HAMILTON, N.Y. – A fevered comeback bid in the final minutes of the third period came up short Saturday night at No. 16 Colgate as the Dartmouth men’s hockey team fell, 2-1, in the 2013-14 regular-season finale.
Scoreless through 40 minutes of play, the Raiders (17-12-5) netted a pair in the third period from Tylor Spink and Joe Wilson to take a 2-0 lead. However, Eric Neiley answered the second Colgate goal just 20 seconds later to cut the deficit to one with 6:05 remaining.
A flurry of activity in the waning minutes ensued, but the Big Green (8-17-4) were unable to get anything by Raiders goalie Eric Mihalik and fell for the first time in six games, snapping a five-contest unbeaten streak.
A chance to host a home playoff series was in Dartmouth’s grasp when the game started, but the loss dropped the Green to 7-13-2 in ECAC Hockey play. The 16 points puts them 10th in league standings and earns a trip to play No. 7 Rensselaer next weekend in Troy, N.Y.
Harvard also finished with 16 points in the standings, but will be the No. 11 seed as Dartmouth owns the tiebreaker with the Crimson.
A night after a stellar showing in a 1-0 shutout at Cornell, sophomore goalie Charles Grant continued to be impressive, stopping 26 shots in the losing effort Saturday against Colgate. At the other end of the ice, Mihalik was outstanding as his 34 saves stymied the Big Green attack for most of the contest and especially in the late going.
With the win, the Raiders locked up the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament and will have a first-round bye next weekend.
Dartmouth had its chances to put goals on the board, but were 0-for-6 on the night with the man-advantage as Colgate’s penalty kill was aggressive and scrappy throughout.
In all, 54 minutes of penalties were assessed in the game, including 40 in the second period alone. Colgate didn’t managed any power-play goals either in their five chances.
Times for next weekend’s first-round playoff series at RPI’s Houston Field House have not been announced, but continue to check back with DartmouthSports.com for updates regarding the match-up with the Engineers.