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December 01. 2013 7:36PM

Dartmouth hockey team tops Harvard for first victory

The drought is over for the Dartmouth hockey team.

Eric Neiley’s goal with 2:41 remaining gave the Big Green their first win, a 2-1 triumph over ECAC rival Harvard on Saturday night before 3,114 fans at Thompson Arena in Hanover. Dartmouth improved to 1-8-0 overall, 1-6-0 in the ECAC.

Neiley tapped home a goalmouth pass after a give-and-go with fellow junior and linemate Brandon McNally for the game-winner. The play was made possible by Ryan Bullock, who kept the puck in at the blue line before passing to Neiley at the half boards.

“We played very well against a very good team tonight,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “The guys came out and played a great game in front of a great home crowd and we were able to come away with the win. We had played well enough to win other nights, so it was good to finally see it come together.”

Goalie Charles Grant made 22 saves for the Big Green, to 33 for his counterpart, Raphael Girard.

Dartmouth’s other goal was scored by freshman Grant Opperman, in the second period. Earlier in the period, Jimmy Vesey had given Harvard a 1-0 lead.

The Big Green head south for a pair of games next weekend at Yale and Brown.

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