HANOVER, N.H. — This is the season for giving. Perhaps that’s why No. 20 Dartmouth was in such a generous mood in dropping a 4-1 decision to North Dakota in the second half of the Ledyard National Bank Classic twinbill at Thompson Arena.
The Big Green (5-5-2) didn’t out-and-out hand the ‘W’ to the Fighting Sioux (8-10-1), but Dartmouth more than set the table for a visitor hungry for a little success. UND left the table satisfied, with third-period goals from Robbie Bina, Andrew Kozek and Ryan Duncan that were frequently abetted by Dartmouth misdeeds.
NoDak meets St. Lawrence in the finale; the Saints ousted No. 9 Boston University on an overtime penalty shot, 4-3, in yesterday’s opener. Dartmouth gets the Terriers in the 4 p.m. consolation contest, the first time in seven Ledyard Classics that the Big Green hasn’t at least played for the tourney title.
“You’ve got to be smarter in what you do on the ice,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, whose team gave up two shorthanded goals, one power play goal and went 0-for-10 on the man up with little sustained pressure. “That’s what we have to focus on.”
UND and the Big Green got to the third period tied at 1 thanks to matching shorthanded goals to open each period.
Rylan Kaip got the first for the visitors. Racing down the left wing, Kaip gathered the rebound of his own shot off a Dartmouth defenseman and fired a screened wrister through the pads of Big Green goaltender Mike Devine just 2:21 into the game. Dartmouth’s David Jones answered in similar fashion at 1:29 of the second, racing around North Dakota defender Scott Foyt to rip a wrister past UND netminder Philippe Lamoureux’s glove hand.
But the breaks gradually favored NoDak, and it paid off on the scoreboard. Bina’s point drive deflected off a Dartmouth stick and bypassed goalie Mike Devine (14 saves) at 6:33 of the third. Kozek zipped a wrister past Devine at 9:01 on a counterattack created when Chris Porter jammed the puck past a Big Green point man on a four-on-four. Duncan clinched it with a T.J. Oshie-fed shorthanded writer into the empty net at 19:18.
On three of NoDak’s four goals, either a Dartmouth point man had a shot blocked or failed to contain at the blue line, surrendering an odd-man rush in response.
“We haven’t got a bounce go our favor in six, seven weeks, on the offensive side of the puck,” North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. “There’s a lot of things that go into our struggles, but it’s not that we’ve played all that poorly.”
Lamoureux finished with 25 saves for the Sioux.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth College hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.