Men's hockey wins third straight

by Stefanie Lazow | 11/23/09 11:00pm

With two goals exploding off of the stick of assistant captain Scott Fleming '11 in this weekend's non-conference competition, the Dartmouth men's hockey team defeated Providence College, 4-2, Friday in Hanover and Harvard, 6-2, Sunday in Cambridge, Mass.

Jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period, Dartmouth (3-6, 1-6 ECAC Hockey) maintained the lead throughout the entire game despite two Harvard (1-6-2, 1-4-2 ECAC Hockey) power-play goals in the second and third period. Dartmouth has now won three games in a row after starting the season with six consecutive losses.

Sunday's game against Harvard was considered a non-conference game for ECAC Hockey standings purposes.

Fleming potted his sixth and seventh goals of the season while Dustin Walsh '13 notched his fourth goal of the season.

Evan Stephens '11 drilled the game-winning goal against Harvard for the Big Green with four minutes remaining in the second period off of assists from Alex Goodship '13 and Rob Smith '10.

On Friday at Providence, the Big Green offense notched all four goals in the second and third periods to defeat the Friars (7-5-1, 2-3-1 Hockey East).

"We are definitely feeling a lot better, but we know our record is still not where we want it to be," goaltender Jody O'Neill '12 said. "What has happened in the past is in the past, and we need to focus on the next game, but it does give us confidence that we have what it takes to win."

Josh Gillam '10 scored the winning goal for the Big Green, his first goal of the season, less than five minutes into the third period when a backhand shot off of a pass from Kyle Reeds '11 to give Dartmouth a 3-1 lead.

After a scoreless first period, Fleming and Matt Reber '11 combined for an offensive outburst of six points, as they were the common element in three different Big Green goals during the second and third periods.

"We have good chemistry it was our night and hopefully we can continue to produce," Fleming said. "At the start of this year, we had been changing the lines and trying to find something that works. Just recently, we have been thrown together and it has worked well."

One-timing the puck into the far side of the net, Fleming scored his first goal off of a pass from Adam Estoclet '11, which was set up by a behind-the-net pass from Reber.

The trio collaborated again midway through the second period when Reber set up a two-on-one between Fleming and Estoclet, allowing Fleming to drill the puck over the glove of Providence netminder Justin Gates.

Reber notched his first goal of the season 6:26 into the third frame, less than two minutes after Gillam's goal, to put Dartmouth up 4-1.

Both teams were scoreless on two attempts on the power play. Providence outshot Dartmouth 47-33, yet the Big Green defense and goalie O'Neill kept the Friars to just two goals.

"I thought we did a really good job of keeping their shots to the outside and clearing out rebounds," O'Neill said. "They had a lot of shots, but they didn't have a lot of quality scoring chances. Most of their shots were from the outside. They like to throw the puck on net and generate rebounds."

Providence is currently tied with Boston University for last place in the Hockey East standings. The Dartmouth men's hockey team will tighten its skates again in non-conference competition twice in the month of December.

The team will face Sacred Heart University (11-23-4, 9-16-3 Atlantic Hockey) on Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. in Hanover, and against No. 18 University of Vermont (5-5-1, 4-4-1 Hockey East) on Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. in Burlington, Vt.

Dartmouth lost to Vermont 3-2 last season in a heated battle, after Joe Stejskal '11 tied the game 2-2 in the third frame to force an overtime period.

"Vermont used to be in our conference, so that has traditionally been a big matchup," Boldt said. "We are going in there this year with the expectation that they are going to be as good this year as they were last year."