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Dartmouth men’s hockey winless slide hits five

  • Dartmouth College goaltender Adrian Clark and defenseman Joey Matthews sandwich Harvard's Colton Kerfoot during the first period of the ECAC teams' game Friday at Thompson Arena. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to » Buy this Image

  • Harvard University goaltender Mitchell Gibson warms up before Friday's ECAC game at Dartmouth while wearing an inside-out Big Green practice jersey. Crimson players are responsible for packing their own tops and Gibson forgot his. A team parent drove the game jersey up from Allston, Mass., in time for the opening faceoff and Gibson started wearing his usual No. 44. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to » Buy this Image

  • Dartmouth College goaltender Adrian Clark can't stop a breakaway goal by Harvard's Jack Badini during Friday's ECAC game at Thompson Arena. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to » Buy this Image

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/7/2020 11:28:31 PM
Modified: 2/7/2020 11:28:17 PM

HANOVER — The Dartmouth College men’s hockey team’s winless streak stretched to five games on Friday night with a 6-2 loss to archrival Harvard at Thompson Arena.

The ECAC game didn’t start well for the hosts, who surrendered the opening goal during the fourth minute and remained seventh in the 12-team ECAC standings with the defeat.

Dartmouth’s struggles come at a costly time. The Big Green, 10-9-4 overall and 7-7-2 in conference play, has six regular-season games remaining. They’re all against conference foes, and Dartmouth can’t afford to give much more ground if it’s to stay in contention for a top-four finish and a first-round playoff bye.

“Harvard has some really good skill, but when the bounces go against you, you have to fight back,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, whose team is 3-8-1 this season when surrendering a game’s first goal. “It put us on our heels a little bit.”

Harvard opened the scoring when Jack Badini used a backhand shot to beat goaltender Adrian Clark on a breakaway. Gaudet protested vehemently that a Crimson player had used a high stick to pick the puck out of the air just before assisting on the play.

“It was at ear height and clearly, clearly a high stick,” Gaudet said. “Everybody in the building saw it, but it’s part of the game and the referees do a good job.”

The Big Green produced a 1-1 tie four minutes later when Drew O’Connor scored his team-high 13th goal, putting in a one-time shot at the right post. Harvard went up, 2-1, five minutes before the first intermission when a shot from the left side snuck between Clark and defenseman Joey Matthews, and Austin Wong scored at the far pipe.

The No. 17 Crimson forged a 3-1 lead five minutes into the second period. A pass from high in the slot to the bottom of the right circle was immediately sent across the crease and under O’Connor’s stick. Nick Abruzzese banged the puck into the net’s left side.

Dartmouth cut its deficit to 3-2 six minutes into the third period on a smooth rush into the Harvard zone. Collin Rutherford passed from the right side to Matt Baker in the middle, and the puck moved on to Daniel Warpecha in the right circle, from where the senior converted a shot.

The Crimson pounded home a coffin nail with five minutes remaining. Jack Drury drifted wide of defenseman Brock Paul in the neutral zone, took a quick, diagonal pass from Abruzzese, skated around the freshman bluelinder and through the left circle before lifting the puck under the crossbar. What remained of an announced crowd of 1,991 sat in almost complete silence.

“They made a play, and we didn’t,” said Gaudet, who watched Harvard score an empty-net goal with a minute remaining and a final even-strength tally with 21 seconds to go. “The score doesn’t show you it was a one-goal game in the third period.”

Dartmouth, which was outshot, 27-24, hosts Brown and Yale next weekend. Harvard (12-7-4, 10-4-3) is tied for third place in the ECAC standings with Quinnipiac.

“It’s been a tough stretch for us,” Gaudet said. “The points are hard to come by, but I have faith we’ll find a way to play our best hockey down the stretch.”

Notes: Freshman Mitchell Gibson, Harvard’s starting goaltender, warmed up wearing an inside-out Dartmouth practice jersey. Crimson players are responsible for packing their own gear, and Mitchell left his top in Massachusetts. A Harvard parent drove the No. 44 sweater up in time for opening faceoff. … Clark entered the weekend as one of 19 NCAA Division I goaltenders to appear in at least 90% of his team’s total minutes. He was at 94%, a number that ranked fourth in the ECAC and 12th nationally. … Former Dartmouth star and New York Rangers draft pick Hugh Jessiman attended the game. Now working in New York City finance, Jessiman is set to be married later this year in Tuscon, Ariz. … A strange moment came during the second period when a stick lodged, blade-first, under one of the Zamboni doors. Play continued for more than a minute, with one of the referees nearly falling backward when he tried to kick the stick loose as he skated past it. … Enlivening the first intermission was former Dartmouth athletics academic advisor Zoe Leonard, who crashed to the ice while administering a chuck-a-puck promotion. The former Big Green volleyball player leaped to her feet, drawing cheers from spectators. ... Handing out free T-shirts with the Dartmouth promotional staff at the game was senior football long snapper Grant Jaffe, who recently exhausted his eligibility. ... Friday was the sixth anniversary of the night that Harvard’s Zamboni ice resurfacer died on its home ice and had to be pushed off by Crimson players. Video and photos of the moment have since become part of college hockey lore.

Tris Wykes can be reached at

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