HAMILTON, N.Y. — After suffering a disheartening 6-0 loss to Cornell the night prior, The Dartmouth Big Green (11-14-4, 6-13-3 ECAC) bounced back with a 5-2 win against the Colgate Raiders (14-14-6, 8-9-5 ECAC).
“The guys really rebounded really well against an excellent team,” Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet said after the game, “Colgate is a good, skilled team, but we capitalized when we had good opportunities, which Colgate did not.”
Colgate was 0-3 on the power play and seemed to struggle to hit the back of the net throughout the evening.
Each team had several quality scoring chances in the opening frame, but no one was able to crack the goose-egg on the scoreboard.
The Raiders opened up the second period by putting themselves shorthanded two players. Dartmouth broke open the scoring on the 5-on-3. The Big Green power-play unit worked the puck around the perimeter until Evan Stephens at the right point fed Nick Johnson who was standing unguarded by the left post. Johnson one-timed the pass upper deck for his ninth goal of the season.
The Raiders quickly responded to knot the score at one. After killing off what remained of the 5-on4, Wade Poplawski headed for the bench instead of going straight onto the ice to help his team in the defensive zone. As Francois Brisebois hit the ice to replace Poplawski, Jason Fredericks blocked a point shot and tossed a pass to Brisebois who stood alone at the opposing blue-line. On the breakaway, Brisebois made a backhand-to-forehand deke which got Big Green netminder Mike Devine to shift his position, leaving his five-hole vulnerable. Brisebois slid the puck between the goalie’s legs for his first career collegiate goal.
Ten minutes later, on another Big Green power play, Peter Boldt fed a pass to Jon Grecu which he one-timed on goal. Dekanich stopped the initial shot, but in the ensuing seven-body scrum in front of the net Nick Johnson was able to shove the puck through for his second goal of the game and tenth of the season.
Dartmouth extended its lead to 3-1 a little over five minutes into the third. Joe Gaudet led a 3-on-2 into the Raiders’ zone and opted to take the shot on goal. Boldt followed up the play, picked up the rebound, and slid the puck past fallen Raider goaltender Mark Dekanich for his first collegiate goal.
The Raider defense seemed to break down as Dartmouth netted two more in the last five minutes. Yet again on the power play, Josh Gillam zipped a pass over to Jonathan Wolter standing by the left post. Though Ethan Cox got a stick on the pass, the puck still trickled to the tape of Wolter, who quickly whipped a shot on goal that squeezed past Dekanich on the near side. It was his first collegiate goal.
On the next power play, Kyle Reed’s slapper from the point clanged off the left post and out to Grecu streaking toward the net. Grecu wristed his seventh goal of the season past Justin Kowalkowski, who replaced Dekanich with after Dartmouth’s fourth goal.
Ben Camper for Colgate capped off the game’s scoring with 31 seconds left. He gathered the puck behind the Dartmouth net and walked it out toward the front. Camper put a shot on goal along the ice that got through Devine for his second goal of the season.
“It was obviously disappointing,” Raider head coach Don Vaughan said about the loss. “You got to give Dartmouth credit — they came in and played a good game after a tough loss last night.”
Vaughan also tipped his hat to Devine, who he thought made at least three spectacular saves.
“If we got one or two of those it could’ve been a different game,” he said. Vaughan lamented his “anemic” power play unit, which he pointed out has struggled all year to be productive. The Raiders coach summed up the interview session saying, “We put ourselves in a position to be at home through the playoffs. The slate gets wiped clean this week. We have to focus on getting two wins next weekend.”
Nick Johnson affirmed Vaughan’s praise for Devine, saying, “We had a flat-footed start, but he let us get our feet under us. He allowed us to take chances [throughout the game] because we knew he could bail us out.” About the win’s effect on team morale, Johnson said, “This was pretty big. We haven’t had an in-league road win since St. Lawrence. Beating a quality team definitely gives us confidence.”
“I’m proud of our effort tonight and our team getting the split [this weekend],” Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet added, “these are a resilient group of kids.”