HANOVER, N.H. — Heavy wind and rain left a few folks in the Upper Connecticut River valley without power early yesterday. Actually, it wasn’t gone; the juice had all been sent to Dartmouth’s Thompson Arena for last night’s power play-fest with Vermont.
The 17th-ranked Big Green and 19th-ranked Catamounts combined for 26 minor penalties, 21 man advantages and four man-up goals. Tanner Glass had the difference-maker, banging a second-chance shot past UVM’s Joe Fallon at 1:35 of the third period to give Dartmouth a 3-2 victory.
Referee Frank Murphy was only doing what the NCAA has requested: Call a tight game, eliminate the restraining fouls. He certainly was consistent — 13 minors each way, nearly identical stretches of five-on-five play through the first two periods.
Regardless, the end result was stultifying stop-and-go hockey, enough to keep the Thompson crowd of 4,011 from ever getting involved. Four of the goals were scored on power plays, while the fifth — from Dartmouth’s Kevin Swallow in the second stanza — was close enough to the end of a UVM penalty to essentially be a man-up goal of its own.
“We’ve seen so many different styles that we’re just a little bit confused,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon confessed. “It’s hard for us to coach our guys right now. It’s hard for our student-athletes to understand what is the standard of play, because it’s different almost every night.”
The Catamounts’ Evan Stoflet earned the first minor of the night just eight seconds into the contest, and Dartmouth immediately took advantage. Ben Lovejoy sent an ice-level rocket through Fallon’s legs at the 58-second mark, one-timing a feed from David Jones.
Swallow’s conversion of a John Gibson drive off the back boards doubled the Big Green’s edge at 6:23 of the second. Vermont responded in kind: Dean Strong snuck a shot past Dartmouth’s Mike Devine on the man-up at 9:30 and added a second goal at 18:22 when he banged in a Torrey Mitchell rebound from an extreme angle.
Back-to-back hooking minors to Vermont’s Colin Vock and Dean Strong late in the second period set Glass up for his winner in the third. Glass picked his own rebound off the pipe in the right circle and beat Fallon one tick after Vock’s penalty ended and seven ticks before Strong would have returned to the ice.
“It’s been tough; we haven’t played a lot of five-on-five at all in the first couple of games,” Glass said. “It’s something I’m looking forward to it, especially with (my) line — we don’t mind playing on the power play, either. It’s nice getting to know each other in that sense, but I’d like to play five-on-five with them, too.
Fallon finished with 16 saves for Vermont (2-3-1), which returns to Hockey East play at Boston College on Saturday.
Mike Devine recorded 29 stops for the Big Green (2-0-0), which continues its season-opening four-game homestand against St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend. Dartmouth will likely play without senior defenseman Grant Lewis, who injured his right ankle against Harvard on Friday and was on crutches last night.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.