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The No. 10 seed Dartmouth Big Green stayed alive in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, with a 6-3 triumph over the No. 7 Quinnipiac University Bobcats in Game 2 of the opening round.
Dartmouth (10-18-3) scored early to gain momentum off of a Quinnipiac turnover and rode the wave throughout the game. Goaltender Dan Clarke played the puck behind the net and didn’t put enough steam on it. He gave it right to Paul Lee for a point blank shot. Clarke made the initial save, but the puck popped out into the slot, where Alex Goodship put the rebound in, just 2:50 into the game.
Dartmouth scored three second period goals that ultimately propelled them to victory. The momentum continued early into the second, as the Big Green’s Doug Jones added a power-play tally. After the initial shot by Matt Reber, the puck fell into the crease as a scrum ensued to clear the puck out. Jones found the puck and poked it through the five-hole.
“We battled hard and played well on defense,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “We scored some timely goals and controlled the puck well.”
Dartmouth scored a second power-play goal just three minutes later to take a three-goal lead. This time, it was Adam Estoclet who beat Clarke on the shoulder side from a shot at the right circle with an assist to Jones.
“It was huge for us to have a good period,” said Gaudet. “We killed a few penalties. I like our team; we matured as the season went on.”
With less than four minutes to go in the second period, Reber gave the Big Green a four-goal advantage. With a pass from Estoclet, Reber broke between the Quinnipiac defenders, went to his backhand and popped the puck over the shoulder of Clarke with 3:37 remaining in the second period.
“Give Dartmouth credit, they had their backs against the wall,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “They out-competed us, won races and stayed out of the box. They deserved to win. They were the better team tonight.”
The Bobcats (18-16-2) finally broke through when Bobby Tyson ripped a shot from the point that got through traffic and beat James Mello on the stick side. Ben Ketchum sent a pass to the blue line, where Tyson corralled it and blasted the shot at 18:44 for his first career goal.
Quinnipiac cut the deficit to two goals, when D’Arcy Oakes banged home a rebound shot five minutes into the third. Ketchum took a pass from Ben Arnt that he banged off the pads of Mello. The puck squirted out from the kick save and, standing on the backdoor, Oakes put home the rebound.
Dartmouth took back a three-goal lead when Scott Fleming added his own power-play goal. Standing on the back door, Fleming received the puck from Reber on his tape for the one-timer goal that Clarke got a piece of with his right pad.
Reber added his second goal of the night on a rebound opportunity while standing in front to score the sixth Dartmouth goal with under nine minutes to play. Jean-Marc Beaudoin scored with 1:43 remaining in the game with a power-play goal with assists to Greg Holt and Brandon Wong.
“We have a good group of guys and a lot of character,” said Pecknold. “We’ll come back and play hard tomorrow night.”