SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Union goalie Kris Mayotte loves playing Dartmouth. It showed again Saturday night at Messa Rink.
Mayotte continued his incredible run of success against the Big Green. He stopped all 32 shots he faced for his third shutout against them, helping the Dutchmen to a 1-0 ECACHL victory. Freshman forward Jake Schwan scored the game’s only goal, a power-play tally with 6:59 left in the third period, to give Union its first home-ice win over Dartmouth in seven games.
The victory keeps the Dutchmen (10-10-1, 7-3 ECACHL) in a third-place tie with Colgate. The two teams are a point behind second-place Harvard, and two behind league-leading Vermont.
Mayotte has been remarkable against Dartmouth (6-7-2, 4-5-0), which scored nine goals Friday against Rensselaer. In five games against the Big Green, the junior netminder has a 3-1-1 record, allowing three goals while stopping 151 shots for a save percentage of .981. His goals-against average is a miniscule 0.59. He has a shutout streak against Dartmouth of 179 minutes, 12 seconds. The last goal Mayotte allowed against Dartmouth was to Mike Wheelihan at 5:56 of the third period on Nov. 14, 2003. Two of his shutouts have come at Dartmouth’s Thompson Arena.
“My defense does a great job of clearing rebounds,” Mayotte said. “They kept most of the shots to the outside. Usually, it’s only in their barn that I can shut them out.”
Mayotte’s effort was an important one for the Dutchmen, who were coming off a lackluster a 4-0 loss Friday to Vermont.
“He goes into the game very confident,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “Goaltending is a very mental position. We were hoping to get that out of him, and we got that out of him. It was absolutely exceptional.”
The Big Green certainly had their chances. One of Mayotte’s best saves came with 5:55 left in the second period. He made a pad save on a Tanner Glass right-wing shot. He kicked the rebound out to the left wing, where Mike Hartwick got it. Hartwick fired a quick wrister from the top of the left circle, but Mayotte gloved it.
“He caught us on a couple of off nights before, but tonight I thought we played really well,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “He made some good saves, and did a nice job.”
Union’s power play, which had generated just one shot on goal through its first four attempts, came through on the fifth try. Jonathan Poirier kept a Dartmouth clearing attempt in at the right point. He sent the puck to Josh Coyle down in the left-wing corner. Coyle spotted Schwan, who was serving a 10-minute misconduct earlier in the third, straddling the goal line to the right of the net. He fired a pass across the front of the net to Schwan, who slipped it past goalie Sean Samuel for his first collegiate goal.
“I just kind of fired it at the net,” Schwan said. “It got a lucky bounce off the post.”
Notes: The Dutchmen return to action Friday when they host Cornell at 7 p.m. … Dartmouth plays New Hampshire Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Manchester, N.H. … Dutchmen senior center Brian Kerr suffered a separated shoulder on his third shift of the first period and missed the rest of the game, although he did sit on the bench during the second period.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.