No. 10/10 Dartmouth (7-2-2) vs. No. 2/2 New Hampshire (11-2-2)
- Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 - 7:05 PM - Hanover, N.H.
- Thompson Arena (4,500)
- All-Time Series: UNH, 33-18-2 (54th Meeting)
- Last Meeting: Jan. 14, 2012 (Manchester) - L, 4-1
- Streak: 0-1-0
UMass (5-9-2) OR Bemidji State (5-8-3)
- Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 - 7:05 PM - Hanover, N.H.
- Thompson Arena (4,500)
- All-Time Series: 2-0-0 vs Bemidji / 16-3-2 vs. UMass
- Last Meetings: Dec. 29, 2008 (W, 4-2) vs Bemidji / Dec. 28, 2003 (T, 3-3) vs. UMass
- Streak: 2-0-0 vs. Bemidji / 0-0-1 vs UMass
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Chris Garret (PbP)
FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
Sunday, December 30
4:00 p.m. - UMass vs. Bemidji
7:00 p.m. - Dartmouth vs. UNH
First game winners meet in championship; first game losers meet in consolation.
4:00 p.m. - UNH vs. Bemidji or UMass
7:00 p.m. - Dartmouth vs. Bemidji or UMass
Dartmouth will end its 25-day hiatus with a Sunday night meeting against in-state rival New Hampshire as part of the 2012 Ledyard Classic. Bemidji State and UMass will make up the other half of the tournament. Regardless of the outcome between the Big Green and Wildcats, Dartmouth will play at 7 p.m. on Monday night with UNH playing the 4 p.m. game.
LAST TIME OUT
The last time the Green took to the ice came on Dec. 5 in a nationally-televised game against regional rival, Vermont. Dartmouth dispatched the Catamounts, 4-2, in front of more than 4,100 fans at Thompson Arena thanks in large part to the play of the team's top line that combined for six points on the night.
AGAINST THE WILDCATS
For the first time in 12 years, the two Granite State teams will not meet in Manchester as part of the Battle for the RiverStone. UNH holds a 33-18-2 advantage over Dartmouth in the all-time series with each splitting the last two year's contests. The Wildcats won last season's meeting, 4-1, thanks to then-senior Stevie Moses' four-goal effort. The Green won two seasons ago in Manchester, 5-4, just the fourth victory in 12 games against UNH since 2000.
LAST TIME THEY WERE
For New Hampshire, this marks the first trip to Hanover since Dec. 29, 2000 when it fell to the Green, 6-3. UMass and Bemidji State have been here more recently, playing one another in the 2008 Ledyard Classic. The win by the Beavers in that first-round contest is the only game ever played in the all-time series between the two programs.
STILL NEARLY PERFECT
Dartmouth's penalty killers hit the winter break the best in the nation so far this season (39-40; 97.5%). An 0-for-4 showing by the Catamounts' power-play unit pushed the Big Green's stretch of consecutive kills to 30. The last time a team scored against Dartmouth on the man-advantage was Nov. 2 against Yale, a streak of 512:25 without a PPG against.
WHERE WE RANK THIS
Two sets of polls have been released since the Big Green's last outing. In both USCHO.com Division I men's rankings, Dartmouth has held firm at No. 10, a place they have held since Dec. 3. The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings dropped the Green and White to No. 11 on Dec. 10 before moving them back up to 10th in the most recent release (Dec. 17).
The 2012 Ledyard Classic will be the 24th for Dartmouth since it began in 1978 (then known as the Auld Lang Syne Tournament). New Hampshire is 11-6 and has claimed the title four times, the last coming in 1986. UMass is 1-1 with a 4-2 loss to Bemidji State and a 4-1 win over Army in the Consolation Game in 2008. Bemidji knocked off the Minutemen only to lose to Dartmouth, 4-2, in that 2008 title contest, the Green's last tournament win.
WALSH STEPS UP
Walsh's two-goal performance against UVM was just the second multi-goal game of his career. The senior from Shannonville, Ontario, previously scored twice in a come-from-behind win against Princeton at home on Nov. 5, 2011.
30 FOR CHUCK
Freshman goaltender Charles Grant turned aside 30 Vermont shots in the 4-2 non-conference win, his third of the season (3-1-1). It was just the second time this season that a Dartmouth goalie needed to make 30 or more saves in a game. Grant had the other, stopping 35 in a 7-4 win against Yale on Nov. 2.
Lindblad has had three straight games of two or more points as the Green hit the holiday break. Walsh has multiple points in each of the last two and currently has a team-best five-game scoring streak. Overall, Tyler Sikura and Eric Robison have season-best seven game stretches with at least a point as both opened the year on a hot streak. Sikura has at least one point in all but one of the team's 11 contests this year.
Mike Keenan scored his second goal of the season just 2:33 into the Vermont game to give his team the 1-0 lead. He later assisted on Sikura's insurance marker early in the final frame for another two-point night. He registered two assists against Bentley just four days before and currently has a four-game point streak.
After the win over Vermont, Dartmouth has not lost in its six home games so far this season. In those six victories, the Big Green are averaging 4.2 goals per game while allowing just 1.8, more than a half a goal better than its overall averages in each. After allowing Yale to score four in a 7-4 win, the Green and White have held their last five home opponents to just seven goals, including a 4-0 shutout of Rensselaer.
Grant and junior Cab Morris have made up one of the best goaltending tandems in the nation this season. Both have goals-against marks of below 2.50 (1.97 - Morris; 2.38 - Grant) and both have save percentages better than .915 (.921 - Grant; .917 - Morris). They both have just one loss and one tie to their records, while recording at least three victories for winning percentages above .700 (.750 - Morris; .700 - Grant). No other team in ECAC Hockey has more than one goalie in the top-10 in any of the three categories, while Dartmouth's two netminders are ranked no lower than eighth in all three.
The Wildcats come to Hanover as the No. 2 team in the nation. Sporting an 11-2-2 record, UNH went into the break with a 3-2 loss to No. 7 Boston University while in its first week as the No. 1 team in the nation. A 2-2 exhibition tie with the US U-18 National Team followed just two days later. UNH's 96.3% penalty kill success rate ranks second in the nation, trailing only Dartmouth, while its offense (3.60) ranks third and defense (1.80) ranks fourth.
The Beavers return to Hanover four years after their first appearance in the Upper Valley. Sporting a three-game unbeaten stretch, the team is coming off a 5-1 win over No. 11 Denver on Dec. 15. The night before, Bemidji battled back with a late third-period goal to tie the Pioneers, 1-1, and earn three of a possible four WCHA points on the weekend. The Beavers defeated Minnesota Duluth, 2-1, to start the current three-game run.
The Minutemen will probably be looking forward to a game with Bemidji rather than Dartmouth after dropping three straight to ECAC Hockey teams to end the first half. Home losses to Colgate and a road defeat at Yale saw UMass drop its overall mark at the break to 5-9-2 under first-year head coach and Dartmouth Alum, John Micheletto '90.
Only Holy Cross (8.1) plays a more disciplined game this year than the Big Green. The team averages just 8.4 penalty minutes per outing, fewer than all but one program in the nation (59 Div. I programs). The six penalties and 12 PIM against Bentley matched a season high for the home team. However, Dartmouth is actually 6-0-0 when being whistled for the same number or more penalties than its opponents and 1-2-2 when being called for fewer infractions. The win over Vermont was the first time this season winning a game when going to box less than an opponent.
AGAINST HOCKEY EAST
The game with the Wildcats marks the third time in four outings against Hockey East opponents for Dartmouth. The Green and White are just 8-16 against Hockey East programs since the current layout of the league came to be in the 2005-06 season.
It will be a short break for the Big Green as they play Sunday and Monday only to turn around and play road contests at conference-leading Quinnipiac Friday, Jan. 4 and Ivy League foe Princeton the following night. The game in Hamden will be broadcast live on NESN.