SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Continuing their strong play, Dartmouth was able to win its second consecutive game against a ranked opponent, defeating the Union Dutchmen, 4-1. James Mello had another phenomenal game for the Big Green letting in only one goal on 40 shots.
The story of this game, however, was the special teams of Dartmouth. They scored on their first two power-play opportunities and killed all four of the Dutchmen’s chances.
“[Our special teams] is probably the reason we lost the game,” said Union head coach Nate Leaman. “We gave up two on their first two power plays. I thought it was a little too easy for them. Then we get two power plays and we took ourselves off the power plays by taking penalties.”
Dartmouth hopped on Union early notching their first goal less than five minutes into the game. The goal was a power-play goal scored by Mike Keenan, ending Union’s streak of 19 consecutive penalties killed.
A few minutes later the Dutchmen were in the penalty box again and Dartmouth capitalized.
Scott Fleming scored the goal and Adam Estoclet tallied the assist to improve their scoring streaks to four games. The scoring opportunity started with Estoclet’s shot, which was pushed aside by a nice kick save from Union’s goalie Keith Kinkaid. Unfortunately for Kinkaid, Fleming was there to take the puck and zip it in.
The scoring didn’t stop there for Dartmouth as they would ultimately end the period with a 3-0 lead. Dartmouth’s first non-power-play goal was scored by Rob Smith, again on a second chance opportunity.
“We came out and made something happen early on the power play. Then we got a good bounce and shot on goal,” said Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet.
In the second period Union tried to answer back, but ended up with only one goal in the period when Kyle Bodie wristed a shot from the blue line past Mello’s glove.
The Dutchmen had plenty of opportunities in the period though, tallying three power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3, but Dartmouth was able to keep the nation’s top power play unit in check.
The third period started out with another power play opportunity for Union, and again Dartmouth shut them down.
“We just didn’t get it done on the special teams,” added Union captain Brock Matheson. “That is penalty killing and power play included. We’ve stressed that as a team and it is so big in this league. You got to win the special teams battle and we didn’t win tonight and subsequently we lost the game.”
With a little over a minute left in the game the Dutchmen pulled their goalie and Fleming was quickly able to shoot it into the net to give the Big Green a decisive 4-1 victory.
Tomorrow Dartmouth takes on RPI while Union plays host to Harvard.