Men's hockey pulls shocking upset sweep on road
After a long and painful start to the season, the men’s hockey team is finally starting to get healthy enough to mount a playoff run. For the first time all season, Dartmouth swept a two-game weekend slate.

Dartmouth rebounded from its uneven performance a week ago, which left them with a 3-0 loss at Harvard University, by overwhelming St. Lawrence University and No. 14 Clarkson University, avenging tough early-season losses to both teams. “Our record doesn’t show the kind of team we have,” Grant Opperman ’17 said. “Things just really came together this weekend, and now we’re able to play at our full potential.” Entering the weekend, the Big Green wanted to get more shots on goal and find ways to score, Charlie Mosey ’15 said. In the two games, the Big Green shattered both objectives, scoring nine goals and registering 56 shots across the two games. All season, St. Lawrence (11-5-4, 5-9-4 ECAC) has been hot away and cold at home, and the same held true Friday night. With the win, Dartmouth extended its win streak at St. Lawrence to seven games. Friday also featured the return of captain Tyler Sikura ’15 for his first extended action in nine games, contributing two assists. Sikura last played on Dec. 30 against Northeastern University. “It was fantastic being back in the lineup,” Sikura said. “A lot of work went into rehabbing and making sure I came back 100 percent.” Both teams started slowly out the gate through a scoreless first period. Grant received the start against St. Lawrence, relieving James Kruger ’16 who had started the last game. Grant’s last start was the 8-1 loss against Quinnipiac University where he allowed five goals, but on Friday night, Grant had the hot glove, finishing the night with 32 saves, including several close calls that helped preserve Dartmouth’s lead. After Jack Barre ’16 was called for hooking just over three minutes into the second, St. Lawrence’s best-in-the-nation power play unit struck first with just over 30 seconds remaining on the man-advantage. The Big Green tied the game with a power play of its own as  Brandon McNally ’15 notched his fifth goal of the year. Sikura and Eric Neiley ’15 picked up the assists as McNally made a great individual play, burying the puck in the Saints’s net. Three minutes later, Opperman scored his sixth goal of the season on a breakaway set up by Neiley and McNally, deking out the St. Lawrence defender on his way to score. Dartmouth had aggressively pressed St. Lawrence’s defense with consistent shots before Opperman gave the Big Green its first lead of the night. Mosey increased Dartmouth’s lead to two on a two-on-one, redirecting a feed from Jesse Beamish ’15. Mosey’s shot was one of only two that the Big Green had during the final period. Sikura tallied his second assist of the evening on the Opperman goal and clearly made his presence felt on the ice in his first game back. “It’s great having Sikura back in the lineup because he’s such a dynamic player,” Opperman said. “He can score goals and completely dominate the game with his play.” St. Lawrence tried to rally, but the team missed several shots on an open net, out-shooting Dartmouth 17-2 in the third. The next night, Dartmouth visited Clarkson (17-13-2, 10-8-0 ECAC) on Saturday. The game began in Clarkson’s favor as the Golden Knights held a 6-0 shot advantage eight minutes in, just before Dartmouth’s offense exploded. In the span of four minutes, Rick Pinkston ’15, Brad Schierhorn ’16 and Neiley scored for the Big Green. The three rapid goals forced Clarkson to pull freshman Steve Perry for sophomore Greg Lewis. Before Pinkston’s goal, Dartmouth had not scored at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena since Nov. 2010. The third goal came when Opperman’s intercepted a pass from Perry and fed the puck to Neiley. Just when it looked like Dartmouth would go into the period break with a three-goal advantage, Neiley scored again with 0.3 seconds left, pushing the lead to four. Freshman Jordan Boucher put Clarkson on the board by knocking in a loose puck with two and a half minutes remaining in the period. Early in the third, Dartmouth caught a break — Clarkson had a goal waved off as the puck went in as the officials blew the whistle. Shortly afterward, Opperman scored on a rebound, making a desperate situation seem even more hopeless for Clarkson. Less than two minutes later, Schierhorn tallied his second goal of the night, turning the game into a rout. “We knew we were close and in the last couple games, it was a matter of battling through adversity and picking up the win,” Sikura said. “Beating St. Lawrence and Clarkson gives us a huge confidence boost that we can use for our remaining games.” With 10 minutes left, McNally was sent to the locker room for a game misconduct for face masking, giving Clarkson a five-minute power play. The outcome, however, was a foregone conclusion. McNally will be out for next week’s home game against Brown University. Dartmouth, which has now won three of its last four games, will host Brown and defending national champion Yale University at Thompson Arena.
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