HANOVER, N.H. — Some members of the Dartmouth men’s hockey team have longer — or perhaps more selective — memories than others.
Big Green sophomore defenseman John Gibson admitted as much in the wake of Friday night’s 5-2 win over Harvard at Thompson Arena in the ECAC Hockey League opener for both teams.
The thought of the Crimson’s nine-goal spanking of the Big Green at last year’s conference semifinals in Albany still resounds with some players, which made last night’s victory particularly meaningful.
“There’s no way you can (forget) that; we lost 10-1,” said Gibson, part of a Big Green defense that kept Harvard’s scoring opportunities to a minimum. “Maybe guys didn’t say it, but it was in the back of their minds for sure.”
Fleet feet won the day for the 17th-ranked Big Green (1-0-0). Defending against seven power plays for the 11th-rated Crimson (0-1-0), Dartmouth yielded just eight man-down shots on goalie Mike Devine (30 saves), surrendering only a bank-shot goal to Ryan Maki while shorthanded.
Maki’s score was Harvard’s only response to a four-goals-in-12-minutes explosion that decided things in the second period. Tied 1-1 after one, Brandon Harrington and Nick Johnson scored before Maki and J.T. Wyman and freshman T.J. Galiardi converted after him for the final margin of victory. Wyman’s goal came on Dartmouth’s only uninterrupted, two-minute power play of the evening.
Justin Tobe finished with 24 saves and limited defensive support for the Crimson.
“At the end of the day — I’ll take some of the blame for this — our guys weren’t willing to pay the price that was needed to win a hockey game on the road against a very good team like Dartmouth,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said.
The Crimson drew first blood at the 9:34 mark of period one. Jimmy Fraser earned the unassisted marker, stripping a Dartmouth defender in the Big Green’s end and solving Devine from the inside right circle.
David Jones equalized for the hosts less than two minutes later, catching up to a deflected Gibson outlet pass behind the Harvard defense and zipping a shot under Tobe’s left arm.
Captain Tanner Glass had three assists for Dartmouth, which lost senior defenseman Grant Lewis to an apparent ankle injury just two shifts into the game. Big Green coach Bob Gaudet called Lewis questionable for Saturday’s nonleague game with Vermont.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.