HANOVER, N.H. – Jesse Beamish scored twice and Charlie Mosey had a career-high three assists as the Dartmouth men’s hockey team defeated Princeton, 5-3, in front of a sellout crowd of 4,500 at Thompson Arena Saturday night.
Goaltender James Kruger picked up his first career win, stopping 17 shots in the process. His counterpart in the Tigers’ Sean Bonar matched his career high with 43 saves as the Big Green attack kept coming all night.
The win pushed the home team ahead of the visitors in ECAC Hockey standings with a 3-11-1 mark for seven points to go along with a 4-15-3 overall record. The Tigers dropped to 4-17-0 overall and 3-11-0 (six points) in league play.
Dartmouth raced out to a 3-0 lead through the first 20 minutes. Freshman Grant Opperman got things started at 5:57 of the opening frame, igniting the immense home crowd and student section with a well-placed shot over Bonar’s shoulder and under the bar on the man-advantage.
Ryan Bullock’s one-time slapshot from the top of the slot at 13:58 made it a two-goal game and was the second of his three-point evening. Beamish’s first of the night slipped by Bonar at 16:45 after corralling the puck in the low slot and finding himself alone next to an open netmouth for the third Big Green tally.
Princeton would not go quietly, scoring three times in the second with Alec Rush, Tyler Magueri and Andrew Calof all netting goals to bring the Tigers back to within one, 4-3.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, because the game ebbed away a little bit,” head coach Bob Gaudet said. “They took advantage of some of our turnovers in the offensive zone when we were trying to make a play. In a one-goal game, they're just a power play away or it can be on a shot from a bad angle that hits someone and goes in to tie it."
"The good thing was, going into the third period, it was really important to keep the play in front of us and we didn't really give them (Princeton) many opportunities," Gaudet added.
Much like he did last season in this same game, Beamish came through with a big third-period tally. Last year, his goal with 3:37 remaining in regulation helped the Green and White earn a 2-2 tie and a point in the conference standings. On this night, however, his shot from the top of the left circle on a 2-on-1 rush trickled through the leg pads of Bonar and into the net for the insurance marker.
For Beamish, it was the second two-goal game of his career with both coming at home (Colgate – Feb. 16, 2013).
In all, four players recorded multi-point efforts in the win to help Dartmouth defeat Princeton for the first time this season after two overtime losses early in the year.
After not recording a power-play goal the entire month of January, the Big Green’s top special teams unit finally clicked, scoring three times in four man-advantage situations. The penalty killers were also on their game Saturday, thwarting all four of the Tigers’ power-play opportunities.
Dartmouth finished the evening with 48 shots, a new season high. Its previous high this year came in the season opener against Princeton when it managed 40. In both instances, the Tigers mustered just 20 shots on goal.
The Big Green are on the road for the next two weekends, beginning Friday, Feb. 7 at Harvard before making the trip north to St. Lawrence and Clarkson Feb. 14-15.