Jan. 16, 2009

Courtesy of Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H - The #18 Dartmouth men's hockey team is set to take on cross-state rival, the #13 New Hampshire Wildcats on Saturday evening at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. The two teams will be battling for the RiverStone Cup, which the Big Green won last season, 5-3.

UNH comes into the contest on a six-game unbeaten as the Wildcats have won or tied seven of their last eight. UNH began the season winning its first three before tying UMass. November had the Wildcats on a bit of a slide as they lost four-straight. The team seems to have righted itself as New Hampshire is currently second in Hockey East with a 7-4-3 record. The Wildcats are currently being led by James van Riemsdyk with 26 points. The sophomore is also tops on the team with 17 assists. Mike Sislo and Peter LeBlanc are next in scoring with 17 points apiece while junior Bobby Butler has 15. Rounding out the double-figure scorers are Kevin Kapstad (14 pts.), Danny Dries (12 pts.) and Phil DeSimone (10 pts.). Sophomore Sislo leads the team with 14 goals, four of them on the power play. In the net Brian Foster has carrried the bulk of the load, playing in 17 games. Matt DiGirolamo has seen action in four games. Foster currently has a 9-4-3 record, a .921 save percentage an a 2.44 GAA. DiGirolamo has won one game, with two losses and one tie. He sports an .832 save percentage and a 4.86 GAA. Against Dartmouth, UNH head coach Dick Umilie has gone 13-5-1 in his 18 years behind the bench.
Dartmouth and UNH began meeting in 1936 as the Big Green took the first win, 4-1. Since that time Dartmouth has garnered 16 more victories with some very exciting wins coming at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Since moving the game to Manchester the Big Green has gone 2-4-1, taking wins in 2005 and 2008. The Wildcats hold a 30-17-2 advantage in the series. Since Bob Gaudet took over the coaching reins of his alma mater the Big Green is 4-8-1.

Last season against UNH, Dartmouth used goals by J.T. Wyman, Joe Gaudet, John Gibson and Josh Gillam to take a 5-3 victory. Mike Devine was in net for the Big Green as the senior capped off a great career against the Wildcats with 54 saves. Dartmouth trailed just once in the game as UNH scored first midway through the opening stanza. The Big Green tied it up just before the first break and then used two goals in the next two periods to take the win. New Hampshire outshot Dartmouth, 57-36 as both squads were able to get a power play goal.

Last weekend Dartmouth split a pair of home league games. Yale took a Friday night win, 2-1 before the Big Green rebounded with a 5-1 victory over Brown on Saturday. The Bulldogs scored late in the first period and then took a two-goal lead midway through the second. Andrew Owsiak potted the lone goal for Dartmouth in the second. Against Brown Joe Gaudet, Scott Fleming and Matt Reber each had multiple-point games as Gaudet was the high goal scorer with two. Fleming added a goal and an assists while Reber had three helpers.

Once again the 2008-09 season will be showcased on the radio. All Big Green games can be accessed through the Dartmouth Sports Network at http://www.dartmouthsportsnetwork.com. Local radio personality Chris Garrett will provide the play-by-play. By accessing DartmouthSports.com you can keep up with Big Green action by logging on and watching live stats or becoming a Big Green Insider which gives you access to video feeds.

Dartmouth will finish its nonconference schedule with a weekday matchup at Holy Cross on Jan. 21 before coming home for a nationally televised game against Harvard on Jan.25.

Dartmouth was at home for a pair of ECAC Hockey games. The Big Green lost, 2-1 to Yale on Friday before rebounding against Brown, 5-1 on Saturday.

The Dartmouth men's hockey team spent its December break taking its first foreign trip since the mid-1990s traveling to Denmark and Sweden. The Big Green played one game in Copenhagen and three in Stockholm. Junior Peter Boldt spent one season playing for a a team in Stockholm. Dartmouth won three of its games while tying one.

Dartmouth is still in the national polls, coming in at #18. The Big Green entered the polls after a victory over Colgate and a loss to Cornell on Nov. 21 and 22.

The 2008-09 Dartmouth-UNH game marks the eighth annual "Battle for the RiverStone Cup" at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Wildcats won the inaugural game on Dec. 13, 2001 (6-3). Past RiverStone Players of the Game have included Dan Yacey, Jarrett Sampson and Mike Devine for the Big Green.

December 29 against Bemidji State was the last game in which Dartmouth has recorded a power play goal. Through its first 12 contests of the season, the Big Green recorded 11 power play goals. On the flip side, Dartmouth has allowed just nine opponent power play strikes this season, four in the last six games.

Against Brown on Jan. 10 head coach Bob Gaudet shuffled his lines. He put together the line of Joe Gaudet, Scott Fleming and Matt Reber. The trio seemed to click as all recorded multiple-point games with Gaudet and Reber each scoring three points and Fleming with two.

Dartmouth has spread its scoring out recently. Team scoring leader, Adam Estoclet has not scored a goal since Nov. 28 but has potted three assists. Andrew Owsiak has notched four goals in the past six games while Joe Gaudet, Scott Fleming, Matt Reber, Connor Shields, Kyle Reeds, Josh Gillam, Rob Pritchard, and Doug Jones has been the other scoring forwards with defensemen Connor Goggin and Dan Markowitz each adding points.

In its nine league games the season the Big Green has potted 32 goals and is second in scoring.

Doug Jones and Evan Stephens are the only two players on scoring streaks. Jones has notched at least a point in the past three games while Stephens has scored in the last two.

Doug Jones continues to be in the tops nationally and the ECAC for rookie scorers. Jones has had just two games this season in which he has not scored a point. He's second on the team in scoring with 16 points.

Dartmouth has not won back-to-back games since Dec. 28, 29 with a pair of wins over Army and Bemidji State. The Big Green had a five-game win streak early in the season.

Forward Rob Pritchard played in his 100th game on Nov. 14 against St. Lawrence.

Freshman Jody O'Neill has won the starting job in net. O'Neill won five straight games before picking up his first loss on Nov. 22. The rookie has had four games with 40 or more saves and one with 50 already this season. He racked up 47 against Union, 42 against SLU, 40 against BC and 41 against Princeton. O'Neill recorded a career-high 53 saves against Yale on Jan. 10.

Jody O'Neill's 47 saves against Union was the first time since Mike Devine had 44 against Colgate on March 1, 2008 that a goalie had more than 40 saves.

The 1-0 shutout of Colgate on Nov. 21 was both Dartmouth's and goalie Jody O'Neill's first of the season. The two garnered the second shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over Princeton on Jan. 4.

Dartmouth boasts a very young squad this season as the Big Green has 18 underclassmen, nine sophomore and nine freshmen. Dartmouth welcomes three defensemen, two goalies and four forwards to Hanover for 2008-09.

The Big Green rookies have been very important to Dartmouth's output the last two seasons. This year all nine freshmen have seen action with eight of them scoring at least one point.

Sophomore Scott Fleming and freshman Doug Jones have been Dartmouth's key faceoff men so far this season. Fleming has won 169 of the 285 faceoffs he's taken while Jones has won 148 of the 275 he's faced. Kyle Reeds has won 101 and Connor Shields 104.

Freshmen Connor Goggin and Doug Jones were the first rookies to record a point this season as the pair assisted on a goal against Vermont. Classmate Jody O'Neill got his first start in net on Oct. 31 against Harvard. Defenseman Jim Gaudet recorded his first point with an assist on the first goal of the game against Union. Goggin had his first collegiate goal against Clarkson while O'Neill had his first point against the Knights. Jones got into the goals column with his first collegiate strike against Cornell. Troy Mattila has notched all assists, his first coming against Clarkson. James Mello got his first action in net against Quinnipiac.

Sophomore Adam Estoclet currently leads his team with 18 total points. Estoclet and rookie Doug Jones are tops with 13 and 12 assists, respectively while Joe Stejskal, Scott Fleming and Andrew Owsiak each have six goals.

Head coach Bob Gaudet will have both of his sons on the roster for the next two seasons as freshman Jim joins his brother Joe, a junior. The last time a Division I head coach had both of his sons on the same collegiate roster was Bob Johnson with sons Mark and Peter at Wisconsin in 1997-78 and 1978-79.

Junior Joe Gaudet set up younger brother Jim with a pass from the boards on Dartmouth's first goal against Rensselaer on Nov. 8. The two brothers were given assists one and two on Scott Fleming's goal.

Dartmouth finished 2007-08 with a 5-6-2 record at home and was 5-10-2 on the road. Currently the Big Green is 5-3 away from home and 5-3 at home.

Dartmouth was 4-10-2 when its opponents notched the first goal of the game last year. This season the Big Green is 6-1 when scoring first and is 1-4 when the opponent lits the lamp first.

The Big Green has allowed just nine power play goals this season. Currently Vermont, Union, Clarkson, Colgate, Providence, Boston College, Princeton, Yale and Brown have all been held without an extra-man goal.

Dartmouth has notched 13 of its own power play goals. The Big Green has had more than one power play strike in three games this season.

Five of Joe Stejskla's six goals have come on the power play. He recorded two of them against Rensselaer on Nov. 8.

Dartmouth finished 2007-08 as the least penalized team in the nation, averaging just 10.3 penalty minutes per game. With 13.6 penalty minutes per game game this season, the Big Green is 49th out of 57 teams.

Dartmouth was a third-period team last season, scoring 44 goals in the final stanza. This season the Big Green has spread the scoring out, potting 14 goals in the first period, 19 in the second and 13 in the third with two coming in overtime.