ITHACA, N.Y. — Walking into the locker room for the second intermission Friday night at Lynah Rink, Cornell coach Mike Schafer knew his team should have gotten more out of the second period.
The Big Red dominated visiting Dartmouth in the frame, pouring 12 shots on goaltender Nick Boucher while forcing the Big Green to ice the puck nearly a dozen times.
But Cornell managed just one goal in the period — David Kozier’s fifth of the season — as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie in a crucial ECAC and Ivy League game before a sellout crowd of 3,836.
“I thought we put a lot of pressure on in the second period,” Schafer said after the game. “We didn’t come up with enough goals in the second period, and goal-scoring continues to plague us.
“At the same time, they’re a pretty good hockey team, and I thought both goalies played well.”
For Dartmouth, losses are few and far between when Boucher is on top of his game. Now is such a time, as the sophomore followed up his ECAC Goalie of the Week performance last weekend by stopping 27 of 28 shots against the Big Red.
Boucher has allowed only two goals in the last three games.
“Nick is very focused. He’s an unbelievably competitive kid,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “He loves to win. He really wants to be the best. He strives for that, and he works really hard at it.”
With the tie, Dartmouth (11-10-3, 8-6-3 ECAC, 4-3-1 Ivy) remained undefeated (3-0-3) in overtime games this season, and stayed in contention for the Ivy League title. With two Ivy games remaining, Dartmouth is three points behind league-leading Cornell (11-7-5, 9-4-3 ECAC, 5-3-2 Ivy), which has no games left in the Ancient Eight.
“That’s all we were saying between periods: ‘Ivy bound, Ivy bound,’ ” said Peter Mahler, who scored Dartmouth’s goal. “This was a big one. We’ve got a couple of huge games coming up in the Ivy League.
“If we can get those wins, hopefully we’ll come away with the Ivy title.”
Cornell outshot Dartmouth, 7-5, in the first period, but the Big Green skated into the intermission with a 1-0 advantage.
Six minutes into the game, junior Dan Casella slid the puck across the blue line to Mahler, who drew back his stick and beat goalie Matt Underhill (22 saves) with a 15-foot slap shot. The goal, Mahler’s first since Nov. 10, gave the senior right winger four points in the last five games.
The Big Red dominated the second 20 minutes, attempting 24 total shots, including 12 on goal. Dartmouth, meanwhile, totaled 14, with eight on target.
Cornell tied it at the 5:35 mark, and by that time, the home team was outshooting the visitors, 5-0.
The left winger Kozier scored the equalizer for the Big Red, skating in along the left boards before touching the twine with his first goal since Jan. 27. Andrew McNiven and Krzysztof Wieckowski earned assists on the play.
The Big Red continued to dominate the period, but strong play from the Dartmouth defense — especially from Boucher — kept the score at 1-1.
The Big Green picked up its play in the third period, as the teams each took eight shots. Both teams had a power play, but neither scored as regulation ended with the teams in a 1-1 deadlock.
In the extra session, the Big Green had a 2-1 shooting edge, but neither team had a significant scoring opportunity as the game ended in a dead heat. Dartmouth is unbeaten in six of its last seven games against the Big Red.
“We’re disappointed with the tie,” Schafer said. “But I thought the effort from our guys was really good. I thought our execution, as far as getting through the neutral zone, was good. So I have no complaints with the way our guys played.”
With the tie, Cornell sits in third place in the ECAC with 21 points, one behind Clarkson and four behind league-leading St. Lawrence. The Big Green, meanwhile, has 19 points and is tied for fourth place with Harvard.
Cornell will be back in action Saturday night when it hosts Vermont, while the Big Green will visit Colgate at Starr Rink.