Dartmouth (0-2-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) vs.
Union (1-2-2, 0-0-0 ECAC)
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 7 PM Hanover, N.H.
Thompson Arena (4,500)
All-Time Series: 24-19-7 (51st Meeting)
Last Meeting: Mar. 16, 2013 (Schenectady) - L, 5-2
Streak: 0-2-1
Dartmouth (0-2-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) vs.
10/10 Rensselaer (4-1-1, 0-0-1 ECAC)
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013  7 PM Hanover, N.H.
Thompson Arena (4,500)
All-Time Series: 32-42-5 (80th Meeting)
Last Meeting: Feb. 2, 2013 (Troy) - L, 3-0
Streak: 0-1-0

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2013-14 Media Materials

The Dartmouth men’s hockey team finally returns home to Thompson Arena after last playing a meaningful game inside its home rink more than 230 days ago. The Big Green will play host to Union and Rensselaer on Friday and Saturday nights with puck drop is set for 7 p.m. both nights. 

A tough two games to open the season at the Liberty Hockey Invitational in Newark, N.J., saw the Green fall to 0-2-0 on the young season despite playing well enough to win both contests. Dartmouth dropped an overtime affair, 3-2, to Princeton in the opener, before suffering a 5-3 defeat the following afternoon at the hands of Brown. 

The Dutchmen come to town having struggled out of the gate this season, winning just one of their first five games (1-2-2) so far. That lone win came in the second outing of the year, a 5-2 victory against Bowling Green. An 0-2-1 stretch against Lake Superior (0-2) and UConn (0-0-1) has followed, dropping Union from the USCHO rankings altogether for the first time in more than three years. Kevin Sullivan leads the team in scoring despite not having recorded a single goal this season, assisting on nine others. The offensive touch in terms of goals has come from the stick of freshman Michael Pintarelli who has a team-best four tallies thus far. In the crease, freshman goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos has been thrust into the starting position with the early departure of former Hobey Baker Finalist Troy Grosenick, who signed with the San Jose Sharks in the off-season. 

Dartmouth holds the slight 24-19-7 advantage in the 50 all-time meetings between the two programs dating back to the late 1970s. Union swept the Big Green out of last season’s ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals, winning the first-ever postseason match-up between the clubs, 1-1 and 5-2. At Thompson Arena, the Big Green are 14-8-2 against the Dutchmen in the 24 previous contests, including last year’s 3-2 win on Nov. 10. 

Picked to be one of the best teams in ECAC Hockey this season, an early-season run has not dismissed those predications for Rensselaer. Projected to finish first by the media and second by the coaches in the preseason polls, the Engineers have jumped out to a 4-1-1 start following a 3-3 tie with Harvard on Tuesday night. RPI actually had a 3-0 lead in the first period, but surrendered the next three goals to the Crimson over the following two periods before taking away the one point in the standings with the draw. Leading the way for not only the Engineers, but also for all players in the country, is Ryan Haggerty and his nine goals in six games thanks to another on Tuesday. Jacob Laliberte is the leader in assists with six, overshadowing his lack of goals in the early going. An injury has sidelined Preseason All-ECAC Hockey Goaltender Jason Kasdorf, handing the reins back over to junior Scott Diebold, who has posted solid numbers in his five games. 

In 79 previous meetings, Rensselaer has come out the victor 42 times, while tying Dartmouth on five occasions. The Big Green have posted wins in the 32 remaining contests, none of which have come in overtime, as they are 0-6-5 all-time against RPI in games that have been tied at the end of regulation. Last season, Dartmouth shutout the Engineers, 4-0, in November at Thompson, before RPI returned the favor with a 3-0 game in Troy at the Big Red Freakout in February. 

Dartmouth has won its last two home openers, defeating Brown (2-1) in the 2011 Ivy Shootout and eventual national champion Yale (7-4) last season. The last time the Big Green fell in their Thompson debut was a 4-1 loss to RPI in 2010.

A 65-foot stretch pass from Brett Patterson inside his own blueline sprung junior forward Eric Neiley in on a breakaway in the final minute of play against Princeton. The Warminster, Pa., native came in and beat Sean Bonar in the Tigers’ crease, sending the teams to overtime. The last time Dartmouth scored a goal in the final minute of regulation with the goalie pulled to tie the game was Nov. 17, 2012 when then-captain Mike Keenan beat Andy Iles of Cornell with 51 seconds left with a shot from the point.

In recording two assists on the weekend, Patterson was named to the Liberty Hockey Invitational All-Tournament Team. He would also set up Brandon McNally’s redirect power-play goal with the initial shot from the point in the loss to Brown. Twice as a freshman, Patterson posted points in consecutive games with the last coming in contests at St. Lawrence (Feb. 23) and home against Princeton (Mar. 1).

Though he is from outside Philadelphia, Neiley feels nearly at home in games played in New Jersey since coming to Dartmouth in 2011-12. In four games played in the Garden State, including three against Princeton, Neiley has five goals. He scored twice against the Tigers as a freshman at Hobey Baker Rink, while also netting the lone Big Green goal in the game played there last season. He netted a fourth against Princeton in Newark, before adding a PPG against Brown on Saturday night.

After missing nearly the entire second half of the 2012-13 season, McNally rejoined the Dartmouth lineup in a big way this weekend. The Saugus, Mass., native helped set up the first Big Green goal with a drop pass at the blueline in the second period, only to score his first of the season with a deflection on the power play in the third, tying the score at 3-3. His final goal last season came at Brown, into the empty net in the final minute as he was taken down on the play, causing him to miss the remaining portion of the schedule.

Sophomore Jack Barre and freshman Troy Crema picked the perfect time to find themselves on the scoresheet for the first time as members of the Big Green. On the big stage of playing in an NHL rink, both Barre and Crema found the back of the net. Barre got Dartmouth on the board for the first time this season by knocking in a rebound at the top of the crease just 3:40 into the third period on Friday night. Crema got his first goal on a redirect of an Andy Simpson point shot just as a second-period power play was expiring Saturday against the Bears.

Simpson finished the game with two assists, helping to set up both McNally and Crema’s goals against the Bears. Ten previous times, Simpson had posted one assist in a game as Saturday helped set a new career best in both assists and points.

Making his first start in goal, sophomore James Kruger turned aside 17 Princeton shots Friday night in Newark. Kruger had made just one appearance in relief as a freshman last winter, but looked sharp when tested at the Prudential Center. A positive sign for the forwards could’ve actually served as a hindrance to the second-year goalie as Dartmouth possessed the puck far more than its opponents, outshooting the Tigers, 40-20, limiting the Minnetonka, Minn., native’s ability to find his rhythm.

In 2012-13, Dartmouth was 12-5-1 in games played at Thompson Arena. Those 12 wins were the most of any Ivy League program and ranked third in ECAC Hockey behind Quinnipiac (15 in 22 games) and Rensselaer (13 in 19 games). The 3.44 goals per game (62 total) in those contests were the second most by any ECAC program, trailing only Colgate’s 3.88 (66). 

The Big Green will continue its homestand early on with two more ECAC Hockey teams coming to Thompson Arena next weekend. Clarkson and St. Lawrence make the trip to the Upper Valley from the North Country for Friday and Saturday night tilts, both set for 7 p.m. starts.

Game Notes