Brown hockey shut out by Holy Cross in season opener

Photo provided by Brown University
Photo provided by Brown University

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Three different players scored for Holy Cross as the Brown men’s hockey team fell to the Crusaders, 3-0, in the team’s season opener Friday night at the Hart Center.

Holy Cross improves to 3-1-1 on the season, while the Bears open up at 0-1.

Scott Pooley and Danny Lopez scored second-period goals for the Crusaders, before Michael Laffin added another in the third. Max Willman (Barnstable, Mass.) and Josh McArdle (Roscoe, Ill.) paced the Bears with four shots apiece.

Rookie Gavin Nieto (Yorba Linda, Calif.) registered 29 saves in his collegiate debut. Paul Berrafato stopped 23 shots in the shutout win for the Crusaders.

Holy Cross jumped on the power play 25 seconds into the contest, but the Bears limited the Crusaders to just one shot on net and countered with a shorthanded bid to keep the game scoreless.

After Nieto robbed Kevin Darrar with a glove save with six minutes remaining, the Bears went on the offensive and ended up with a 12-9 shot advantage in the first period.

The Crusaders struck first at 8:54 in the middle period. Pooley connected on a one-timer as he launched a shot past Nieto for the one-goal advantage. Holy Cross added another goal at 11:53 when Lopez scored on the power play to push the home side in front, 2-0.

The two teams were even in shots, 17-17, after the second period.

After the two teams combined for three unsuccessful power plays during the third period, the Crusaders tacked on a third goal with five minutes remaining. Pooley charged at the net and was initially denied by Nieto, but Laffin was there for the rebound to make it a three-goal game.

Brown returns to action on Sunday when the Bears host No. 14/15 Providence College at 5 PM in the 31st Annual Mayor’s Cup contest.