SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — On the strength of 39 saves by sophomore goalie James Mello, Dartmouth was able to break a four-game losing streak, defeating the No. 13 Union Dutchmen. Mello was making only his third start, getting the nod for his play against RPI the night before. It was the second straight night Union got 40 plus shots, but failed to get the win, and the first time they were swept at home this season.
Despite dropping two straight games, Union remains in first place in the ECAC.
Union defenseman Brock Matheson believed the losses helped to put things in perspective for the first place Dutchmen claiming, “It’s a good reality check for us.”
Despite being a top ranked team, Union is only 5-4-3 at home this season, while sporting an 8-1-1 record on the road.
When asked about this, Union coach Nate Leaman said, “We are a better road team because we stick to our system a lot tighter when we travel.”
Forward Adam Presizniuk did not readily agree with his coach saying, “I don’t think there is any more pressure at home than away.”
Both teams had six power-play opportunities, but only Dartmouth was able to capitalize, going one-for-six on the night. Union had been one of the top power-play units in hockey going into this game, but left without scoring a power-play goal.
Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet was very pleased with his team’s penalty killing unit, saying “I thought we did a great job killing penalties tonight.”
When Presizniuk was questioned about the team’s lack of goals, the forward believed the problems were mainly the team’s failure to get second chances on the puck, “We’ve got to get guys to the net to create second chances.”
The scoring opened with 12:14 left in the first period, as Dartmouth defenseman Joe Stejskal was fed a shot by forward Kyle Reeds, and fired it in past Union goalie Corey Milan from the blue line. The goal was Stejskal’s fourth point of the season, and first goal. It was the only scoring of the period, despite five penalties.
The Dutchmen looked to take back control of the game in the second period, outshooting their opponents per usual 13-5, but couldn’t translate that to goals. On the other end, Dartmouth was able to squeak one by Milan, making the score 2-0 at the end of the period.
The goal was scored with 12:17 left in the second period by forward Scott Fleming. The assist came from Adam Estoclet, who found Fleming open by the net and after a quick pass Fleming was able to shove the puck in.
Dartmouth started the third period on the power play, thanks to a penalty by Union defenseman Mike Schreiber at the end of the second. Dartmouth wasted almost no time taking advantage, scoring their third goal 27 seconds into the period. The goal was scored by Estoclet, with the assist going to Matt Reber. The goal was Estoclet’s second point of the night, giving him the team lead with 17.
It wasn’t until there was under ten minutes in the final period that Union got on the board. Presizniuk scored the goal, sticking the second deflection of a Jason Walters’ shot into the net. Walter was able to extend his point streak to 15 games with the assist. Unlike the last time these two teams met, however, there would be no comeback for Union, as that was the last goal scored of the game.
Next week, the Dutchmen (13-6-5 overall, 7-2-3 in the ECAC) travel to play Yale and Brown on the road, while Dartmouth (5-14-0, 3-9-0) hosts Quinnipiac and Princeton.