HANOVER, N.H. — Heading into the last minute of the second period in tonight’s Dartmouth-Cornell game at Thompson Arena, it seemed that the Big Green and Big Red would be deadlocked heading into the third. However, Cornell’s Mike Knoepfli had other ideas, as he picked off a pass in the Dartmouth zone, skated in, and beat Dartmouth keeper Dan Yacey five-hole to give his team a lead it would never relinquish, as Cornell snapped its three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win.
“It was a big win for a lot of different reasons,” said Big Red head coach Mike Schafer. “Obviously, it was a good character builder for us, to be down early on the road against a very good hockey team and battle back. I just thought overall, we’re starting to play the kind of hockey that we need to be successful.”
“I thought we played a good game,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “We had a couple of unfortunate errors that cost us a couple of goals, and then the penalty in the first period. Other than that, I thought we played well. We generated, and we worked hard. It’s a tough team to play against, and I thought our guys really competed, but we’ve got to work through it.”
Dartmouth, eager to make a statement and erase the memory of last weekend’s 7-0 loss to Union, came out firing, and hit the mark less than three minutes into the game, on the contest’s first power play. Freshman defenseman Grant Lewis, whose night was ended early by a game misconduct against Union, reintroduced himself to the Thompson Arena crowd with the game’s first goal, launching a shot from the right faceoff circle that went over the shoulder of Cornell keeper David McKee.
Cornell would strike back, though, and take the lead with its own pair of power-play goals. After Max Guimond became the second Dartmouth player in as many games to get a game misconduct for hitting from behind, Chris and Cam Abbott took turns beating Dartmouth netminder Dan Yacey, resulting in a 2-1 Big Red lead at the end of the first period.
Dartmouth would tie it back up in the second with the game’s first even-strength. Center Mike Ouellette slipped the puck past McKee from the left side of the net.
The game remained tied until the last minute of the period, and Knoepfli’s heroics.
“I was just trying to get up on the forecheck,” said Knoepfli, “and I poked it away from [the Dartmouth defenseman]. I knew I had a second, so I just tried to bear down and focus, and I slid it through his legs.”
Cornell would get a similar goal for the only score in the third period, as Matt Moulson stole the puck and put it past Yacey for the insurance tally.
The Big Red had a scare when McKee left the game with an injury midway through the period, but Todd Marr stepped in and made eight saves to keep Cornell comfortably ahead.
Both teams are back in ECAC action tomorrow night. The Big Red heads to Gutterson Field House for a date with Vermont, while the Big Green will attempt to rebound against Colgate at Thompson Arena.