NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team dropped Game 1 of its ECAC Hockey First Round series with ninth-seeded Yale Friday night at Ingalls Rink.
The Bulldogs (12-13-5) bested the Big Green (10-17-3), 6-1, in the series opener to improve to 3-0 this season against their Hanover counterparts.
“We have to clean up a few things,” head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “There were chances there for us, we just couldn’t finish.
“I have faith in this team that we are going to come back tomorrow night and play a tough game,” Gaudet added. “This is a series that you have to win two games to move on and they’ve only won once so we’re going to make it tough on them to get the second.”
Joe Snively and Mike Doherty put the home team up 2-0 with goals midway through the first and second periods, respectively. Junior Corey Kalk notched his 11th of the season and fifth in the last three games with a tally at the 17:06 mark of the second to pull the visitors to within one at 2-1.
However, Anthony Walsh and Chris Izmirlian followed with a pair of Yale goals in the ensuing two minutes to balloon the lead back to three. John Hayden and Mitchell Smith added the insurance markers in the third for the 6-1 victory.
Yale’s goalie Sam Tucker stopped 24 shots in the win, while junior Devin Buffalo made 26 and allowed five.
“People are going to look at the score and see 6-1. Well this wasn’t a 6-1 game,” Gaudet said afterward. “There was a lot of fight from us tonight with a group that is a bit depleted at this point in the year. But there was no quit and that’s the mentality we have going into tomorrow’s game with our season on the line.”
Dartmouth lost the opening game of a first-round series in both 2012 and 2014, coming back to beat both Harvard and Rensselaer in three games in each instance, making this year’s situation not unfamiliar for the coaches and seniors.
Game 2 will be Saturday night at 7 p.m. with Yale looking to advance to next weekend’s quarterfinals, while the Big Green tries to fight off elimination.