PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Dartmouth’s home rink might be nearly three hours away from Brown’s campus, but the Big Green have made themselves plenty comfortable at Meehan Auditorium this season.
Eric Robinson scored for the first time in two months, while Cab Morris made 31 saves to help the No. 11 Big Green to a 4-2 win over Brown Friday night.
The win moved Dartmouth’s road record to 2-4-1, with both wins coming at Meehan. The Big Green beat Brown 4-0 on Oct. 27 to win the Ivy Shootout.
Matt Lorito and Jeff Ryan scored for the Bears, while Tim O’Brien, Matt Lindblad and Brandon McNally added goals for Dartmouth. The Big Green have won two in a row following a three-game losing streak and are on an 11-0-1 run against Brown.
“I think the games that we lost were all winnable games,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “We played good teams and they played really well. Those games weren’t much different than this game.”
Dartmouth (10-5-2, 6-3-1 ECAC) took an early lead when O’Brien slipped a puck through the pads of Marco De Filppo at 7:31 in the first, but Brown tied it on Lorito’s goal at 17:55.
Garnet Hathaway skated behind the net and found a waiting Lorito in the slot, who snapped a shot past Morris for his 13th goal. The sophomore has accounted for just under a third of the Bears’ goals this season.
“We need someone else besides Matt Lorito to score goals for us,” Brown coach Brendan Whittet said. “We’re not a prolific offensive team [and] we’re OK defensively. We have to find a way to grit out a win somehow.”
A boarding call against Eric Neiley sent the Bears (5-8-4, 1-5-4) on the power play near the end of the first. But instead of taking the lead, Brown fell behind 2-1 thanks to Lindblad, who broke up a pass near the blueline, then raced to retrieve the puck before breaking in alone and making a nifty move to beat De Fillipo at 19:41.
“I read whoever made the pass and fortunately, he made it,” Lindblad said. “I caught their defenseman flat-footed on the blueline. Once I got the puck, I had a lot of time to make a move. It was probably my first breakaway in a couple of years.”
In addition to the shorthanded goal, the nation’s second-best penalty kill denied Brown on all five of its power plays.
“I thought we did some really good things in terms of outnumbering them on their power play, whether it be at their blueline or at the corner of the rink, and when they made a good play, our goalie was up to the task,” Gaudet said. “It’s teamwork – it’s having smart hockey players that have a concept of when to pressure and when to contain.”
Anthony Borelli replaced De Filippo (six saves) in net at the start of the second, as Whittet said he was unhappy with the first goal allowed. De Filippo hadn’t played since Dec. 7 due to a knee injury, but started because Borelli (15 saves) had the flu.
Dartmouth wasted little time testing the senior goalie, as a hooking call against Mark Naclerio sent the Big Green on the power play at 1:02. Tyler Sikura won an offensive-zone faceoff and Dartmouth worked the puck back to Robinson, who lofted a shot past Borelli to make it 3-1 at 1:27.
McNally’s empty-netter made it 4-1 at 18:55, but came with a price, as the sophomore forward crashed into the end boards after diving to put the puck in the net. Brown made it 4-2 when Ryan scored from amidst a crowd of players at 19:51.
“It’s so frustrating because I think with just a little bit more crispness tonight, things would be better for us,” Whittet said.
NOTES: The Big Green were minus forward Dustin Walsh, who missed his second straight game due to an injury suffered against Princeton Jan. 5. Gaudet said he was day-to-day and could play next weekend.
Brown’s injury-plagued defense was without Matt Wahl, who typically skates with Dennis Robertson on the top pair. Senior Richie Crowley suited up despite being hurt as well.
As a result, Robertson logged a number of minutes on ice – both at even strength and on special teams.
“He’s a beast,” Whittet said of Robertson. “He has the capacity to play every other shift and we need him to do that right now.”