Hanover, NH — Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Gaudet walked into Thompson Arena on Saturday night with history accomplished and potential history to write. He cleared the 400 win milestone earlier this season, including a program record 309 wins at Dartmouth. The former Big Green goalie was honored by the school for surpassing legendary coach Eddie Jeremiah’s win record on Saturday night. He then went about trying to defeat his Dartmouth connected friend, Brian Riley, and the Army Black Knights. Riley’s father and uncles played at Dartmouth and hold many program records. The former Brown player and long time Black Knight Head Coach understood well the tournament’s legacy and tradition. But that wasn’t enough to get a win on road ice.
Army appeared to have the jump. Only 2:05 into the game, Kevin Dineen tracked a loose puck at the right doorstep and potted his first goal of the season to claim the lead. Dartmouth allowed virtually no time to celebrate the goal, though. Just 1:06 later, and 3:11 into the game, Drew O’Connor scored his team-leading 6th goal to tie the game. Dartmouth tilted the ice in their favor the rest of the frame with the reward of a lead. Near the mid-point of the frame, Collin Rutherford rushed up the boards and fed a perfect pass to Alex Jasiek for the Big Green lead. The assist was a gift from birthday boy Rutherford, who turned 21 as he helped stake Dartmouth to a 2-1 first intermission advantage.
Pace slowed down in the second period. The Black Knights won the shot total 10-9, yet Dartmouth still won the frame convincingly. First, they took their only penalty of the night late in the first and killed the nation’s third-best power play successfully early in the second. Then, the Big Green got two more goals through Black Knight goalie Jared Dempsey. Quin Foreman threaded the first one through off an end-to-end rush to tie O’Connor atop the Dartmouth goal scoring column. Carl Hesler threaded the second one inside the left post to run the score to 4-1 ahead of intermission.
Riley swapped goalies between the second and third, bringing in Matt Penta for his first career action in an Army uniform. He was okay, stopping seven of eight shots faced. Still, Dartmouth extended the lead to 5-1 on a Joey Matthews blast from above the left circle for his first collegiate goal. Army got one goal back in the third on a Brendan Soucie effort, but it was too little too late. Dartmouth secured the 5-2 victory.
“We had a great first couple shifts, and sometimes that works against you”, Coach Riley said. “I don’t know if sometimes you think it’s gonna be easy, but Dartmouth got going and we were on our heels.”
Army falls to 8-9-1 with the defeat. The Black Knights face the Brown Bears for the Tournament’s consolation game on Sunday afternoon. Puck drops at 4 PM.
Coach Gaudet was pleased with the game and quick turnaround. “They’re a really good skating team, obviously really well conditioned. When they got the lead on us, they scored a nice goal. To come back and even it up was great.”
Dartmouth improves to 5-6-1. They’ll face the Providence Friars for the Tournament Title on Sunday night. Puck drops at 7 pm.