HANOVER, N.H. — What started as a potential rout turned into a defensive stand for the Dartmouth last night, as Big Green penalty killers iced a two-man disadvantage and most of a second before celebrating a 3-2 ECAC Hockey League win over Brown at Thompson Arena.
Eric Przepiorka, David Jones and Mike Ouellette staked Dartmouth (2-4-0, 2-4-0 ECACHL) to a 3-0 lead after one period, the Big Green’s second three-goal opener in as many games. The rest was left to a defense – and goaltender Mike Devine (17 saves) – that has allowed just six goals in its last three contests after surrendering 16 in its first three.
“We don’t want to be in the box like that, but they did such a great job of killing the penalties,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.”
It sure looked easy through the first 20 minutes.
Przepiorka got Dartmouth started just 77 seconds in, redirecting a J.T. Wyman crease feed past Brown netminder Adam D’Alba (35 saves) after the Brown sophomore stopped a Tanner Glass drive from the right circle. The Big Green followed with a pair of power play goals: Jones from the goal line to D’Alba’s right at 8:45, and captain Ouellette on a tip-in of a John Gibson wrister four seconds before the first intermission.
“I thought we played terrible in the first period,” Brown coach Roger Grillo said. “I give Dartmouth all of the credit. I thought they were flying. They were beating us to loose pucks, and they just totally outplayed us in the first.”
An opportunistic Jarrett Robertson brought the Bears (2-3-0, 2-3-0) back to within two on one of Brown’s few bona fide scoring chances of the game’s first 40 minutes. After Dartmouth defender Ben Lovejoy checked Brown’s Joe Bauer in the neutral zone, Robertson poked the loose puck through two Big Green defenders and tucked a shot around Devine’s outstretched right leg at 12:30 of the second period.
Dartmouth drew 23 minutes in penalties in the third stanza to keep Brown’s hopes alive. The Big Green – paced by blueliners Lovejoy, Grant Lewis, Mike Hartwick and Sean Offers – wiped out a 40-second five-on-three power play midway through the period, but had its work cut out when Glass received a major and game misconduct for slashing followed by a Jones slashing minor with five minutes to go.
Sean Hurley put a high-slot wrister past Devine’s blocker with 2:05 left to cut the gap to 3-2, but it would be the Bears’ last scoring chance of the night. Brown finished the night 1-for-8 on the power play.
“We kind of got a lead in the first period and kind of wrote off the last two periods,” Devine said. “We got a little bit complacent, but not too badly. We just chipped away and got a decent win.”
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.