Injury-riddled Big Green split road weekend in NY

by Ben Zimmerman | 11/15/04 6:00am

The National Hockey League may be on permanent vacation, but Dartmouth hockey was in full swing this weekend, splitting a road trip with the Clarkson Golden Knights and St. Lawrence Saints.

The Big Green opened action Friday, traveling to scenic Potsdam, N.Y. to face Clarkson University. Just a day before Dartmouth had learned that the 12th overall pick in the 2003 NHL draft and resident star forward Hugh Jessiman '06 would likely miss the remainder of the year with an ankle injury. While Jessiman's teammates undoubtedly did their best to put the injury behind them, the shock of losing their second-leading scorer took its toll on the ice.

Clarkson drew first blood less than six minutes into the game on the first of what would be three Jay Latulippe goals, and with 7:31 remaining in the second period, Chris Blight doubled the Golden Knights' advantage. About seven minutes later, Mike Ouellette '06 would cut the Big Green's deficit to one on a redirected Mike Hartwick '07 shot. However, Dartmouth's first goal in its last 88 minutes would be its last of the evening.

Simply put, the third period belonged to Jay Latulippe. The Clarkson senior tacked on his second goal 7:55 into the final frame and sealed up his first career hat trick three minutes later. Unable to respond, the Big Green left Cheel Arena with a 4-1 loss.

Sean Samuel '07, who manned the net in both Dartmouth wins, took his first loss of the season, saving 17 of 21 shots on goal, while Clarkson's Dustin Traylen stopped a striking 27 of 28. The Golden Knights, who went on to tie the University of Vermont 24 hours later, currently stand at 3-6-1 overall, 1-2-1 ECAC Hockey League.

The Big Green, which fell to 2-3-0, 1-2-0 in the ECAC Hockey League, drove to Canton, N.Y. for their Saturday match-up against St. Lawrence needing someone to step up. Returning 21 letter-winners from last season, seven NHL draft picks among them, Dartmouth was tabbed as the favorite to win the prestigious ECAC. Yet after a sluggish start and a slew of injuries, the Big Green stood face-to-face with the prospect of a decidedly unimpressive 2-4 start. Fortunately, goalie Dan Yacey '05 came to play.

Pelted from all angles in a one-sided first period, Yacey refused to wilt under the Saints' pressure, and after surviving the opening stanza unscathed, Dartmouth began to take control.

Captain Lee Stempniak '05 put Dartmouth on the board 6:10 into the second period, converting on a two-on-one breakaway. Rob Jarvis '07 and Ouellette picked up assists. Only 2:19 later, David Jones '08 deflected a Dave Thompson '06 shot passed St. Lawrence goaltender Mike McKenna, further extending the Dartmouth lead.

The Saints, though, were not about to fade away. Following a pair of Big Green penalties late in the middle frame, St. Lawrence attacked Dartmouth with a two man advantage. However, Yacey was not about to let this game slip away. Defending the crease like a soccer mom protects her minivan, the senior propelled Dartmouth into the third period with the score still 2-0.

As the final period began, the Saints resumed fire on the embattled Yacey, again to no avail. Late in the third period Max Taylor finally tallied one for his St. Lawrence squad, but the Big Green were quick to answer, potting two empty-net goals courtesy of Jarrett Sampson '06 and Jones. A few seconds later, Dartmouth walked off the ice 4-1 winners in part due to Yacey's 43 saves.

The Saints, now 5-6-1, 1-3-0 ECACHL, resume action against Clarkson this Wednesday, while the Big Green (3-3-0, 2-2-0 ECAC) return to Hanover for weekend games against two of the ECACHL's best, Colgate and undefeated Cornell.