston-Northampton on Saturday, and finish with Sailsbury on Monday.
“We need to find another gear if we want to get a playoff spot,” VanBelle said.
Listen to Rob Adams broadcast the Delbarton/Brunswick hockey game.
Listen to Rob Adams broadcast the Brunswick/Hill hockey game.