One-on-one with Shane Sellar '20
Men’s hockey opened its season in exciting fashion on Saturday night, defeating Harvard University 7-6 in overtime. Quin Foreman ’21 tipped in a cross-ice pass from Shane Sellar ’20 for the game-winning goal just 18 seconds into overtime. Sellar, the recipient of the Manser Award for most improved player last year, finished the game with a team-high two goals in addition to the overtime assist. He is a member of “The Timber Line,” Dartmouth’s top offensive line with Foreman and Will Graber ’20. Sellar has high expectations for the Big Green this year, including an Eastern College Athletic Conference championship and National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament appearance.
What did the victory over Harvard mean to you and the team?
SS: I think it meant a lot to all of us, especially a lot for the returners. Having them knock us in playoffs and end our season last year and end the stretch run we had, we took that to heart. This game was marked on our calendar once the schedule came out. To get the win on Homecoming weekend and in front of a huge crowd just meant a lot to us, and it was a great way to start our season.
Were you expecting such a high scoring game?
SS: I personally was not. I thought it was going to be a little more defensively battled and it would’ve been a tight hard-fought game, but I knew it was going to come down the end. It always does between us and them. It was just going to be who got the last goal.
What changes did the team make in the offseason and how much improvement did you see?
SS: We have a lot of guys back. I think we have 22 guys returning from last year’s team, so I think not much changed. I think bringing a large core back helped because we had a solid foundation. The freshmen bought in right away and are really contributing in our lineup and helped a lot last night. I think everyone has just bought into how we want to play and what our goal is as a team.
How has the chemistry improved between you and the Timber Line?
SS: I personally feel like we were picking up right where we left off last year. We got last year under our belt. We knew coming back we were going to have to try to be just as good. I think the chemistry got better, and we’ve been working on it in practice since day one. We see that it’s still there from last year, and we just keep getting better.
What are your goals for the team this season?
SS: The team’s goals are obviously to get to Lake Placid this year and look to win an ECAC championship. The Ivy League championship is always in the back of our minds and we want to win that every year, but we want to get back to Lake Placid and win that and get Dartmouth back on the map for hockey and make the national tournament.
What games are you most looking forward to this year?
SS: Obviously, the Princeton game, being the tennis ball toss game coming up this Friday, is going to be a huge game, and it’s one we always look forward to. Further down the line, getting the chance to go on the road and play at Boston University will be really fun for us, and playing a team like Providence in the Ledyard classic at home, that will be a great game as well.
Harvard scored on five of its seven power plays last night. How do you address the issues on the penalty kill?
SS: It did hurt us. Giving up five power play goals doesn’t help, but it’s early in the year. We shouldn’t freak out about it. We have time to correct it and we’ll watch video on it. We’ll get better as the year goes on with every game. They have great guys on their power play and they’re all a threat to score, so with a team like that we just have to work with what we have and stick to what we know works for us.
What did you see on the game-winning goal in overtime?
SS: Harvard’s Adam Fox was coming up with the puck and I saw Graber forechecking. Seeing him skate up with the puck, I figured I would back off because in overtime you never want to give up a goal and lose the game, so you always want to be on the defensive side. I saw him fall and he turned the puck over, and I just hopped on it and saw [Foreman] going to the back door. We trust each other, and I knew if I got that puck into [Foreman] he was going to score, so I did the best I could to get him the puck. He put it into the net and it was a great finish by him. You have to give Graber credit for his forecheck to force the turnover. We all just feed off each other really well.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.