Dartmouth Concludes Regular Season at Cornell and Colgate
|Dartmouth (7-16-4, 6-12-2) vs.
No. 11 Cornell (14-7-5, 10-6-4)
▶ Fri., Feb. 28, 2014 ▶ 7 PM ▶ Ithaca, N.Y.
▶ Lynah Rink (4,267)
▶ All-Time Series: 43-79-5 (128th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Jan. 18, 2014 - T, 1-1/OT (Hanover)
▶ Streak: 0-7-3
|Dartmouth (7-16-4, 6-12-2) vs.
No. 16 Colgate (16-11-5, 12-5-3)
▶ Sat., Mar. 1, 2014 ▶ 7 PM ▶ Hamilton, N.Y.
▶ Starr Rink (2,246)
▶ All-Time Series: 45-43-5 (94th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Jan. 17, 2014 - L, 4-1 (Hanover)
▶ Streak: 0-1-0
Radio: WFRD 99.3 (iHeartRadio) / DartmouthSports.com
Play-by-Play: Chris Garrett
Live Stats: DartmouthSports.com
Live Video: Ivy League Digital Network (Cornell) / GoColgateRaiders.com (Colgate)
2013-14 Digital Press Box
The Dartmouth men’s hockey team will hit the road once again for a pair of games at No. 11 Cornell and No. 16 Colgate this weekend to wrap-up the 2013-14 regular season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Big Green battled back from a late third-period deficit to earn a tie with No. 14 Yale last Saturday night in the home finale. Andy Simpson’s blast from the point with 1:26 remaining in regulation forced overtime where the Green and managed to earn the crucial ECAC Hockey point with the 3-3 draw.
The tie with Yale managed to keep Dartmouth’s season-high four-game unbeaten streak intact. The night before, the Big Green pushed their win streak to three as they defeated Brown, 2-1, in overtime, besting the Bears for the first time in three games this season.
Sitting 11th in both the USCHO.com and USA Hockey Poll, Cornell is in the midst of a battle for the final first-round bye and the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament. A weekend sweep of No. 6 Quinnipiac and Princeton last weekend helped the Big Red’s push for that final spot, improving their overall record to 14-7-5 and 10-6-4 in league games. The 4-1 win against the Tigers on Saturday night gave Cornell its second outright Ivy League title in the last three seasons. The lone blemish in their eight Ivy games (7-0-1) to date remains the 1-1 tie in Hanover back in January. Brian Ferlin leads the Red in scoring with 24 points, while also chipping in with a team-leading 12 goals. It should come as no surprise that Andy Iles has played 95% of the time in goal for Cornell as he is just nine saves away from breaking Ben Scrivens’ all-time program record for career saves of 2,873. This season, he boasts a .920 save percentage to go along with a 2.26 goals-against average and was named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week on Tuesday.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE BIG RED
These two teams met in Hanover back on Jan. 18, playing to a 1-1 tie. Dustin Mowrey put the visitors up 1-0 just 4:25 into the contest before Dartmouth answered back with Connor Dempsey’s first career goal 7:04 into the second period. Dempsey knocked in a loose puck at the side of the net for what proved to be the game-tying goal. Sophomore James Kruger was in goal for the Green that night, stopping 23 shots in earning the first tie of his collegiate career.
Few teams are currently as hot as Colgate is as it plays host to Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday in the regular-season finale. The Raiders are on a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2) coming into the weekend and locked up a first-round bye with a 6-1 win at Princeton and a 3-1 victory at Quinnipiac in its most recent outings. The 12-5-3 league record puts Colgate second in the league standings right now and in the driver’s seat for the No. 2 seed. Overall, the team is 16-11-5 and is led by sophomore twins Tyson and Tylor Spink. Tyson leads the way with 28 points (8g/20a), while Tylor is a close second with 26 (13g/13a). Freshman netminder Charlie Finn has taken over the starter’s role and was named the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week for the two wins on the road at Princeton and Quinnipiac. This season, Finn is 13-5-4 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against average.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE RAIDERS
After Brandon McNally’s third goal of the season gave Dartmouth the 1-0 lead at 8:09 of the first period, Colgate’s Andrew Black immediately answered 27 seconds later to tie the game. The Raiders would add another in the first and two more in the third to take the victory, 4-1.
This is the final weekend of the regular season for all ECAC Hockey teams. Since the arrival of the senior class in 2010-11, Dartmouth is 2-3-1 in games played during the final two games of the regular season. This will mark the first time since the 2009-10 campaign that the Big Green have wrapped up the schedule on the road and the first time at Cornell and Colgate since 2007-08 (1-1-0).
ON THE ROAD
Dartmouth is 4-6-1 in true road games this season, while 3-6-0 in ECAC games played away from Thompson Arena. However, the team’s only loss of the month came at Harvard (3-0) on Feb. 7.
Playing in his first home game since suffering a knee injury against Northeastern on Dec. 30, team captain Tyler Sikura scored the overtime winner against Brown on Feb. 21. The sudden-death win was the first for Dartmouth since Jan. 21, 2012, exactly 25 months before. Since that game in Hamilton, the Green were 0-5-10 in OT contests.
A TOP PLAY!
Sikura’s blast into the back of the net to beat the Bears was named the No. 4 Play of the Week by NCAA.com, the first appearance by a Dartmouth player this season.
The last time the Big Green played consecutive overtime games was Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, 2012, both ties at Harvard (2-2) and Princeton (3-3). The last time Dartmouth played two OT games in a weekend was two weeks before that, falling at Cornell (4-3) on Friday and capping a come-from-behind win at Colgate (5-4) the next night.
What sent the Yale game to the extra period was a one-time blast from Andy Simpson at the right point. After Eric Neiley won the offensive zone draw back, defensive partner Rick Pinkston sent a lateral pass across the blueline to Simpson for the game-tying goal in the final minutes.
GRANT THE GOALIE
Sophomore goalie Charles Grant was once again outstanding in helping Dartmouth earn three-of-four possible points last weekend. The Berwick, Nova Scotia, native finished with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage against the Bears and Bulldogs. During the four-game unbeaten streak, Grant is 3-0-1 with a 1.46 GAA, a .955 save percentage and has stopped 126-of-132 shots.
GRANT THE WINGER
Freshman Grant Opperman pushed his scoring streak to four games as well, assisting on the Sikura winner, while netting his third goal in four games just 3: 55 into the contest with Yale. For his strong play, Opperman was named the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Alum of the Week.
Like Opperman, Brad Schierhorn continues to put pucks in the back of the net. His redirect of a Simpson point shot gave Dartmouth a 1-0 second-period lead against Brown on Friday night. For Schierhorn, it was the third goal in two games after netting a pair at Clarkson on Feb. 15.
BLIGH BIT, BUT HAS HOT HELPING HAND
Sophomore Nick Bligh might not be scoring at the rate he would like, but his play is showing up on the scoresheet during the current run. He has four assists to rank second on the team behind only Eric Neiley’s five in that stretch and has a three-game point streak.
The Big Green and Harvard are tied for the 10th in the standings entering the final weekend of play with 14 points. Though there is an outside shot at the eighth seed (1%) and a home playoff spot, the numbers point toward the Big Green finishing ninth (3%), 10th (41%) or 11th (55%).
If Dartmouth were to finish between ninth and 11th, they would be on the road for the first round of the tournament, while earning the eighth seed would give it one more weekend of play at Thompson Arena.