Men’s hockey beats No. 8 Cornell in shootout, falls to Union and Colgate
The Big Green played in three one-goal games, earning a victory over top-10 Cornell University.
The men’s hockey team had a busy week as it played three ECAC games in four days, all of which were decided by a goal or less. On Wednesday, the Big Green played Union College for the first time this season and lost 3-2 at home. On Friday, Dartmouth bounced back in a big way as the team traveled to Ithaca for the highest-ranked opponent left on the schedule: eighth-ranked Cornell. The Big Red was coming off of a thrilling overtime victory over No. 1 Quinnipiac, but the Big Green was not phased. Dartmouth battled to a 2-2 tie through regulation and overtime and then claimed the victory in a shootout. The next night, Dartmouth traveled to play Colgate and dropped the game 2-1 in overtime.
The Big Green’s matchup against Union on Wednesday was rescheduled from earlier in January. Dartmouth picked up three penalties in the first period, forcing them back on their heels as they played with a man down. On the last of these three penalties, Union was finally able to convert; the Dutchmen slipped a shot past goaltender Justin Ferguson ’22 to take the 1-0 lead with three minutes remaining. Once the ice became level in the second, the Big Green was able to dig in and start putting pressure on the Dutchmen.
The second period was a battle in the neutral zone as both teams struggled to get quality chances, taking only six shots apiece. Late in the period, Dartmouth was able to break through: Jeff Losurdo ’22 buried a rebound to tie the game up at one going into the third. In the start of the final period, the Big Green blinked first, allowing back-to-back goals in the first five minutes. Dartmouth regained composure after the goal, as Tanner Palocsik ’23 brought the Big Green within one with ten minutes remaining. The Big Green continued to pepper the Dutchmen goalie, throwing a total of thirteen shots at the net in the final frame, but none of them found the back of the net and Dartmouth fell 3-2.
Two days later, Dartmouth traveled to Ithaca looking for revenge after their heartbreaking 5-4 defeat at the hands of Cornell in November. The Big Green struck first with an early power play goal as Joey Musa ’24 found Ian Pierce ’25 in the slot. After an initial save, Pierce buried a quick snapshot. Dartmouth maintained the 1-0 lead for 25 minutes until a long Cornell possession in their offensive zone led to a tap-in equalizer back door. Less than two minutes later, the Big Green responded in a big way, as a rebound from the point was fired into the wide open net by Mark Gallant ’23.
Dartmouth’s penalty trouble was an achilles heel all night, and the Big Green was unable to generate much momentum in the third because of it. No penalty was more critical than the charging assessed to Sean Chisholm ’25 with five minutes left to play. After review, it was determined that the play warranted a major penalty and game misconduct for Chisholm, meaning the Big Green was down a man for the remaining five minutes of the game. Dartmouth was unable to hold off the onslaught from Cornell, and the Big Red tied up the game with only two minutes remaining. After the heartbreaking goal, the Big Green refused to crumble as they kept a stalemate through the overtime period and forced a shootout. After each team scored one goal in the shootout, the game came down to Musa’s stick. He picked up the puck, methodically looped out to the left, cut back across the net, threw a quick forehand fake to freeze the Big Red goalie and then beat him top shelf.
“I have my one move, so there wasn’t really any nerves,” Musa said. “I wasn’t thinking about it too much.”
Musa said the Big Green’s victory over Cornell was a statement win for the team.
“We’re a contender,” Musa said. “We play the right way, and we don’t get down on each other when there’s a little adversity. We can take on anybody in the league”
Head coach Reid Cashman said he was impressed by the Big Green’s performance on Friday.
“It’s a sign of our growth that we find a way to go into a top 10 team’s rink on the road and pull out a victory,” Cashman said. “It’s great for the players to get rewarded for the hard work that they’re doing.”
The next day, Dartmouth stayed in New York, making the hour and a half long trip from Ithaca to Hamilton where the Big Green faced Colgate for the second time this season. Only 3.5 minutes into the game, Brock Paul ’23 was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for a slash. This was a major blow to Dartmouth, which was already without five players in the lineup.
Cashman chose to see this lack of depth in a positive light.
“It was a great learning experience for everyone involved, because just about everybody had a different role because of the guys that were out,” Cashman said. “Our team is rallying around each other.”
After a scoreless first period, a Colgate hook midway through the second gave Dartmouth a man advantage. The power play unit has been an area of strength for The Big Green recently as they’ve scored four goals in the last five games. They wasted no time setting up and taking quality shots — one of which deflected out to Palocsik, who one-timed it from the hash marks into the open net. It was Palocsik’s third goal of the season and second of the week.
“I’ve just been moving my feet, getting to scoring areas and the puck is finding me,” Palocsik said. “It's been a while, so it's nice to finally get back on the scoresheet.”
The rest of the second was hard fought and tightly called by the officials, who dictated the pace of play all night. Between the two teams, 24 minutes were spent in the penalty box, which made it a challenge for the game to get any flow. With seven minutes left in the third period, Colgate had a four-on-three power play and were able to quickly find the back of the net to tie the game at one. Time expired with the same score, and the game went to overtime for the second night in a row. Just 25 seconds into the extra time, Colgate came down on a two-on-one rush, and a quick wrist shot was the sudden death game winner.
The loss brings the Big Green up to a total of eleven games decided by one goal or less this season. The inability to finish games will be an area of focus for the team moving forward.
“My hope is that we just continue to learn,” Cashman said. “We had third period leads last night and tonight, and we have to become a team that can win those games.”
The Big Green has another busy week coming as they face Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday, Harvard University on Friday and the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday.