Men’s hockey sweeps Princeton, falls to No. 4 Quinnipiac
The men’s hockey team won two games over Princeton University this week, including a last-second victory in the annual “tennis ball game.”
This week, the men’s hockey team played three games, two against Princeton University — one home and one away — and one against No. 4 Quinnipiac University. The Big Green took care of business against Princeton, completing a season sweep, but fell to Quinnipiac for the second time this year.
Dartmouth came into the Princeton game on Monday riding high off of a hard fought win over Yale University two days prior. The momentum showed from the drop of the puck: Matt Hubbarde ’25 and Sean Chisholm ’25 each pumped in goals within the first six minutes of the game, giving the Big Green a 2-0 lead. Princeton responded with a goal midway through the period, but was unable to catch Dartmouth as a power play goal from Joey Musa ’24 extended the lead back to two before the end of the period. After the first, the Big Green kept their foot on the gas, extending the lead to 5-2 in the second and ending the game with a 7-3 final score. The four-goal margin of victory was the biggest in three seasons and the wealth was spread amongst seven different scorers.
“Seven goals doesn’t happen very often in college hockey, so it was more a matter of circumstance than anything,” head coach Reid Cashman said.
Dartmouth returned to Hanover to face Quinnipiac in what proved to be one of their toughest tests of the season. Initially, the Bobcats were slow to get back on defense as the Big Green saw chances on odd man rushes through the neutral zone. This culminated in a Quinnipiac slashing penalty halfway through the first, which gave Dartmouth an advantage that they nearly capitalized on. However, after Tanner Palocsik ’23 pinged the post on the power play, the Bobcats bore down, outpossessing and outshooting the Big Green throughout the rest of the period. They were able to find the back of the net with four minutes remaining in the period and never looked back. The floodgates opened in the second as Quinnipiac extended their lead to 4-0, and tacked on one more in the third to make a 5-0 final.
The next day, Dartmouth had a chance at redemption on senior night in front of a crowd of 1,803 at the annual “tennis ball game” against Princeton. Captain Harrison Markell ’22 was excited to play in the atmosphere of Thompson Arena.
“It’s a great feeling because we weren’t able to play last year,” Markell said. “It was one of the first normal moments we’ve had at Dartmouth hockey in the last couple of years.”
Cashman was excited to play in front of fans in a rivalry game.
“When you have fans, you get that extra half a stride, you get that extra shot block, so we’ve got to find a way to put a product on the ice that makes them want to come back,” Cashman said.
Both teams were fired up to start the game, as pucks skittered over sticks and struggled to maintain possession. As play settled down, Dartmouth appeared to have a slight edge as they saw several quality chances off of rebounds and outshot Princeton 9-7 in the first. In the second period the battle continued as both teams had near misses on odd-man rushes. Dartmouth goalie Clay Stevenson ’24 was named the ECAC Goalie of the Week the week prior — and showed why, staying calm and collected between the pipes and making several impressive glove saves.
“Everyone obviously builds off the energy of the fans, but my key is to stay present and move on to the next save,” Stevenson said.
After the dust settled at the end of the second, the 0-0 deadlock remained intact as both teams appeared evenly matched.
“We got away from our foundation because we wanted to win so badly,” Cashman said.
In the final period, both teams played defensively, as there were only 13 shots that made it through to the goal. The Big Green threatened on a couple occasions though, with a wide open turnaround shot that nearly beat the goalie and another shot that went off the crossbar with three minutes remaining. Just as the game seemed destined for overtime, Dartmouth maintained possession in the offensive zone and got the puck up to Chisholm at the top of the circles. Meanwhile, Braiden Dorfman ’25 snuck behind the Tiger defense and was able to find clear space in front of the net.
“I was yelling at [Chisholm] to shoot, I got a tip on it and saw it go through the goalie, but not all the way, so I turned around and shoveled the goalie into the net,” Dorfman said. “When I realized it went in, I just started yelling. I was overcome with emotion.”
The second that the puck crossed the goal line, hundreds of tennis balls began raining down from the stands, creating a surreal moment.
“It was so cool to see everyone throwing the tennis balls,” Dorfman said. “It was an absolute avalanche.”
With only 30 seconds to go in the game, Chisholm scored an empty net goal to solidify the 2-0 victory. The win meant that much more to the five seniors who were playing the last home game of their careers.
“They’ve been incredible. Their attitudes are phenomenal whether we win or we lose,” Cashmand said. “I’m just so happy that they get rewarded with a victory in front of a thousand students.”
The Big Green will have its final two games of the regular season next weekend as they travel to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Friday and Union College on Saturday.