Official Website of Dartmouth College Varsity Athletics

Big Green Edge Norwich, 4-3, in Final Preseason Tilt

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By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H. - The Dartmouth men's hockey team scored three goals in the opening 6:36 of Sunday's scrimmage with Norwich at Thompson Arena, but needed a strong defensive effort down the stretch to hold on for the 4-3 win.

The one-goal victory was the second in as many days for the Big Green, having knocked off McGill, 2-1, Saturday in the preseason opener.

Senior captain Mike Keenan scored just 2:10 into the game. Junior Eric Robinson and sophomore Tyler Sikura followed up with tallies of their own in the next four and a half minutes.

The Cadets responded with a goalie change, bringing in Chris Czarnota after falling behind 3-0 early on. After Czarnota made an immediate save upon entering the game, Norwich turned up its play and scored goals 1:57 apart to make it 3-2 less than 10 minutes into the first.

After both teams settled into the game, the barrage of offense subsided slightly.

Brett Patterson became the only one of the team's 10 freshmen to find the back of the net on the weekend when he slid a rebound past Czarnota 2:03 into the middle period to give the home team a 4-2 lead.

It took the Cadets 13:33 to respond and cut the deficit to 4-3 as Gerard McEleney found space between the arm pads of freshman Charles Grant playing goal in the second for Dartmouth.

That would be the last goal scored as both teams played solid defense in the final period. Dartmouth allowed just one shot on goal in the last 20 minutes of action, while blocking numerous pucks from Norwich sticks looking for the equalizer.

For the second afternoon in a row, junior Cab Morris got the start in goal. Morris was credited with the win and made a team-high eight saves in his 20 minutes. Grant had six stops in the middle frame, while fellow freshman James Kruger was the beneficiary of Dartmouth's strong defensive showing in the third, turning aside the lone puck that made its way on goal.

With the Big Green now done with its preseason schedule, the 2012-13 regular season opener is now the focus of attention for this week's practices. Dartmouth will head to Providence to take on Yale Friday night in the opening contest of the Ivy Shootout. Saturday's opponent will come out of the Brown and Princeton matchup later on in the evening.

NOTES: Freshman Nick Bligh became the first freshman to record a point in the preseason, assisting on Eric Robinson's goal at 4:36 of the first...Dartmouth continues its preseason dominance, having not lost an exhibition game since 2009...After going 2-for-7 with the man-advantage Saturday, the Big Green were 0-for-5 Sunday afternoon against the Cadets on the power play...Tyler Sikura finished the weekend with a team-best three points (2g/1a), while sophomore Eric Neiley (1g/1a) and junior Matt Lindblad (2a) also had multiple points...Sunday's game at Thompson Arena was the only collegiate men's hockey game in the nation.