Men’s hockey opens season with losses at Harvard and UNH

by Olivia Morton | 11/4/19 2:10am

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On the road to start the season, the Big Green fell to Harvard and UNH this weekend.

by Alex Fredman / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

The men’s hockey team opened its season with two tough road losses to Harvard University and the University of New Hampshire.

The weekend began in Boston, where the Big Green looked to avenge a preseason loss to the Crimson just weeks prior. The game was off to a rough start after an early goal by Harvard’s Jack Rathbone. The deficit grew 12 minutes into the first period with a second Crimson goal from Colton Kerfoot. Despite the score, the Big Green outshot the Crimson 18-12 in the first period but struggled to find the back of the net.

The second period, however, told a completely different story. Daniel Warpecha ’20 started off the blitz with an early goal, quickly followed less than 20 seconds later by a point shot scored by defenseman Harrison Markell ’22 to tie the game early in the second period. The Big Green took the lead minutes later after a passing play between captain Brendan Demler ’21, Quin Foreman ’20 and Drew O’Connor ’22 ended with a strong finish from Foreman.

Unfortunately for the Big Green, the home team began its own three-goal run halfway into the period, bringing an end to Dartmouth’s time on top. The second period ended with Harvard in the lead, a score of 5-3.

“Something happened there mentally, we just kind of hit a block and couldn’t get past that,” Demler said. 

The third period was fairly back and forth, each team dominating the ice for a couple minutes at a time. Unlike their first meeting, power plays, though occurring, did not dominate the outcome of the game and neither team scored with special teams. Harvard extended its lead in the closing minutes of the game after the Big Green pulled goaltender Justin Ferguson ’22 in a last ditch attempt to close the gap in the score as Dartmouth unfortunately conceded an empty net goal. The final goal came in the final minute from Harvard’s Nick Abruzzese, and at the buzzer the score stood 7-3 in favor of the home team.

“We were a lot better team Friday night than we were two weekends ago, but we still just have to put it all together,” Demler said when comparing their preseason scrimmage against Harvard to this weekend’s matchup.

After the loss to the Crimson, the Big Green set its sights on the Wildcats of UNH on Saturday. This game was a thriller, with UNH coming out hot and scoring within the first 30 seconds; forward Ryan Blankemeier ’20 responded just under two minutes later with a shot that went under review before being ruled a goal and officially tying the game early into the first.

“We played the game exactly how we wanted to play it. We responded well to their opportunities; when they scored, we scored right back,” Demler said. “We were able to rebound really quickly from their opportunities and shift the momentum back our way.”

Another second period spurt with goals from Jeff Losurdo ’22 and Matt Baker ’21 took Dartmouth into a 4-2 lead which they carried into the third. UNH was able to tie it up, however, after a goal 7:41 into the third frame and a power play in the last minutes of the game, leading to a late goal that took the game into overtime.

A pair of penalties late into overtime caused a 5-on-3 power play, and UNH was able to capitalize once again, sending the Big Green home with its second loss of the season.

The Big Green will look to even out its record with games against No. 9 Quinnipiac University and Princeton University next weekend, both of which will be at home at Thompson Arena.