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Wildcats Clip Big Green in Men’s Hockey



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, December 07, 2018

Hanover — Hockey folk are forever bemoaning bad bounces of the puck, often citing them as the difference between victory and defeat. Friday night at Thompson Arena, however, the Dartmouth College men’s team could honestly point to a strange bit of misfortune that cost them a 3-2 nonconference clash with New Hampshire.

Wildcats freshman wing Joseph Cipollone scored his first collegiate goal with the game tied at 2-2 and nine minutes remaining. The play began with Frankie Cefalu’s throwaway shot from high on the right side struck the palm of Dartmouth defender Charley Michalowski, standing on the inside of the near circle.

Thinking the puck had caromed into the corner, Michalowski allowed himself a moment to turn away and shake his paw in pain. However, the rubber had dropped flat on the ice in the high slot, from where Cipollone struck.

“It’s one of those games where you’re left scratching your head,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, whose team held a 27-16 shot advantage and hit three posts during the third period. “But I give them credit, because they were opportunistic and had some good sticks.”

Dartmouth was awarded its fifth power play with four minutes remaining but finished scoreless with a man advantage and dropped to 4-4-1. The Big Green is 1-2-1 during its last four games. The Wildcats improved to 3-7-5.

“We worked our tails off and, at times, it looked like we were really wearing them down,” Gaudet said, while allowing that his squad didn’t rally quite as much as he’d have liked after the Wildcats’ third goal.

UNH opened the scoring during the fifth minute after Dartmouth forward Daniel Warpecha turned the puck over inside the blue line and near the home bench. The Wildcats’ Max Gildon pounced on the biscuit and fed Brendan van Riemsdyk on the lower left side of the slot. He scored along the ice and inside the right post on the third shot of the game.

The visitors pushed their lead to 2-0 on their fifth shot and during the ninth minute. The play came not long after Dartmouth’s Jeff Losurdo was denied on a breakaway.

Liam Blackburn won a faceoff to goaltender Adrian Clark’s right and fired a shot which glanced off the goaltender’s blocker and to the bottom of the far circle. Justin Fregona scored from a sharp angle before Clark could fully slide across the crease.

Dartmouth halved its deficit 43 seconds before the first intermission when Losurdo slid a pass out front from behind the net. Shane Sellar one-timed it past UNH goaltender Ty Taylor.

The hosts forged a 2-2 tie seven minutes before the second break. Drew O’Connor used his stick blade as a ramp to redirect a Harrison Markell shot from the right point up and over Taylor. At that point, Dartmouth had taken 14 of the game’s first 20 shots.

UNH coach Mike Souza, a former Wildcats star who replaced longtime boss Dick Umile this season, was happy to take the late break that boosted his team to victory.

“We talk about just funneling pucks to the net, and that’s exactly what we did,” Souza said. “It hit the defensemen and (Dartmouth) lost track of it for just a split-second, and Cipollone was Johnny-on-the-spot. He had a nice quick shot under the blocker.

“We were just holding on at the end, because we’ve seen that movie where things don’t go our way late.”

Notes: The Big Green attempted 63 shots and had 17 blocked. … Dartmouth entered the weekend tied with Yale for second in the ECAC standings. At the same point last year, the Big Green was 10th in the conference and four games under .500. … Dartmouth junior forward Cam Strong is the only Montana resident among the country’s NCAA Division I players. … Dartmouth has yet to win, lose or tie in consecutive games this season, the longest such start to a campaign since 1982-83. … UNH features five players drafted by the NHL. Dartmouth has not had one since 2013 graduate Dustin Walsh, who was picked in the sixth round by Montreal in 2009. … The Big Green and Wildcats had never previously played each other on consecutive days. … The teams played each other annually in Manchester from 2001-02 to 2011-12 and again in 2014 before the events, which suffered declining attendance, were discontinued. … Dartmouth’s Alex Jasiek and Connor Yau each played their 100th collegiate game. … UNH’s roster features two players from New Hampshire and single competitors from Texas, Florida, Iowa and Japan. … A spectator displayed a “Black Lives Matter” flag during the singing of the national anthem. … Brendan van Riemsdyk’s older brothers, James and Trevor, each played at UNH and now skate in the NHL. The Wildcats’ Joe Sacco is the son of a father by the same name who played 13 NHL seasons and is a Boston Bruins assistant. … UNH has played eight games decided by one or two goals and is 2-6 in them. Dartmouth is 2-3 in such contests. … The Wildcats play on a wider, Olympic-sized ice surface. Asked if he would install such a sheet in Thompson Arena if he could, Gaudet said no. “There’s so much more action on this size,” he said. “We’re a little wider than most rinks but the corners are shallow, so you can come out of them and go right to the goal with the puck.”

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