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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth men's hockey set to open home schedule tonight

Big Green men's hockey returns to Thompson Arena tonight at 7 p.m.
Big Green men's hockey returns to Thompson Arena tonight at 7 p.m.

Dartmouth (2-1-0, 1-1-0 ECACHL) is coming off of a weekend split, defeating St. Lawrence (3-5-0, 0-3-0 ECACHL) 2-1 last Friday night but dropping a tough contest, 4-3, to league-leading Clarkson (6-2-0, 3-0-0 ECACHL) on Saturday.

Along with its victory over Vermont (0-3-1, 0-0-1 Hockey East), the Big Green's performance so far seems to show that it can play with the traditional powers of the region.

"We played supposedly one of the best teams in the country [in Clarkson], in its rink, didn't bring our best game and still only lost 4-3," goalie Mike Devine '08 said. "I think we proved to ourselves that we can play with anyone and it's just a matter of us bringing our best, night in and night out."

Captain Nick Johnson agreed with Devine's assessment.

"We lost a close game on the road against a really good team, who had already played eight games," Johnson said. "We definitely have some things we need to improve on but I felt that when we were skating and hitting, we were able to create enough chances to compete with them or beat them."

The team's opponents this weekend certainly won't be pushovers, since on any given night, any team in the ECACHL can beat any other team.

The Union College Dutchmen (2-2-2, 0-0-2 ECACHL) are coming off two home ties last weekend against both Brown and Yale. Senior Josh Coyle captains the team and sophomore Jason Walters leads the team statistically with five points on the year. Last year, the Big Green split the season series, losing 4-1 on the road in January and winning at home 3-2.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers (5-2-2, 0-0-2 ECAC Hockey), like Union, tied both Brown and Yale last weekend. Currently, RPI is ranked 16th in one national poll, five spots ahead of the Big Green. Senior Andrew Lord leads the team with seven points on the season with Jonathan Ornelas, Andrei Uryadov and Tyler Helfrich all having six points each.

Johnson feels that while there are some areas that can be improved upon, much of the team's growth will come merely with added experience.

"I think we need to do a better job recognizing certain situations where the other team is going to get a good chance," Johnson said. "There were several times when Clarkson and St. Lawrence got really good chances because we simply weren't paying attention well enough. They got a few breakaways or odd-man rushes due to our mistakes rather than their play. This has lots to do with communication and I feel like with more experience we will improve on this."

Regardless, the team knows that it must improve on last weekend's performance in order to succeed.

"I think we just need to keep working hard and focus on what's in front of us and not what's behind us," Devine said. "We've gotten off to a pretty solid start, and we need to build on that. There's always room for improvement, and we just need to keep working hard and keep at it. We have a very good team and I think we realize that now."

Both games are set to begin at 7 p.m. in Thompson Arena.