PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior Mark Naclerio scored all three goals for the first hat trick of his career, but it was not enough as the Brown men’s hockey team fell to No. 18 Quinnipiac, 5-3, in Friday evening’s ECAC contest at Meehan Auditorium.
Quinnipiac improved to 16-8-1 overall and 11-2-0 in the ECAC to remain in first place in the conference standings. Brown dropped to 4-16 on the season and 1-12 in conference play.
Naclerio scored one goal in the second period and a pair in the third, including one on the power play, for his first career hat trick. Senior Massimo Lamacchia (Maple, Ontario) chipped in with a pair of assists. Quinnipiac’s Landon Smith also scored three goals, while Sam Anas and Matthew Peca scored one goal apiece.
Michael Garteig made 22 saves for the Bobcats to earn the win. Freshman Connor Maher (Marshfield, Mass.), who came in to relieve Tyler Steel (Vernon, British Columbia) after the first period, made 17 stops and allowed one goal.
Quinnipiac jumped off to an early lead when Smith tacked on his first goal of the game at 2:54.
The Bobcats added two more goals near the end of the period, when Smith and Anas both scored within a 30-second span. After Smith notched his second tally of the period at 14:04, Travis St. Denis took control of the puck behind the Brown net and found Anas alone in front for the quick strike to give the Bobcats a 3-0 advantage at the end of the first.
Maher came in to start the second period in net for the Bears, and came up with a few big stops during the stanza, including a timely save on Quinnipiac’s Peca to deny a shorthanded 2-on-1 attack.
Naclerio put the Bears in the board at 15:57 for this fourth tally of the season. After senior defenseman Joey de Concilys (St. Catharine’s, Ontario) sent an impressive pass through the neutral zone and hit Naclerio in stride for the near breakaway, the junior finished off the play and beat Garteig to trim the deficit to two, 3-1.
Brown outshot the Bobcats by an 8-6 margin in the second period.
Naclerio pulled the Bears to within one when he scored his second goal of the contest just 1:22 into the third period. Rookie Josh McArdle (Roscoe, Ill.) took a hard shot that was blocked, but the puck bounced right to Naclerio in the slot, who slipped a shot past Garteig to make it 3-2.
After Smith answered back at 4:10 with his third goal of the game, Naclerio responded at 8:02 with a power-play goal to complete the hat trick, as he tipped in a rebound to trim the deficit back to one, 4-3.
Nevertheless, Quinnipiac kept the Bears off the board the rest of the way, and Peca scored on the Brown empty net with one minute left in regulation to seal the victory.
Brown returns to action tomorrow when they play host to Princeton at 4 p.m. Tickets for all Brown men’s hockey games can be purchased online, calling the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or walking up to the Box Office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.