Hanover, NH — Sophomore Drew O’Connor scored two goals in forty-seven seconds in the second period while senior Adrian Clark had 35 saves for Dartmouth as the Big Green outlasted the visiting Boston University Terriers in a wild game at Thompson Arena. The Terriers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but Dartmouth fought back to tie the game during a 1:40 stretch late in the first period.
The topsy-turvy first period kicked off when Boston U. struck first as freshman Sam Stevens banged home the rebound of a Jake Wise wrap-around attempt at 2:01.
Dartmouth had the first power play of the evening at 2:38 when BU’s Jack DeBoer was whistled for Tripping. The Big Green power play was unable to generate any offense against the speedy Terriers penalty kill. BU’s Stevens and Alex Brink had a shorthanded two on one bid that Clark thwarted.
The Terriers Gabriel Chabot made it 2-0 when he wristed a cross-ice pass from David Farrance past Clark from the top of the right circle at 5:25. Farrance skated the puck the length of the ice and hit the senior forward in stride. The goal was Chabot’s third of the year.
Forward Wilmer Skoog was called for Tripping at 6:51 putting the Big Green back on the man advantage. Dartmouth was able to put three shots on goal during the power play but graduate transfer Sam Tucker was looking good in the early going.
The Terriers had their first power play at 9:48 when defenseman Tanner Palocsik was called for High-Sticking on Patrick Harper as he was in on Clark. BU was unable to capitalize on the power play.
At 13:19 Chabot fed Matthew Quercia with a pass along the crease that Quercia banged home giving the Terriers a 3-0.
BU defenseman Cam Crotty was called for Closing Hand on Puck at 13:32. Matt Gallant tipped a Palocsik shot past Tucker at 15:06 making it 3-1, giving the Big Green a spark. Gallant’s goal was his third of the season, all within the last four games.
Matt Baker made it 3-2 when he poked a rebound past Tucker at 16:22. Will Graber and Jeff Losurdo were credited with the assists. Graber, a senior forward just back from injury, was playing defense on this shift as he did throughout the night.
Twenty-four seconds later Tucker’s night was over and the 2,511 in attendance were wondering “what is going on here?” as junior forward Quin Foreman‘s sixth goal of the season would knot the game 3-3. From the bottom of the left circle Foreman wristed a rebound past a sprawling Tucker at 16:46. First period. Six goals. New game.
Freshman goaltender Ashton Abel came in on relief for Tucker. It was Abel’s first action of his career. He would stop all five shots he faced in the period. Dartmouth outshot BU 20-13 for the period despite the Terriers controlling the face-off dot 24-9.
The Terriers came of flying in the second period. In the opening minute of play, a Dartmouth defender turned the puck over to Robert Mastrosimone in front of Clark. The freshman forward’s attempt was stopped by Clark but the puck trickled through his legs and sat just outside the goal line. Mastrosimone and another Terrier player attempted to stuff the puck in the goal but the Dartmouth keeper was able to get his stick along the goal line keeping the score tied.
BU’s Skoog, in just his second game since joining the Terriers over the winter break, scored his second goal of the year in fantastic fashion. Skoog picked up the puck in front of Clark, took it around the net and lifted it onto his stick blade and tucked it into the Dartmouth goal under the crossbar at 1:46 for the 4-3 Terrier lead.
At 11:05 O’Connor struck for his first goal of the night when he walked out from behind the BU goal, just as Abel had fallen in his crease, and fired home a wrist-shot tying it at 4-4. Eric Urbank and Graber were credited the assists. Graber’s second of the game.
Forty-seven seconds later O’Connor would give Dartmouth their first lead of the night when he took a pass from Gallant at the bottom of the right circle. O’Connor cut in front of Abel and tucked the puck around the goalie’s extended leg making it 5-4 Big Green at 11:52.
At 17:39 BU’s Crotty trailed the play on a three on one and put the rebound past Clark but a Coaches Challenge by Dartmouth’s Bob Gaudet for Goaltender Interference was upheld after the referees reviewed the play.
BU continued to pressure Dartmouth as the seconds wound down. With just under two minutes to go senior Patrick Curry had a shot from the side of the goal that rolled over Clark and sat on the goal line as a scrum ensued. Somehow the puck never made it into the net. Losurdo came out of the scrum with a Roughing penalty at 18:10.
The Terriers managed two shots on the power play and 19 for the period for a 19-8 shots on goal differential. BU continued the face-off dominance 13-8.
The third period was anti-climatic in comparison to the first two. Dartmouth outshot Boston U. 9-7 as the Terriers racked up three penalties in the last frame. Curry for Head-Butting just eight-teen seconds in. DeBoer’s second of the game at 3:23 for Tripping, which was negated by a Losurdo Holding call at 4:28. And Domenick Fensore for Elbowing at 6:10. The BU penalty kill was up to the challenge of keeping the game at 5-4. The Terriers pulled Abel at 19:03 but couldn’t pull off the tying goal.
Abel had 20 saves in relief of Tucker while suffering the first loss of his young career. Clark moved to 8-4-3 on the season. BU outshot Dartmouth 9-7 in the third for a 39-37 overall edge. Dartmouth found their groove in the face-off circle winning 7-3 in the third but being out-drawn 46-26 on the evening. The win for Dartmouth brings their record to 8-5-3 while BU falls to 7-7-5. Dartmouth has now won four out of the last five against the Terriers.
“Tip your cap,” said BU coach Albie O’Connell afterwards. “Dartmouth played a good game. They ended up winning. They played a pretty good third period, we weren’t very smart in the third period taking penalties.”
“Penalties. We took three penalties in the first period, said the second-year coach. “I thought in the first two periods, 80% of it we dominated to be honest with you. I like the way we played but there were stretches where we just played soft.”
“We had shot blocks where we were getting out of the way of. If you’re not willing to block a shot… that’s two games in a row on the penalty kill where we’ve bailed on blocking shots. That cost us goals. They had nothing going on,” said O’Connell as his voice rose. “They had nothing going on on that power play. They throw a muffin towards the net and our guy’s not willing to block it. Twice! And we’re trying to make a play on the puck on the penalty kill instead of just clearing it down. If we played simple we could have went on a run in that game because they didn’t have a lot going on.”
“We did a lot of positive’s tonight,” said the coach. “But they don’t outweigh some of the negative competitive stuff we have. We just need more buy in the locker room, that’s a reality. We got enough talent, we got enough good players, we got enough competitors. We just need more buy-in and it comes from the top.”
“It was a great game, a great college hockey game,” said coach Gaudet. “They were out of the gate so fast we had to catch up with the speed they played with. I thought our guys battled hard. To actually tie the score up in the first was great for us.”
“Just a phenomenal fourth goal,” added Gaudet of Skoog’s highlight reel strike. “You just have to clap for the kid. That’s why I wish we had replays, I’d love to see it again. I saw it in real-time an it was just ridiculous.”
“It’s a very skilled team, a really, really good hockey team,” said Gaudet of the Terriers. “I just thought our guys battled very hard from our goalie on out. Scored some big goals, made some really good plays and it was just a really entertaining, even for me on the bench, just a really entertaining college hockey game.”
“It’s an interesting dilemma you’re in,” added Gaudet about being done 3-0 in the first. “You want to play hard but it’s just to play one shift at a time, it sounds really trite and simple but we need to go out and win a few battles. I told our guys to stay focused on the process and not on the outcome. It’s a long game, it’s not over.”
“I’m just proud of the guys for the workmanlike third period,” said Gaudet. “It was really good, we put the puck in good areas, we battled hard, we didn’t give them a lot. they’re really skilled, whatever we did give them our goalie erased. It was a really good team effort.”
The Terriers continue on the road with trips to Merrimack on Friday and rival Boston College on Saturday. Dartmouth meanwhile stays home to host Clarkson on Friday and St. Lawrence on Saturday. All four game are 7:00 pm EST puck drops.