CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team jumped out early and never let up, taking Game 1 of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series with Harvard, 4-1, Friday night at the Bright-Landry hockey Center.
Sophomores Cam Strong and Daniel Warpecha put the fifth-seeded Big Green (16-15-2) up a pair in the first period with freshman Matt Baker notching the third goal in the middle frame. After a late Harvard goal, senior Corey Kalk hit the empty net to seal the series-opening victory.
Senior netminder Devin Buffalo only allowed the Crimson (13-13-4) a late goal from Nathan Krusko with the fourth-seeded Crimson skating with the extra attacker.
The first postseason game played in Cambridge between the Ivy rivals went the way of Dartmouth who will take a 1-0 series lead into Saturday’s Game 2 and an opportunity to move on to Lake Placid and the ECAC Hockey Semifinals.
Buffalo was stellar in goal for the Green and White, but didn’t need to make the flashy saves Dartmouth fans have grown accustomed to seeing from the netminder. He finished the night with 34 stops with 15 coming in the third period.
As a team, the Big Green blocked 27 shots, limiting the number of pucks that got through on their goalie, allowing him to see shots and make saves without all the flare seen in the last two months. Leading the way was senior River Rymsha with six blocks.
Kalk now has a goal and an assist in each of the last two games and Baker snapped his streak of 12 games played without a tally as the second-period marker was his ninth of the year.
“We expect good things and to work hard,” head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “We expect good things to happen when we work hard and tonight was a night that played out.
“Our penalty kill was outstanding against a very good power-play team in Harvard,” Gaudet added. “We’ve played four games in a week and people are talking about being tired. We see it as playing with adrenaline and another opportunity to show the make up of this team.”
The Crimson went 0-for-4 on the man-advantage, while Dartmouth was 0-for-5. All-American and 2018 US Olympian Ryan Donato was held to just one assist.
Friday’s result not only gives the Big Green a 1-0 series lead, it also marked the first win in Cambridge since Nov. 26, 2010.
Game 2 is Saturday night at 7 p.m. and will be carried live on NESN for those in New England.