Boston, MA — For the first time this millennium the Dartmouth Big Green ventured to historic Matthews Arena to take on the Northeastern Huskies. The last time Dartmouth played at the oldest active ice hockey barn in the US was December 11, 1999. The two teams combined to score 10 goals in a “Rock’em, Sock’em” clash before winter break. The Huskies jumped out to a three-goal, first-period lead only to squander and regain it all in the second. Northeastern held on for the 6-4 win, paced by four points from freshman Aidan McDonough (2-2-4) and 23 saves from Craig Pantano.
Dartmouth had the games first power play just 2:09 in when defenseman Billy Carrabino was sent off for Boarding. The Huskies penalty kill was able to keep the Big Green’s scoring chances to the perimeter.
Northeastern kicked off the scoring festivities at 5:59 when John Picking slammed a Jordan Harris pass past goalie Adrian Clark. From the right side of the blue line, Harris fired the puck to Picking at the left post where he was all alone behind Clark.
Dartmouth responded with a three on one rush that culminated in Cam Strong shooting over the goal.
Senior assistant captain Matt Felipe made it 2-0 Huskies when he banged home a rebound to the right of Clark at 7:54. An errant pass up the boards by Ryan Blankemeier resulted in Neil Shea‘s shot from the point on Clark. Felipe easily deposited the rebound for his third goal of the season.
At 16:21 Drew O’Connor was whistled for Hooking. At 16:42 Tyler Madden found McDonough with a cross-ice feed to make it 3-0 Huskies. Madden threaded a pass from the left face-off dot across to McDonough at the bottom of the right circle that the freshman one-timed. After the first period, NU was outshooting Dartmouth 11-8 and controlling the face-off dot 15-6.
The Big Green struck just fifty-four seconds into the second period when Brendan Less caused a turnover at the Huskies blue line and sent Daniel Warpecha into the NU zone. Warpecha passed the puck to Matt Baker, who gave it back to Warpecha for a shot on goal. Jeff Losurdo knocked the rebound past Pantano to give the visiting Ivy Leaguers some life. The goal was the sophomore’s fourth of the year and third in his last three games.
Dartmouth was taking it to Northeastern all period long. A strong forecheck by the Big Green led to Losurdo and Less setting up Warpecha at 8:39 cutting the score to 3-2 NU. Losurdo sent the puck from the corner to Less at the blue line and the junior fed Warpecha down low to the right of Pantano. The senior slid the puck under Pantano for his fourth goal of the year.
Just thirteen seconds later Sam Hesler would tie the game at 3-3. Less again caused a turnover at the Huskies blue line, he then fired a shot on Pantano that the graduate student saved but Hesler was there to bang home the rebound. The goal was Hesler’s second in two games.
As quickly as Dartmouth had caught up in the first half of the second period they had surrendered three more goals in the back half of the period.
With Tyler Campbell in the penalty box for a Face-Off Violation the Huskies power play was able to rebuild the lead again. McDonough’s second power play goal of the night made it 4-3 at 10:01. Zach Solow (0-3-3) sent the puck out high to Ryan Shea at the point. The senior Chicago Blackhawks draft pick lured the defense towards him in the slot and dished to McDonough at the goal line for the one-timer.
Fifty-nine seconds into Joey Matthews Slashing penalty Solow and McDonough set up Shea for his third goal of the year making it 5-3 Northeastern. Shea took the pass from McDonough and wristed it past Clark from the slot.
At 16:09 Madden rebounded his own backhand attempt past Clark making it 6-3. The goal was the 13th of the year for the Vancouver Canucks prospect. Grant Jozefek and McDonough were credited with the assists. The Huskies outshot Dartmouth 13-11 and won the face-offs 10-9 for the second period.
The third period was fast-paced and action-packed. The only score came 9:12 when Blankemeier took a two on one dish from Eric Urbank and beat Pantano making it 6-4. Blankemeier’s second of the year was also assisted by Hesler.
The end of the game was marred a bit when Dartmouth’s Jack Cameron was hurt on a race for the puck with Felipe. The Huskies forward and the Big Green defenseman were hustling for the puck as it was closing in on an empty Dartmouth goal. The two got tangled up and Cameron hit the boards hard. It could have been called a trip on Felipe but wasn’t. A scuffle ensued and Dartmouth’s Losurdo was penalized for Facemasking, a five minute major at 18:40. An irate Bob Gaudet was hit with a Bench Minor for yelling at the officials. Gaudet felt there should have been a penalty on Felipe.
Northeastern outshot Dartmouth 31-27 and won the face-offs 34-26. the all-time series is still in Dartmouth’s favor 31-27-1 but the Big Green are 0-6-1 in their last seven against the Huskies.
“NU has a good team, obviously,” said Gaudet. “On the power play, they killed us. Special teams were huge in the game. Their back door play on their first goal was just a ridiculous pass, just ridiculous. And a great play by their guy going around the net and getting it on the weak side,” said the 23-year Dartmouth head coach of the Picking goal. “Haven’t seen that actually, usually, the defenseman’s going to put it on the near side, and it was tape to tape on the weak side of the ice. Really fabulous.”
“We had a tough time defending, especially on the penalty kill, but they’re a very good team, really skilled, and well-coached team,” added Gaudet. “A fun team to play against.”
“We jumped out to the 3-0 lead there and we were playing well,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “Then we obviously gave it back, we didn’t manage the pucks really well in the neutral zone, and made some soft plays and credit Dartmouth. They came [back] and I liked how we responded then there afterwards getting three more to go up 6-3. Our goal is to win, go into the break with a win here tonight. Breaking on the right note, going 11-5-2 for a good first half. It creates a foundation for us in which to continuing building. There’s a lot of work for us still to do and that second half will come in a couple of weeks. But it’s good for the kids to get away and enjoy some time with their families. It’s been a long three and a half months so far but they’ll come back re-energized and re-invigorating themselves to have a good second half push. I’m very happy with the win.”