TROY, N.Y. — Even though it was mid-November, it seemed like March. Dartmouth and Rensselaer skated to a 1-1 tie in an atmosphere that was defensive with offensive opportunities and two goaltenders that made the saves when they had to.
Nathan Marsters stopped 30 Dartmouth shots while Dan Yacey stopped 28 Rensselaer shots. Marsters made 20 saves in the second, while Yacey made 14 of his own in that second period.
“It was just a battle,” said Big Green head coach Bob Gaudet, whose team forged a 1-1 tie for the second straight night. “We have a young team and I thought we played real well. There are a lot of guys that haven’t been in a lot of these situations before. We played well enough to win and they did too.
“It was the same thing last night, we could have won there too. It certainly wasn’t wide-open out there, it was just like playoff hockey.”
“It was pretty evident that everybody has bought into the philosophy of making sure that we’re playing both sides of the puck,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “When we don’t have the puck, play strong defensively and when we do try to get some opportunities.”
The game was scoreless heading into the third period when Tommy Green won a faceoff clean to defenseman Matt McNeely. McNeely snuck down the far boards and found himself with plenty of room to move in front of Yacey. McNeely did and faked out Yacey moving to his backhand and roofing it into an open net over a sprawled out Yacey.
It didn’t take long for the Big Green to come back. Just eight seconds later, Eric Przepiorka was hit with a pass off the ensuing faceoff by Grant Lewis and fired a rocket over the glove hand of Marsters to tie the game.
“It was huge, and [Przepiorka's] played great,” said Gaudet. “In all of our games he’s been by far our leader in opportunities and to come right back and score, it could have been demoralizing, but before you know it, it was right in their net and it’s a great play for us.”
“It would have been nice to hold that lead, but we he had a real good shot, that was a real rocket,” said Fridgen. “We played real strong in front of Nathan and we played real strong defensively considering they have some real firepower up front.”
There was nothing else that went past the goal line, though the Engineers had a chance with less than 10 seconds left in overtime. As the Big Green were changing the Engineers found themselves outnumbering the Big Green. Kirk MacDonald hit Nick Economakos with a pass. Economakos knocked it down, and with an open net, hit the side of the net to leave the game tied.
The Big Green (2-0-3, 1-0-3 ECAC) remain undefeated and skated to their second tie of the weekend, picking up two points on the weekend. They will travel to Yale and Princeton next weekend and continue their nine-game road trip.
“It’s a lot of ties,” said Gaudet. “But we’re not trying to do it. In the end these will be big points us and you would like to see us win and get some more points, but we have to find a way to score more. But we are playing hard and it’s better than the alternative.”
The Engineers (4-3-2, 2-1-1) took three points on the weekend and will host St. Cloud next weekend for two games.
“If we can keep this formula for the rest of the season, we’ll be okay,” said Fridgen. “It’s going to take what we did this weekend. A lot of guys came ready to play and it showed out there on the ice.”