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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men's hockey splits over weekend

The first road trip of the year is always a test for any team. When that trip involves dealing with two of the toughest teams and the most raucous crowds in the ECAC, the situation certainly becomes even less favorable.

But the Big Green men's hockey team was determined not to let the conditions affect their ability to simply go out and play good hockey. Its positive attitude paid off on Friday night at Colgate, as the team left Hamilton, N.Y. with its first ECAC victory of the season stunning the 10th ranked team in the nation, 3-2.

On Saturday night, Dartmouth tried to maintain their composure in Ithaca against the defending ECAC champions. The Big Green found themselves in a hole early, but fought back to within a goal in the third period before Cornell knotted two flukes to take the two-goal win, 6-3.

"This weekend was a very positive experience for the team. We had two of our best performances of this early season," Center Ryan Chaytors '99 said. "It proved to everyone and especially ourselves, that we are a team to fear."

Big Green down Colgate 3-2

With every other Big Green line mixed up due to injuries and coaches' decisions, the steady, unchanging red line decided to come out of hibernation and take control this weekend. Center Ryan Chaytors '99 and his wingmen Darren Wercinski '97 and Jeremiah Buckley '98 were the crucial factor to the big upset over the Red Raiders.

In the first period, both teams appeared to be in a funk as neither side could get anything going on offense. Freshman Jason Wong got his first start in goal for Dartmouth, but he only had to handle one shot on goal in the first frame from the usually deadly Colgate offense.

Colgate started looking like the 10th ranked team in the nation with the start of the second period. Fittingly, it was their senior captain Mike Harder who put the Red Raiders on the board first just 1:11 into the stanza. After Jed Whitchurch netted Colgate's second goal of the period at 12:53, the Big Green knew they had to bear down to prevent this one from getting ugly.

This is when the red line came to life, as Wercinski lit the lamp with the aid of his linemates Chaytors and Buckley at 10:22. Wercinski was not through, though, as he tied it up at two's on a shorthanded goal off the assist from blueliner Alex Dumas '97. Wong also proved his merit in the second period with fourteen saves.

The third frame was played very close. The red line's shrewd center, Chaytors, netted what would prove to be the game winning goal about midway through the period off the assist from defenseman Ryan Poulton '00.

Big Green fall 6-3 to Cornell

Dartmouth's momentum from Friday's victory carried over to Saturday, but in the end it wasn't enough to return to Hanover with a weekend sweep.

Charlie Retter '98 got Dartmouth off to the right start with a power-play goal coming off assists from Scott Peach '99 and Chaytors. But in the span of five minutes, Cornell took a commanding 3-1 lead, and once again the Big Green found themselves back on the comeback-trail.

Retter started Dartmouth down that path with his second power -- play goal of the game at 11:08, with assists coming from Chaytors and Buckley. Cornell responded a minute later when Darren Tymchyshyn gave the Big Red a 4-2 lead going into the third period.

Ryan Chaytors was not about to let Dartmouth go down without a fight, as he chalked up his fifth point of the weekend just 1:46 into the third on Dartmouth's third power-- play goal of the game with assists from Buckley and Peach.

The game turned weird after that, when at 11:45, Colgate's Jeff Burgoyne sent a slapper off the oddly shaped boards from the red line. The puck took an unusual rebound, and wound up going off Wong's pad and into the net. Cornell added an empty netter with under one-minute remaining as Dartmouth was forced to pull Wong and go 6-5.

Dartmouth stands at 2-2 overall, and 1-2 in the ECAC. The Big Green face UVM this Friday at Thompson Arena. Student tickets are still available for this barn-burner, but may be made available to the public later this week. The Big Green needed a strong turnout of home fans because UVM-backers traditionally try to buy out every seat in the house. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.