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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men’s hockey secures first-round bye in ECAC playoffs with wins against Brown and Yale

Men’s hockey finds success in special teams and at Senior Night while working up to the upcoming ECAC playoffs.

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After a weekend when Dartmouth successfully secured home ice in the opening round of the ECAC playoffs, men’s ice hockey hosted Brown University on Friday and Yale University for Senior Night on Saturday to end regular season play. The Big Green finished victorious in both games, defeating Brown 5-3 and Yale 4-1 to snatch the last, first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs.

The Big Green faced the Bears on Friday night at Thompson Arena and came in hot after their first road weekend sweep the previous weekend. 

“Brown beat us the last time we played them,” head coach Reid Cashman said. “We know how competitive this league is ... So, we were a pretty focused group going into tonight.”

The Big Green scored first as John Fusco ’25 took a shot from the blue line that whizzed past Brown’s defense in the first period. 

Down 1-0 early in the second period, the Bears had an opportunity to tie it as they went on a power play but came up unsuccessful.

“We didn’t take a lot of penalties, which is the best thing you can do for your penalty killer,” Cashman said. “We did a pretty good job defensively.”

Later on in the period, Dartmouth went on a power play. Unlike Brown, they came out successful, as Cooper Flinton ’26 scored with assists from Luke Haymes ’26 and Fusco.

“My teammates are setting me up for success every night,” Flinton said. “It’s been a lot of fun to play with them, and I’m just happy that I’m able to contribute.”

Braiden Dorfman ’25 provided insurance as he scored making it 3-0 Dartmouth at the end of the second period.

To prevent a shutout, Brown scored at the 5:16 mark to start the third period and scored again 22 seconds later to make it a one-goal game.

Flinton struck back as he fired a goal to make it 4-2 Dartmouth for his second goal of the night. He dedicated his success to his teammates. 

“We’re really close as a team,” Flinton said. “That correlates on the ice.”

However, Brown stood their ground, scoring once more to make it a one-goal again.

“I do think we probably took a breath there in the third, and Brown took advantage of that,” Cashman said. “But credit to our guys for finishing that game.”

To finally crush the Bears’ hopes of a win, Haymes scored an empty net goal with 1:30 remaining to give the Big Green a much-needed 5-3 win. 

“[Haymes] has had a great year,” Cashman said. “We expect him to keep leading the way.”

With Clarkson University defeating Quinnipiac University in overtime on Friday, Dartmouth would need a 3-point win over Yale to secure a first-round bye.

On Saturday, the Big Green hosted Yale for Senior Night as Dartmouth honored its three senior players: Joey Musa ’24, Ryan Sorkin ’24 and Josh Waters ’24.

“You invest a lot when you’re a senior,” Cashman said. “[For] our three seniors, their first year was COVID, [and] they were recruited by different staff. So, I’m really proud of those three guys that stuck it out and have been a really big part of the growth of this program.”

Despite multiple chances from both teams, the game remained scoreless until the Bulldogs converted at 12:57 in the first period.

The Big Green answered just two minutes later when CJ Foley ’27 scored a power-play goal off a series of passes from Fusco and Cam MacDonald ’26.  

Dartmouth gained the lead at 12:28 of the second period when Eric Charpentier ’27 converted a blocked shot from Sean Chisolm ’25. 

The third period saw two more Big Green goals, with the first being scored by Flinton. Flinton scooped up a blocked shot from Haymes to extend Dartmouth’s lead to 3-1. The goal was Flinton’s 15th of the season. 

Chisolm sealed the final score, 4-1, with another Big Green empty-net goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in the third period.

“It was awesome to start with [Sorkin] and Musa, and to get the last shift with them, too — [it] means a lot because we’ve been through a lot,” Waters said. “But it was just awesome to get the win — that’s the most important thing.”

The Big Green went 1 for 5 on the power play, and 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. They blocked 13 shots, led by Foley’s three. 

“We competed for 60 minutes,” Cashman said. “I thought our special teams did well. The power play scored a big goal, and the penalty kill made some kills when we needed them to.”

Dartmouth earned all 6 possible points for the weekend, ending the regular season standing 11-9-9, 9-6-7. The Big Green are now ranked fourth in the ECAC Men’s Ice Hockey standings and have earned a first-round bye in the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

“We talked about it before the game that tonight really became a playoff game,” Cashman said. “We knew that if we won [then] we would advance to the second round, and I’m so proud of our guys for doing that, and now we’ll know that we’ll host.”

Waters echoed Cashman’s statement, expressing his excitement for playoff hockey.

“We’ve just got a really good group of guys in there,” Waters said. “[I’m] so proud of the way they played the last seven games really, but especially tonight. We’ve got guys stepping up at the right time, and I think we’ll definitely be able to carry this momentum going into the playoffs.”

The Big Green will be back on the ice in two weeks to host a best-of-three quarter-final ECAC playoff series. Further game information is yet to be announced.