No. 17 Big Green Hosts Cornell and Colgate in League Match-Ups
No. 17 Dartmouth (11-8-4, 7-6-3 ECAC) vs. Cornell (8-13-2, 4-10-2 ECAC)
▶ Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 ▶ 7:05 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H.
▶ Thompson Arena (4,500)
▶ All-Time Series: Cornell, 78-43-4 (126th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Nov. 17, 2012 (Ithaca) - T, 1-1 (OT)
▶ Streak: 0-6-2
No. 17 Dartmouth (11-8-4, 7-6-3 ECAC) vs. Colgate (13-11-4, 5-8-3 ECAC)
▶ Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 ▶ 7:05 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H
▶ Thompson Arena (4,500)
▶ All-Time Series: Dartmouth, 44-42-5 (91st Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Nov 16, 2012 (Hamilton) - L, 5-4
▶ Streak: 0-1-0
|Live Stats||Live Audio
Chris Garret (PbP)
FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
Dartmouth returns home after two weeks on the road to square off with ECAC Hockey foes Cornell and Colgate on Friday and Saturday nights. The Friday night tilt with the Big Red will be broadcast live from Thompson Arena on Fox College Sports at 7 p.m.
The Big Green played to a 1-1 tie Sunday afternoon at Harvard in a game that had been rescheduled from the night before due to the snowstorm that blanketed New England. Andy Simpson scored the team's lone goal and Cab Morris turned aside 21 shots in the draw.
The point with Harvard helped the Green keep pace in the ECAC Hockey race for a top-4 spot and a first-round bye. With 17 points on a 7-6-3 league record, the Green are tied for third in the standings with both Princeton and Rensselaer and sit just two points back of Yale. The Elis' 1-0 loss to Brown on Tuesday also helped Dartmouth keep pace in the Ivy League race as the Bulldogs' 12 points are just two better than the team from the Upper Valley.
For the 14th straight week, Dartmouth earned a place in the USCHO.com Division I poll, holding the No. 17 spot once again. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings, the Big Green are just outside of the top-15, earning 13 votes, the 17th-highest figure and a jump up from seven votes a week ago.
BACK ON THE TUBE
Friday night's contest will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports. Greg Madden will handle play-by-play duties, while Sonny Watrous will provide color analysis. Fans can also listen to WFRD's broadcast with Chris Garrett - the "Voice of Big Green Men's Hockey" - on 99.3 FM or online at DartmouthSports.com.
The Big Red limp into the weekend on a seven-game slide and a 2-10 stretch since the start of the second half of the season. Most recently, that stretch of frustration continued with a 1-0 loss at Princeton last week despite outshooting the Tigers, 39-12, and holding them to zero shots on goal in the third period. The loss dropped their record to 8-13-2 overall this season and 4-10-2 in league play, good for just 10 points to currently occupy 11th place in the standings. Just 2-7 away from home this season, Cornell is led in scoring by senior Greg Miller and his 19 points (8g/11a). Junior Andy Iles has played every minute in goal this season for the team and boasts a .907 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.56. Cornell is the only team in the Ivy League not to win a game (0-5-1) against the other five programs.
CORNELL THIS SEASON
In the earlier match-up between the two teams this season, Dartmouth captain Mike Keenan tied the game in the final minute with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker to force a 1-1 tie at Lynah Rink on Nov. 17. Keenan's shot came with 51 seconds left in regulation and answered a Dustin Mowrey goal at the 9:41 mark of the third that gave Cornell the 1-0 lead. Freshman goaltender Charles Grant stopped 26 shots.
The Raiders come to Hanover also on a bit of a slide, having lost its last two following two straight ties on the North Country road swing. Colgate's biggest knock coming into the season was that it would lack the scoring touch it had last season. That has not been the case in Hamilton as the team leads ECAC Hockey in offense at 3.25 goals per game with five players already reaching the 20-point mark this season. Freshman Tylor Spink leads the way with 25 points, while classmate Kyle Baun has a team-best 10 goals. Rookie Spencer Finney (8-7-3, 2.31, .914) has seen the majority of time in net recently after taking over for junior Eric Mihalik (5-4-1, 2.81, .894) at midseason.
COLGATE THIS SEASON
The Raiders' 5-4 home win over Dartmouth back on Nov. 16 might have been the most thrilling ECAC Hockey game of the season. With the Green leading 4-1 early in the third, Colgate rattled off four-unanswered tallies in the final period to take the victory. Capped by Robbie Bourdon's hat-trick marker with just three seconds left, the Raiders handed the Big Green their first loss of 2012-13, knocking off Dartmouth as the last unbeaten team in the country.
SIX NO MORE
The tie at a sold-out Lynah Rink in November snapped the Big Red's six-game win streak over the Big Green dating back to the 2010-11 season. In all, Dartmouth is winless in its last eight vs. Cornell (0-6-2) with the last victory coming back on Feb. 20, 2010 (5-4) in Hanover. Last season, the Red took all four games in the series, including a sweep (2-0) in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals.
Despite the outcomes, this Cornell-Dartmouth series has been much closer than people would think at first glance. Nine of the last 10 contests between the two have either been decided by one goal (7) or ended in a draw (2). The lone game not decided by one tally was the elimination game in last season's postseason when Cornell won, 3-1.
Junior defenseman Andy Simpson's second goal of the season came midway through Sunday's first period in Cambridge to give his team the early 1-0 lead. The third goal of his career, it marked Simpson's first against an opponent other than St. Lawrence. He had one in the postseason series with the Saints last season before notching his first of 2012-13 on Jan. 25 at home against SLU.
For the first time all season, Tyler Sikura failed to register a point in consecutive games when he was held off the scoresheet at Harvard. Sikura has points in 19 of the team's 23 games this season and leads the way with 26 on nine goals and 17 assists.
Out of the lineup against the Crimson were junior Matt Lindblad and Brandon McNally for the forwards, while Nick Lovejoy once again was not dressed on defense.
Cab Morris continues to be solid in the Dartmouth goal during his junior season. After the tie with Harvard, Morris' figures stand at an impressive .923 save percentage and 1.97 goals-against average, while boasting an 8-4-3 record (6.33 win %).
HOME SWEET HOME
Dartmouth returns to the friendliest confines of Thompson Arena this weekend. In 2012-13 there are few places the Big Green would rather be than its home building as they have posted a 9-2 mark in Hanover this season. In contrast, the road has been a bit of a challenge as the team is just 2-6-4 in 12 games away from the Upper Valley.
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This weekend will see three of the top four current coaches in ECAC Hockey on the benches at Thompson Arena. Cornell's Mike Schafer ranks second amongst current coaches in the conference with 340 wins in his 18 seasons at Cornell. Colgate's Don Vaugh has 327 career victories in 20 seasons to rank third, while Bob Gaudet has 323 wins at Brown and Dartmouth in 26 seasons as a head coach, including the last 15 at Dartmouth. Quinnipiac's Rand Pecknold leads all ECAC Hockey coaches in career wins with 358 between the DI and DII ranks with the Bobcats.
Fan voting is open for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey's best player. Dartmouth has two nominees on this season's fan ballot as both Matt Lindblad and Sikura make their first appearances.
Cornell has the lowest goals per game figure of any team in the league on Saturdays, averaging just 2.08, while ranking ninth in Friday tilts at 2.36 goals per. Colgate is pretty consistent from night to night with 2.79 goals on Fridays (5th) and 3.23 on Saturdays (3rd). The Big Green average the second-best goal output on Friday nights at 3.38, while ranking fifth on Saturdays with 2.64.
Dartmouth is 0-1-4 in overtime games this season. Then-fifth-ranked Quinnipiac remains the only team to take down the Green in OT this year (3-2 - Jan. 4), while Yale, Cornell, Union and now Harvard have all skated to draws with the team from the Upper Valley.
In five televised games this season, Dartmouth is 1-1-3 following the tie at Harvard on Feb. 10.
- Former Big Green defenseman Ben Lovejoy '06 was traded from Pittsburgh to Anaheim last week in exchange for a 5th-Round Draft Pick in 2014. In his 101st career game played on Tuesday night, Lovejoy recorded his first two points with the Ducks, assisting on two goals against Chicago, including the game-tying marker that would eventually lead the team to a shootout win over the Blackhawks.
- Calgary's Lee Stempniak scored goals in consecutive road games at Columbus (Feb. 7) and Vancouver (Feb. 10) last week.
- Monday, Feb. 11 set up for a match-up of Dartmouth alumni as the Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes met in Denver. David Jones '08 of the Avs played in the game, but former Big Green teammate Nick Johnson '08 was a scratch and did not play for the Yotes. Johnson scored Feb. 2 against Dallas and has three goals and four points in eight games during his first season with the team.
- TJ Galiardi '10 has two assists in nine games this year with the San Jose Sharks.
- In his first season with Pittsburgh, Tanner Glass '07 has yet to register a point and ranks fifth on the team with 12 PIM. Of six former Big Green players currently in the NHL, Glass is the only one on an Eastern Conference team following Lovejoy's trade.
After playing host to Cornell and Colgate, Dartmouth will head out on the road for the final time in the 2012-13 regular season next weekend as it heads to the North Country to take on St. Lawrence and Clarkson. The Big Green split with the Saints and Golden Knights in January in Hanover.