HANOVER, N.H. - The top-ranked team in the nation spoiled the final regular season home game for five members of the Dartmouth men's hockey team.
No. 1 Quinnipiac used two goals in each of the final two periods to defeat No. 18 Dartmouth, 4-1, Saturday night at Thompson Arena.
The loss means that the Big Green (13-11-5, 9-9-4 ECAC) finish the season fifth in the league standings and will play host to 12th-place Harvard in a first round series in Hanover next weekend. Game 1 will be Friday night at 7 p.m. between the two Ivy foes.
In Saturday's match-up, the Bobcats (24-5-5, 17-2-3 ECAC) took a two-goal lead on markers from Jeremy Langlois and Jordan Samuels-Thomas at the 3:37 and 10:59 marks, respectively, of the second period.
In the final minute of the middle stanza and the Big Green searching for some life heading into the second intermission, sophomore Rick Pinkston's blast from the point found space between the pads of goaltender Eric Hartzell. With just 29 seconds on the clock, Pinkston's fourth of the season cut the deficit to one, 2-1, as Jesse Beamish and Dustin Walsh were credited with assists on the play.
That would be as close as it came for the Green as Quinnipiac added two more in the third, including a second from Samuels-Thomas, to seal the 4-1 win.
Another solid night in goal for freshman Charles Grant resulted in just his fifth loss of the season (5-5-2), despite 38 saves against the Bobcats. In two games this weekend, Grant turned aside 78-of-the-84 shots he faced.
Hartzell made 21 saves in continuing to build on his Quinnipiac record of single-season wins by a goaltender to 24 (24-4-5).
The Dartmouth power play was held without a goal on three attempts, while the visitors were 1-for-4 on the night with the man-advantage.
Finishing the season with 22 points, Dartmouth is tied with St. Lawrence for fifth in the league standings, but by virtue of a better record against the top-four teams (3-4-1), the Big Green have earned the highest first-round seed next weekend.
In two meetings with Harvard this year, Dartmouth was 1-0-1 with a thrilling 3-2 win against the Crimson at home in Hanover on Jan. 12.
Tickets will go on sale for next weekend's first round series with the Crimson (9-17-3, 6-14-2 ECAC) Tuesday at 10 a.m. Fans can reach the Dartmouth Athletics Ticket Office by calling 603-646-2466 or by visiting DartmouthSports.com.
The five seniors in thier final regular-season home game who were honored after the conclusion of the contest with a ceremony were: Mike Keenan, Dustin Walsh, Mark Goggin, Jason Bourgea and Alex Goodship.