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Princeton Takes Dartmouth’s Bounce

  • Dartmouth College's Matt Baker, right, celebrates in front of the Thompson Arena student section Saturday after scoring the game's first goal against Princeton. Students throw tennis balls in a long-running tradition. The Tigers won the ECAC game, 6-3. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth College's Brendan Demler grabs Princeton's Jackson Cressey by the neck Saturday during the Big Green's 6-3 ECAC loss at Thompson Arena. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth College students Noah Parquicini, right, and Wes Gibson compete in 1-on-1 soccer while wearing inflatable plastic coverings Saturday. The pair battled during the first intermission of the Big Green's 6-3 ECAC loss to Princeton at Thompson Arena. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »



Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hanover — The Dartmouth College men’s hockey team scored first Saturday against visiting Princeton, triggering the traditional avalanche of thrown tennis balls onto the Thompson Arena ice. Midway through the third period, however, the hurlers were mostly gone, somberly exiting the building as the Tigers cruised to a 6-3 ECAC victory.

The visitors scored twice against what had been a stellar Dartmouth penalty-killing unit, attempted a staggering 80 shots and put 44 of them on goal. Dartmouth had only 27, 12 of them during a third period when the game’s outcome was already decided.

“We watched them skate by us and score,” said perturbed senior forward Corey Kalk. “The first goal was big, but having (Princeton) score right after took the wind out of our sails, and we were backing up from there.”

Dartmouth’s Matt Baker parked himself atop the crease and redirected in a Kalk shot to open the scoring in the ninth minute. A lengthy delay resulted, not only from the tennis balls that had to be gathered, but because Princeton spent its timeout in an effort to have the goal overturned by video review. The Tigers appealed unsuccessfully that the play bringing the puck into their zone had been offside.

Princeton scored 30 seconds later and went up, 2-1, with five minutes remaining in the first period.

The Tigers (4-8-1, 7-10-3), who not long ago were ECAC cellar-dwellers, have cranked up their program’s talent level and rely on experienced, speedy players to put substantial pressure on opponents.

“You’re disappointed because you want more from your guys, but you also have to give the other guys credit,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, whose team is tied with Princeton for eighth place in the 12-team ECAC standings, two points out of sixth and 11th place.

“You never want them to answer so quick because it diminishes the momentum from going ahead, but (the outcome) wasn’t for a lack of caring or trying, and you’d hope that it’s a learning experience for us.”

Dartmouth (4-6-1, 6-10-2) entered the first intermission in a 2-2 tie courtesy of Will Graber’s second goal in as many nights. But Princeton scored twice to lead, 4-2, after two periods, and twice more during the first 15 minutes of the final stanza, the last into an untended net. Dartmouth closed the game’s offense with a Tim Shoup tally with a minute remaining and received 38 saves from Devin Buffalo.

“We’ve been playing good hockey of late and we have to get back to that,” said Kalk, whose team entered with a 4-1-1 record during its past six games. “Tonight, we had a little less confidence. We need to stick with what we’ve been doing, though, because it’s a long season.”

Notes: Baker is the fifth consecutive freshman to score the “tennis ball goal” against Princeton. Those before him were Grant Opperman, Carl Hesler, Alex Jasiek and Cam Strong. Mike Keenan was the last non-rookie to do so, during the 2012-13 campaign. … Princeton took 10 of the game’s first 11 shots. … Graber exited the locker room after the game wearing dress socks with the Colorado state flag’s logo on them, featuring a red ‘C’ with a yellow center and against blue and white stripes. The sophomore is from Longmont in the Rocky Mountain State. … Kalk played his 100th career game on Friday, becoming the 99th Big Green player to do so in the program’s 112-year history. … Ticket prices, normally $10 for adults and $5 for children, were increased for this one game to $17 and $10, a hike of $2 per ticket more from last season’s Princeton game. … Two Dartmouth students, 20-year-old junior Noah Parquicini of Petaluma, Calif., and 19-year-old sophomore Wes Gordon of New York City, entered large, inflatable plastic balls and played 1-on-1 soccer on the ice during the first intermission. … Cub Scout Troop 258 from Springfield, Vt., presented the American flag and state colors for the national anthem.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.