Through five games, the Dartmouth men’s hockey team is starting to show the two characteristics more identified with the likes of Taylor Swift or Zach Efron: young and good.
With freshman Jody O’Neill stopping 42 shots and sophomore Adam Estoclet banging in the game-winning goal in overtime, the Big Green knocked off No. 19 St. Lawrence, 4-3, in ECAC Hockey League play at Thompson Arena on Saturday night.
Dartmouth (3-2-0 overall, 3-1-0 league) showed no nervousness from surrendering 2-0 and 3-2 leads to the Saints (4-3-1, 1-1-1), instead burying its one extra-session opportunity to win its third straight league contest.
“They might be young, freshmen and sophomores, but these are 21-year-old guys,” said Estoclet, himself a sophomore. “Some of the guys have only played four games in their careers, but we look at them as veterans now. All it takes is a couple to get in the loop.”
The winner came after St. Lawrence pressured O’Neill through the early moments of overtime.
Sophomore Andrew Owsiak countered through the neutral zone on a 3-on-2, freeing freshman Doug Jones down the left wing behind the Saints’ defense. When St. Lawrence shifted his way, Jones went cross-ice to Estoclet for the easy conversion past Saints netminder Alex Petizian (26 saves) at 3:54 of extra time.
Dartmouth built a 2-0 lead on a pair of power-play goals from sophomore blueliner Joe Stejskal
in the first period and former defensive partner Evan Stephens in the second. The Saints buzzed the Big Green end for the final five minutes of the middle stanza, however, and picked up strikes from Brock McBride at 17:02 and Matt Generous at 19:11 to lock the game at 2-2.
Senior Connor Shields tipped a Stephens point wrister at 13:55 of the third period to put
Dartmouth in front again, but Aaron Bogosian redirected a Casey Parenteau pass through O’Neill’s pads with 1:22 to play to send the game to overtime.
“I just wanted to try and keep the guys focused on the present and not worry about what just happened,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “(The Saints) made a good play at the end of that game to tie it up, and I liked the fact that we didn’t get deflated.”
Stephens finished with a one goal, two assist night for the Big Green, while Estoclet’s one goal, one assist effort leaves him with a team-best eight points in five contests. Generous finished with a goal and an assist for the Saints.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.