CANTON, N.Y. – For the seventh straight time, the Dartmouth men’s hockey team went into St. Lawrence’s Appleton Arena and came out with a victory as the Big Green scored the final three goals of the game to defeat the Saints, 3-1, Friday evening in a crucial ECAC Hockey match-up.
The second win in the last three outings, Dartmouth improves to 5-16-3 overall and 4-12-1 in league games. St. Lawrence, one of the nation’s hottest teams coming into the game, dropped to 11-15-3 overall and 5-9-3 in ECAC Hockey action.
Goals from Brandon McNally, Grant Opperman and Charlie Mosey provided the offensive outburst needed to win, but the star of the game was goalie Charles Grant. The sophomore netminder finished the night with 32 saves, many in spectacular fashion to help lift the Green to the two-goal victory.
A scoreless first period gave way to a middle frame filled with offensive opportunities for both teams. The Saints got on the board first as its power play, the best in the nation this season, notched the opening tally with Jeremy Wick beating Grant under the bar on an odd-man rush.
With the Big Green on a power play later in the period, McNally created his own scoring chance, carrying the puck around the offensive zone before burying the one-timer pass from Eric Neiley inside the left post at 14:35. After missing nine games due to injury, team captain Tyler Sikura picked up an assist on the goal in his first appearance since Dec. 30 against Northeastern.
Dartmouth wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard again as freshman Grant Opperman buried a breakaway chance 2:59 later. Opperman deked out SLU goalie Matt Weninger with a great move in the slot before slipping in his sixth of the season.
McNally picked up his second point of the night with the primary assist that sent Opperman in alone on goal
Mosey added the insurance marker at the 5:57 mark of the third period, redirecting a feed from Jesse Beamish at the halfboards past Weninger for the two-goal advantage. Sikura picked up his second assist of the game with the long pass to the neutral zone from his own end, springing Beamish for the odd-man rush.
Grant was the key player for the Big Green, coming up huge all night. His play helped backstop the team to a 4-for-5 showing on the penalty kill, holding the nation’s best power-play unit below its season average of 30.3% coming into the affair.
Though the Saints outshot the Green and White, 33-25, Dartmouth was able to push its win streak in Canton to seven games dating back more than three full seasons.
The Big Green are back in action Saturday night up the road in Potsdam at Cheel Arena, taking on the Clarkson Golden Knights at 7 p.m.