Men’s hockey defeats Brown but drops close game to Yale at home
The Big Green secured a 5-2 win over Brown on Friday but fell to Yale 4-3 on Saturday.
Over Valentine’s Day weekend, Big Green men’s hockey took on Ivy League opponents Brown University and Yale University on home ice in Thompson Arena.
By a final score of 5-2, the Big Green came out with a big win against Brown Friday night. Dartmouth took the lead six minutes in with a goal from Cam Strong ’20. Daniel Warpecha ’20 scored again for the home team to give the Big Green a 2-0 lead going into the middle frame.
“I think that’s one thing we did on Friday night against Brown this past weekend — we dictated the pace,” Strong said. “We were definitely the faster team and we controlled the play. We were very good defensively and we just didn’t give them much.”
The team never gave up its lead, controlling the game and only allowing Brown two goals. The Bears’ first goal came in the second frame, but Tanner Palocsik ’23 responded within minutes, returning the team’s lead to two goals.
The third frame brought three more tallies, two for the Big Green and one for the Bears. Drew O’Connor ’22 and Collin Rutherford ’21 rounded out the scoring for the night, with O’Connor scoring his 14th goal of the season.
Saturday night, the team hosted the Yale Bulldogs and came up just short in the third frame. Will Graber ’20, who ended the night with two points, scored the first goal on a power play just over halfway through the first period, which redirected off a Yale player and into the back of the net. The next two goals also came on the power play — one for the Bulldogs and one for the Big Green — with O’Connor’s 15th of the season pulling Dartmouth ahead 15 minutes into the second frame. O’Connor’s 15th tally brought him to the second place spot in the Eastern College Athletic Conference scoring rankings for this season. One more tally will put him on par with Harvard’s Jack Drury, who currently holds the top spot.
Before O’Connor scored to pull Dartmouth into the lead once again, goaltender Adrian Clark ’20 pulled out an incredible stop to keep the Big Green in the game, throwing himself across the crease to make an unreal glove save.
“We were on the power play in a big five-minute major, and so I didn’t think this kind of opportunity was going to happen,” Clark said. “But we got pressured, they made the play, and I just scrambled and did everything I could to keep the puck out of the net. And just you know, goalie instinct kicks in.”
Toward the end of the second frame and into the third, the Big Green lost its hold over the game. Yale tied the game 2-2 in the final minutes of the second period and scored twice more within three minutes just under halfway into the third. With around a minute and thirty seconds remaining, Clark was pulled, and with an extra attacker, Graber clinched his second goal of the night and brought Dartmouth within one point of a tie. Unfortunately, the Big Green was unable to secure the victory, and the game finished in the Bulldog’s favor, 4-3.
“I think our team took a step forward for sure, obviously didn’t get both wins, but getting the win on Friday night really was getting us back on track,” Strong said. “Saturday night’s effort was pretty good, but we just had a few too many mental lapses in that game. It was shaping up to go our way for sure; you know it was tied 2-2 there going into the third.”
Strong noted that the number of penalties in the disrupted the flow of the game, which Yale was able to capitalize on with a good power play effort.
“I think our team took a positive step, we’re playing with a little bit more pace, we’re competing a little bit more, and two points out of the weekend is okay and we’ll try to improve going into the next stretch,” Strong said.
Coming up, the Big Green hit the road again for two games at St. Lawrence University and No. 5 Clarkson University — two teams that Dartmouth defeated earlier this season.
“We know that St. Lawrence is going to play us tough on Friday night,” Strong said. “They always do. They’re a hard team to play against; they try to wear you down physically. But we know if we play our game, dictate the pace, we can get the job done.”
Clark said that penalty kills will be important in both games.
“We really improved both how we approach penalty kills and how we implement them, throughout the year so far, and we really use it to try and get results,” Clark said. “So we just need to keep that going, keep doing what we’re doing. Block shots, clear pucks and just kill em off. We just have to stick to our game and stay strong mentally.”
Now 11-10-4 overall and 8-8-2 in the ECAC, Dartmouth moves to seventh in the ECAC standings, tied with Yale and just one point behind Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Big Green face off against St. Lawrence this coming Friday and Clarkson on Saturday night.