HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth scored four unanswered goals to overcome an early 2-1 deficit and beat Colgate in the rubber match of the ECAC quarterfinals. After the Raiders emerged victorious in Friday night’s four-overtime affair, the Big Green mustered up the strength to take the last two.
“We’re doing simple things and doing them well,” Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet said. “We’ve gotten good goaltending, we’re solid defensively and on offense we’re generating. The guys are playing their best hockey of the year right now. Everybody’s playing well, so we can roll four lines.”
The Big Green got its first goal from third-line winger Darcy Marr and the game-winner from fourth-line winger Nathan Szymanski.
True to do-or-die form, both teams came out flying and scored on their first shots of the evening. Colgate lit up the scoreboard at 1:20 when P.J. Yedon set up an easy look for Brad D’Arco on a two-on-one. Marr responded for Dartmouth with his first collegiate goal 39 seconds later.
Not to be outdone in the timely response department, the Raiders gained a 2-1 advantage just nine seconds after Marr’s goal. Alone on the left wing, Darryl McKinnon ripped a backhander over Nick Boucher’s right shoulder to swing the momentum back in Colgate’s favor.
“I think we were so keyed up and so emotionally up for the game that we were a little tight,” Gaudet said.
“I think we were a little nervous,” Szymanski added.
Dartmouth dominated the remainder of the period, but had seven shots blocked by the Raiders’ defense and 16 saved by the still-hot Steve Silverthorn.
The first line came through for the Big Green at 5:33 of the second period. Lee Stempniak held the puck along the boards for Hugh Jessiman, who sent a cross-ice pass that Mike Ouellette one-timed from the right wing past Silverthorn.
The game remained locked at two for the rest of the second, leaving the third period of the third game to decide which team would move on to the third round of the playoffs.
Szymanski scored the first of three third-period goals for the Big Green, the eventual game-winning tally. Szymanski kept the puck on the right side of a two-on-one and rifled a backhander into the top left corner.
“Sammy crashed the net and gave me some room and I just took my chance and got lucky it went in,” Szymanski said of his second goal of the year.
Defenseman P.J. Martin added to the Big Green lead with a pinpoint wrister from the right side that snuck inside the far post.
Colgate head coach Don Vaughan opted to pull Silverthorn with 2:26 remaining after Dartmouth was whistled for icing. Stempniak made it nine goals in nine career games against the Raiders when he flicked the puck into the empty net at 17:51.
The Big Green moves on to play Harvard in the semifinals at Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., on Friday night at 7 p.m.