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Dartmouth and Northeastern Play to 8-8 Draw in Wild Affair

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By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team played to an 8-8 tie with No. 17 Northeastern Monday afternoon in the consolation game of the 2013 Ledyard Classic inside Thompson Arena.

The wildest college hockey game of the year saw several massive changes in momentum as the teams split 16 goals, the most in any college game this season. For the Big Green (2-11-1), it was the first draw of the season.

Junior Eric Neiley and freshman Josh Hartley each netted a pair, while Jesse Beamish had a goal and two assists. In all, 14 Dartmouth players had points with six recording at least two.

“It was an entertaining game unless you were on the bench,” head coach Bob Gaudet said. “We scored in bunches and they scored in bunches, but we couldn't close it out and we have to defend better.

“We played a very strong team and things got away from us a bit, but we did enough to salvage it and not let it run away at the end completely,” Gaudet continued.

After Northeastern (10-6-3) built a 4-2 advantage eight minutes into the second period, the Big Green put together their best offensive stretch of the season, ripping off six-unanswered goals between the end of the second and start of the third.

Junior Charlie Mosey got the surge started with his second of the weekend, before Neiley netted his two and Hartley his first in the waning minutes of the middle frame.

The onslaught continued early in the third as Hartley found the back of the net again, while fellow defenseman Andy Simpson banked in his third of the season at the 6:02 mark.

That’s when things got interesting as Northeastern began to chip away at the 8-4 deficit. Cody Ferriero and Adam Reid scored at 8:28 and 13:15, respectively, to pull the Huskies to within two.

With the goalie pulled in favor of the extra skater, Northeastern was twice able to find a way to jam the puck past the pads of Dartmouth starter Charles Grant. Dalen Hedges made it a one-goal game with 1:18 remaining, before Mike Szmatula’s eighth of the season proved to be the game-tying tally, coming with 53 seconds remaining in regulation.

Neither team found the back of the net in overtime, an oddity given the propensity for goals in the final period and a half of play.

Grant finished the game with 37 saves in 65 minutes, while Northeastern opted for Bryan Mountain from the third period on after pulling starter Derick Roy. The two netminders combined for 27 stops.

Both squads were 2-for-4 with the man-advantage, but the Huskies’ John Stevens did manage a shorthanded tally at the end of the opening frame.

Not only were the 16 goals the most in the nation this season, but also tied two other games as the second most in Ledyard Classic history. Maine beat Vermont, 11-5, in 1981 and Dartmouth beat the Catamounts, 9-7, in 1982. The most combined goals in a Ledyard game was in a 9-8 UVM win over Illinois-Chicago (a now-defunct program) in 1994.

The Big Green are back in action Friday night at 7 p.m. at Vermont, the third of five straight games against Hockey East opponents for Dartmouth.

Air Force won the title, its first in four tries, by beating No. 4 Providence, 3-2, in the Championship Game that followed the Dartmouth-Northeastern contest.

Eric Neiley, Dartmouth
Mike Szmatula, Northeastern
Steven Shamanski, Providence
Derek Army, Providence
Cole Gunnar, Air Force
Goalie: Jason Torf, Air Force

MVP: Mitch Torrel, Air Force