Big Green Offense Erupts in 7-4 Win Against Yale in ECAC Opener
HANOVER, N.H. - Three players scored two goals each as Dartmouth's offense exploded for a 7-4 win Friday night against Yale at Thompson Arena. The game was the ECAC Hockey opener for both teams.
Juniors Matt Lindblad and Eric Robinson as well as sophomore Tyler Sikura each netted two goals in the game, helping the Big Green to their first win against the Bulldogs since a 7-2 decision on Feb. 23, 2008 and snapping a winless stretch of 11 (0-11-1). These same two teams played to a 2-2 tie last week in a non-conference matchup as part of the Ivy Shootout at Brown's Meehan Auditorium.
Dartmouth is now 2-0-1 this season (1-0-0 ECAC Hockey), while Yale evens its record at 1-1-1 (0-1-0 ECAC Hockey).
In all, Sikura had four points (2g/2a), Robinson had three (2g/1a) and sophomore Eric Neiley chipped in with three helpers.
It seemed that right off the opening draw that this would be a high-scoring affair for both teams. Lindblad's first of the season came 3:27 into the contest, but was answered 30 seconds later by Yale's Stu Wilson.
Robinson got involved 47 seconds later to regain the lead with a wrist shot to the top right corner. Lindblad made it 3-1 less than two minutes after as he finished a rebound off for his second of the night. The rebound tally came after junior Dustin Walsh made a pretty move down low before the puck was kicked back to a charging Lindblad in the slot.
Walsh, making his first appearance in the lineup since last January, was the spark the team needed after missing much of last year due to injury.
After Yale made it a 3-2 game, Dartmouth's offense kicked it up with three goals on three straight shots. Brandon McNally picked up his first goal on a rush up the right side. Robinson scored just over a minute later and just three seconds into a power play. The trifecta was completed when Sikura scored his first of the night on a shorthanded breakaway less than a minute after Robinson.
Like he had a week prior, Bulldogs' right winger Antoine Laganiere scored twice against the Big Green Friday night.
However, a late surge by the Bulldogs would come up short as Sikura's steal in the neutral zone and subsequent semi-breakaway into the zone resulted in another goal for the home team.
Coming off of his first collegiate win last weekend against Brown, freshman goalie Charles Grant stopped 35 shots to earn his second victory of the year (2-0-0). Yale's Nick Maricic stopped 16, but allowed all seven of the Green and White's goals and was saddled with the loss.
Robinson led the Dartmouth power play once again, scoring his third in as many games to start the season as the unit was 1-for-3 on the evening. The Bulldogs were 1-for-4 with the man-advantage.
Now, the Big Green must regroup and turn their attention to a Brown team they defeated 4-0 last Saturday in Providence and is 1-2-0 overall after falling to Harvard, 3-2, Friday night in Cambridge.
NOTES: Dartmouth went with the same six defensemen for the third straight game to start to season...It was the first time two or more players had two goals in the same game since Nick Walsh and Adam Estoclet each had a pair against Vermont on Dec. 12, 2010...The seven goals were the most by a Dartmouth team since defeating Colgate, 7-3, at home on Jan. 29, 2011...Counting Laganiere, a combined four players between the teams had two goals in the game...Sophomore Eric Neiley broke out of his early-seaosn scoring drought with three assists, including ones on the first and last tallies of the game.