Dartmouth (3-14-3, 2-10-1) vs.
No. 3 Quinnipiac (18-4-5, 8-2-3)
▶ Fri., Jan. 31, 2014 ▶ 7 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H.
Thompson Arena (4,500)
All-Time Series: 7-13-1 (22nd Meeting)
Last Meeting: Nov. 16, 2013 - L, 3-1 (Hanover)
Streak: 0-4-0
Dartmouth (3-14-3, 2-10-1) vs.
Princeton (4-15-0, 3-9-0)
▶ Sat., Feb. 1, 2014 ▶ 7 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H.
Thompson Arena (4,500)
All-Time Series: 93-85-16 (195th Meeting)
Last Meeting: Nov. 15, 2013 - L, 5-4/OT (Princeton)
Streak: 0-3-2

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2013-14 Digital Press Box

The Dartmouth men’s hockey team plays host to No. 3 Quinnipiac and Ivy League rival Princeton this weekend at Thompson Arena. The third-ranked Bobcats will be in the Upper Valley on Friday night, while the Tigers make the trip to Hanover Saturday with both games set for 7 p.m. starts, 

The Big Green played just one game last weekend, travelling to Rensselaer where they were dealt a 4-2 loss inside Houston Field House. Dartmouth got goals from Grant Opperman and Geoff Ferguson in front of netminder James Kruger making his third start of the season. A late man-up opportunity gave the Green a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but RPI managed to tack on an empty-net goal for the ECAC Hockey win.

One point back of Union in the ECAC Hockey standings, the Bobcats are currently ranked No. 3 in both major national polls with an 18-4-5 overall record. In league play, the team’s 8-2-3 record gives them 19 points, just one back of the first-place Dutchmen. Freshman Sam Anas leads the team in both goals (16) and points (32), ranking as the top-scoring first-year player in the nation to this point with a slim three-point lead on St. Lawrence’s Matt Carey (29). Twin brothers Kellen (31) and Connor (25) Jones rank second and third, respectively, on the team in scoring, while both have a team-best 17 assists. The loss of last year’s Hobey Baker Finalist Eric Hartzell in net has done little to slow the Bobcats as sophomore Michael Garteig has stepped up and filled the role left by the graduated goaltender. Garteig has an impressive 1.85 goals-against average to go along with a .911 save percentage as the goalie of record in each of the team’s 27 games thus far.

In the earlier meeting this season between the two in Hamden, Quinnipiac built a 3-0 lead midway through the second period and held on for the 3-1 win. Tim O’Brien got the Big Green on the board in the final minutes of the middle frame on a breakaway. Neither team scored in the third period and Cab Morris finished the night with 26 saves, including 12 in the final 20 minutes of action.

The Tigers have played just four games so far in 2014 with two not counting toward their overall record as they were exhibition games in western Canada. An 8-1 win against Simon Fraser and a 1-0 loss to British Columbia in the Great Northwest Showcase in Burnaby notwithstanding, Princeton has only played RPI and Union since the calendar changed over. Leading the way for the Tigers is Tucker Brocket with 11 points on two goals and nine assists. Most of that offensive production has come at the Big Green’s expense as he scored the overtime winner on Oct. 25 in Newark and added a career-high four assists in the 5-4 overtime win at Princeton on Nov. 15. Princeton (6) sits one point ahead of Dartmouth (5) in ECAC Hockey standings with one game in hand thanks to its 3-9-0 record in conference play.

In that most recent game, Andrew Ammon scored his fifth goal of the season with 11 seconds remaining in the extra session on a redirected shot from the blueline to earn the two points. Ammon leads the team with six goals despite only scoring once in the last two months since that contest at Hobey Baker Rink.

Sophomore James Kruger once again got the nod in the Dartmouth goal at RPI, making his second straight start and the third of the season. Kruger turned aside 18 shots in the game, the first non-overtime game of his career after a loss against Princeton in Newark to open the season and a tie at home with Cornell on Jan. 18.

The overall record may be a bit misleading as to the true barometer of the Big Green this season. Though saddled with 14 losses to this point, 10 (72%) have been by two or fewer goals with six (43%) ending separated by just one tally.

By setting up Grant Opperman’s third-period goal, Connor Dempsey earned his third assist of the season. In picking up that helper, Dempsey managed to notch points in consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Leading scorer Eric Neiley will be back in the Dartmouth lineup on Saturday night to play Princeton. Neiley will miss Friday night’s game with Quinnipiac as he serves the second and final game of his suspension from an incident on Jan. 18.

Twice already this season, Dartmouth and Princeton have needed overtime to settle things. Overall, four of the last five meetings between the Big Green and Tigers have gone to overtime, while 38-of-194 all-time meetings have required the extra session, the most against any opponent.

There is a high likelihood that sophomore defender Geoff Ferguson will factor into the opening goal of any particular game for Dartmouth this season. Of the 20 goals in the parameters of this statistical category, Ferguson has factored into seven (35%), most of any player on the roster.

One more point for Eric Neiley (49), Brandon McNally (39) and Brad Schierhorn (19) will give each a multiple of 10 for career figure, while Opperman has nine points in his first 17 collegiate games.

Defenseman Taylor Boldt continues to jump further and further up the career games played list at Dartmouth. Currently having 115 games to his credit, a pair of contests this weekend will push Boldt into a tie with Chris Baldwin (1998-2002) for 30th all-time in program history. Mike Ouellette ’06 and Lee Stempniak ’05 hold the top-two figures in Big Green history with 136 and 135 games played, respectively.

For the fourth time this season, Dartmouth was forced to move one of its defensemen up to play forward last week at RPI. Sophomore Ryan Bullock played on the fourth line, joining Brandon Kirk and Nick Lovejoy as the traditional blueliners to appear in the mix at forward this season. Brett Patterson began the year at defense before moving back to his natural position at wing.

Yale and Brown played each other twice last weekend in the lone Ivy games with each winning once. Cornell (9 pts) holds the lead, while Brown (8), Dartmouth (5), Yale (5), Harvard (3) and Princeton (2) round out the Ivy standings.

Quinnipiac will be the 11th ranked opponent to appear on the Dartmouth schedule this season and the fifth ranked in the top-10. The Bobcats were ranked fifth in the first meeting in November.

Former Big Green defenseman Ben Lovejoy ’06 became the first alum to appear in an NHL outdoor game when his Anaheim Ducks defeated the Los Angeles Kings last Saturday night in front of more than 54,000 fans at Dodger Stadium. Tanner Glass ’07 is inline to become the second when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field on March 1.

Saturday’s game will feature a different policy for those looking to buy day-of-game tickets. All ticket sales will end at 7:30 p.m. or when a sellout is reached, whichever happens first. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance and arrive early. As always, student seats are limited. The first 850 Dartmouth students will be admitted free of charge, so they are encouraged to get there early. No ticket sales or student admission will be allowed after 7:30 p.m.

Dartmouth will travel to Harvard for a one-game weekend on Friday, February 7. Puck drop between the Crimson and the Big Green at Bright-Landry Hockey Center in Cambridge is set for 7 p.m.