HANOVER, N.H. — Freshman Mike Ouellette one-timed a pass from classmate Hugh Jessiman into the back of the net at 2:39 in an unexpected overtime period to give Dartmouth a shocking come-from-behind win against top-ranked Boston College.
Dartmouth (6-3, 4-2 ECAC) knocked off its second top-10 opponent in the midst of a five-game winning streak. Boston College (9-2-1, 6-1 Hockey East) now has quite a distaste for the Granite State, since the Eagles’ first loss of the season came against then-No. 2 New Hampshire.
While it was a relatively slow night for Dartmouth’s second line — partly thanks to an emerging third line — the unit had the final say in a tight and physical contest.
BC goaltender Matti Kaltiainen couldn’t turn his head in time for the game-winning blast as Jessiman sent a pass across the net to Ouelette on the right wing.
“I don’t feel like we have to wait a couple of years before we can step up our play and contribute,” Ouellette said on behalf of the nine Big Green freshmen.
“We can do it right now and continue to do it all four years.”
Earlier, highly-touted Eagle freshman Patrick Eaves had notched a goal that seemed to put the visitors in control. Eaves’ ninth goal of the season came just 19 seconds into a third period that began in a 3-3 tie, the second time the Eagles converted on the remainder of a power play after a 20-minute break.
The first time the Eagles recharged their power play and hopped back on the ice with a score, Ryan Shannon found the back of the net with a wrister for an early two-goal lead.
Freshman Max Guimond, however, re-energized the Thompson Arena crowd about five minutes later. Guimond patiently put a backhand past Kaltiainen upon receiving a quick pass across the net from Eric Przepiorka, marking the first of two critical rookie-to-rookie connections for Dartmouth.
Later in the second, Ned Havern launched a rocket that dinged the crossbar and went in, giving BC a 3-1 lead. Dartmouth, however, rekindled the resiliency that the team had against Yale last Friday night, scoring two unanswered goals within a minute to tie the game at three.
“The fans really hung in there when we were down 3-1, and we got some big goals and some big plays. This is a huge win for our program; it ranks right up there,” Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet said.
The usual suspects chipped away at the lead for the Big Green. Co-captain Trevor Byrne sent a slapshot through traffic and past Kaltiainen, then Lee Stempniak picked up his 10th goal in just nine games with a darting move to the center.
“We broke down in parts, because Dartmouth was forcing the play,” Boston College head coach Jerry York said. “They played well; shots on goal are deceiving. You’ve got to create red lights for your offense.”
BC lit the lamp four times, but it wasn’t enough as Nick Boucher clamped down and made 19 straight saves through the third period and overtime.
Nathan Szymanski, solid on the forecheck and penalty kill throughout, knocked repeatedly on Kaltiainen’s door, but the Finnish netminder seemed to have his number 11.
Finally, it was linemate Guimond who answered, notching his second goal of the night and third in two games by sending the puck off of a BC defender, tying the game at four.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, I mean, we beat the number-one team in the country,” Guimond said. “My linemates played very well tonight and I think that’s why good things happened.”
Dartmouth successfully killed off a late penalty to Mike Murray after the Eagles put consecutive borderline — but unpenalized — shots on Stempniak and Sampson. Ouellette then won a faceoff to Stempniak, who sent the puck down to the other end, allowing overtime and the Dartmouth victory.
The Big Green faces Massachusetts Minutemen this Saturday on the road, while the Eagles return home for a two-game set with Maine.