HANOVER, N.H. — Welcome to the type of streaking television is only too proud to air.
Buoyed by a Tanner Glass goal at 3:58 of overtime Saturday, Dartmouth outlasted Princeton for a 2-1 ECACHL win in front of a sprit towel-waving sellout crowd of 4,500 at Thompson Arena.
Perhaps they were simply showing off for ESPNU, but the Big Green kept in step on their march toward the top of the league standings, getting a win that at least temporarily put them in a tie with Cornell for the ECACHL point.
Regardless, Dartmouth (13-10-2 overall, 11-5-2 league) salved the foul taste of its 0-4 league start in November with an 11-1-2 stretch in ECACHL play that’s keeping the Big Green in the hunt for home ice in next month’s league tournament.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” said Glass, whose teammates visit front running Cornell and fellow lead horse Colgate next weekend. “The last four games of the year are great for seedings in the playoffs. We’re taking it one game at a time and trying to take care of business.”
Dartmouth did exactly that after enduring some of the usual – and unusual – monkey business that always plagues a Princeton trip to Thompson.
The unusual: the Tigers’ Kevin Westgarth drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty before the opening face off by taking out the legs of Dartmouth’s Nick Johnson, a feat Princeton’s Darroll Powe pulled on the Big Green’s Dan Shribman six minutes later. Dartmouth didn’t score on either power play but did take the lead at 17:04 on David Jones’ bullet wrister past Tiger netminder Eric Leroux.
The usual: about 100 tennis balls hit the ice moments after the goal, mostly from the Dartmouth student section, but Princeton (9-15-1 overall, 6-11-1 league) couldn’t take advantage of the minor penalty that resulted for the hosts.
The Tigers, however, tightened up their defensive play and held the Big Green off the board again until overtime. Junior Christian Read produced his first collegiate goal at 4:58 of the third, redirecting a Brett Westgarth point wrister through the pads of Dartmouth goalie Mike Devine (21 saves) to force the extra session.
“I’m not sure any of us realized it at the time,” Princeton coach Guy Gadowsky said. “He’s worked extremely hard, persevered a long time to get an opportunity. And he played very well tonight.”
Glass’ game winner came as a result of fore checking work from Jones and Mike Ouellette behind the Princeton goal. As Glass backed into a defender at the edge of the crease, Jones put a pass from Leroux’s left on the tape of Glass’ stick for the redirection inside the left post.
Dartmouth goes into the Cornell-Colgate trip riding a six-game unbeaten streak and a 10-game unbeaten run in league play. Princeton hosts RPI and Union next weekend.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.