MANCHESTER, N.H. – Doug Jones broke a tie with 1:11 remaining in regulation to lift the Dartmouth College men's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 5-4 non-conference victory against fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire. Jones, who also tallied an assist, was named MVP of the Battle for the RiverStone Cup X intrastate matchup.
UNH is now 12-4-4 overall and Dartmouth improved to 10-5-2. The Wildcats lead the all-time RiverStone series 6-3-1.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the first period when a shot from the left circle by Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) was stopped by DC goalie James Mello (34 saves), but the rebound ricocheted off a Big Green skater in front of the net back into the cage. Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.), who made the drop pass in the left circle to Sislo, and Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) set up the goal.
Dartmouth pulled even, 1-1, with a power-play goal from Scott Fleming in the slot at 18:55 of the opening stanza. Jones and Adam Estoclet were credited with assists.
Both teams also scored a goal in the second period to move the score to 2-2 through 40 minutes. The Big Green went ahead, 2-1, at 2:27 when Paul Lee collected a loose puck behind the net on the left side and threw the puck to the slot, where Rob Smith redirected a shot past Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.; 25 saves).
UNH pressured in the eighth minute to produce a Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) one-timer from the right doorstep that was stopped by Mello and a Kessel shot off the rebound from the slot that was blocked by DC's Jim Gaudet high of the cage.
The 'Cats leveled the score, 2-2, at 9:30. Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) won control of the puck behind the net, skated out to the left side and made a centering feed to the slot that John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) one-timed past Mello.
In the 18th minute, DC's Evan Stephens fired a shot from the left circle that caromed off the right post.
The Big Green regained the lead, 3-2, 39 seconds into the third period when Joe Stejskal's shot from the high slot sailed into the upper-right corner. Matt Reber, with the pass from the right point, and Estoclet set up the goal.
New Hampshire pulled even, 3-3, when Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) dropped the puck for Henrion in the top of the right circle and he scored on a wrist shot at 7:58.
Midway through the final frame, Dartmouth's Jones and Fleming fired shots within a minute that caromed off the posts.
The Big Green did regain the lead, 4-3, when Kyle Reeds pushed the puck into the offensive zone along the right boards. Dustin Walsh gained control in the circle and had his initial shot stopped by DiGirolamo, but Walsh continued towards the net and chipped the rebound into the net at 13:02.
UNH once again evened the score, 4-4, on a power-play goal at 15:10. Kessel initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the high slot to Sislo, whose shot from the left circle was blocked down by Mello. Thompson corralled the rebound at the left post, however, and quickly deposited a shot into the cage.
Dartmouth took its fourth lead of the game, 5-4, with 1:11 remaining in regulation when Jones backhanded his own rebound from the right doorstep over DiGirolamo's glove. Connor Goggin and Mike Keenan were credited with assists.
DiGirolamo was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 18 seconds remaining but the 'Cats could not generate pressure in the closing seconds.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 21 at home against Providence College. The 'Cats are also home Jan. 22 vs. Boston University. Both games begin at 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center.