HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team fell, 7-2, to Union Friday night at Thompson Arena in the 2013-14 home opener for the Big Green.
The game marked the start of ECAC Hockey play for both teams. In losing, Dartmouth drops to 0-3-0 on the young season, while the Dutchmen evened their record at 2-2-2 (1-0-0) with the victory.
Junior Eric Neiley scored his third goal in as many games this season, while classmate Andy Simpson picked up his first of 2013-14. Both tallies came in the third period on the power play, helping the home team to a 2-for-5 showing with the man-advantage.
However, the bright spots were limited in the league opener as Union came out firing offensively.
“That was a very good team. They outplayed us in every facet tonight,” head coach Bob Gaudet said. “We are a much better team than what we showed tonight, but that doesn’t take away from how well Union played. You get down like we did and you start pressing, looking for the chances, and sometimes it can lead to more for the other team.”
Sam Coatta scored the opening goal of the first two periods, late in the first and early in the second to put his team up a pair. Second-period goals from Matt Hatch, Jeff Taylor and Daniel Carr pushed the lead to five through 40 minutes.
After Simpson’s shot from the point hit the inside post and settled in the back of the net at 1:51 of the third, Max Novak gave the Dutchmen a 6-1 lead with his first of the year that was followed by a Mike Vecchione marker at 14:26 of the final period.
Making his first start in goal of the season, sophomore Charles Grant surrendered five in 35:46 while making 17 saves before giving way to Cab Morris for the final 23:44. Morris stopped seven in a little over a period of action, making seven saves in that time.
Dartmouth kept the Union power play in check all night, holding the Dutchmen to an 0-for-6 performance with the extra skater.
The Big Green will look to rebound Saturday night when it plays host to Rensselaer at 7 p.m. at Thompson. The Engineers lost, 2-0, to Harvard on Friday night in Cambridge.