Two Late Goals Lift Dartmouth to Win Over Quinnipiac
HANOVER, N.H. - Senior Nick Walsh (Shannonville, Ontario) scored
with 1:57 left in regulation to tie it and freshman Tyler Sikura
(Aurora, Ontario) redirected home the winner 28 seconds later as
the Dartmouth men's hockey team completed a wild comeback victory
Friday night in its ECAC Hockey opener against Quinnipiac at
The Bobcats (7-3, 1-1 ECAC Hockey) lead 3-1 midway through the second period, but for every lead they had in the game, the Big Green (2-1, 1-0 ECAC Hockey) answered back to tie it before eventually getting the winner from Sikura with 1:29 remaining in the third .
Quinnipiac took the 4-3 lead on a goal from defenseman Loren Barron in a scrum in front of senior goalie James Mello (Rehoboth, Mass.) 11:38 into the third. That lead would stand for just 6:25.
Walsh appeared to tie the game on a redirect through the slot area that was reviewed before the officials determined it was a good goal. Sophomore Eric Robinson (Foxboro, Mass.) took the original shot that deflected off of Walsh's pad and stick at the top of the crease with 1:57 showing on the clock, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Sikura wasted little time in getting the winner on the next shift, redirecting Connor Goggin's (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) shot from the point past Quinnipiac goaltender Dan Clarke. It is the second game-wining goal for Sikura in three-career games as he also found a way to score a late goal against Brown in the season opener.
Trailing 3-2 entering the third period, Mark Goggin (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) tied it with his first in nearly two years. Playing in his first game since February 12, 2010, Goggin beat a defender behind the goal line and carried the puck out front where he was able to find space between Clarke's pads for the tally 8:24 into the final period.
"It was the best feeling in the world to hear my name this morning and knowing I was going to play tonight," Goggin said. "When I saw that puck cross the line, that was an even better feeling. It was a great moment after everything that I have worked through the last year, battling through injuries and getting back in the lineup."
As has been the story of the first three games of the season, Dartmouth freshmen played a big role in Friday's win. Jesse Beamish (Mississauga, Ontario) scored his first collegiate goal on a backhand that found its way between Clarke's glove and body and pulled the Big Green to within one, 3-2, late in the second.
Sikura and fellow freshman and linemate Brandon McNally (Saugus, Mass.) connected on some nifty passing in the corner that resulted in Dustin Walsh's (Shannonville, Ontario) first of the season on a one-timer in the low slot area 16:03 into the first period. McNally also collected an assist on Sikura's second of 2011-12, making the original pass to Connor Goggin at the point.
Mello made a season-high 32 saves in the contest, battling against one of the nation's top offensive teams in Quinnipiac. Entering Friday's game, the Bobcats were fourth in the nation in scoring, averaging nearly four-and-a-half goals in their nine games. Dartmouth's defense blocked 21 shots to help their goaltender earn the win.
In all, four Dartmouth players had multiple-point nights as the Big Green won its first game when trailing after two periods since last Feb. 20 against Cornell, winning by the same 5-4 score.
The Big Green's power-play unit was 0-for-3 on the night, while the Bobcats were 2-for-3 with the man-advantage.
Dartmouth will take on Princeton Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Thompson Arena. The Tigers were in Hanover last weekend as part of the Ivy Shootout, but did not meet the Big Green in the two-day event.