Big Green Set to Meet Union in ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals
ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals
No. 5 Dartmouth (15-12-5) vs. No. 4 Union (17-12-5 ECAC)
▶ Friday, Mar. 15, 2013 ▶ 7:00 PM
▶ Saturday, Mar. 16, 2013 ▶ 7:00 PM
▶ Sunday, Mar. 17, 2013 ▶ 7:00 PM* ▶ Schenectady, N.Y.
▶ Messa Rink (2,225)
▶ All-Time Series: Dartmouth, 24-17-7 (48 Meetings)
▶ Last Meeting: Feb. 1, 2013 (Schenectady) - T, 2-2 (OT)
▶ Streak: 1-0-1
* - if necessary
|Live Stats||Live Audio
Chris Garret (PbP)
FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
Dartmouth will head to Schenectady, N.Y., to take on Union in the 2013 ECAC Hockey Championship Quarterfinal Round this weekend. A best-of-three series gets underway Friday night at Messa Rink and will continue Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) with all games set to begin at 7 p.m.
The entire ECAC Hockey Championship will be streamed live online through AmericaOneSports.com. As always, Chris Garrett will have the call live on 99.3 FM WFRD and live online at DartmouthSports.com.
HOW WE GOT
The Big Green survived to play this weekend in the New York Capital district thanks to a three-game series win against Harvard in Hanover to start the postseason. A 2-1 loss on Friday put the Green on their heels in the opener, only to rebound with victories of 4-1 and 6-3 to wrap up the weekend and move on.
Dartmouth went 1-0-1 in the two regular season meetings with Union this season. In the home game played at Thompson Arena on Nov. 10, the Big Green took a 3-0 lead into the third period and held off a Dutchmen team that scored twice in the early minutes of the final frame to make it a one-goal contest. In the meeting at Messa Rink on Feb. 1, a Rick Pinkston marker with 4:55 left in regulation on a shot from the point forced overtime and the eventual 2-2 draw. That night marked the first time all season that Union allowed an opponent to score twice on the power play as both Pinkston's and Eric Neiley's goals came on the man-advantage. Broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, the Feb. 1 match-up was the first nationally televised game in the building's history.
The Dutchmen earned the final first-round bye with a dominating sweep of St. Lawrence (5-1) and Clarkson (4-0) during the last weekend of the regular season en route to a 17-12-5 record and the four seed. Seniors Wayne Simpson and Kyle Bodie finished tied for the team lead with 31 points. Simpson and junior Daniel Carr were the only two players to reach double digits in goal scoring with 15 and 12, respectively, this winter. Troy Grosenick played 28 games in goal, posting a 12-9-5 record with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
AGAINST THE DUTCHMEN
This weekend marks the first-ever postseason meeting between the two programs. Prior to this season, the Big Green had played every other ECAC Hockey program at least one time in the postseason with the lone exception being Union. The next closest teams in terms of fewest games played against Dartmouth in the postseason are Brown and Princeton with two apiece.
A TALE OF
In game one of the first round series with the Crimson, the Green scored just once, while allowing a late goal to Harvard's Brian Hart that stole the opener for the visitors. Scoring 10 times in the following two outings helped Dartmouth overcome that 0-1 series deficit to win it in three.
Coming back to beat Harvard in three games was a bit of déjà vu for Big Green fans. In 2011, the Crimson took a 1-0 lead in the quarterfinals only to see Dartmouth come back and take the series in three. In all, four times since the 2003 postseason have the Green dropped the series opener to come back and take the final two. Each of those instances have come at Thompson Arena. Dartmouth is 4-5 overall when losing the series' first match-up.
2003 Quarterfinals vs. Colgate
L, 4-3 (4OT) / W, 3-1 / W, 5-2
2004 Quarterfinals vs. Rensselaer
L, 3-1 / W, 6-0 / W, 1-0
2011 Quarterfinals vs. Harvard
L, 3-2 / W, 2-1 (OT) / W, 4-3
2013 First Round vs. Harvard
L, 2-1 / W, 4-1 / W, 6-3
For just the second time in the current postseason format, the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals will feature four match-ups of Ivy League teams vs. non-Ivies. Beyond Dartmouth/Union, Quinnipiac will host Cornell, Rensselaer will welcome Brown to Troy and Yale will be the only Ivy team at home as it takes on visiting St. Lawrence. The only other time it has happened came in 2005 when Dartmouth was also the five-seed and fell to fourth-seeded Vermont.
2004-05 ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals
No. 9 Clarkson at No. 1 Cornell - Cornell won series, 2-0
No. 7 St. Lawrence at No. 2 Harvard - Harvard won series, 2-0
No. 6 Brown at No. 3 Colgate - Colgate won series, 2-0
No. 5 Dartmouth at No. 4 Vermont - Vermont won series, 2-1
In 10 postseason series played in Hanover, Dartmouth is 9-1 following the three-game victory against Harvard. The Green's only loss came in 2009 when No. 11 Rensselaer swept No. 6 Dartmouth (3-2, OT / 3-1) in a first-round meeting.
In hostile territory, the Big Green have historically not faired as well on the road as they have at home. In six all-time series on the road, Dartmouth is just 1-5. However, that one series victory did come last season when it became the first team in the history of Appleton Arena to sweep St. Lawrence in the postseason, 2-0.
HECK OF A
TIME FOR A CAREER DAY
Freshman Brad Schierhorn scored twice and assisted on another to help his team to a 6-3 win in the decisive third game to eliminate Harvard. It was Schierhorn's first multi-point outing of his career and snapped a 21-game drought without a goal dating back to Dec. 1 against Bentley.
In his final game at Thompson Arena, senior Alex Goodship picked up three assists on Sunday. Prior to that outburst of offense, Goodship had 15 total points in his career and had never registered more than one in any single game during his time in the Green and White.
Freshman Nick Bligh's blast from just inside the blueline on a rush up ice gave Dartmouth a 4-1 lead just 3:37 into the third period. That would prove to be the game-winner as Harvard scored two goals in the waning minutes of regulation. All four of Bligh's goals this season have come at home.
AS FAR AS
THE TOP LINE GOES
After falling behind 1-0 in the series, a bounce-back game two was sparked by the Big Green's top forward line. Matt Lindblad and Tyler Sikura each scored once and added two assists, while Dustin Walsh also added a tally.
Team captain Mike Keenan contributed a goal and an assist in the two wins against Harvard. Just the sixth Dartmouth player to wear the 'C' twice in a career, Keenan has registered goals in three of the team's last six overall contests.
IN THE QUARTERFINALS
Following the sweep of St. Lawrence in the first round, Dartmouth went back out on the road for the quarterfinals of the 2012 postseason to take second-seeded Cornell at Lynah Rink. A historic game one went until the final minutes of the second overtime before the Big Red's Sean Whitney scored the winner at the 17:40 mark. Cornell netted three in the first period the following night and completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory.
The Green are just 1-9 all-time in quarterfinals games played away from Hanover, while an astonishing 16-3 in the same round in games played inside the confines of Thompson Arena. The only win in a road quarterfinals series was a 3-2 game-one victory at Vermont in 2005, a series the team would lose in three.
After five straight games on home ice, Dartmouth will play a road game for the first time since Feb. 23 when it knocked off St. Lawrence, 3-2, in Canton. This season, the Big Green are just 3-7-3 in road games with two wins coming at Brown. One of the three ties did come at Messa, however.
As he had all season, head coach Bob Gaudet rotated his goalies in the first round, using junior Cab Morris in the opener before going with freshman Charles Grant for the final two. Morris was saddled with the game-one loss, but played well in 58:54 of action, turning aside 22 Crimson shots. Grant won both games he started, making a combined 51 stops in 120 minutes of play, including 16 saves in the final period of game three.
Dartmouth is 10-9-5 all-time in road games at Union. The last time the Green won in Messa Rink was two seasons ago on Jan. 21, 2011 with a 4-1 victory.
Keenan and Sikura were named to the 2012-13 All-Ivy First Team for their solid contributions to the team's second-place finish in the ancient conference standings this season. It was the first Ivy honor for both. Matt Lindblad was named to the second team, his first recognition from the league since earning Co-Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman in 2010-11.
Harvard scored twice on the power play in three games, including a late man-advantage marker with the goalie pulled in game three. With that, Dartmouth's penalty kill dropped to 88.7% and fifth in the nation, remarkably the lowest for both figures at any point this season.
THREE IN A
Six times this season did the Big Green net at least three goals in one period. But on Sunday against Harvard, the team accomplished the feat in consecutive frames, scoring three in both the second and third to put away the Crimson. Prior to those two stanzas, the last time Dartmouth was able to find the back of the net with such success in a period came in the third against Clarkson on Jan. 26 when four different players scored goals.
Markers from O'Brien, Schierhorn and Bligh in the elimination game proved to be the first time this season that three different members of the freshman classscored in the same game. Multiple rookies scoring in the same contest only happened once before during the 2012-13 campaign when Bligh and defenseman Ryan Bullock each scored the first of their careers in the 4-1 upset over No. 2 New Hampshire on Dec. 30.
BAT AT IT
Junior Eric Robinson scored his 11th goal of the season in game three by batting a puck out of mid-air in the slot to pick up the Big Green's third goal in the opening 7:26 of the middle stanza. It was his first goal in eight games played and 11 team contests dating back to Jan. 26 against Clarkson for Robinson.
FEW WITH 10
Dartmouth currently has four players with at least 10 goals this season (Sikura, Robinson, Walsh and Lindblad). Only Colgate can match that kind of goal-scoring range this season as it also has four players that have reached double digits.
- The 139 penalties are the fewest taken by a Dartmouth team in a season under Bob Gaudet and are 62 fewer than the average of 201 penalties per year since the beginning of the 1999-00 campaign.
- The 311 PIMs over the course of the year are 140 fewer than the season average dating back to the '99-00 season and marks just one of three times with fewer than 400 PIMs in the last 14 years.
- Dartmouth was whistled for fewer penalties than opponents in 19 of 32 games thus far and posted the second-best improvement from 11-12 to 12-13 in terms of both penalties and PIMs. (Brown)
AS A 5-SEED
Dartmouth earned the No. 5 seed for just the third time in 2012-13. In 2000-01 and in 2004-05, the Big Green took down first-round opponents (RPI and Yale) to meet up with Vermont the following round. In 2001, Dartmouth advanced by the Catamounts with a 3-2 overtime win in the preliminary game only to fall to St. Lawrence (2-0) and Harvard (3-2, OT) in Lake Placid. In 2005, after knocking off the Bulldogs in the opening round, Dartmouth would fall to Vermont in three games with each contest decided by just one goal.
AGAINST A 4-SEED
This weekend marks just the second time playing a team with the No. 4 seed for the Big Green. The first instance was the 2-1 series loss to Vermont in 2005, while the second was the heartbreaking 10-1 defeat at the hands of Harvard in the league semifinals in 2006 when Dartmouth was the top seed and co-regular season champions.