Men’s hockey captured wins in both of its preseason matches against McGill University and the University of Guelph on Oct. 12 and Oct. 21. The Big Green hopes to continue this momentum and preparation into the regular season, which begins this week.
On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the Big Green defeated McGill with a score of 3-0 in its first scrimmage of the season. Cam MacDonald ’26, Mark Gallant ’23 and Sean Chisholm ’25 proceeded to score for Dartmouth in the first, second and third periods, respectively. Goalies Mikey Roberts and Cooper Black ’26 proved relentless in keeping the Redbirds out of the net with twelve saves each.
Although alternate captain Jack Cameron ’23 said he was excited to see Dartmouth’s first pre-season win, he also expressed the team’s need to “tighten up” as the Big Green moves forward into its season.
“I think there’s more to it than just getting people back into the game since it’s been four or five month since anyone has touched a puck,” Cameron said. “But, we’re excited [for the season].”
On Friday Oct. 21, the Big Green beat Guelph with a score of 7-3 in its second and last scrimmage of the preseason. Although it was Guelph who opened the scoring within the first three minutes of the first period, Dartmouth caught up quickly when Joey Musa ’24 and Braiden Dorfman ’25 both scored within the next two minutes. With 2:59 remaining in the opening period, Cooper Flinton ’26 scored another for the Big Green. However, a minute later the Gryphons responded with a goal of their own, bringing the score to 3-2.
In the second period, Dartmouth added three more to the scoreboard, despite two minute penalties on Ryan Sorkin ’24 and Brock Paul ’23 for cross-checking throughout. Finally, in the third, MacDonald brought the Big Green up to seven with the completion of a hat trick. Although Guelph managed to pass the puck through Dartmouth defense once more, it was too late.
Captain Tanner Palocsik ’23 noted that both McGill and Guelph are competitive Canadian opponents with challenging players— notably because of their older age compared to Dartmouth players. These “tough teams” have been a relatively good indicator for what the season might look like, he added.
“I think that these are definitely a good test for us to see where we're at as a team, and it gets us some experience especially for the younger guys to get some kind of pressure free experience for a few games before they have to buckle down for the regular season,” Palocsik said.
Head coach Reid Cashman stated that these preseason games jumpstart the growth that the team hopes to experience over the course of the season.
“Our focus as a team is just maximizing our abilities every day,” Cashman said. “We know if we do that, at the end of the year the results will take care of themselves.”
Last season, Dartmouth ranked fifth in the Ivy League with a record of 3-6-1. Cameron explained that although last season did not go as the team had hoped, they are using this time to build upon their stamina as a team.
“I think a big part of our season this year is just going to be the individual growth that we have on our team,” Cameron said. “We were a pretty young team last year—if everybody’s making strides and contributing more and more each year, we’re going to be in a good place [this season].”
In preparation for the McGill and Guelph pre-season games, the Big Green practiced on the ice six days a week for roughly 90 minutes a day. These practices consist of building skills from skating to watching back film. The team also has lifts for 60 minutes, two days a week.
“It's definitely a big commitment and takes a lot of time management from the guys on the team, but we do a lot of stuff as a team,” Palocsik said. “There's a lot that goes into preparation, and it’s pretty much been a month of that at this point.”
Reflecting on its record last season, Palocsik said the team realizes they have a lot to improve on. The Big Green have already set its eyes on the Eastern College Athletic Conference hockey championship in Lake Placid, New York.
“We want to be in a spot at the end of the year to have a really good seed heading into playoffs and win a few rounds there,” Palocsik said. “I definitely think that we have a team full of guys right now that all want to contribute in any way possible.”
Dartmouth will open the 2022-23 season this weekend with games against ECAC rival Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Friday at 7 p.m. and non-conference opponent Army West Point in West Point, New York on Sunday at 2 p.m.