POTSDAM, N.Y. – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team had not scored a goal at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena since November of 2010. That stretch came to an abrupt end Saturday night as the Big Green dominated No. 14 Clarkson in a 6-1 win.
Eric Neiley and Brad Schierhorn each scored twice as Dartmouth swept the North Country teams on the weekend after also defeating St. Lawrence Friday night. It was the first time since the 2012 first-round playoff series against the Saints that the Big Green swept a road weekend.
Winners of three-of-the-last-four games, Dartmouth will head back to Hanover set to host Brown and defending national champion Yale in the final homestand of the season next Friday and Saturday nights at Thompson Arena.
Sophomore Charles Grant was once again huge in the win, turning aside 31 shots in net. Though the game was nearly out of hand in the first period, Grant made numerous key saves to quell any Clarkson comeback bid, stopping all-but-one shot he faced all night.
The visitors erupted with four first-period goals to silence the usually boisterous Clarkson crowd. After the Golden Knights (17-13-2, 10-8-0 ECAC) seemingly controlled play for the first 10 minutes of the game, the Big Green (6-15-3, 5-12-1 ECAC) bounced back in a big way.
Rick Pinkston and Schierhorn scored two goals just 1:37 apart to build the lead to two by the 10:50 mark. That’s when Neiley began to take control, scoring two markers in the stretch run of the frame.
Neiley’s first of the night came less than two minutes after Schierhorn’s tally and chased Clarkson’s starting netminder Steven Perry from the crease in favor of backup Greg Lewis. The Warminster, Pa., native’s second of the night came with just 0.3 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Green and White the four-goal advantage headed into the first intermission.
A physical second period only saw one goal as the Golden Knights finally got on the board with Jordan Boucher’s power-play marker at 17:31.
Just 30 seconds into the third period, the home team looked to have some life as it appeared to score and close the gap to just two. However, the goal was waved off as the referee had blown the play dead with the puck under the leg pad of Grant and no longer visible from his vantage point.
Dartmouth answered the call and killed all the Golden Knights’ momentum with two more goals soon thereafter as Grant Opperman and Schierhorn netted a pair to push the lead to five. Neiley picked up an assist on the Opperman tally, his third point of the night.
The Big Green were 0-for-2 on the power play, but the team’s 4-for-5 showing on the penalty kill included a five-minute major late in the game that put a bow on the complete team victory.