PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Mark Naclerio (Milford, Conn.) scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to pull the Bears within a goal, but it was not enough, as the Brown men's hockey team fell to No. 11 Cornell, 2-1, in ECAC action Saturday afternoon at Meehan Auditorium.
Brown dropped to 9-9-3 on the season and 6-7-1 in ECAC play, while Cornell improved to 12-4-5 overall and 8-3-4 in the conference.
Naclerio notched his team-high 14th tally of the season, while freshman Tyler Steel (Kelowna, British Columbia) made 18 saves for the Bears. Naclerio, junior Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario) and senior Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, British Columbia) paced the Bears with five shots apiece. Andy Iles recorded 33 saves for the Big Red to earn the victory.
Cornell jumped on the power play five minutes into the opening stanza, but after freshman Kyle Kramer (Qualicum Beach, British Columbia) blocked an initial attempt, the Brown kill unit denied the Big Red the rest of the way to prevent a decent shot.
After Brown killed off another Cornell power play, the Bears enjoyed a short spurt at the midway point, but Lorito's wraparound bid was denied by Iles to keep the game scoreless.
Cornell killed off a Brown power play late in the period, including back-to-back shots from Lorito and Matt Wahl (Wellington, Fla.), as the two teams were even at the first intermission.
Cornell opened up the scoring at 11:04 in the second period, when Matt Buckles fought for a rebound in front of the crease and was able to push a shot through traffic, as the puck trickled over the line to give the visitors to lead, 1-0.
With 49 seconds left in the period, Steel corralled the puck in the defensive end and slid a pass down the other end of the ice to an open Nick Lappin (Geneva, Ill.), but Iles denied consecutive shots from Lappin and Naclerio to preserve the one-goal lead. The Bears outshot the Big Red by a 12-7 margin during the second period.
Brown threatened at the 12:06 mark in the third period when Davey Middleton (Novi, Mich.) sent a pass off the boards to Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, Maine), who blasted a backhanded attempt in the slot, but Iles was there to prevent the equalizer.
Cornell took a two-goal lead at 13:51 when Cole Bardreau found the back of the net on a feed from Joel Lowry to move up, 2-0.
After Brown pulled Steel in the final two minutes of the game, Naclerio notched his 14th goal of the season at 18:09 to trim the deficit to one, 2-1. Senior Jake Goldberg (Langhorne, Pa.) launched a shot from in front of the blue line, before Naclerio angled the puck past Iles to put the Bears on the board.
From there, the Bears made a strong push in the waning seconds of the contest, but Iles stopped shots from Robertson and Goldberg to seal the victory. The Bears outshot the Big Red, 34-20, in the contest.
The Bears return to action on Friday, Feb. 7 when they visit No. 4 Union at 7 p.m.