Dartmouth Men Host Brown and Yale in Final Homestand
|Dartmouth (6-16-3, 5-12-1) vs.
Brown (10-12-3, 7-10-1)
▶ Fri., Feb. 21, 2014 ▶ 7 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H.
▶ Thompson Arena (4,500)
▶ All-Time Series: 76-65-8 (150th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Dec. 7, 2013 - L, 3-2/OT (Providence)
▶ Streak: 0-2-0
|Dartmouth (6-16-3, 5-12-1) vs.
No. 14 Yale (13-8-4, 8-7-3)
▶ Sat., Feb. 22, 2014 ▶ 7 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H.
▶ Thompson Arena (4,500)
▶ All-Time Series: 89-107-14 (211th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Dec. 6, 2013 - W, 4-1 (New Haven)
▶ Streak: 1-0-0
Radio: WFRD 99.3 (iHeartRadio) / DartmouthSports.com
Play-by-Play: Chris Garrett
Live Stats: DartmouthSports.com
Live Video: Ivy League Digital Network
2013-14 Digital Press Box
Dartmouth returns home for the final time during the 2013-14 regular season with a pair of home games this weekend against Brown and Yale at Thompson Arena. With only two weekends left in the season, the Big Green are just four points out of a home playoff spot as the stretch run winds down.
LAST TIME OUT
The Big Green swept the North Country teams on the road in their most recent outings, taking four points in a weekend away from Thompson for the first time in nearly two years. It began with a 3-1 win Friday night at St. Lawrence before a 6-1 victory the following night at Clarkson wrapped up the successful road trip.
Freshman Grant Opperman and sophomore Charles Grant were named the ECAC Hockey Rookie and Goaltender of the Week, respectively, late Tuesday. Both put together strong showings in northern New York to earn the recognition from the league office. For Grant, it was the second time this season he had been recognized as the conference’s top goalie over a week’s stretch, while Opperman’s rookie honors were the first of the year for any Dartmouth freshman.
The Bears make the trip to Hanover with two wins already against the Big Green in their back pocket. Brown defeated Dartmouth, 5-3, to win the 2013 Liberty Hockey Invitational in October and pulled off a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory in Providence in early December. At 10-12-3 overall and 7-10-1 in league play, the team sits in eighth place with 15 points, hanging on to the final home-ice playoff spot. The offense seems to be running through the trio of Mark Naclerio (16-16—32), Nick Lappin (11-18—29) and Matt Lorito (9-18—27), forming one of the most potent forward attacks in ECAC Hockey. Freshman Tyler Steel seems to have taken the reins as the team’s top netminder, starting 17 games to this point, while boasting a 2.89 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.
ALL-TIME AGAINST BROWN
Friday night will mark the 150th all-time meeting between the Bears and Big Green with Dartmouth owning the slight 76-65-8 advantage in the previous contests. The team from the Upper Valley had enjoyed a 12-game unbeaten streak (11-0-1) against its Ancient Eight rival coming into the year, but has since dropped a pair of match-ups in 2013-14.
The Bulldogs are battling for a first-round bye in the final weeks of the season, currently sitting sixth in the standings but just one point back of the fourth-and-final spot. Pittsburgh native and senior forward Jesse Root leads the team in scoring with 26 points on nine goals and 17 assists. In the 7-5 win against the Tigers last Saturday, Root scored twice and assisted on a pair for four points. His linemate Kenny Agostino added two goals and three points and leads the Bulldogs with 13 markers to this point. Freshman goalie Alex Lyon has seen a majority of the action in net this season, posting a 10-8-4 record with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. However, fellow freshman Patrick Spano has been a stellar backup in the limited action he’s seen (3-0-0, 1.93 GAA, .924 Save%).
ALL-TIME AGAINST YALE
In the earlier meeting between these two teams in New Haven in December, the Big Green scored three goals in a six-minute span during the first period to chase starting goalie Lyon from the net. Troy Crema had two of the three tallies in the opening frame to help build a lead Dartmouth would never relinquish in picking up the 4-1 win. Saturday night will mark the 211th all-time meeting between the two, the most against any one opponent for Dartmouth.
For his play on the weekend, junior Eric Neiley was named the DartmouthSports.com Male Athlete of the Week and was the runner-up for the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week. The Warminster, Pa., native assisted on two goals at St. Lawrence and chipped in two of his own and added another assist at Clarkson the following evening. In all, Neiley has 20 points this season with a quarter of them coming in the last two games.
After missing nine games due to injury, captain Tyler Sikura returned to the Big Green lineup on Saturday and in a big way. Sikura, who was hampered by a knee injury suffered against Northeastern on Dec. 30, contributed two assists against the Saints, helping to set up both Brandon McNally’s power-play marker in the second and Charlie Mosey’s insurance goal in the third.
The consecutive road wins in the North Country marked the first weekend sweep away from Thompson Arena in almost two years for Dartmouth. The last road sweep also included St. Lawrence as the Big Green took down the Saints in two games during the 2012 ECAC Hockey Championship First Round series at Appleton Arena.
In the six-goal outburst at Clarkson, five Big Green players had two or more points. That figure is the second most in a game this season for Dartmouth, trailing only the six players who accomplished the feat against Northeastern (Dec. 30). In all, Eric Neiley (2-1—3), Opperman (1-1—2), Brad Schierhorn (2-0—2), Nick Bligh (0-2—2) and Tim O’Brien (0-2—2) had multi-point showings against the Golden Knights.
WHEN HE SCORES TWO, SO DOES SOMEONE ELSE
The last three instances in which two Dartmouth players have had at least two goals in the same game, Neiley has been involved. Most recently, Neiley and Schierhorn netted a pair in Potsdam, while Neiley and Hartley combined for four goals against the Huskies in the second game of the Ledyard Classic in Hanover. Prior to this season, Neiley and Jesse Beamish each had a pair in a Feb. 16, 2013 win at home against Colgate.
CLASS OF 2014
After the conclusion of Saturday’s game, on-ice Senior Day ceremonies will honor the trio of Nick Lovejoy, Cab Morris and Taylor Boldt for their play and dedication to the program over the course of their time at Dartmouth.
NO THIRD-PERIOD LETDOWNS
Coming into the weekend, associate head coach Dave Peters had talked about the team’s need to play better in the third period, given that they had allowed the most goals and scored the fewest in the final frame among the 12 league teams. Peters’ wish came true as neither St. Lawrence nor Clarkson managed to beat Grant in the third, while the Big Green scored three markers in the final periods between the two contests on the weekend.
The Green and White broke out with four goals in the final 10-plus minutes of the first period at Cheel Arena. That figure is the most in the opening frame this season for Dartmouth, which had scored three in the first period against Princeton both times and another time at Yale. Only once had the Big Green managed four goals in a period this year, doing so in the second period against Northeastern.
WATCH IT NOW
Both Brown and Yale games can be seen live in HD on the Ivy League Digital Network. Fans can also listen to the WFRD 99.3 FM audio broadcast with Chris Garrett providing the play-by-play.
Following this weekend, the Big Green will wrap-up the 2013-14 regular season with a road trip to Cornell (Feb. 28) and Colgate (Mar. 1).