HANOVER, N.H. - Sophomore Eric Neiley scored his second goal of the night with 5:19 left in the third period to lift the No. 17 Dartmouth men's hockey team to a 5-4 win Saturday against ECAC Hockey foe Colgate at Thompson Arena.
The victory snapped a four-game stretch without a win for the Big Green, who improved to 12-9-4 overall and 8-7-3 in league play for 19 points. The Raiders drop to 13-13-4 and 5-10-3 in conference games with the loss.
The 19 points has the team tied with Yale for fifth in the standings, but just two back of second-place Rensselaer (21) and one back of St. Lawrence and Union (20) in third.
Fellow sophomore Jesse Beamish tied it at four apiece 11:34 into the final period with his second of the contest, fighting through a scrum to knock home a loose rebound in the crease. It was the first multi-goal game of Beamish's career.
Neiley drew an interference call with roughly six minutes left in the game as he was taken down by Colgate's Spiro Goulakos, sending the Green to the power play with the score tied.
A beautiful passing play from Andy Simpson at the point and Dustin Walsh at the side of the net set up Neiley for a one-timer along the ice that put the home team up 5-4 just 45 seconds into the man-advantage.
Both Beamish and Neiley scored in the first and Dartmouth held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Raiders responded early on in the middle frame as Darcy Murphy tied it at 2-2 just 1:08 into the frame.
Walsh's eighth of the season gave the Big Green another one-goal lead, 3-2, at the 5:52 mark, only to see Joe Wilson tie it up almost 11 minutes later with a pretty wrist shot under the crossbar.
Tylor Spink's go-ahead goal at 9:14 stood as the difference for just 2:20 before Beamish's rebound goal tied the game for the fourth and final time. Neiley took care of the rest with his seventh of the season three minutes later that proved to be the winner.
It wouldn't come easy in the final minutes, though, as Dartmouth was forced to kill off its third penalty of the night when Walsh was whistled for a trip with 3:33 left. Two times in the final 20 seconds the Green hit the post with the empty net, but even an offensive zone faceoff with 3.4 seconds left in regulation and the extra attacker were not enough for Colgate to find the equalizer.
Saturday night's contest was the third straight between the two teams to end with a 5-4 final score. Earlier this season, Colgate overcame a three-goal third-period deficit to knock off Dartmouth, 5-4, in Hamilton (Nov. 16) after the Green had done the same thing to the Raiders in the final meeting between the squads last season.
Making his first start in goal since Jan. 25 against St. Lawrence, freshman Charles Grant stopped 29 shots in earning the win and improving to 4-4-1 this season. Colgate's freshman netminder Spencer Finney stopped 31 from Dartmouth sticks in the losing effort and dropping to 8-9-3 in the process.
Neiley's two goals matched his career high set last February at Princeton and marked the second time this season that two or more Dartmouth players scored twice in the same game (Nov. 2 vs. Yale - Sikura, Lindblad, Robinson).
The Big Green are back out on the road next weekend for the final time in the 2012-13 regular season, making the trip to Clarkson (Feb. 22) and St. Lawrence (Feb. 23) before closing out the year at home against Princeton (March 1) and No. 1 Quinnipiac (March 2).