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Courtesy: Jacob Kupferman

Dartmouth Men's Hockey 2013-14 Season in Review

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 06/23/2014
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One Sunday night in March doesn’t completely overshadow the unfortunate bounces of an entire season. But it sure does help.

Trailing 4-2 entering the third period of play at Rensselaer in Game 3 of the ECAC Hockey First-Round series, the Dartmouth men’s hockey team had it’s back against the wall staring down elimination.

It had been 26 months since the Big Green had overcome a deficit at the start of the third period to come back and win a game and through the first 40 minutes of play that night in Troy, New York, had given no indication that things would be different.

But as the puck dropped on the final regulation period of the series, there was a noticeable change in the demeanor of the two teams on the ice. The Engineers were content to dump pucks deep into the zone every time they crossed the red line, allowing Dartmouth defenders easy access to pucks and forwards a cleaner look at breakouts.

Then, pucks began to find the back of the net. First one by Eric Neiley, then another by Brandon McNally, then the game-winner by Brad Schierhorn in the final minutes to erase the two-goal discrepancy and give the Green an exciting 5-4 win and a berth into the league’s quarterfinal round.

What led up to that night in the Empire State’s Capital District was a series of ups and downs that littered the 29-game regular season.

Decimated by numerous unlucky bounces and missteps, no other team in ECAC Hockey lost more man-games to injuries this past winter than the Big Green with 120. The returning players from 2012-13 who made up those man-games lost had combined to score 94 points the year before, illustrating the crippling nature of Dartmouth’s health issues during the winter months.

Out of the gate, the Big Green struggled, dropping their first eight games in a myriad of heartbreaking ways. There were OT losses, goals in the final minutes on unlucky breaks, dominant displays by the opposition and every other way one can imagine a team might suffer defeat.

Through the first four months of the season, the team had just three wins to show for their efforts. They battled with some of the best teams in the nation, but were unable to find the next gear that would put them over the top.

Everything changed when the calendar turned to February. It was as if there was a moment of clarity when players realized everything that happened in the past was behind them and they must move on and focus on the task at hand each day.

Players began to take control and put teammates on their backs, willing the group to wins and key ECAC Hockey points with the postseason looming. Neiley, an All-Ivy League Second-Team selection and two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week, was the offensive catalyst, leading the top line down the stretch. At the other end of the ice, sophomore goaltender Charles Grant took the reigns as the team’s top netminder, posting absurdly outstanding numbers in the month on his way to All-Ivy Second-Team honors of his own.

After just three wins through January, the Big Green managed to rattle off five in the month of February alone (5-1-1) and entered the postseason tournament as one of the hottest teams in the league.

Though the ride ended at the hands of eventual National Champion Union in the quarterfinals, there were numerous positives to build on from a campaign that ended with a final record of 10-20-4.

It was truly a tale of two seasons in 2013-14 for the team from the Upper Valley. What began with low points that seemed to drag out for weeks ended with one of the most remarkable turnarounds. Fans, players and coaches from around the league took notice of the transformation, knowing that the Dartmouth team they saw late in the year was the one that was expected from the onset.

No other team in college hockey brings back more scoring than Dartmouth will in 2014-15 as 98.6 percent of point production returns (Penn State returns all scoring, but had no senior class this year). Look for a healthy Tyler Sikura to make a bigger impact next season after being sidelined for much of the year with a knee issue. Eric Robinson, Dartmouth’s big, hulking power forward, missed all but two games last year and is back next winter for a fifth campaign, adding to the depth of talented players back in the green and white sweaters this coming fall.

A core of 18 upperclassmen return with another solid group of incoming players and returning second-year skaters creating a mix of youth and leadership that should make waves.

It now is in the hands of those returning players to keep that late-season momentum rolling into next fall. They’ve seen what they are capable of doing in one of the best — if not the best — conference in college hockey.

If they can continue to display the talent, heart and determination they did from February on, there is no telling the heights they can reach in the coming years.
 
 
    Overall StatsECAC Hockey StatsCareer
##PlayerPOSYRGPGAPTSPEN/MINPPSHGW+/-SOGGPGAPTSPEN/MINPPSHGW+/-SOGGPGAPTS
11 Eric Neiley F JR 32 16 13 29 13/45 5 1 2 E 112 20 8 9 17 9/37 2 0 1 +4 61 96 31 33 64
15 Brandon McNally F JR 32 7 14 21 34/87 5 0 1 -6 46 20 4 10 14 23/65 3 0 1 +1 28 80 23 27 50
14 Grant Opperman F FR 31 8 11 19 9/26 2 0 1 +3 60 21 7 5 12 5/18 2 0 1 E 38 31 8 11 19
25 Brad Schierhorn F SO 34 8 8 16 10/31 0 0 2 -7 82 22 4 7 11 5/10 0 0 1 -6 56 64 13 13 26
8 Tim O'Brien F SO 31 6 7 13 4/8 1 1 0 -9 53 22 4 5 9 4/8 0 0 0 -6 33 64 12 13 25
28 Charlie Mosey F JR 32 6 7 13 1/2 0 0 0 -9 52 20 2 5 7   0 0 0 -7 32 79 8 20 28
17 Jesse Beamish F JR 33 5 8 13 8/27 2 0 0 -7 67 21 2 3 5 7/25 1 0 0 -6 36 84 15 15 30
24 Andy Simpson D JR 33 4 9 13 5/13 2 0 0 -13 64 21 3 4 7 4/11 2 0 0 -12 37 76 7 19 26
16 Tyler Sikura F JR 25 3 8 11 4/8 2 0 2 -8 62 16 3 7 10 2/4 2 0 2 -6 43 92 26 42 68
22 Ryan Bullock D SO 20 2 9 11 6/12 0 0 0 -3 36 13 2 7 9 5/10 0 0 0 +2 28 49 3 15 18
3 Josh Hartley D FR 29 3 7 10 7/14 2 0 0 -3 38 19 1 4 5 4/8 1 0 0 -6 23 29 3 7 10
4 Geoff Ferguson D SO 30 2 7 9 10/20 0 0 0 E 23 21 1 6 7 8/16 0 0 0 +2 16 64 2 12 14
13 Brett Patterson D/F SO 16 3 5 8   0 0 0 -10 36 10 3 2 5   0 0 0 -8 21 48 5 10 15
9 Troy Crema F FR 14 4 3 7 2/4 1 0 1 +2 27 12 3 3 6 1/2 1 0 1 +1 22 14 4 3 7
12 Jack Barre F SO 27 1 6 7 2/4 0 0 0 E 47 20 0 1 1 2/4 0 0 0 -1 32 51 1 12 13
23 Nick Bligh F SO 32 1 6 7 8/16 0 0 0 -10 41 22 1 5 6 7/14 0 0 0 -7 25 60 5 11 16
7 Rick Pinkston D JR 32 2 4 6 19/38 0 0 0 -12 34 20 1 2 3 13/26 0 0 0 -11 24 89 7 14 21
10 Connor Dempsey F SO 26 1 3 4 1/2 0 0 0 -7 28 16 1 2 3 1/2 0 0 0 -3 16 44 1 5 6
5 Taylor Boldt D SR 30 1 1 2 11/22 0 0 0 -9 45 18 1 0 1 8/16 0 0 0 -5 21 129 2 12 14
29 Kyle Nickerson F FR 24 0 2 2 2/4 0 0 0 -1 20 12 0 0 0 1/2 0 0 0 -3 7 24 0 2 2
2 Nick Lovejoy D SR 25 1 0 1 6/12 0 0 1 -6 22 17 0 0 0 4/8 0 0 0 -5 15 41 1 1 2
19 Eric Robinson F SR 2 0 1 1 2/4 0 0 0 -3 9                     91 26 30 56
1 Cab Morris G SR 5 0 0 0   0 0 0 -9 0 4 0 0 0   0 0 0 -7 0 31 0 0 0
35 James Kruger G SO 6 0 0 0   0 0 0 -7 0 5 0 0 0   0 0 0 -6 0 7 0 0 0
27 Brandon Kirk D FR 18 0 0 0 5/10 0 0 0 -4 13 12 0 0 0 2/4 0 0 0 -2 5 18 0 0 0
30 Charles Grant G SO 25 0 0 0   0 0 0 -5 0 15 0 0 0   0 0 0 -3 0 41 0 0 0
  Bench         2/4                   1/2          
Dartmouth Totals 34 84 139 223 171/413 22 2 10 -25 1017 22 51 87 138 116/292 14 0 7 -17 619
Opponent Totals 34 115 194 309 159/370 28 2 20 +25 1054 22 72 124 196 107/266 18 1 13 +17 656
## Goaltending (Overall) YR GP Minutes GA Saves Shots Save% GAA Record Win% GS SO %Time
30 Charles Grant SO 25 1454:23 73 726 799 .909 3.01 9-13-3 .420 25 1 70.3%
35 James Kruger SO 6 336:51 16 113 129 .876 2.85 1-3-1 .300 5 0 16.3%
1 Cab Morris SR 5 265:49 21 100 121 .826 4.74 0-4-0 .000 4 0 12.9%
    Open Net 14 11:20 5   5             0.5%
Dartmouth Totals 34 2068:23 115 939 1054 .891 3.34 10-20-4 .353 34 1 100.0%
Opponent Totals 34 2068:23 84 933 1017 .917 2.44 20-10-4 .647 34 2 100.0%
 
## Goaltending (Conference Only) YR GP Minutes GA Saves Shots Save% GAA Record Win% GS SO %Time
30 Charles Grant SO 15 847:56 40 414 454 .912 2.83 6-8-1 .433 15 1 63.4%
35 James Kruger SO 5 276:33 13 96 109 .881 2.82 1-2-1 .375 4 0 20.7%
1 Cab Morris SR 4 207:02 17 74 91 .813 4.93 0-3-0 .000 3 0 15.5%
    Open Net 8 6:07 2   2             0.5%
Dartmouth Totals 22 1337:38 72 584 656 .890 3.23 7-13-2 .364 22 1 100.0%
Opponent Totals 22 1337:38 51 568 619 .918 2.29 13-7-2 .636 22 1 100.0%
                           
                           
## Goaltending (Career) YR GP Minutes GA Saves Shots Save% GAA Record Win% GS SO
30 Charles Grant SO 41 2386:12 116 1166 1282 .910 2.92 16-20-5 .451 41 2
1 Cab Morris SR 31 1746:32 81 676 757 .893 2.78 11-14-4 .448 29 1
35 James Kruger SO 7 370:02 17 125 142 .880 2.76 1-3-1 .300 5 0
Special Teams Overall Conference Only
Power Play Penalty Kill Combined PPC/G Power Play Penalty Kill Combined PPC/G
Dartmouth 22/133 .165 110/138 .797 132/271 .487 3.9 14/ 85 .165 71/ 89 .798 85/174 .489 3.9
Opponents 28/138 .203 111/133 .835 139/271 .513 4.1 18/ 89 .202 71/ 85 .835 89/174 .511 4.0
Scoring/Shots Overall Scoring Overall Shots Conference Scoring Conference Shots
1st 2nd 3rd OT TOT 1st 2nd 3rd OT SOG 1st 2nd 3rd OT TOT 1st 2nd 3rd OT SOG
Dartmouth 28 27 28 1 84 350 343 311 13 1017 20 14 16 1 51 213 208 187 11 619
Opponents 30 39 43 3 115 323 359 356 16 1054 17 28 25 2 72 193 224 229 10 656
Difference -2 -12 -15 -2 -31 +27 -16 -45 -3 -37 +3 -14 -9 -1 -21 +20 -16 -42 +1 -37
Game Averages Overall Conference Only
G/GM A/GM PTS/G SOG/G PEN/G PIM/G PPG/G G/GM A/GM PTS/G SOG/G PEN/G PIM/G PPG/G
Dartmouth 2.47 4.09 6.56 29.9 5.0 12.1 0.6 2.32 3.95 6.27 28.1 5.3 13.3 0.6
Opponents 3.38 5.71 9.09 31.0 4.7 10.9 0.8 3.27 5.64 8.91 29.8 4.9 12.1 0.8
Difference -0.91 -1.62 -2.53 -1.1 +0.4 +1.3 -0.2 -0.95 -1.68 -2.64 -1.7 +0.4 +1.2 -0.2
Situational Records Overall Situational Records Conference
Location Home: 13 3- 7- 3 Away: 18 7-10- 1 Neutral: 3 0- 3- 0 Location Home: 11 3- 6- 2 Away: 11 4- 7- 0 Neutral: 0 0- 0- 0
End 1st Ahead: 9 4- 4- 1 Behind: 14 1-11- 2 Even: 11 5- 5- 1 End 1st Ahead: 7 3- 3- 1 Behind: 8 0- 7- 1 Even: 7 4- 3- 0
End 2nd Ahead: 11 7- 2- 2 Behind: 14 1-13- 0 Even: 9 2- 5- 2 End 2nd Ahead: 8 6- 2- 0 Behind: 9 0- 9- 0 Even: 5 1- 2- 2
Margin 1: 12 5- 7 2: 8 3- 5 3+: 10 2- 8 Margin 1: 8 3- 5 2: 4 2- 2 3+: 8 2- 6
First Goal For: 15 6- 6- 3 Against: 19 4-14- 1   First Goal For: 11 5- 5- 1 Against: 11 2- 8- 1  
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