HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth freshman Dan Shribman certainly made his first collegiate goal count. The rookie forward from Swampscott, Mass., scored midway through the third period to break a 3-3 tie and lift the Big Green to a 5-3 victory over St. Lawrence at Thompson Arena.
“That was a good time to get it,” Shribman said of his game-winning tally. According to Shribman, linemate Mike Turner “threw one out in front, and I just chipped it in.”
The goal gave Dartmouth the edge in a hard-fought game that saw the Saints battle back from a 3-1 deficit to tie it up early in the third period, an effort that drew praise from both teams’ coaches.
“I thought we played hard,” Saints head coach Joe Marsh said, “and I thought we played pretty well. It was a heck of a game really. I was pleased with our effort.”
“St. Lawrence played great,” said Big Green head coach Bob Gaudet. “I thought they had an excellent game. It was one of those games where we found a way, but I thought they played great, and really put a lot of pressure on us.”
Early in the game, though, it was Dartmouth center Mike Ouellette putting the pressure on the Saints, scoring Dartmouth’s first two goals en route to his second career hat trick.
Ouellette’s first tally was scored after an ill-advised move by St. Lawrence goalkeeper Mike McKenna midway through the first period. McKenna went behind the net to retrieve a puck, but it wound up on the stick of Dartmouth assistant captain Lee Stempniak, who found Ouellette for an easy goal.
After SLU sophomore T.J. Trevelyan tied the game on a power-play goal with five seconds left in the first period, Ouellette retook the lead for Dartmouth eight ticks into the second period. Off the opening face-off, Stempniak and sophomore defenseman Sean Offers found Ouellette with open ice in front of him, and Ouellette went top shelf from just inside the blue line.
The Big Green would extend their lead seven minutes later on a power-play tally by Hugh Jessiman, his sixth of the season. While the tally ended McKenna’s night, the rest of the Saints would not go away as quietly.
“We’ve been through a lot,” said Marsh. “We’re learning to be a bit more resilient, which is good.”
The Saints’ resilience paid off. St. Lawrence cut the lead back to one with 5:11 to go in the period, as Ziga Petac turned a Dartmouth turnover into a goal, skating the puck in from the right corner before lifting it over Dartmouth goalkeeper Dan Yacey.
St. Lawrence then evened the score 1:26 into the third, as junior forward Jamie Parker scored his fourth goal of the season off of a faceoff in the Dartmouth zone.
With the game tied once again, St. Lawrence continued to push the Big Green, looking for a weekend sweep after last night’s victory over Vermont.
“They play hard,” Gaudet said, “and they had us reeling in the third period.”
The pressure from St. Lawrence was complemented by a strong performance by Saints netminder Kevin Ackley, who continually frustrated the Big Green forwards until Shribman broke through for the game-winner.
Dartmouth added a fifth goal in the final minute, as Ouellette scored from just inside his own blue line to finish off his hat trick.
In addition to marking the end of a three-game winless streak for the Big Green, the game against St. Lawrence also saw the return of team captain Brian Van Abel. The senior defenseman missed Dartmouth’s last two games with an ankle injury, but returned to the lineup against the Saints.
“I had no idea that he was even that close to playing,” Gaudet said of his captain. “I was skeptical, but he is one tough kid to be able to play through the discomfort he has and do such a good job in a really physical game.”
“I’m glad to be back,” Van Abel said. “I wouldn’t have come back if I had thought I would be a liability on the ice. I felt like I could contribute to the team.”
Both teams are back in conference action once again next weekend. Dartmouth will hit the road for a weekend series with Colgate and Cornell, while the Saints will host travel partner Clarkson next Saturday at 7 p.m. at Appleton Arena.