Opponents dust men's ice hockey
The Big Green men's ice hockey team fell flat this weekend, losing to Cornell and Colgate, both Eastern College Athletic Conference opponents.
Last year, the team finished with a record of 11-16 and hosted a first-round ECAC playoff game. The record was Dartmouth's best -- the playoff appearance Dartmouth's first -- since the 1979-1980 season.
With its top 10 scorers, top six defensemen and last year's ECAC coach of the year, Roger Demment, all returning, it is not surprising that the team was ranked sixth in the ECAC pre-season coach's poll.
"There are expectations for this team that haven't been there before," Demment said. "We have to combine a work ethic with the skill and talent that we have."
"It's different this year," Captain Mike Loga '94 said. "We are going into games favored instead of being the underdogs. We reacted poorly to that this weekend."
The Big Green came out strong in the season opener against Merrimack scoring with just one minute, 21 seconds left in regulation to win, 5-4. As they began their ECAC schedule this weekend, the Dartmouth men were looking and feeling good. But those good feelings didn't last very long. Cornell 4, Dartmouth 3 (OT)
Cornell scored seven seconds into overtime on Friday night, as the Big Red capitalized on one of Dartmouth's many defensive lapses to squeak out an upset-victory.
Brad Chartrand controlled the overtime face-off for Cornell, knocking the puck back to Steve Wilson. Wilson immediately passed to Shaun Hannah on left wing and Hannah darted down the left side to beat Bracco with the game winner.
Dartmouth opened the scoring early on. With Mike Sancimino in the penalty box, Tony Del Carmine '94 slid a perfect pass across the crease to Scott Fraser '94, who knocked it in.
The game was scoreless until 48 seconds into the third period, when Fraser rushed towards center ice with three Cornell defenders between him and the goal. He sped by one, skated around the other two to go in alone on Skazyk, who didn't even have a chance.
Cornell's Jake Karam found the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game and Andre Doll tied it, 2-2. Cornell took the lead, 3-2, when Jamie Papp sent Mark Scollan in alone on Bracco.
Patrick Turcotte '95 was in the right place at the right time at 12:56 of the third. Skazyk failed to cover a Mike Stacchi '95 shot and Turcotte, lurking on the opposite post, knocked in the tying goal.
Senior goalie Bracco was peppered with shots for the remainder of the game, but he was able to hold on--until overtime. He finished with 42 saves, but the Dartmouth faithful left Thompson Arena wishing that it could have been 43. Colgate 5, Dartmouth 3
Saturday night against Colgate, the Big Green dug themselves into a big hole early on and spent most of the night trying to climb out. They almost made it.
Down 4-0 in the second period, Dartmouth fought back to make it 4-3 going into the third period. But a fluke Colgate goal at 7:55 of the third put the Red Raiders up, 5-3, and took the wind out of the Dartmouth sails.
"It's difficult to explain," Loga said. "It's a matter of being focused when you get on the ice. If you take away those four goals, it would have been a much different weekend."
Not content to die just yet, the Big Green fought back and the charge was led by the Dartmouth freshmen.
Turcotte, Brent Retter '97 and Tom Ruzzo '97 all combined to score, but Dartmouth couldn't get anything started in the third period, and whenever they did have a chance, Gates came up big. He finished with 35 saves. Bracco had 25.
"We might have forgotten what we did last year to gain the success that we did," Loga said. "We've got to get back to the basics."