PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mike Maturo has been itching to find the back of the net all season. For the Dartmouth Big Green, he picked a good time to break through.
Taking a feed from linemate Mike Murray off a faceoff, Maturo fired a 15-foot slapshot between the legs of goaltender Brian Eklund for an overtime goal and a 4-3 win for Dartmouth against Brown at Meehan Auditorium Friday night.
“It’s nice to get the monkey off my back. It’s a relief,” said Maturo, a junior forward and tri-captain. “I really want to thank my linemates, too. We work well together and work hard, so things are bound to happen for us.”
Maturo’s goal — the 18th of his career but the first this season — completed an up-and-down night for his team. Dartmouth controlled the first period, taking a 2-1 lead on two goals by sophomore Kent Gillings, but barely hung on the rest of the way to force overtime at 3-3.
In the extra session, Maturo’s goal ended it, spelling the first overtime win for the Big Green (1-2-0, 1-0-0 ECAC) in almost two years. With the loss, the physical Bears fell to 1-2-0 (0-2-0).
“The first period was probably one of the worst periods we’ve played all year,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “They outplayed us pretty badly, but I thought we responded well in the second and third to get back into the game. We just couldn’t get that lead goal.”
The Big Green took a 2-1 lead in a first period fraught with shots but devoid of penalties. Both Dartmouth goals were netted by Gillings, sandwiched around a marker from Brown junior Josh Barker.
Gillings’ first goal came on a wrister five minutes into the game, as the sophomore center took a pass from Murray and dumped it past Eklund (30 saves).
Just over a minute later, the Bears responded, as the defenseman Barker collected the puck off a faceoff in the Big Green zone and fired a 30-footer between the pipes. The goal was Barker’s first on the season.
The deadlock didn’t last long. After Murray charged into the offensive zone and fired a shot, Gillings took care of the rebound, gaining hold of the puck after an Eklund save and slapping it to the back of the net. All told, the Big Green outshot the Bears 15-12 in the opening 20 minutes.
“Gillings was great,” said Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet, who coached at Brown from 1988-97. “I’ve said it from the start. He had two points last year, but I said it from the first time I saw him take the ice this year. He’s just a better player.”
The teams traded goals in a second period mostly controlled by the Bears. Brown outshot Dartmouth 12-8 in the frame, and scored its second goal when senior John Petricig connected on a power play 10 minutes in.
The Bears appeared to have all the momentum, but the Big Green claimed a 3-2 lead late in the period when Peter Mahler tallied a shorthanded marker. Mahler, a senior right winger, took a pass from Dan Casella in front of the net before taking his time and recording Dartmouth’s first shorthanded goal since Feb. 19, 1999 — a span of 39 games.
Brown knotted the score at three when Petricig scored his second of the day less than a minute into the third period. Petricig’s tally came on a backhand shot in front of the net, and was the fourth 4-on-4 netter Dartmouth has allowed in three games this season.
Each team had near-misses, but the goalies played well as regulation ended in a 3-3 tie.
Dartmouth outshot Brown 2-0 in the extra session, finally ending the game when Maturo scored with just over two minutes remaining. For the Big Green, sophomore Nick Boucher finished the game with 33 saves.