Boston, MA — Boston University and Dartmouth College have ridden roller coaster first semesters. BU opened with high expectations of a Hockey East Title defense but sits fifth in HEA play at .500 with more conference games gone than anyone but UConn. Dartmouth, meanwhile, entered with hopes for ECAC contention and mostly lived up to that, sitting in third despite some eye-popping losses to Princeton and Brown. The Terriers hosted the Big Green to conclude the first half of the year and the only eastern D1 Men’s collegiate hockey game was a fun ride.
The opening stanza felt like the early rounds of a boxing match: two brawlers feeling out the fight while trading occasional hay-makers. BU came out on the better end of the early match despite being outshot 7-5. Dartmouth turned over the puck in their own zone and Cam Crotty, fresh off three hours of sleep and a cross-continental flight from Colwood, British Columbia, after being cut from the Canadian World Junior team, sliced through the Dartmouth defense and staked BU to a 1-0 lead that the Terriers held into the intermission.
Dartmouth controlled the shots and pace of the second and drew even at the period’s midpoint. Kevan Killistoff took a pass from Cam Strong and potted the equalizer for his first goal this season. BU got up off the mat quickly. Patrick Harper picked off a pass from behind the Big Green net and deeked Dartmouth goalie Adrian Clark out of the building to reclaim BU’s lead only 1:04 after losing the lead.
Once more, Dartmouth outshot BU in the third, 13-7 this time. And again, Jake Oettinger stood tall. The junior from Lakeville, MN, recorded 33 saves on 34 shots faced and got plenty of offensive help. Patrick Harper and Ty Amonte played a perfect two-on-one to run the score to 3-1. After Amonte hit Dartmouth with the Baby Shark celebration, Clark went to the bench for an extra attacker only for Joel Farabee to end the scoring at 4-1 in BU’s favor.
Bob Gaudet was optimistic regarding his team’s effort.
“It was a good college hockey game,” Gaudet said. “I thought our team competed hard and battled fiercely. It’s a funny game, the game of hockey. You have stretches where the puck just goes in for you, and then you have parts where it doesn’t. And we’re in one of those stretches where it’s not going in for us but it’s not for lack of effort.”
Dartmouth ends their first semester at 4-6-1 and went winless in their final four games of the half. The Big Green sit for exams and return to the ice to host the Ledyard Bank Classic, one of college hockey’s best holiday time traditions. Puck drops at 7 pm against both Army and Providence on the 29th and 30th respectively, both at Thompson Arena in Hanover, NH.
Terrier Head Coach Albie O’Connell was proud of his team gutting out a win while missing critical pieces of his team to injury while still observing chances for improvement.
“Overall, it was a really gutsy win, O’Connell said. “We were down a lot of bodies. Cam Crotty came from across country and might’ve been our best player. It was a hard fought game. They’re a big, strong, heavy team. We gave up a bunch of chances in the second period just by playing a bit of pond hockey with the puck and not playing intelligent. But overall we played one of our better defensive games.”
Chad Krys and Jake Wise were known scratches ahead of time while Bobo Carpenter tried to skate in warm-ups and wasn’t able to play. Crotty traveled cross country and Shane Bowers is still with the Canadian World Junior team. Freshman Dominic Vidoli logged big minutes on the blue line despite being sick all week and not practicing.
BU wraps up their first half at 6-8-2. They do not play again until January 8th when they travel to Harvard and face the Crimson. Puck drops at 7 pm at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.