Men’s hockey drops in standings
By Jake Bayer, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, February 4, 2013
Playing two games in a New York road trip over the weekend, Dartmouth men’s hockey tied No. 18 Union College in overtime, 2-2, before losing to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 0-3. The Big Green (11-8-3, 7-6-2 ECAC) had won only one out of its past five games, raising the stakes for the weekend’s contests.
In Schenectady, N.Y., Dartmouth played strong given Union’s home turf advantage.
“We played a pretty well-rounded team — it is really tough to go into another team’s building and come away with two points,” Matt Lindblad ’14 said.
The Big Green’s first matchup of the weekend against the Dutchmen (13-8-5, 6-4-4 ECAC) was close down to the wire. The scoreless first period marked the parity between the teams — Dartmouth had 10 shots and the Dutchmen had 13, but the goalies kept the game even at 0-0.
“I think Cab [Morris ’14] played awesome, especially on Friday,” forward Tyler Sikura ’15 said.
The scoring drought was broken three and a half minutes into the second period, when Dutchmen forward Kevin Sullivan found the back of the net. All of the game’s remaining goals would be scored on power plays.
Eight of the 14 penalties in the match resulted in power plays, and Union senior Kyle Bodie’s second led to Dartmouth’s first goal. The goal came five seconds into the power play, when Sikura won a faceoff that skittered to defender Ryan Bullock ’16, who passed it to forward Eric Neiley ’15. Exactly six minutes after Union’s first goal, Neiley hit a one-timer into the net.
The Dutchmen took the lead again when Bodie scored in the 13th minute of the second period, after Big Green captain Michael Keenan ’13 was penalized for slashing. The scoring then fell flat until just under five minutes remained in the game. Union forward Daniel Ciampini was penalized for tripping, leading to the Big Green’s only power play of the period. Dustin Walsh ’13 passed the puck to Keenan, who transferred it to fellow defensemen Rick Pinkston ’15, who shot from outside the box.
“Union is a good team and I think the tie coming from behind is better than the other way around,” forward Eric Robinson ’14 said.
In the five-minute overtime, Dartmouth managed to get off only one shot, but three Union shots and a power play put the Big Green on the defensive for the period. By the final whistle, goaltender Morris had 37 saves and the team had successfully killed four power plays.
“I think that was a good road tie for us, obviously we would like to have the points, but we killed off the penalty in overtime,” Sikura said.
Leaving Schenectady, N.Y., with a tie, Dartmouth took the short drive to Troy, N.Y., to face RPI (10-11-5, 5-6-3 ECAC). The Engineers extended their home winning streak to five games with back-to-back 3-0 wins against Harvard University and the Big Green.
“Give a lot of credit to RPI, they came out really hard,” Pinkston said.
RPI’s freshman goalie Jason Kasdorf followed his Friday shutout with 28 saves against the Big Green. The tables were turned for Dartmouth, who entered the game ahead of RPI in conference standings and had defeated the Engineers 4-0 in Hanover in November.
“Regardless of a team’s record or where they are in the standings, we have to come out and play hard,” Pinkston said.
The first period seemed to be another scoreless one, but with 11 seconds to go, Engineer forward Matt Tinordi put a wrist shot by Morris from the left faceoff circle after getting the puck off of a deflection from his teammate Guy Leboeuf.
“They scored a goal late on in the first period — that really put us on our heels,” Pinkston said.
RPI carried their momentum from the first period into the second, scoring in the first two minutes and again around the 15-minute mark. Freshman Mark Miller scored the Engineer’s third goal, sending the puck into the top of the net while being checked.
“We didn’t really show a consistent effort until the third period, when we dominated, but it was too late,” Robinson said.
In the third period, Dartmouth took 12 shots. However, Kasdorf turned away all of the Big Green’s attempts, securing a shutout.
Unlike the previous game, when Dartmouth converted two of three power play chances, the Big Green were unable to convert any of their three chances on Saturday. However, on the other side of the power play, they shut down RPI’s three power play chances.
Dartmouth travels to Harvard this weekend for another conference game and a chance for a rebound from this skid.
“Fortunately we have some time to reflect on these games,” Lindblad said.
The matchup against the Crimson (5-14-1, 3-12-0 ECAC) offers Dartmouth a good opportunity to advance in the standings, since Harvard has lost its last seven games, beginning with a 3-2 loss to Dartmouth.
“It’s basically playoff hockey for the rest of the season,” Pinkston said.