Did You Know: The Clarkson Hockey program has amassed 10,001 goals since the 1920-21 season?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ECAC(HL) Men's 2nd Round Playoff Preview - Part 1

Our first preview of the week takes us to Hanover, NH where Dartmouth hosts fellow Ivy League member Yale. 11th seeded Yale is coming off an impressive upset of 6th seed Union in Schenectady. The Bulldogs swept the Dutchmen in two overtime classics including a 3-2 victory in the longest D-1 men's hockey game of all time, which went to five overtimes on Saturday. Yale was rewarded for their effort with a best of three series at the home of the league co-champion and the league's hottest team.

Why Yale will win:
Yale will win for one reason, Alec Richards. In the two games at Union, Richards made 40 saves on Friday and 57 saves on Saturday night. Richards is heating up at the right time and will need to put up similar numbers this weekend if the Eli's have any chance this weekend. One cannot help but be surprised at Richards' play this past weekend, as he had lost his previous six games by a combined 23-8 score. This didn't seem to phase Richards this weekend as he played two of his best games of the season.

Yale will need to find some offense this weekend as well, as Dartmouth lead the league this year with over three goals a game. Yale will need to look to Hristovski and Zappala to put up bigger numbers than the two assists they registered this past weekend. Yale got timely goals from some underclassmen in Cohen and Meckler this weekend, but a repeat performance of five goals in two games will not earn Yale a series win in Hanover.

During the series at Union, Yale racked up 63 penalty minutes. Granted this was over 10+ periods, but this is not the first time Yale has taken too many penalties over the weekend. Yale lead the league this year with 25.4 PIM's per game. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Dartmouth comes in with a powerplay conversion rate at 19.2%, good for third in the conference. If Tim Taylor's squad is going to keep the Cinderella story alive they need to figure out a way to spend less time in the box this weekend. If Yale can cut down on their penalties, find some consistent offense, and have Alec Richards steal a game, the Bulldogs can pull off another road upset.

Why Dartmouth will win:
Dartmouth swept Yale 9-4 in Hanover and 6-4 in New Haven. The league's co-champion is also the league's highest scoring team at 3.48 goals per game. The Big Green boasts the talented trio of Mike Ouellette, Eric Przepiorka and David Jones who all have tallied 30 points or more this year. Jones, a sophomore, is the team's leading scorer with 16 goals and 16 assists. Aside from the big three, Dartmouth boasts nine other scorers in double digits and has what could be considered the most balanced attack in the league. Dartmouth will look to keep the offense rolling against a Yale defense that has surrendered on average 3.71 goals per game.

In net, sophomore Mike Devine has come forward as the team's best netminder, and has made an impression league wide with a .917 save percentage and a 2.26 GAA in 26 games this year. Devine has gotten stronger as the year has progressed and is riding a three game win streak and has lead Dartmouth to a 12-2-2 record in the second half of the year. If Devine can keep up this fine play Dartmouth will have an easy time with the Bulldogs.

At home this year Dartmouth sport's a 10-1-0 record and has only surrendered 32 goals in Hanover this year. This will the biggest advantage for the Big Green this weekend as the Bulldog's post 4-10-2 road record and have allowed 55 goals when out of the friendly confines of Ingalls this season. Dartmouth will use this advantage to end the miracle run of the Eli's this weekend.

Yale keeps it close on Friday but can't stop the sweep the next night.

Dartmouth 5 - Yale 3
Dartmouth 7 - Yale 2


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