HANOVER, N.H. — Back on Halloween, Dartmouth took Harvard to the third period tied 1-1, gave up three goals and went home a 4-1 loser.
On Sunday, the Big Green took a 3-2 lead over the Crimson into the final 20 minutes — a situation in which Dartmouth has won on nearly every occasion this year — and again surrendered three goals to its archrival.
The difference: The Big Green at least gained the satisfaction of a standings point in an unpredictable 5-5 tie before 3,523 at Thompson Arena.
Defenseman Evan Stephens banked a shot from behind the Harvard goal line off the leg of Crimson goalie John Riley and into a vacated net with 3:09 to play to cap the second of two one-goal rallies for Dartmouth (10-7-2 overall, 7-4-2 ECAC). The visitors made their hay on the power play, piercing the Big Green — which was missing defenseman Joe Stejskal to an injury — for four man-up goals, three from heretofore goalless senior Doug Rogers.
“They’re definitely a team that rides high on emotion, and they can start popping goals,” Stephens said. “Before you know it, they can score two or three in a period and your head’s spinning. They did a good job capitalizing on their opportunities tonight.”
Dartmouth was 7-1-0 while holding a second-intermission lead, but penalty problems plagued the Big Green all game long. Early third-period minors to Josh Gilliam and Doug Jones resulted in power-play goals for Dan Moriarty at 3:39 and Rogers (his third of the game and the season) at 4:48 that gave Harvard (4-11-4, 4-6-4) its first lead at 4-3.
Scott Fleming’s brilliant individual effort at 9:01, a bullet wrister under the right arm of Riley (37 saves), tied the game only to have Ryan Grimshaw net his first career goal at 15:04. Stephens settled the score at 16:51, following the rebound of a Paul Lee shot and catching Riley in full retreat to the crease.
“On the road, down by two in the second period, I thought our guys responded very well,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato, whose squad is mired in a 13-game winless streak, eight of those coming in league play. “For us right now, our focus is on getting better and playing better so that at the end of the year, regardless of what position we’re in, we can make a run.”
Dartmouth’s Joe Gaudet traded his fourth goal of the year for a Rogers power-play marker in the first period. The Big Green jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second on a Peter Boldt bleeder and an Andrew Owsiak shorthanded one-timer, while Rogers added his second goal on a five-on-three just before the second intermission to set up the third-period fireworks.
Jody O’Neill finished with 32 saves for Dartmouth, which hosts RPI on Friday. Rogers added an assist for a four-point evening and teammates Alex Biega and Pier Olivier-Michaud contributed two helpers each for Harvard, which entertains Union on Friday.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.