North Country Hosts No. 19 Big Green in Final Road Trip of 2012-13
No. 19 Dartmouth (12-9-4, 8-7-3 ECAC) vs. Clarkson (8-15-4, 7-8-3 ECAC)
▶ Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 ▶ 7:00 PM ▶ Potsdam, N.Y.
▶ Cheel Arena (3,000)
▶ All-Time Series: Clarkson, 66-25-7 (99th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Jan. 26, 2013 (Hanover) - W, 5-1
▶ Streak: 2-0-0
No. 19 Dartmouth (12-9-4, 8-7-3 ECAC) vs. St. Lawrence (15-11-4, 8-6-4 ECAC)
▶ Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 ▶ 7:00 PM ▶ Canton, N.Y.
▶ Appleton Arena (3,200)
▶ All-Time Series: St. Lawrence, 54-32-3 (90th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Jan. 25, 2013 (Hanover) - L, 4-2
▶ Streak: 0-1-0
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Chris Garret (PbP)
FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
Dartmouth will head back out on the road for the final time in the 2012-13 regular season with games this weekend at Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Big Green will play the Golden Knights Friday at Cheel Arena in Potsdam before a short drive down the road to Canton, N.Y., and Appleton Arena for a Saturday night match-up with the Saints.
LAST TIME OUT
The Green split last weekend's two-game homestand with Cornell and Colgate. Dartmouth lost, 4-2, Friday night to the Big Red before mounting a late third-period comeback for a 5-4 victory over the Raiders the following evening.
WHERE WE RANK
Despite the win against Colgate, Dartmouth dropped two spots in the USCHO Division I Poll to 19th this week. The drop notwithstanding, the 15th straight rankings release continues the program's longest consecutive run in the poll as well as the most appearances in a single season.
THE LEAGUE IS CRAZY
Just eight points separates the second-place team (Rensselaer, 21) from the 11th-place team (Cornell, 13). Currently, Dartmouth (8-7-3) is tied with Yale (9-8-1) for fifth as both have 19 points. Clarkson and Princeton are close behind with 17 points, while Brown has 15. Only Quinnipiac is sure of its postseason seeding, having already won the Cleary Cup as regular season champion.
The final road trip of the season could not come soon enough for the Big Green as the team is just 2-6-3 in road games this season with both wins coming at Brown.
Since falling to Dartmouth in the final weekend of January, Clarkson is 3-2-1 with wins over Cornell, Union and Princeton. Last weekend saw the Knights give top-ranked Quinnipiac their best shot only to come up on the wrong end of a one-goal loss, 2-1. Overall the team is 8-15-7, but a 7-8-3 mark in league play has it just two points back of the Big Green in the ECAC Hockey standings with 17 points. Junior Allan McPherson leads the team with 23 points (9g/14a), while Greg Lewis has seen a majority of time in net this season, posting an 8-13-6 mark with a 2.85 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE
Dartmouth exploded for four goals in the third period while firing 49 shots on goal in the 5-1 win between the two teams in Hanover on Jan. 26. Lewis stopped 44 shots in the game, including 35 through 40 minutes, but was unable to stop the third-period surge that put the game away. Five different players scored for the home team that Saturday night.
ALL-TIME VS. CLARKSON
Friday night will mark the 99th meeting all-time between the two programs. Clarkson holds a 66-25-7 advantage in those match-ups for an impressive 70.9 winning percentage against its ECAC Hockey rivals from the Upper Valley.
SCOUTING ST. LAWRENCE
With just one loss in its last 10 games (8-1-1), St. Lawrence is getting hot at the right time. Fresh off a weekend sweep of Princeton and No. 1 Quinnipiac, the Saints have gone from the bottom half of the league standings to third in the last three weeks. The 2-1 win over the Bobcats snapped a 21-game unbeaten streak and was the product of two goals from junior Greg Carey. Playing alongside Kyle Flanagan, the duo has formed the most potent offensive grouping in the nation this year as they have a combined 85 points. Carey's 23 goals are the best in the country this season, while he is also tied for first in Division I with 45 points. Flanagan ranks third in the nation in scoring with 40 points (13g/27a). Matt Weninger is the team's netminder and boasts a solid 15-11-4 mark coming into the weekend.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE
Trailing 2-1 coming into the final period of the Jan. 25 contest at Thompson Arena, the Saints' top line exploded for three goals to pick up the 4-2 victory. Flanagan, Carey and linemate Jeremy Wick each scored a marker in a 7:04 stretch to put the game away and pick up the two league points.
ALL-TIME VS. ST.
In 89 previous meetings between the Saints and Big Green, St. Lawrence owns a 54-32-3 advantage (.624%).
For the second time this season, two members of the Big Green found the back of the net twice in the same game. Sophomores Jesse Beamish and Eric Neiley both scored once in the first period and again in the third to cap the comeback against the Raiders. Back on Nov. 2 against Yale, Tyler Sikura, Eric Robinson and Matt Lindblad each scored twice in a 7-4 win.
Last weekend saw head coach Bob Gaudet use both Cab Morris and Charles Grant between the pipes on consecutive days for the first time since the home series with this weekend's opponents last month. Grant made his first start since the first contest with the Saints after Morris got the nod in five straight.
IVY LEAGUE UPDATE
Dartmouth had an opportunity to make a run at the Ivy League crown, but the loss to Cornell have hurt those chances of catching Yale. The Elis are alone at the top with 12 points and two games left, while Princeton is third with eight points and four Ivy games remaining. Dartmouth has just next Friday's match-up with the Tigers left on its Ancient Eight (six) slate and has 10 points to sit second currently.
For Beamish, scoring twice set a new career high for the sophomore from Ontario. Coming into the game with Colgate, Beamish had six goals in 41 career games, including two in 16 this season.
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
With Neiley and Beamish's goals getting all the attention, it was senior Dustin Walsh quietly going about his business with a three-point night against the Raiders. The Shannonville, Ontario, native scored once himself and assisted on the first Beamish tally and the final marker from Neiley.
Neiley's seventh of the season came with just 5:19 left in the third period with his team on the power play after he himself draw an interference call just 45 seconds earlier. The Warminster, Pa., native one-timed a shot from the top of the crease after a pretty passing play from Walsh and fellow sophomore Andy Simpson.
THIS PLACE SEEMS
Saturday's game will mark the return of the Big Green to Appleton Arena just a year removed from a historic achievement. Dartmouth swept the Saints out of last year's first round, marking the first time in the building's 60-year history that St. Lawrence failed to win a game in a playoff series. Overall, the Green and White were 3-0 in Canton last season after taking the regular season contest in November as well.
MAKE HIM SAY D'OH
In the last two games with the Saints, Simpson has found the back of the net. His first career goal came in Dartmouth's 4-1 elimination of SLU last year. He also scored with less than a second remaining in the first period in the Jan. 25 meeting this season. A Feb. 10 goal at Harvard is Simpson's only collegiate goal not to come at the expense of Weninger.
BIG TIME SAVES
The last two times a goalie has recorded 40+ saves in a game against the Green have both been Clarkson netminders. Lewis stopped 44 in the earlier meeting this winter, while before that you would have to look back to Feb. 26, 2011 when then-Knights' goalie Paul Karpowich turned aside 43 Dartmouth shots in a 4-1 loss at Thompson Arena.
NEED THOSE POINTS
Home-ice in the first round or quarterfinals would greatly help the Big Green's postseason chances as the team is 10-3 in Hanover this season and just 2-6-3 on the road (0-0-1 neutral).
SECOND TO 10
Tyler Sikura matched Eric Robinson with his team-leading 10th goal of the season against the Big Red. The sophomore center snapped home a wrist shot over Andy Iles' glove right off the faceoff with 3:03 left in the middle frame. He had 11 as a freshman in 2011-12.
ALL AT HOME
Keeping in line with the team's theme of home successes in 2012-13, freshman Nick Bligh scored his third goal of the year early in the third against Cornell to pull his team to within one. All three of Bligh's markers have come in front of the Thompson Arena crowd.
GETTING BACK AT IT
It is expected that the Green will see some offensive help this weekend in the return of Eric Robinson and Matt Lindblad to the lineup. Robinson was hurt in the first period against Cornell, while Lindblad has been out since suffering an upper-body injury on Feb. 2 at RPI.
SO CLOSE TO THE TOP
A 6-for-6 showing on the penalty kill against Cornell and Colgate pushed the Big Green's unit back to second in the country. Dartmouth boasts a 90.1% success rate down a man this season (82-91). The only team ahead of the Green's PK unit is Quinnipiac (91.0%).
A week after three of the league's top coaches of the past two decades were all present at Thompson (Gaudet, Cornell's Schafer and Colgate's Don Vaughn), this weekend will see the other end of the spectrum. Clarkson's Casey Jones is in just his second season with the program, while SLU's Greg Carvel is in his first campaign leading the Saints with the unenviable task of following coaching legend Joe Marsh.
ON THE CUSP
With just two more points, Sikura will become the first player since Scott Fleming in 2010-11 to reach the 30-point mark. Fleming had 31 points (13g/18a) as a senior and 39 (22g/17a) as a junior in 2009-10.
A +/- ODDITY
Dartmouth's +5 this season is tied for second in the league with Colgate and Rensselaer. Quinnipiac is first in the league with an astonishing +31 rating.
The Big Green will be back in Hanover next weekend to wrap-up the regular season with crucial home games against Princeton and Quinnipiac. The Saturday night game with the Bobcats will also mark Senior Day ceremonies to honor the five members of the Class of 2013 as the program recognizes Mike Keenan, Dustin Walsh, Alex Goodship, Mark Goggin and Jason Bourgea.