HANOVER, N.H. — In a game that featured a little of everything, Dartmouth junior Nick Johnson burned a 35-foot wrist shot over the glove of Quinnipiac goaltender Bud Fisher with seven minutes to play to secure No. 15 Dartmouth a 3-3 ECAC Hockey League tie with No. 20 Quinnipiac at Thompson Arena last night.
Johnson’s goal capped the Big Green’s second comeback of the night and punctuated an effervescent performance for Dartmouth one night after a desultory, disappointing draw with Princeton by the same score. The Big Green (5-3-2 overall, 4-3-2 league) and Bobcats (7-4-3, 4-2-2) ended the night as they began: as ECACHL co-leaders, although Dartmouth can take some solace now that a three-week exam break ensues.
The Big Green plans to use it for rest as well. Senior blueliner Ben Lovejoy joined the walking wounded last night, victim of a shoulder separation suffered against the Tigers on Friday. That left Dartmouth without three regulars on defense, requiring Big Green coach Bob Gaudet to insert junior forward J.T. Wyman on the blue line.
“I thought we played with a lot of energy, played smart,” Gaudet said. “They’re a very experienced team. I was very proud of the guys; I thought it was just a great effort.
“(Princeton) came back and tied us (Friday), so you feel like, ‘If we just held on and won that game, we’d have had two points.’ “But tonight, we were obviously a bit undermanned, and I thought our team performed really well.”
Senior Dan Shribman got Dartmouth on the board first at 2:04 of the first, outracing three Bobcats to Rob Pritchard’s neutral-zone faceoff win. Shribman curled around Quinnipiac’s Mark Nelson, then shoved an ice-level bid through Fisher (26 saves) for the Big Green’s only lead of the night.
John Doherty and Jamie Bates staked the visitors to a 2-1 lead at the first intermission, but Dartmouth captain Tanner Glass erased that with a thunderous bodycheck on Doherty to set up his tying goal at 8:17 of the second. Pounding Doherty into a turnover to Fisher’s right, Glass worked a give-and-go with Johnson, putting the return pass around Fisher’s leg.
The Big Green frittered away 10 power play opportunities, including nearly two minutes of five-on-three to open the second period and a major-game misconduct to the Bobcats’ David Marshall for drilling Shribman from behind into the neutral zone boards midway through the second. A fluke goal — a Chris Myers centering pass that deflected off Greg Holt’s skate at 4:16 of the third — gave the visitors their final lead.
But Johnson erased that at 13:00. Taking a Bobcat turnover near center ice, the right-handed shot leaned into a bullet wrister that Fisher couldn’t stop, and the Big Green — if not a winner — at least had a point and a satisfying effort to take into break.
“We really wanted to give it all,” Johnson said. “We didn’t have anything to look forward to next weekend, so we really tried to go hard.”
The third period was stalled for 15 minutes with 5:46 to play when Myers hit forced an off-balance Wyman to shatter a pane of Plexiglass with his skate. Glass nearly solved Fisher with a tip attempt a half-minute after the game resumed, then saved Dartmouth’s point by racing back to foil a Jean-Marc Beaudoin breakaway with a deft stick lift with 2 minutes to play.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.