ECAC Hockey Play Rolls on With Visits From Capital District Teams
RV/RV Dartmouth (3-0-1, 2-0-0 ECAC) vs. Rensselaer (1-3-2, 0-2-0 ECAC)
- Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 - 7 PM - Hanover, N.H.
- Thompson Arena (4,500)
- All-Time Series: RPI, 41-31-5
- Last Meeting: Feb. 11, 2012: L, 2-1 - Streak: 0-1-0
RV/RV Dartmouth (3-0-1, 2-0-0 ECAC) vs. No. 8/7 Union (5-1-1, 2-0-0 ECAC)
- Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 - 7 PM - Hanover, N.H.
- Thompson Arena (4,500)
- All-Time Series: Dartmouth, 23-17-6
- Last Meeting: Feb. 10, 2012: L, 5-1 - Streak: 0-2-0
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Chris Garret (PbP)
FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
Dartmouth continues its four-game homestand this weekend with Friday and Saturday night conference tilts with Rensselaer and Union. These two incoming teams battled one another last weekend in a home-and-home series that resulted in a sweep for the Dutchmen, the only other team besides Dartmouth in ECAC Hockey with four points thus far.
COMIN' IN HOT
The Big Green enter the two-game slate as one of only two teams in the country not to have a loss to its credit in 2012-13. Wins over Yale (7-4) and Brown (2-1) have the team at 3-0-1 and sitting tied atop the ECAC Hockey standings along with Union at 2-0-0 in league play. The sweep of the Bulldogs and Bears also has Dartmouth ranked ahead of five other teams in the Ivy League campaign.
ECAC HOCKEY STANDINGS
|GP||Pts||Record||Win %||GF||GA||GP||Record||Win %||GF||GA||Last 10||Streak|
|St. Lawrence||0||0||0-0-0||0.000||0||0||6||5-1-0||0.833||23||8||5-1||Won 4|
IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS
|Ivy League||ECAC Hockey||Overall|
Junior Eric Robinson has started the season on a tear with five goals in the first four games for a nation-leading 1.25 goals per contest. His goals have also come at just the right time as he has three game winners (also good for tops in the country) and a game-tying goal. His scoring has been the difference this year in all four of Dartmouth's outings. His three power-play markers are also the second most in the country to this point.
Robinson was tabbed as the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Tuesday afternoon after his strong four-point weekend. He became the first Dartmouth player to receive the conference's top weekly honor since Dustin Walsh was named the recipient last November following a Dartmouth sweep of Quinnipiac and Princeton in the league-opening weekend.
SIKURA LEADS AGAIN
After a freshman season that saw him tie Doug Jones for the team lead in scoring with 25 points (11g/14a), Tyler Sikura has continued to elevate his game as a sophomore in 2012-13. Sikura has a team-leading seven points on three goals and four helpers. His 1.75 points per game rank fifth in the nation, while his 1.0 assists per clip are eighth.
YOU LIKE NUMBERS?
Following Cornell's tie with Colgate, no team in the country remained with only wins to its credit, meaning that computer polls could come into play. The polls are published to try and mimic the formula used by the NCAA Selection Committee in determining the 16-team national tournament. In all three systems (PairWise, RPI, KRACH), Dartmouth was listed as the top team, something that means almost nothing at this point in the season.
IN THE POLLS
With the sweep of Yale and Brown and a 3-0-1 record to their credit, the Big Green made another improvement in the national polls this week. Although still on the outside looking in, Dartmouth went from 15 votes in last week's USCHO poll to 102 and rank as the highest rated team outside this week's Top 20. Providence is the next closest team with 35 votes. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings, the Green and White went from no votes after the Ivy Shootout to nine when the most recent poll was released Monday afternoon.
Sikura, Robinson and junior Matt Lindblad each netted a pair of goals in Friday night's win vs. Yale. The last time three Dartmouth players scored two or more goals each in a single game was a 9-1 win against Holy Cross on Nov. 20, 2001. In that game, Kent Gillings (2-1-3), Chris Baldwin (2-2-4) and Trevor Byrne (2-1-3) put on an offensive display that was not matched for more than a decade. More impressive was that all six of those goals were scored at even strength.
The junior and Winnetka, Ill., native scored two goals in the game's opening 6:33. His first of the season came 3:27 into the opening period, while his second more just slightly more than three minutes later. Between the two Lindblad markers, each team scored for four goals in the contest's opening few minutes.
THAT'S A GOOD
Last week, a lot of attention was focused on the play of freshman goaltender Charles Grant after he posted a shutout in his first career start against Brown (Oct. 27). But the strong start to the season by junior Cab Morris should not be overlooked. Grant was given the nod against Yale on Friday, making 35 saves, while allowing four goals. Morris started the next night and stopped 24 shots while picking up the defensive-oriented 2-1 win against Brown. Through two games apiece, here is how they match up:
Goalie W-L-T GA GAA S% Min.
Morris 1-0-1 3 1.44 .933 124:55
Grant 2-0-0 4 2.00 .937 119:44
Sikura and Robinson remain the only two players on the team to register points in all four games this season. Last year, Sikura's longest stretch of games with a point was three, while Robinson twice had four-game scoring streaks. Lindblad had points in each of the first three games before being held off the scoresheet against the Bears.
The first shorthanded goal of the 2011-12 season came when Jesse Beamish capped off a 4-1 win against Sacred Heart with the man-down tally at the 17:12 mark of the third period on Dec. 11. That was the 11th game of the year for the Big Green. This season, it took just three games before Sikura scored a shorty 13:09 into the third period against Yale. Beamish ended up with two shorthanded markers last season, the only two of the year for the Green.
LUCKY NUMBER 47
The last time Dartmouth had scored seven or more goals in a game prior to the contest with the Elis came back on Jan. 29, 2011 when it defeated Colgate, 7-3, at Thompson Arena. It had been 47 games since the Big Green offense had proved to be as potent on any given night. Dartmouth also snapped a 47-game stretch without a shutout the game prior when it knocked off Brown, 4-0, in Providence.
NICE ROUND NUMBER
Saturday's win was the 75th against Brown in the all-time series between the two programs. The Big Green now hold a 75-63-8 advantage over the Bears.
LEAGUE PLAY AT HOME
For the second season in a row, Dartmouth swept its ECAC Hockey home-opening weekend after knocking off Quinnipiac, 5-4, and Princeton, 5-3, to start 2011-12. The Big Green also accomplished the feat in 2008-09 when they beat St. Lawrence in overtime, 4-3, before taking out Clarkson, 5-1, on Saturday.
Sophomore Eric Neiley matched his career high with three points, all assists, against Yale. The Warminster, Pa., native set up Lindblad, Robinson and Sikura on the night, including causing a turnover at center ice that led to the final goal of the game. Twice as a freshman Neiley had three-point outings as both were one-goal, two-assist efforts.
Grant stopped 35 shots in his home debut against the Bulldogs. The last time a Dartmouth freshman goalie made 35 or more saves in a game was Jody O'Neill on Dec. 7, 2009, when he registered 41 in a 3-1 loss in New Haven also against Yale. O'Neill was also the last goalie to accomplish the feat in a victory, stopping 41 at Princeton on Jan. 9, 2009 en route to a 4-0 shutout of the Tigers.
BACK IN THE GAME
After missing much of last season, senior alternate captain Dustin Walsh was back in the Big Green lineup last weekend. The 2009 Montreal Canadiens draft pick wasted little time in returning to his old form, picking up an assist on Lindblad's second goal just 6:33 into his first appearance of the year against Yale.
SPECIAL TEAMS STATS
- Dartmouth is the second least penalized team in the country through its first four games at 8.5 PIMs per contest. A disciplined group, the Big Green also possesses a strong penalty killing unit when playing a man down. In 15 penalty kill situations this season, the Green and White have been successful 14 times for 93.3%; good for fourth in the nation and third in ECAC Hockey.
- The power play has also been a strength through two weeks of play, scoring on 4-of-17 chances (23.3%) to rank 11th in the country. It took Dartmouth until Jan. 6 last season before it was able to score its fourth PPG of the year.
The Engineers have enjoyed recent successes in Hanover over the last few years, having won five of the last seven meetings at Thompson, including a two-game sweep in the 2009 ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. The two teams split last season's series with each winning in the other's building. The last meeting came back on Feb. 11 with RPI edging out the Green, 2-1. Dartmouth won its game in Troy, 4-3, in a contest seen nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
The Dutchmen won both games against the Big Green last year, taking the meet in Schenectady, 7-1, and in Hanover, 5-1. Dartmouth still leads the all-time series, 23-17-6, but has just three wins since the start of the 2008-09 season. The last time the Big Green skated to a 0-0 tie with any opponent was against Union on Nov. 6, 2010 at Thompson Arena.