Saturday Night Tilt with Bentley on Tap for No. 11 Big Green
No. 11/11 Dartmouth (5-2-2) vs. Bentley (6-6-0)
- Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 - 7 PM - Hanover, N.H.
- Thompson Arena (4,500)
- All-Time Series: Dartmouth, 1-0-0
- Last Meeting: Nov. 24 2007 (Home) - W, 5-1
- Streak: 1-0-0
|Live Stats||Live Video ($)||Live Audio
Chris Garret (PbP)
FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
The No. 11 Dartmouth men's hockey team will begin December with a non-conference home game against Bentley Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Thompson Arena. The game with the Falcons marks the first time in a month that the Big Green will play a weekend opponent ranked outside the nation's top-10 after contests with No. 8 Union, No. 10 Cornell and No. 1 Boston College the last three Saturdays.
Dartmouth has gone 0-2-1 in its most recent three games over the course of the previous two weekends. A last-minute tie with the Big Red has been sandwiched between losses at Colgate and BC to push a winless stretch to three after opening the season 5-0-1.
SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE
Saturday's meeting of the Big Green and the Falcons will mark a match-up of the nation's top power-play unit against the country's top penalty killers. The Green and White has successfully killed off 29-of-30 (96.7%) penalties this season, including the last 20 straight dating back to a Nov. 2 tilt with Yale. Bentley is a staggering 32.6% (14-43) with the man-advantage this season, a figure that actually went down after going 0-for-3 Thursday night against Army.
The Falcons make the trip to Hanover sporting a 6-6-0 overall record and a conference mark of 5-4-0 after a 3-2 loss to Army at home Thursday night. Tying the game with two goals in a span of 13 seconds midway through the second period, Bentley was done in by a shorthanded goal just 1:58 later that proved to be the eventual game winner. Winger Brett Genseler leads the country in points (21) and points per game (1.75), while sophomores Alex Grieve and Steve Weinstein have proven to be reliable scorers as well with both posting 5-9-14 in 12 games this season.
- Junior Branden Komm has played all but one game this season and is 5-6-0 overall with a 3.19 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
In the final minutes of the second period vs. Boston College and trailing by two, junior Matt Lindblad helped his team tie the game with two nice passing plays. His centering feed was redirected in the slot by sophomore Brandon McNally on the power play with 1:28 remaining. Less than a minute later, Lindblad set up sophomore Tyler Sikura at the far post for a one-timer at 19:19 to pull the Big Green even at 3-3 through 40 minutes with the top-ranked Eagles.
On both second-period goals against BC, Lindblad's primary assists were made possible by seniors Mike Keenan and Dustin Walsh. Keenan's pass to Lindblad from the point set up the McNally marker, while Walsh's pass at the goal line was the secondary helper on Sikura's late-period tally.
When head coach Bob Gaudet made the 2012-13 schedule, it was clearly going to be a challenging road. But a month into the season it has become clear just how tough it is. To this point, Dartmouth's strength of schedule is ranked as the most difficult of any team's in the country (59 programs). Of the 19 other programs ranked in the current USCHO.com poll, the Big Green have played, or will play at some point this season, seven of those teams.
NICE TIME FOR HIS
Rick Pinkston picked a great time to get his first goal of the season when he scored 16:19 into the first period at Kelley Rink. The sophomore defender knocked home a rebound in the slot after jumping up into an odd-man rush in the neutral zone. Pinkston's lone goal his freshman season came on Jan. 6 at RPI and proved to be the winner that night in Troy.
JUMPING UP IN THE
No less than four quality scoring chances for the Big Green against BC came as a result of freshman Tim O'Brien's play. O'Brien collected an assist on Pinkston's goal after his initial shot was kicked out into the slot and onto the stick of the on-rushing defenseman. Late in the game, O'Brien had two clean breaks and led the surge on another 2-on-1 rush.
THIS WEEK'S POLLS
For the second week in a row, Dartmouth stood firm in both national polls at No. 11. Despite the loss to the Eagles, the Green's resilience and ability to play with the best team in the country for a majority of the game allowed them not to slide in either the USCHO or USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.
Saturday's tilt marks the only match-up of the season for the Big Green against an Atlantic Hockey opponent. Last year, Dartmouth defeated both Sacred Heart (4-1) and Holy Cross (3-2) at home in the month of December. Since the formation of the league prior to the start of the 2003-04 season, Dartmouth boasts an overall record of 10-4-3 against Atlantic Hockey programs.
Since becoming a full Division I program in 1999-2000, Bentley has only played the Big Green once. The lone meeting came in Hanover on Nov. 24, 2007 with Dartmouth earning the 5-1 win. Five different players scored goals that night for the home team and 11 in all players registered points, including starting goaltender Dan Goulding with an assist on a third-period tally.
Junior Cab Morris and freshman Charles Grant continue to split time in net as the first-year goalie was given the nod against the Eagles last weekend. Both have similar stat lines this season and have been able to provide stability in the defensive end for the Green.
After scoring eight goals in the team's first seven games, junior Eric Robinson has now gone two straight without finding the back of the net. His 0.89 goals per game still rank as the best in the country and he is still just four shy of his career high of 12 set last season in only nine games.
Following Saturday's game with the Falcons, there will be just three days of practice before former ECAC Hockey travel partner and regional rival Vermont makes the trip down I-89 for a Wednesday battle. The match-up will be broadcast live to a national audience on NBC Sports Network with Mike "Doc" Emrick and Pierre McGuire on the call. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet and get autographs from five former players now under contract in the NHL.
CHaD TOY DRIVE
Fans attending the Bentley and Vermont games are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the team's annual CHaD Toy Drive. Tables on the concourse will be marked as a drop-off destination for fans bringing the toys starting as soon as doors open an hour prior to puck drop.