HANOVER, N.H. - Sophomore Eric Neiley scored a power-play goal with 7:53 remaining in the third period to beat McGill, 2-1, Saturday afternoon in the Dartmouth men's hockey preseason opener at Thompson Arena.
The score was not an indicator of how well the Big Green played in its first outing of 2012-13. Dartmouth dominated, outshooting the Redmen, 42-18, in the game, including holding a 30-9 advantage through 40 minutes.
Neiley's winner was the result of a beautiful passing play while the team was on the man-advantage. All five players touched the puck before sophomore Tyler Sikura's pass into the slot from the goal line was one-touched passed McGill's Hubert Morin for the Green and White's first lead of the afternoon.
After falling behind 1-0 just 4:26 into the game on a rebound goal from Christophe Poirer, the home team took its game to another level.
A much faster Dartmouth contingent than the one fans saw last winter was on display Saturday, using that skill set to create more rushes and rebound opportunities.
However, it would take the Big Green until 17:37 into the middle period to finally get on the board. Sikura tipped an Andy Simpson shot from the point on the power play through a small opening in Morin's pads to pull even at 1-1.
Neiley's goal not only proved to be the winner, but was also a good sign of things to come for his team. Last year, Dartmouth's power-play unit was ranked near the bottom of ECAC Hockey, but off-season workouts and captains practices clearly paid off as the team scored both its tallies a man up.
Junior Cab Morris got the start in goal, making five saves and allowing just the one before making way for the team's two new goaltenders, Charles Grant and James Kruger. Grant made three stops in the middle period and was not tested often as the Big Green outshot McGill, 16-3, in the frame.
Kruger played the third, stopping all nine shots he faced as both teams pushed for the winner. His early-period performance set the tone as he made four saves in the opening three minutes and was the goalie of record.
Dartmouth will play host to Norwich in a formal scrimmage Sunday afternoon at Thompson. Game time between the Big Green and Cadets is set for 4 p.m. Admission is free for all fans.
The regular season gets started next weekend (Oct. 26-27) as the team travels to Providence to play in the Ivy Shootout. Brown hosts the event this season and will welcome Dartmouth, Yale and Princeton to Meehan Auditorium Friday and Saturday. The Big Green take on the Bulldogs Friday at 4 p.m. in the opener.
NOTES: Juniors Matt Lindblad and Eric Robinson and senior Dustin Walsh were tabbed as alternate captains for the season, head coach Bob Gaudet announced before the start of the game. Senior Mike Keenan wears the 'C' for the second straight year...Lindblad was credited with the second assist on the game-winning goal, making the pass to Sikura from the right dot...Dartmouth has not lost a preseason game since falling to McGill, 7-4, on Oct. 24, 2009...Dartmouth and Brown both played their first preseason tilts of the season Friday at 4 p.m., marking the final two Division I teams to get the 2012-13 campaign underway.