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Big Green settles for a draw with RPI



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, February 08, 2019

HANOVER — The Dartmouth College men’s hockey team rallied for a 3-3 tie against visiting Rensselaer on Friday, picking up a crucial point in the ECAC standings.

Freshman Drew O’Connor’s tip of a Matt Baker shot from the left point pulled the hosts into a draw with a minute remaining in the third period.

Overtime settled nothing, despite a minor penalty to Engineers captain Tommy Grant and an O’Connor shot off the crossbar during the ensuing power play. The sixth-place Big Green, 1-3-1 during its last five games, continues its quest to earn a top-four finish and a first-round bye in next month’s 12-team conference tournament.

Dartmouth, which ended a seven-game winning streak against the Engineers, played minus standout center Will Graber and defensemen Cameron Roth and Brendan Less, all sidelined with flu. The Big Green tonight hosts No. 20 Union, which has won the teams’ last six meetings and is in eighth place. The teams will each have six regular-season games remaining in the season after that clash.

RPI went ahead, 3-2, with 10 minutes remaining when Meirs Moore and Brady Whiffen worked a quick give-and-go out of the left corner. The latter carried the puck from the center of the near circle to the far post, from where he slid a backhand shot into unguarded twine. The strike followed several minutes of shoddy defense, the Big Green struggling to clear its own end and enduring several near misses near its crease.

Dartmouth took four of the first five shots, but surrendered the first goal during the sixth minute after defenseman Harrison Markel took a tripping penalty. The Engineers won a faceoff to the right of goaltender Adrian Clark and defenseman Will Reilly fired a wrist shot from the left point, over Clark’s glove and inside the far post.

The Big Green answered two minutes later when Connor Yau saucered a pass from the right side to Jeffrey Losurdo. The freshman caught the arcing rubber on his backhand before using his forehand to ring a close-range shot off the right post from a sharp angle. It was the rookie’s third goal and his first since Nov. 24.

RPI went up, 2-1, with nine minutes remaining in the second period when Grant passed from behind the net and Ture Linden, unmarked in the low slot, banged a one-time shot past Clark.

The hosts forged a 2-2 tie four minutes before the second intermission when Alex Jasiek rushed wide left and behind the net, feeding a pass out front just before swinging past the near post.

Collin Rutherford was on the doorstep to fire the feed under goaltender Owen Savory’s leg pad.

Dartmouth held a 38-27 shot advantage and was scoreless in three power-play chances. RPI scored on its only chance with a man advantage. Faceoffs were 32-32..

Notes: Dartmouth is 2-7-6 in overtime against RPI. Its two victories have come during the last three seasons. … Attendance was announced at 1,772. … Dartmouth junior defenseman Ben DeMaio played for the first time since March of 2017. He’s skated in 16 games with no points. Teammate and center John Ernsting played for the fifth time this season after sitting out the past seven games. The senior entered the campaign having played76 times. … Dartmouth is 41-46-6 all-time against the Engineers. … Dartmouth freshman Sam Hesler hasn’t played for the last couple of weeks, downed by a knee injury suffered in practice. … Brian Corcoran, Dartmouth’s director of hockey operations, works a press-box laptop during play, but was pressed into pregame duty as a spotlight operator. He arrived panting at his usual post just before the opening puck drop. … The ECAC is the only Division I league without a penalty-shot goal this season and only one attempt has been awarded this winter. Hockey East, Atlantic Hockey and the WCHA each have six attempts and the NCHC has five. Dartmouth’s last attempt was on Jan. 30, 2015, and its last such goal came a week earlier, notched by Eric Neiley. … Clark made his 12th consecutive start in net, the longest such stretch in several seasons. He entered the night having played 93.7 percent of his team’s minutes, second in the ECAC and ninth among Division I backstops… Tonight’s game is Dartmouth’s third in four games against a ranked opponent.

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