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After Topping Army, Big Green Awaits Powerful Friars

  • Bob Gaudet, left, Dartmouth College's longtime men's hockey coach, is honored before Saturday's holiday tournament game against Army. Holding the plaque denoting that Gaudet has a school-record 309 victories is athletic director Harry Sheehy. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College players Joey Matthews (3) and Connor Yau stand for the national anthem Saturday along with a pair of youngsters from the Manchester (N.H.) Flames youth hockey organization. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth's Alex Jasiek beats Army goaltender Jared Dempsey with a first-period shot Saturday during the teams' holiday tournament game 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.

  • Dartmouth College forward Shane Sellar (10) celebrates a first-period goal that was later waved off by the referees during Saturday's holiday tournament game with Army. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College goaltender Adrian Clark fishes the puck out of his net Saturday after allowing an Army goal in a holiday tournament game. Kevan Kilistoff (16) checks on Brendan Less, roughed up on the play. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hanover — One hundred free T-shirts were thrown into the Thompson Arena crowd on Saturday during the second intermission of the Dartmouth College men’s hockey team’s holiday tournament game with visiting Army. By then, the Big Green was well on its way to tossing the Black Knights aside, 5-2, and anticipating tonight’s 7 p.m. clash with No. 10 Providence.

The Friars, 3-1 victors over Brown during Saturday’s tournament opener, should provide a serious improvement in competition. While Army (8-9-1) has never made the NCAA tournament, Providence won the 2015 national title and the next season’s Hockey East crown.

“They’re such a good team and they never beat themselves,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, whose 5-6-1 squad snapped a three-game losing streak, a four-game winless slide and posted its second victory in its last seven games. “They grind away, and they’re so well-coached and strong physically. They have veteran players who have been to the national tournament every year and they’re relentless.

“It will be fun to play a team of their caliber and match ourselves against them. We’ve got to make another step up to match them.”

Dartmouth left Army’s Kevin Dineen completely alone to the left of goaltender Adrian Clark, and the Black Knight opened the scoring with a tap-in goal during the third minute. The hosts answered a minute later, however, freshman Drew O’Connor scoring his sixth goal of the season out of a goalmouth scramble.

“If we could have held the lead for five or 10 minutes, maybe we start to make them grip their sticks a little tighter and things turn out differently,” Army coach Brian Riley lamented.

Said Gaudet: “Drew’s such a skilled guy. I thought he was just fabulous during our previous game at Boston University, when he might have been the best player on the ice. He’s getting really solid defensively and that’s why he’s getting more and more ice time. It’s nice when you get to this time of the year and our young guys are playing like veterans.”

Alex Jasiek put Dartmouth up, 2-1, during the ninth minute, fluttering in a one-time shot from atop the crease off a beautiful backhand pass by Collin Rutherford from the left side and on the rush. Quinn Forman also used a one-time shot to finish a 2-on-1 break with authority six minutes into the second period and the Big Green was firmly in control. The hosts led, 5-1, before Army closed the scoring with seven minutes remaining.

Dartmouth was scoreless in three power-play chances Saturday and hasn’t converted in its last 33 opportunities.

“We tried to simplify things and get pucks to the net and we had a couple of bids but it just didn’t go in for us,” Gaudet said.

Notes: Army and Brown play today at 4 p.m. … Dartmouth sophomore Joey Matthews scored to put Dartmouth up, 5-1, with his first collegiate tally. It was the Big Green’s first goal by a defenseman since opening night. … Army is making its third tournament appearance after playing in Dartmouth’s 2008 and 2016 events. … Lebanon native Tate Singleton, currently playing junior hockey, had committed to attend Army after his days at Proctor Academy, but recently switched to Ohio State. … Gaudet was honored before the game for having recently become the program’s leader with 309 career victories. During a spotlighted pregame ceremony. he was presented with a frame holding the record-setting game’s box score and the last puck used that night. “Nobody said a word to me before, because they knew I didn’t want it,” said a laughing Gaudet. … Army’s Dineen shares his name with the former NHL player and coach. The Black Knight version, however, is not related to the former pro skater. … Attending the game was former Hartford High player Ben Rouillard, now playing junior hockey in the Burlington area for the Vermont Lumberjacks. Former Hanover High skater Jensen Dodge and onetime Lebanon High performers Nate and Aaron Damren are also part of that organization. … Former Dartmouth goaltender and 2018 graduate Devin Buffalo earned his first professional victory on Saturday by making 39 saves for the ECHL’s Adirondack (N.Y.) Thunder in a defeat of the Manchester Monarchs.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.