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RENON, Italy – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team saved the best for last.

In the final game of the team’s European trip to Italy and Switzerland, the Big Green knocked off Ritten Sport Renon, 4-1, Tuesday night.

Junior Charlie Mosey and sophomore Brad Schierhorn each netted a pair of goals in the game and sophomore James Kruger came up big, stopping 33 shots to earn the victory in goal.

Kruger’s play was the story of the night as the second-year netminder outplayed his counterpart in former NHL goalie Chris Mason, who spent last season with the Nashville Predators. Mason finished the contest with 24 saves, including 13 in the third period.

Junior and team captain Tyler Sikura chipped in with a pair of assists, helping to set up his linemate Schierhorn on both markers. Jesse Beamish and Eric Robinson got helpers on Mosey’s first, while Tim O’Brien helped set up the second, both of which were one-timers in the low slot. Nick Bligh also had an assist on Schierhorn’s second goal, giving him points in consecutive games.

The Big Green were a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play, while the penalty killers held on all three of Renon’s chances with the man-advantage.

Dartmouth will return to the United States on Saturday in preparation for the 2013-14 season that will get underway on Oct. 25 against Princeton in Newark as part of the Liberty Shootout at the Prudential Center.

Tuesday, September 3

Everyday there is something about this trip that you don’t expect when you wake up in the morning. It’s something that knocks you back and makes you very aware of just how fortunate you are to be a part of something like this.

Today, riding in a gondola lift from Balzano to Renon to get to the game was that moment.

After spending the morning exploring the beautiful city of Bassano del Grappa, the group piled into the bus and made the two-hour dive to Balzano through some of the prettiest countryside we’ve seen on the trip (that’s saying something).

Because we didn’t leave Bassano until almost 2 p.m. the players and staff didn’t have too much time to enjoy Balzano. After 30 minutes of a guided tour, we found ourselves at the gondola station. The parents and staff wives would join us at the arena later as they spent more time in the beautiful city that is a mixture of both German and Italian culture.

The gondola lift ride lasted about 20 minutes and gave us some of the most breathtaking views of the mountains that we have experienced in our time in Europe (which is also saying something). Below us were endless vineyards, farms and beautiful vistas. The panoramic views of the mountains in the distance were truly spectacular.

Once at the top and off of the gondola, we waited for a small, two-car train that would bring us to the arena. The mountains remained in view as the car made several stops at small wooden buildings lining the tracks that served as stations. However, some of these stops were in the middle of sprawling fields of grass that seemed oddly placed given the fact that no one got on or off the train each time.

A short walk from the station saw the team arrive at the rink, which features a glass ceiling on one side of the building and clear plastic windows on both ends, allowing in a great deal of natural sunlight. Next to the building is an outdoor speed skating rink (a large concrete oval in the summer months), used in several international competitions each winter.

When complimented on the beauty of the building’s location, the rink manager said ‘it was nothing.’ He assured us that a short walk up the hill would produce better views that included Austria, Slovenia and more mountains. Seems like some people are never satisfied.

Some of the breathtaking views from the gondola on the way to the game.
The arena (right side) seems to have one of the prettiest views of any place we have seen.
Although our time in Balzano was short, it was a great experience.
Our home for three days, Bassano del Grappa, is incredibly beautiful and a must-see in northern Italy.