NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Freshman Troy Crema scored two goals in the first period and sophomore goalie Charles Grant turned aside 40 shots as the Dartmouth men’s hockey team took down defending national champion and eighth-ranked Yale, 4-1, Friday night in front of 3,421 at Ingalls Rink.
The win was the first in New Haven for the Big Green (2-8-0, 2-6-0 ECAC) since Feb. 17, 2007, snapping a seven-game skid in the Elm City.
The first 10 minutes of the opening period was all Dartmouth would end up needing on this night as Crema scored his two goals at 4:29 and 7:22, respectively, to help the visitors jump out to the early advantage over the Bulldogs (6-3-2, 3-2-2 ECAC).
His first of the night and third of the season was the result of a faceoff win in the offensive zone that would end up back on his stick for the tap-in via great puck movement from juniors Rick Pinkston at the blueline and Brandon McNally in the slot.
McNally would play into the second goal as well, making the long pass from his own blueline to spring the rookie center in on the rush. A right-handed shot coming down the left side, Crema beat Yale starting goalie Alex Lyon high over the glove and under the bar to the far side.
Leading scorer Eric Neiley would make it a 3-0 game just 3:20 later with a great effort in the slot to wait out Lyon trying going post-to-post before burying his seventh of the season into an open netmouth.
After making a goalie change to start the second and bringing in freshman Patrick Spano, Yale would not be able to get on the board until 1:24 into the final frame with Kenny Agostino knocking in a rebound.
That goal would be the only blemish in an otherwise unbelievable game from reigning ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week Charles Grant. The Nova Scotia native and Big Green netminder matched his career with the 40 saves, including turning aside an incredible 20 shots in the third period.
The penalty kill was clutch too, going a perfect 3-for-3 in the game. Twice in the third, the Bulldogs had the opportunity with the extra skater only to see Grant and the defense step up and quell the Elis’ chances.
Sophomore Brett Patterson fought through an interference call to score the empty-net goal with 42.1 seconds left, icing the game from his knees just outside the offensive zone. McNally was credited with his third helper of the game, setting a new career high for assists and points in a single game.
Lyon was credited with eight saves in the first while allowing the three goals. Spano turned in a 15-save effort in relief, but the story of the game was the exceptional play by the Dartmouth defense and Grant to keep the 2013 National Champs from tying things up late in this physical and chippy contest between two Ivy League rivals playing in the 210th all-time meeting.
The Green are back in action Saturday night up I-95 in Providence, taking on Brown at 7 p.m. inside Meehan Auditorium.