Big Green men’s hockey slips in ECAC playoff loss

  • Quin Foreman

  • Tanner Palocsik

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/6/2020 10:42:02 PM
Modified: 3/6/2020 10:42:30 PM

HANOVER — The Dartmouth College men’s hockey team faces elimination on Saturday night against Princeton after losing, 4-3, to the Tigers in overtime on Friday at Thompson Arena.

The ECAC teams play the second game of their best-of-three first round series at 7 p.m. Game three will be Sunday at 5 p.m., if necessary.

Princeton broke into the Big Green zone 3 minutes and 36 seconds into extra time and used two quick passes to get the puck to Reid Yochim.

His wrist shot from between the circles beat goaltender Adrian Clark over the leg pad and under the blocker, inside the left post. It was the Ontario product’s second goal in 21 games this season and just the third of his three-year career.

The victory was only the third in conference competition this winter for the 11th-seeded Tigers, who finished the regular season 2-16-4 and 4-20-5 overall. Sixth-seeded Dartmouth is 13-13-4 overall and was 10-10-2 in ECAC regular-season play.

Dartmouth opened the scoring during the third minute, Quin Foreman gliding through the left circle on a two-on-one break and ripping a wrist shot over goaltender Jeremie Forget’s glove and inside the far post. The Big Green had taken four of the contest’s first five shots and would take 11 of the first 12.

Princeton forged a 1-1 tie six minutes before the first intermission, the puck coming loose in the crease and Christian O’Neill sliding it under Clark, who was on his hands and knees. It was the Tigers’ third shot out of a combined 15 in the game to that point.

The hosts went up, 2-1, six minutes into the second period. Off a rush, Sam Hesler threw the puck from the left sideboards and off Foget’s pads. Daniel Warpecha, cruising down the slot’s far side, took the extra beat to settle the rebound before flipping a backhand shot under the crossbar.

Princeton’s O’Neill answered three minutes later with one of the slickest tallies seen in Thompson Arena this season. During a power play set up by a Will Graber boarding penalty, the Tiger scooted across the bottom of the right circle before spinning 180 degrees and scoring at the near post on his backhand.

Dartmouth went ahead, 3-2, with 15 minutes remaining the third period. Brendan Demler received a Tanner Palocsik pass on the rink’s left side as he moved into center ice, immediately sending a laser pass ahead to Graber at the Tigers’ blue line. Splitting a pair of defensemen and gliding in alone on Forget, Graber backed the netminder into his crease before scoring high over his glove.

Princeton created disappointed silence in the building when Finn Evans chipped the puck over Clark’s glove off a short breakaway from the top of the left circle for a 3-3 deadlock. Two minutes and 45 seconds remained in the third period.

Notes: Dartmouth entered Friday having won all four of its previous, postseason games at home against Princeton. … The last time the Big Green lost the first contest of a best-of-three series at Thompson was in 2013, when it rallied to win the last two games against Harvard. … Attendance was announced at 865. … Should the higher seeds win each of this weekend’s four ECAC first round series, Dartmouth would next play at third-place Quinnipiac. … Arriving midway through the game from his Boston consulting job was former Big Green captain Carl Hesler, who played two preseason games for the AHL’s Rochester (N.Y.) Americans last fall. Hesler was nicknamed the “White Bronco” as a Dartmouth player because he was born on the day of O.J. Simpson’s infamous, 1994 police chase on national television in such a vehicle. … Princeton won two ECAC games this season, both against 12th-place St. Lawrence and scored more than three goals in a game, just twice. … Palocsik finished second among ECAC rookies and fifth among all defensemen this season with 21 regular-season points. … Big Green forward Shane Sellar, out for the season with an injury, spends games in the press box using a tablet to track his teammates’ playing time.

Tris Wykes can be reached at

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