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Big Green Fall to Rensselaer in ECAC Hockey Action

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By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H. – A talented Rensselaer team came into Thompson Arena on Saturday night and handed the Dartmouth men’s hockey team a 7-1 loss.

The Big Green fall to 0-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in ECAC Hockey play, while the win improves the Engineers to 1-1-1 in league games and 5-2-1 overall.

Brock Higgs recorded a hat trick in the first two periods for the visitors, while Ryan Haggerty netted his 10th of the season and added two assists for three points.  Matt Neal also had a goal and two helpers, giving RPI a trio of three-point performers in its lone regular season trip to the Upper Valley.

“It’s early in the season and we are experiencing some growing pains right now,” head coach Bob Gaudet said. “I know if we continue to work hard we will be a good team. I really believe in the guys we have in that locker room and we will be a better team than what we’ve shown moving forward.”

The lone offensive bright spot for the home team came 14:43 into the third period as freshman Troy Crema picked up his second goal of the season on a redirected shot below the right circle.

Making his Dartmouth debut, freshman defender Josh Hartley was credited with the primary assist as it was his shot that found space from the halfboards and onto the stick of Crema. Also picking up his first assist of the season on the power-play goal was sophomore winger Connor Dempsey.

However, shortly after Crema’s goal, RPI’s Luke Curadi out the final touch on his team’s night with the seventh and final goal.

The Engineers were backstopped by junior Scott Diebold, who made 31 saves in the game, including 14 in the first and 12 in the third. Big Green starter Cab Morris played all 60 minutes and finished with 16 stops in his second appearance of the weekend.

Where Dartmouth succeeded in slowing Union on Friday night with a 6-for-6 showing on the penalty kill, it faltered against Rensselaer. Three of the Engineers’ goals came on the man-advantage. Crema’s goal helped the Green to a 1-for-4 performance with the extra skater.

The shot chart at the end of the game would have been misleading for those looking at the final score. Dartmouth held a 32-23 advantage in shots on goal, but was unable to capitalize at the same clip as the potent RPI offense on this night.

The Big Green remain home next weekend for a pair of games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Golden Knights make the trip for a Friday night tilt, while the Saints come to Hanover on Saturday. Both games are set to begin at 7 p.m.