Where: @ Notre Dame
When: February 28,2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game against Dartmouth undefeated as they won their first two games over Georgetown and Michigan. Meanwhile, Dartmouth will look to pull off a monumental upset after they dropped their season opener against Ohio State by a score of 15-5.
Notre Dame cannot get too cocky when Dartmouth visits South Bend as Denver will look to avenge their first loss of the season after losing to North Carolina on Friday. With that in mind, here is what you can expect from Saturday matchup.
Notre Dame offense vs Dartmouth defense
Edge: Notre Dame
The Notre Dame offense should have no trouble taking it to Dartmouth on Saturday. Ohio State was hitting on all cylinders in their blowout victory over the Big Green. Seeing as Notre Dame has many more options than Ohio State does, Dartmouth will have a really tough time keeping the Fighting Irish offense at bay.
Despite the return of Matt Kavanagh and Sergio Perkovic, freshman attackman Mikey Wynne leads the team with 11 points with Kavanagh and Perkovic chipping in with nine and seven points respectively. The Big Green will also have to worry about Conor Doyle (six points) and Nick Osello (three points).
Adding to the Big Green’s defensive woes is the play in goal as junior Blair Friedensohn and senior Colin Heffernan both struggled in the season opener. Friedensohn had six saves while Heffernan had thee.
Notre Dame defense vs Dartmouth offense
Edge: Notre Dame
The Notre Dame offense is still trying to replace Shaun O’Hara from last season’s squad as the Fighting Irish have allowed 20 goals combined in their first two games. Garrett Epple, Matt Landis and Edwin Glazener will grow as a unit and should have no trouble containing a weak Big Green offense.
The interesting thing to watch in this game will be the Notre Dame goalie situation. Heading into 2015, it seemed Conor Kelly was a lock to be the starter. He did start against Georgetown but struggled mightily and was replaced by Shane Doss who got the start against Michigan and saved 13 of the 21 shots he saw.
It won’t matter who starts against Dartmouth but it appears that the Irish will want to have a starter set for their big matchup against Denver on March 7.
For Dartmouth, midfielder Don Stephan had two goals and an assist in the loss to Ohio State and will likely draw the LSM on Saturday. With that in mind, don’t expect him to hurt the Fighting Irish on defense and for the Big Green to struggle.
Edge: Notre Dame
Nick Ossello has started both games at the faceoff ‘X’ but P.J. Finley has a far better success rate than Ossello does. Ossello has won a paltry 39 percent of his faceoffs while Finley has been impressive by winning 76 percent of his draws.
Finley should have no trouble controlling the ‘X’ for the Fighting Irish and giving that offense an opportunity to really open the flood gates early.
Notre Dame will have no trouble on Saturday afternoon as they will use their game against Dartmouth as a tune up for their big matchup against Denver on March 7. Expect Notre Dame to put up at least 15 goals and possible hold Dartmouth to five goals or less.
Also expect the Fighting Irish to play their starters longer than you would think as this will be the only game action they get for at least a week.
Notre Dame 17, Dartmouth 4