Men's hockey splits weekend set| 11/20/11 11:00pm
Dartmouth started strongly against St. Lawrence (4-6-0, 4-2-0 ECAC), with Nick Walsh '12 scoring 1:07 into the match. Walsh converted on the game's first power play, an area that the Big Green has struggled in this season.
"Any time you can score early, especially on a power play, it's huge," captain Mike Keenan '13 said. "It's always nice playing with a lead."
Dartmouth found the net multiple times throughout regulation play. Matt Lindblad '14 one-timed a pass to give Dartmouth a 2-1 lead 13:54 into the second period. Standout rookie Tyler Sikura '15 later sealed the game with his team-leading fourth goal of the season just over eight minutes into the third period.
"The second goal was definitely huge," Keenan said. "It helped pushed our team along and it was nice to tack on another one."
Other freshmen turned in solid performances for the Big Green, with Jesse Beamish '15 and Rick Pinkston '15 regitering assists on Walsh's goal, and Charlie Mosey '15 receiving the assist on Sikura's goal. Both Pinkston and Mosey picked up their first collegiate points. The team's new players "are definitely stepping up," Keenan said.
The Big Green was unable to carry its offensive momentum into Saturday's matchup against Clarkson (7-4-3, 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey), however. The loss was punctuated by physical play and missed opportunities.
Despite 37 shots, the Big Green failed to score once, due in large part to outstanding play from Clarkson senior goalkeeper Paul Karpowich.
"He was a good goalie on a very good team," Keenan said. "We just couldn't convert, which was a little frustrating."
Keenan added that Clarkson's first two goals, which came halfway through the first period and 1:41 into the second period, deflated Dartmouth's morale.
"In our league, every team is a good team," Keenan said. "Every team's a battle, so there's things we have to do to make sure we come out on top."
Goalkeeper Jody O'Neill '12 started both games for the Big Green, making his first appearances of the season. James Mello '12 had started every other game in goal this season, and Keenan said the swap was a result of many factors, including a 0-2 stretch last weekend. Keenan added that the team will be looking at both goalkeepers until "one guy gets hot." O'Neill registered 20 saves against St. Lawrence and 27 saves against Clarkson. The Golden Knights' second goal came off a ricochet, while the final goal was scored on an empty net with 54 seconds left in the contest.
The Big Green's game against Clarkson was much more physical than its Friday night match against St. Lawrence. Dartmouth and Clarkson received 12 penalty minutes each but could not convert, going a combined 0-for-10 on power-play opportunities.
"It was just the tempo of the game," Keenan said. "[Clarkson] is a big, strong physical team and we were trying to match that."
With a .500 record so far this season, Dartmouth must be more consistent in its energy level and play if it is to be successful, Keenan said.
"To be at the top of the league, we have to do the little things and work hard," Keenan said.
Dartmouth next plays against Harvard University, facing the Crimson (2-3-1, 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey) at 7 p.m. at Thompson Arena on Friday. The Big Green will then travel to face the University of Vermont on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Harvard defeated Clarkson on Friday before narrowly losing to St. Lawrence on Saturday. UVM (1-7-1, 0-6-1 Hockey East) is coming off consecutive losses to Boston University and Northeastern University.