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Courtesy: Dartmouth

Road Trip Sends No. 12 Big Green to Colgate and No. 10 Cornell

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 11/15/2012
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12/12 Dartmouth (5-0-1, 4-0-0 ECAC) vs. Colgate (4-6-1, 0-3-1 ECAC)
- Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 - 7 PM - Hamilton, N.Y.
- Starr Rink (2,246)
- All-Time Series:  Dartmouth, 44-41-5
- Last Meeting: Jan. 21, 2012 - W, 5-4 (OT)
 Streak: 1-0-0


12/12 Dartmouth (5-0-1, 4-0-0 ECAC) vs. 10/10 Cornell (5-1-1, 2-0-0 ECAC)
- Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 - 7 PM - Ithaca, N.Y.
- Lynah Rink (4,267)
- All-Time Series: Cornell, 78-43-3
- Last Meeting: Mar. 10, 2012 - L, 3-1 (Game 2)
- Streak: 0-5-1


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FOR COMPLETE WEEKEND COVERAGE:
2012-13 GAME DAY CENTRAL


THIS WEEKEND
Dartmouth heads to Central New York for its first road ECAC Hockey weekend of the season. The Big Green will take on Colgate Friday night and Cornell Saturday in two of the toughest arenas for visiting teams in the league. Coming into the weekend, Dartmouth sits atop the conference standings with eight points and a 4-0-0 mark.

IN THE POLLS
USCHO:
After two weeks of receiving votes in the USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll, the Big Green finally broke into the top-20 and in a big way. Dartmouth's weekend sweep of Rensselaer and No. 8 Union propelled the team up nine spots to No. 12 in the nation, the largest jump of any team. The No. 12 ranking is also the highest position for the Green and White since October 2004 when it held the same spot in the preseason polls.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine:
Dartmouth also owns the No. 12 spot in the other major college hockey poll. The Big Green picked up nine votes a week ago, but moved up seven spots in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll to match its USCHO.com counterpart.

REWIND
Dartmouth completed back-to-back weekend home sweeps to finish its first homestand of 2012-13 with a 4-0 mark. Most recently, the Green shutout RPI, 4-0, and held off a late comeback bid by No. 8 Union to earn the 3-2 win on Saturday.

LAST ONE STANDING
After Princeton knocked off Cornell Friday night and the Big Green took care of business against the Engineers, only Dartmouth remained as the lone team in Division I without a loss. That unbeaten streak to start the season continued Saturday with the one-goal win against the visiting Dutchmen.

HOT START
The 5-0-1 start is currently the best in the nation, but it's also the best for the program in more than five decades. The last time Dartmouth began a season without a loss in its first six games was in 1957-58 when the team began the year with six straight wins. In the 107-seasons of Dartmouth hockey, this is only the ninth time that the team has not suffered a loss in the first six games of a campaign.

1957-58 Season (6-0-0) 2012-13 Season (5-0-1)
12/3 Norwich W, 5-2   10/26 vs. Yale T, 2-2 (SO Win)
12/6 @Bowdoin W, 9-1   10/27 @Brown W, 4-0
12/7 @Colby W, 1-0   11/2 Yale W, 7-4
12/11 @Middlebury W, 6-5   11/3 Brown W, 2-1
12/13 Northeastern W, 5-4   11/9 Rensselaer W, 4-0
12/14 @Williams W, 8-1   11/10 Union W, 3-2

Other seasons include: 1908-09 (6-0-0), 1922-23, (10-0-0), 1935-36 (6-0-1), 1937-38 (8-0-0), 1939-40 (7-0-0), 1942-43 (13-0-0), 1943-44 (7-0-0), 1947-48 (7-0-0).
Also Note: The Big Green went 5-0-0 in 1944-45 in just a five-game season. Those were the last five wins of the program-record 46-game unbeaten streak (45-0-1) that began on Dec. 23, 1941 and stretched to Jan. 5, 1946.

HOME SWEEP HOME
Dartmouth's consecutive home sweeps against Yale and Brown as well as Union and RPI not only pushed the team to 4-0 in league play, but also marked the first time since 2006-07 that it was able to take four games in an eight-day span at Thompson. The Big Green actually swept its final three home weekends of 2006-07 with the last two coming in the final weekend of the regular season and in the quarterfinals against Princeton. The last time the Green and White did it on back-to-back weekends was in 2002-03.

2006-07 Consecutive Home Sweeps 2002-03 Back-to-Back Home Weekend Sweeps
2/2 Rensselaer W, 5-2   11/15 Colgate W, 6-2
2/3 Union W, 3-2   11/16 Cornell W, 5-2
2/23 Cornell W, 5-1   11/22 Yale W, 5-4
2/24 Colgate W, 5-1   11/23 Princeton W, 3-2
3/9 Princeton* W, 6-2        
3/10 Princeton* W, 3-2        
* - ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals

STILL SCORING
Junior Eric Robinson continues to score at a record pace. In each of the team's six games, the winger and Foxborough, Mass., native has managed to find the back of the net at least once. His seven goals thus far (scoring twice against Yale on Nov. 3) give him 1.17 goals per game, good for the top mark in the nation. After scoring the first three game winners of the season, Robinson didn't net a GWG this weekend, but still ranks second in the country and first in the league with his trifecta. Robinson led the team in goals with 12 all of 2011-12 in 34 games played.

PASS HAPPY
After 14 assists in his first season, sophomore Tyler Sikura is already half way to that total through just six games in 2012-13. Sikura picked up three more helpers this weekend to bring his team-leading total to seven. His 1.17 assists per game rank second in the country and first among all ECAC Hockey players.

GOALIE OF THE WEEK
Cab Morris is making a strong case as the Big Green's starting goalie after splitting time with freshman Charles Grant the first two weeks of the season. Morris was named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week after his 46-save, 2-0 weekend. His 18-save showing against RPI earned Morris his first career shutout. He followed that with 28 saves against Union and stretched his streak of not allowing a goal to 152:39, the longest of his career.

MATCHING THE TOTAL
When Sikura scored his fourth goal of the season on a shorthanded rush 10:21 into the middle period, it was the second time this season that he found the back of the net while on the penalty kill. Classmate Jesse Beamish scored the team's only two shorthanded goals in 2011-12, a figure Sikura matched in the first five games of this season.

SPEAKING OF THE KILL...
Not only have the Big Green been able to get some shorthanded tallies from Sikura, but the team's penalty killing unit has been nothing short of superb, killing off 95.8% (23-of-24) of opponents' man-up chances. Yale was the last team to score on the power play against the Big Green who have now killed off 14 straight opportunities over the last 10 periods. The penalty killers rank second in the country, only behind Quinnipiac's 97.4% (37-38).

WELCOME TO THE SCORESHEET
Only one freshman appeared on the scoresheet this weekend as Brad Schierhorn picked up his first career point with a goal less than three minutes into Friday's game with RPI. Schierhorn beat goaltender Scott Diebold with a backhander over the glove and under the bar for the 1-0 lead and the first game-winning goal for a Dartmouth player other than Eric Robinson in 2012-13.

MATTY ICE
Junior Matt Lindblad is healthy again this season and flying under the radar a bit despite ranking third on the team in scoring (3-3-6). His third goal of the year, though, may be the team's most important to-date as it came with 0.8 seconds remaining in the second period against Union to give Dartmouth the 3-0 lead headed into the intermission. After two quick goals early in the third period from the Dutchmen, the Big Green defense held steadfast the rest of the way, making Lindblad's last-second tally stand up as the game-winner.

BLOCK HEADS
Dartmouth's defense was tested often by the potent attack of Union Saturday night. Morris finished the night with 28 saves, but would have had to make significantly more had the defensive unit in front of him not recorded 26 blocks in the game. Leading the way was freshman defenseman Ryan Bullock with six in just his second game wearing a Green and White sweater. Junior Taylor Boldt had four blocks, while sophomores Jesse Beamish and Eric Neiley each had three. Geoff Ferguson's seven blocked shots against Yale in the home opener remains the highest figure of the season by any player on either team in any of the six games played.

JUMP UP
Not only was the nine-spot jump in the USCHO.com Poll the biggest in the nation this season, it was also the second-best debut for any team in the last 12 years. Only Vermont's debut at No. 10 a week into the 2006-07 season was better than Dartmouth's No. 12 position this week. The Catamounts beat Colgate, 6-0, and Miami, 4-1, in the Icebreaker Tournament in Oxford, Ohio, to open the year. It took Dartmouth three weeks to crack the top-20 from being unranked.

FROM ONE YEAR TO THE NEXT
In just one year, a group of the Dartmouth forwards have stepped up their offensive output. Here is an example of how several players have picked up the scoring in a comparison of last year's first six games to this season.

Player 2011-12 2012-13
Sikura 3-2-5 4-7-11
Robinson 2-3-5 7-2-9
Lindblad (4GP) 0-1-1 3-3-6
Neiley 1-1-2 2-3-5
McNally (5GP) 1-3-4 2-3-5

AGAINST COLGATE OF LATE
These two teams split the season series last year with each winning in the other's building. Colgate came to Hanover in November and shutout the Green, 4-0, on the strength of three third-period goals. In the second game, played in Hamilton, Dartmouth came back from a 4-1 deficit heading into the third to force overtime where Doug Jones scored the winner 2:43 into the extra session. Robinson scored 21 seconds into the third with Charlie Mosey and Lindblad scoring the next two to tie it up.

AGAINST CORNELL OF LATE
The Big Green and Big Red played four times last season with Cornell taking all four by just a combined four goals. Both regular season contests were one-goal affairs, 3-2 and 4-3 (OT), before the two met for ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals match-up in Ithaca in March. The first game was an epic battle that proved to be the second-longest game in program history and the longest game to-date at Lynah Rink for either a men's or women's contest. Cornell's Sean Whitney scored 17:40 into double overtime to end it and give the home team the 1-0 series lead. Cornell took Game 2 by a 3-1 count, the only meeting of the year not decided by one goal. Dartmouth's last win in the series came on Feb. 20, 2010, a 5-4 decision in Hanover. Four of the last six games between the two have needed overtime (0-3-1).

BALANCED TEAM
Few teams in 2012-13 can match the all-around play that Dartmouth has shown in the early stages of the season. Here is a look at some of the statistical categories that the Green have exceled in so far.

Scoring Offense Scoring Defense Scoring Margin
1. Union (4.33)   1. New Hampshire (1.38)   1. Denver (2.25)
2. Michigan (4.22)   2. Dartmouth (1.50)   2. Dartmouth (2.17)
3. Bentley (4.14)   3. Notre Dame (1.78)   3. Union (2.11)
4. Denver (4.12)
  4. Denver (1.88)
  4. New Hampshire (1.88)
5. Dartmouth (3.67)
  St. Lawrence (1.88) 
  5. St. Lawrence (1.62)
         
Fewest PIMs Penalty Kill    
1. Holy Cross (8.8)   1. Quinnipiac - 97.4% (37-38)
   
2. Dartmouth (9.0)
  2. Dartmouth - 95.8% (23-24)    
Air Force (9.0)  
  3. New Hampshire - 93.1% (27-29)    
4. Minnesota (9.4)   4. St. Lawrence - 91.1% (41-45)    
5. Princeton (10.0)  
  5. Boston College - 89.6% (43-48)    

FIRST MONTH SHUTOUTS
Dartmouth's 4-0 blanking of Rensselaer on Friday was its second shutout of the season. The last time a Big Green team posted two shutouts in its first three weeks of play was back in 1953-54 when they beat MIT (11-0) and Northeastern (7-0) on consecutive Saturdays in December.


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