Dartmouth is the only unbeaten team in the nation following a 3-2 victory over the visiting Union Dutchmen.
HANOVER, NH.-The Big Green opened the scoring by capitalizing on one of the few chances the team had in the first period. Brandon McNally slotted home a beautiful cross-ice pass from Tyler Sikura. Union would continue to pressure Dartmouth goaltender Cab Morris for the remainder of the game.
Heading into the third period Union were down 3-0. However, the Dutchmen came out of the gate quickly, scoring 39 seconds into the period courtesy of forward Daniel Carr. Union then added a shorthanded goal from Matt Hatch just 91 seconds later to keep the rest of the game close. Dartmouth held on from an onslaught of offense for the rest of the third and grabbed a hard fought victory.
What I Saw
-Union had a lot of offensive possession for most of the game, but they couldn’t find an answer for Morris till the third period. There were a lot of franticly blocked shots in front of the Dartmouth net all game. The Dutchmen seemed to be a little sluggish on shot selection and that gave more time for deflections and clearances.
-Dartmouth didn’t put a lot of shots on net, but they made a few count. Both goals from McNally and Eric Robinson were almost identical, as they were cross-ice one timers. Matt Lindblad scored the game winning goal with .8 seconds left in the second period. With four seconds left on the clock, Dartmouth captain Mike Keenan threw a shot on net as the Union defense stopped playing thinking play was over. The resounding rebound from the shot was slotted home by Lindblad in what proved to be a crucial play.
What I Thought
-The Big Green is a well-rounded team that is being coached perfectly by Bob Gaudet. Each game the Big Green has played this season has seen a well thought out strategy played out. For the game against Union, Gaudet knew his team would be facing a strong offense. Dartmouth came out with a great defensive mentality and took its chances when they presented themselves. The third and fourth lines seemed to sacrifice a lot to prevent attacking chances against them.
-Dartmouth truly has a top line full of talent. The first line of Matt Lindblad, Eric Neiley, and Tyler Sikura has been constantly scoring this season. All three forwards were also very impressive defensively, as they helped create a few odd man chances all game.
-Union is going to be alright without Troy Grosenick, as Colin Stevens is a very suitable replacement as a starting goaltender. The sophomore helped keep the game close for the Dutchmen late in the third period when Dartmouth was getting some offensive momentum. Stevens made an amazing stretch save that had everyone in Thompson Arena stunned.
What they said
-Union coach Rick Bennett on Dartmouth: “They did a phenomenal job shorthanded. That is a well-coached team. Those guys have been together for a little while now and I will tell you what, they are cooking on all cylinders. They are doing a great job and it is going to be a heck of a battle next time we play them.”
-Bennett on recent injuries: “We lost one of our better defensemen, so what that is adversity. That’s life and we will never make excuses for guys that are injured or anything like that.”
-Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet on the team’s mentality: “I haven’t had a team that works this hard, so they will stay levelheaded. We are not going to go the entire season undefeated so I will tell you that. We will have a good week at practice and there are some things we could work on.”
What else you should know
-Dartmouth’s Eric Robinson is one of the nation’s top scorers with seven goals in just six games. The junior led the Big Green in scoring last season with just 12 all year. His second line paring of Dustin Walsh and Brandon McNally is just scary.
-The Big Green ranks second in the nation in defense with a goals against average of 1.50 per game.
– Union now leads the nation in shorthanded goals with five total for the season so far.