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Comeback Falls Short as No. 11 Big Green Downed by No. 12 Yale

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By Mark Washburn

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 11 Dartmouth men's hockey team battled back, but were unable to take down Yale Saturday night as the 12th-ranked Bulldogs held on for a hard-fought 4-2 victory at a sold-out Ingalls Rink.

The penalty kill, a strength of the Big Green all season, was unable to stop a potent Yale attack with the man-advantage as the Elis were 2-for-2 on the night.

Dartmouth knocked-off Yale, 7-4, on Nov. 2 in Hanover after the two tied a non-conference match-up, 2-2, on Oct. 26 in the Ivy Shootout in Providence.

Cab Morris (7-3-1) was strong in net, making 23 saves in suffering just his third loss of the season. His counterpart in the Bulldogs' Jeff Malcolm stopped 27 as the visitors tested him all night.

The win moved the Bulldogs (11-4-3 overall) out of the tie for second in the league standings with the Big Green, as they now have 15 points (7-3-1). Dartmouth remains with 13 points (6-4-1) after the league loss.

A goal in the first from Tommy Fallen and a power-play marker from Antoine Laganiere in the second put the Big Green (10-6-2 overall) in a 2-0 hole for just the second time this season. However, sophomore defender Rick Pinkston cut the deficit in half as he buried a long rebound in the slot with just 57 seconds remaining in the middle stanza.

Freshman Brad Schierhorn's shot along the right halfboards was blockered out to the top of the circles right to the stick of the streaking Pinkston for the rebound goal.

Jesse Root made Dartmouth pay with a third-period power-play goal to put the home team up two again, 3-1, just 2:12 into the frame. It would prove to be the eventual game-winner.

Eric Neiley matched that with a power-play goal of his own 10 minutes later, skating through defenders in the neutral zone and letting go of a heavy wrist shot in the slot that beat Malcolm glove side.

An empty-net goal from Yale senior Andrew Miller in the final minute sealed the win, 4-2, however, as the marker halted Dartmouth's comeback bid with Morris pulled in favor of the extra attacker.

The Green and White have had a particularly hard time winning games in New Haven in recent years, having not defeated the Bulldogs at Ingalls since Feb. 17, 2007.

Next weekend will see the team return home to Thompson Arena where it is 8-1-0 this season. The Big Green plays host to St. Lawrence and Clarkson, the only two remaining ECAC Hockey teams yet to square-off with Dartmouth in 2012-13, in Friday and Saturday night contests.