College Hockey:
Dartmouth Downs Short-Handed Rensselaer

— Dartmouth wanted to give its former players something to remember by inviting them back for a 100th anniversary celebration. A weekend ECAC Hockey League sweep was just icing on the cake. With about 100 hockey alums in attendance for the official centennial celebration, the Big Green used its second three-goal third period in as many evenings to ice shorthanded Rensselaer, 6-3, before 4,444 at Thompson Arena.

RPI – still missing a half-dozen players to injury and skating one short of the maximum 18 – never led and left coach Dan Fridgen so nonplussed that he left out the arena door without acknowledging a report’s requests for comments.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth (10-10-1 overall, 8-5-1 league) took satisfaction in finally reaching the .500 mark overall after four previously failed tries. The Big Green did it behind freshman Kevin Swallow’s first two career goals and a three-assist night from sophomore David Jones.

“We’ve had so many chances this year,” Swallow said. “We’ve tried to get over that hump. It’s all downhill from here.”

The Big Green jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals from Mike Ouellette and Swallow. The Engineers’ Keith McWilliams sent a fluttering puck behind Dartmouth goalie Mike Devine (17 saves) late in the stanza, but RPI let a five-minute power play (following Tanner Glass’ hitting-from-behind game misconduct) go by the boards with minimal pressure.

The Big Green’s Jarrett Sampson and Rensselaer defenseman Scott Romfo traded goals in the middle period to preface Dartmouth’s big finishing kick. Jones set up Grant Lewis’ sharp-angle conversion at 5:41 of the third, J.T. Wyman potted a Nick Johnson pass 70 second later and Swallow’s second – like the first, off a Connor Shields feed – at 10:05 ended the night for RPI starter Mathias Lange (27 saves). Jake Morissette added a late strike for the Engineers (11-11-3, 5-6-3).

“You’ve got to finish the year with a winning record, and we’ve been fighting it all year,” said Jones, who recorded his second three-assist game of the season. “Ultimately, our goal is to be above .500, but it’s nice to just get back there.”

Dartmouth is now 5-0-1 in its last six league games. The Big Green visit improving Yale and last-place Brown next weekend, while RPI readies for its annual home-and-home with rival Union.

Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.

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