SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — No. 18 Dartmouth used three goals, two of them power play strikes, in the first period to take an early lead against No. 12 Union that it never relinquished enroute to a 4-1 win on Friday night in the Dutchmen’s Messa Rink. The win improves the Big Green to 11-5-2, 7-3-1 in the ECAC while Union fell to 15-7-3, 7-3-1.
Early in the game Union was whistled for a penalty as Dartmouth got its first power play opportunity. The Big Green kept the puck in the home team’s end for the first minute of the penalty as Adam Estoclet (Orono, Minn.) and Mike Keenan (Weymouth, Mass.) each got shots off. Dartmouth set up its first goal when Connor Goggin (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) stopped the puck on the blueline and passed over to Dustin Walsh (Shannonville, Ont.) coming down the right side boards. Walsh got the puck onto his older brother Nick’s stick as the elder Walsh passed across to defenseman Keenan for the sophomore’s third strike of the season.
The Big Green took a 2-0 lead at 12:41 with another power play goal, this time by senior Scott Fleming (Plainfield, Ont.). Doug Jones (Marietta, Ga.) cycled around behind the net and passed out to Estoclet outside the crease. Estoclet passed quickly to his linemate who one-timed the puck behind Union netminder Keith Kinkaid.
Rob Smith (Burnaby, B.C.) and Paul Lee (Garden City, N.Y.) teamed up for the third Dartmouth goal of the frame. Lee stripped the puck at center ice, turned around and fired on net from the blue line. Lee’s rebound kicked out to linemate Smith at the right of net. Smith’s shot hit Kinkaid in the chest and went in as he lit the lamp for his third goal in the last four games.
Union finally got on the board late in the second period as Kyle Bodie finally found an answer for netminder James Mello (Rehoboth, Mass.). The Dutchmen had been buzzing about the Big Green net for the most of the second period as Bodie was able to sneak the puck past Mello on a screen cutting into Dartmouth’s three-goal lead.
Despite several chances by the home team in the second period, Mello and the Big Green kept the Dutchmen off the board. But thanks to a cross-ice empty netter by Fleming as the final goal of the contest, Dartmouth dealt Union its first home loss of the season and snapped the Dutchmen’s four-game win streak.
Despite outshooting Union, 13-7 in the first period, the Dutchmen ended up with 40 shots to the Big Green’s 33. Mello recorded a game-high 39 saves on the night while Kinkaid finished with 29.
The Big Green will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. against Rensselaer.