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Big Green Bombards Bulldogs, 5-2

Special Teams Lift Dartmouth

— The Dartmouth Big Green outplayed Yale in every facet of the game Saturday night, defeating the Bulldogs 5-2 in front of 4,112 at the New Haven Coliseum.

“We were terrible,” Yale head coach Tim Taylor said. “We did not play well, and Dartmouth played very well. For whatever reason, we did not play as hard as they did.”

Indeed, Dartmouth won the majority of the faceoffs and scrambles for loose pucks, but it was the play of the Big Green’s special-team units that won the game. Two of Dartmouth’s goals came with a man advantage, while the Big Green killed off nine of Yale’s 10 power-play chances, including three two-man advantages.

“Tonight was a good one for our power play unit,” Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet said. “We have been zipping pretty good recently, and it has worked really well in practice.”

After a sloppy start to the game, Yale junior forward Nick Deschenes put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first, firing a wrister past Big Green goalie Nick Boucher after taking a pretty feed from Chris Higgins to skate in unabated on the Dartmouth netminder at 4:08 in the opening stanza.

Yale’s lead stood for nearly eight minutes, before freshman Lee Stempniak earned his second career goal when he backhanded one over Bulldog goalie Dan Lombard’s right shoulder to tie the score at 1-1 at 11:57.

Dartmouth took the lead at 15:19 with a power-play goal. Kent Gillings fired one over Lombard’s left shoulder from the left point.

The squads entered the locker rooms at the end of one with Dartmouth up 2-1, but two Big Green penalties at the end of the first left Yale with 1:29 remaining on a five-on-three situation as the second period commenced.

Eli captain Luke Earl took advantage of Yale’s two extra skaters when he took a Higgins feed and wristed one past Boucher with two seconds remaining on the power play at 1:27 in the second, but any momentum the Bulldogs had quickly disappeared three minutes later, when Chris Baldwin blasted a 30-foot wrister that caught Lombard off guard.

Mike Maturo tipped in a pass from Peter Summerfelt at 12:16, giving Dartmouth a 4-2 advantage which the Big Green took into the second intermission.

Yale had plenty of opportunities in the third period, thanks to seven Big Green penalties. Dartmouth drove the nail into the Bulldogs’ coffin when, after successfully killing a Yale five-on-three advantage, the Big Green came back with a goal of their own. John Ostapyk took a shot from the right circle that bounced off of Lombard’s glove into the net at 8:01.

Dartmouth shut out the Bulldogs during the final 38:33 of the game, despite being penalized seven times.

“This was a good win for us,” Gaudet said. “Yale is an excellent team, and our kids played a solid game.”

The Big Green (2-1-1) travel to Princeton Sunday, while the Bulldogs (1-3-0) host Vermont.

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