NEWARK, N.J. – Sophomore Mark Naclerio (Milford, Conn.) scored a pair of goals to help the Bears rally from an early deficit as the Brown men's hockey team downed defending national champion No. 7/6 Yale, 4-1, in the season opener for both teams and first game of the Liberty Invitational Friday afternoon at the Prudential Center. As part of the Liberty Invite, the game does not count in the ECAC Hockey of Ivy League standings.
Brown opens up the season at 1-0-0 and earned a season-opening victory for the second-straight year.
Senior Marco De Filippo (Auronzo Di Cadore, Italy) stopped 31 shots in between the pipes for the Bears to move to 1-0-0, while Alex Lyon registered 27 saves for the Bulldogs.
Yale opened up with a flurry of shots to start the opening stanza, but the Brown defense weathered the storm as De Filippo registered five saves in the first five minutes, before the Bears settled down and went to work offensively. Yale outshot Brown by an 11-6 margin in the first period.
The Bulldogs opened up the scoring with a power-play goal at 5:01 in the second period when Frank DiChiara sent a pass from the right circle behind the net, where Stu Wilson gained control, moved in front of the net, and pulled back on a shot with enough time to sneak the puck past De Filippo for the early lead.
After Yale's Charles Orzetti went to the box for tripping at 13:40, Brown needed just eleven seconds of the power-play to even the score, as Naclerio scored the team's first goal of the season. Sophomore Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, BC) blasted a shot from the point, where Naclerio was angled out in front and redirected the shot, as the puck rattled off the post and hit the back of Lyon before trickling over the line for the equalizer. Senior Matt Wahl (Wellington, Fla.) was also credited with an assist on the play.
Brown outshot the Bulldogs, 11-9, in the second period as the teams were even at 1-1 heading into the third period.
Brown took immediate control in the third as Naclerio scored his second tally of the contest to give the Bears the one-goal lead. Sophomore Nick Lappin (Geneva, Ill.) skated down the right side of the offensive end and pushed a pass back to the top of the slot, where Naclerio rifled a shot over the shoulder of Lyon to give the Bears the 2-1 advantage. Additionally, Pfeil earned his second assist of the game on the play.
The Bears notched an insurance goal at 12:51 when junior Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, Mass.) skated behind the net for the wraparound attempt, which was initially saved, but he continued to attack until the puck was pushed in between Lyon's skate and the post for the 3-1 lead.
Lappin added an empty net goal at 18:18 to seal the victory, while Naclerio and Lorito earned assists on the play.
Brown returns to action on Saturday, Oct 26 for its second and final game of the Liberty Invite when they Bears take on Dartmouth at 4 p.m.