Men’s hockey wins Ivy Shootout
By Henry Arndt
Published on Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Over the weekend, the Dartmouth men’s hockey team (1-0-1) kicked off its season by winning the Ivy League Shootout in Providence, R.I., beating Yale University (1-0-1) in a shootout before shutting out Brown University (1-1-0) in a 4-0 victory to take the tournament title. The win marked Dartmouth’s first at the event since the tournament’s inception three years ago.
Dartmouth, Yale, Brown and Princeton University competed in the tournament, which Brown hosted this year. In the first round, the Big Green moved past Yale with a late goal in regulation and two shootout scores. Dartmouth had not defeated the Bulldogs in their previous 10 encounters, since February 2008.
“Beating Yale in the shootout victory gave us a lot of confidence and convinced some of the guys that haven’t beaten Yale that we can beat Yale and that this is a different year,” alternate captain Eric Robinson ’14 said.
The Big Green was down 2-1 with less than eight minutes left in the third period when Yale’s Carson Cooper was called on a game misconduct for late boarding, resulting in a five-minute power play for Dartmouth. After the Big Green failed to convert on opportunities for the first four minutes of the power play, head coach Bob Gaudet used his lone timeout to give the team a chance to regain composure.
The decision worked in the Big Green’s favor — less than 50 seconds later, Matt Lindblad ’14 fed the puck to Tyler Sikura ’15, who found Robinson charging the net across the ice. Robinson punched the pass into the back of the net with a quick one-timer.
“Our goal on the power play is to move the puck fast and spread it out a lot so we can look for cross-seam passes,” Robinson said. “My goal came from the opposite side of the ice, and it was a perfect pass for me to score on.”
After a scoreless overtime period, Sikura and Eric Neiley ’15 scored on their shootout attempts, while Dartmouth goalie Cab Morris ’14 blocked the first Yale effort. The second Bulldog attempt was sent over the net, securing Dartmouth a place in the finals.
“We don’t always have shootouts after overtime, but the guys work on those individual skills a lot after practices, so we’re ready for them,” captain Mike Keenan ’13 said. “Sikura came up the ice, deked backhand and then shot forehand to beat the goalie. Neiley threw a really strong shot with a quick release that sent the puck over the goalie’s shoulder.”
Tim O’Brien ’16 opened the scoring just three minutes into the game on a two-on-one fast break.
“He thought about feeding it across before winding up and destroying the far post with an absolute bomb of a shot,” defenseman Ryan Bullock ’16 said.
Yale took the lead in the second period with two goals from Antoine Laganiere, both of which were assisted by Clinton Bourbonais. Dartmouth outshot the Bulldogs, 37-20, in the game, including holding a 19-3 advantage in the third period and overtime.
In the tournament final on Saturday, the Big Green delivered a dominant performance against Brown to claim the Shootout title. Dartmouth tallied four goals, including two on the power play and one empty-netter, and rookie goalie Charles Grant ’16 shut the Bears out by saving all 24 shots that came his way.
“We started off slow in the Yale game, but in the Brown game, I think we played our best defensive game of the preseason and of the young regular season,” Robinson said. “We also got two really good performances in the net both nights.”
After a scoreless first period, Robinson opened up the scoring early in the second with another one-timer on a play similar to the power-play goal he scored on the previous day. Forward Brett Patterson ’16 extended the lead with a poke check that sent the puck untouched through a scrum in front of the net and past the Brown goalie.
Sikura put up the third goal for the Big Green on a power play one minute into the third period by redirecting a blue-line slap shot from defenseman Taylor Boldt ’14 into the net. Down three goals with only three minutes left in regulation, Brown was forced to pull its goalie. Forward Jesse Beamish ’15 capitalized by sinking a puck into the empty net, icing the game.
“We struggled with the power play last year, but this year, we have new personnel, and it’s really operating well,” Keenan said.
Dartmouth outshot the Bears, 33-24, in the contest, including a 17-6 advantage in the crucial second period.
“It’s really important to start the season off on a strong note,” Robinson said. “Some people can lose focus and not think the early season games are important, but in the long run they’re worth the same amount as the games right before the playoffs.”
The Big Green will return home this weekend and face the same two teams. Dartmouth will go up against Yale in its first home game of the season on Friday before taking on Brown on Saturday.