Men's hockey falls to BC in OT after controversial call

by Stefanie Lazow | 12/2/08 4:26am

Captain Rob Pritchard '09 pleads with the referee after Boston College tied Sunday's home game with a questionable third period goal before going on to win, 2-1, in overtime, one night after Dartmouth downed Providence College, 4-2.
by Zach Ingbretsen / The Dartmouth

Boston College (9-4-1, 5-3-1 Hockey East) tied the game against Dartmouth (6-4-0, 5-2-0 ECAC Hockey) on a highly disputed goal scored by Brian Gibbons of BC with 38 seconds left in the third period. The referees were initially unsure if it was the puck or a piece of a broken stick that crossed the goal line.

After a review of the play, the goal was allowed and the two teams entered overtime at 1-1. Freshman Barry Almeida scored the winning goal for Boston College with 1:44 remaining in the overtime period after capitalizing on a Dartmouth turnover.

"We all feel like we should have won, and there's a huge feeling of disappointment," goalie Jody O'Neill '12 said after the game Sunday. "Once that disappointment fades, there will be a lot of positive things we can take from the game."

Dartmouth's only goal was scored by Doug Jones '12 at 7:32 in the second period. He found the net after receiving a pass from Adam Estoclet '11 during a three-on-one Dartmouth rush.

Estoclet leads the team in scoring with five goals and 10 assists so far on the season. He is also tied for second in ECAC Hockey in scoring. Jones is second in scoring on the team with two goals and nine assists.

Both Dartmouth and BC had multiple other opportunities to score but failed to capitalize.

O'Neill had 38 saves while BC netminder John Muse had 22. With a save percentage of .943 on the season, O'Neill is now fourth among ECAC Hockey goaltenders in that statistic.

The game was highly anticipated by the Big Green players and presented an opportunity for Dartmouth to prove itself. Boston College, along with currently being ranked No. 2 in the country, is the defending national champion.

Though Dartmouth was defeated, it was a competitive match decided by a bitterly contentious play. Despite the loss, Dartmouth moved up in the national rankings and is now No. 16 in the country. With 10 points in ECAC Hockey, the Big Green is tied for second along with Cornell and Harvard, behind No. 9 Princeton. Based on league winning percentage, Dartmouth is behind Princeton (9-2-0, 7-1-0 ECAC Hockey) and Cornell (5-1-2, 4-0-2 ECAC Hockey) but ahead of Harvard (4-4-2, 4-3-2 ECAC Hockey).

"It's a nice honor, but we try not to think about it too much," O'Neill said. "We don't want to focus on it because there are still teams in front of us and at the end of the season, we want to be number one."

The Dartmouth squad defeated Providence (2-11-1. 0-8-1 Hockey East) by a score of 4-2 Friday night after capitalizing on numerous power-play opportunities. Three of Dartmouth's four goals were scored by sophomores, underscoring the large role that Big Green underclassmen will play this season.

Dartmouth's first goal was scored by Evan Stephens '11 during a second period power play off a pass from Estoclet. Andrew Owsiak '11 also notched a goal during the second period, again on a power play.

Joe Gaudet '10 scored his first goal of the season three minutes later off of a series of passes from Scott Fleming '11 and Troy Mattila '12. He was the only upperclassman to score this weekend.

The Friars scored their first goal with 5:41 remaining in the second period. They then scored again halfway through the third period, but despite pushing forward, they were unable to find the equalizer.

During a Dartmouth power play towards the end of the third period, Matt Reber '10 drilled the puck into the net to put the Big Green up 4-2. This insurance score secured the win for Dartmouth.

Providence entered the contest after playing nine winless games. The Big Green, however, didn't focus on this while preparing for the game.

"Every team in [Hockey East] is pretty good," O'Neill said after the game Friday. "You don't want to lower your game and let the other team take advantage of you."

This Dartmouth victory extended the Friars' winless streak to 10 games and was Dartmouth's sixth win of the season. It also allowed the team to bounce back from its tough loss to Cornell.

"It's always great to answer a loss with a win the next game," O'Neill said after Friday's game. "We learned some valuable lessons against Cornell -- we learned we need to come out flying from the first drop of the puck."

The Big Green squad will leave for a 10-day trip to Sweden after exams, where it will play a series of exhibition matches.

The Big Green returns to the ice the weekend of Dec. 28 as the team hosts the Ledyard Bank Classic in Hanover. Dartmouth will play against Army and then either Bemidji State or the University of Massachusetts.

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