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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

Dartmouth stuns RPI, will face Union

Dartmouth stuns RPI, will face Union

Twenty minutes away from seeing its season end, Dartmouth found a way to rally past Rensselaer Polyt

Twenty minutes away from seeing its season end, Dartmouth found a way to rally past Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and earn another trip back to the Capital Region.

Brad Schierhorn’s goal with 2:14 left capped a three-goal third-period comeback and lift the 10th-seeded Big Green to a stunning 5-4 victory over the No. 7 Engineers in the deciding game of their ECAC Hockey tournament first-round series Sunday at Houston Field House.

Dartmouth (10-18-4) wins the best-of-three series, 2-1. It won the final two games of the series.

The Big Green will be back in the Capital Region on Friday when they face top-seeded Union in the best-of-three quarterfinals at Messa Rink. It will be a rematch of last year’s quarterfinals, when No. 4 Union swept No. 5 Dartmouth by scores of 4-1 and 5-2.

Down, 4-2, entering the third, Eric Neiley ignited the comeback with a goal 2:10 into the period. Brandon McNally, on an assist from Neiley, tied it just over 61⁄2 minutes later.

Ryan Haggerty, Mike Zalewski, Chris Bradley and Mark McGowan scored for the Engineers, who finish the season 15-16-6. RPI hasn’t won a home playoff series since 2004, when Dan Fridgen was the head coach.

Tim O’Brien and Rick Pinkston also scored for Dartmouth. Goalie Charles Grant made 35 saves.

The Dutchmen won the season series against the Big Green. They romped to a 7-2 win Nov. 1 in Hanover, N.H. In the Dec. 11 rematch at Messa, Union scored twice in the third period to rally for a 3-2 victory.

The last time a team beat RPI in the first round at Houston Field House and returned to the Capital Region for the quarterfinals was Colgate on 2011. The 12th-seeded Raiders upset the Engineers in three games, and then eliminated the top-seeded Dutchmen in three games in the quarterfinals.

The other quarterfinal matchups are No. 8 St. Lawrence at No. 2 Colgate, No. 6 Yale at No. 3 Quinnipiac in a rematch of last year’s NCAA championship game and No. 5 Clarkson at No. 4 Cornell.

Dartmouth 1 1 3 — 5

RPI 2 2 0 — 4

First Period — 1, RPI, Haggerty 28 (Higgs, Zalewski), 3:39. 2, Dartmouth, O’Brien 5, 6:38 (sh). 3, RPI, Zalewski 9 (Haggerty), 16:00. Penalty — Simpson, Dart (cross-checking), 5:32.

Second Period — 4, RPI, Bradley 3 (McGowan, Leonard), 15:43. 5, Dartmouth, Pinkston 2 (McNally, Neiley), 18:05. 6, RPI, McGowan 4 (Schroeder), 18:50. Penalties — Miller, RPI (boarding), 1:44; McNally, Dart (holding), 7:22; Boldt, Dart (high-sticking), 8:56; Higgs, RPI (slashing), 9:53.

Third Period — 7, Dartmouth, Neiley 16 (McNally, Opperman), 2:10. 8, Dartmouth, McNally 6 (Neiley), 8:48. 9, Dartmouth, Schierhorn 8 (O’Brien), 17:46. Penalties — Bubela, RPI (slashing), 12:35; Kirk, Dart (slashing), 15:09.

Shots on Goal — Dartmouth 16-11-12 — 39. RPI 9-20-10 — 39.

Power-play opportunities — Dartmouth 0 of 3; RPI 0 of 4.

Goalies — Dartmouth, Grant 9-11-3 (39 shots-35 saves). RPI, Diebold 14-15-6 (39-34).

A — 1,654. T — 2:02.

Referees — Chip McDonald, Andy O’Brien. Linesmen — Glen Cooke, Jim Briggs.

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