NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale’s Andrew Gaus scored with 6:27 left in overtime to defeat the Dartmouth men’s hockey team, 3-2, Saturday night at Ingalls Rink and earn the first-round sweep.
The ninth-seeded Big Green’s season comes to an end, while the eighth-seeded Bulldogs move on to next weekend’s ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals.
“We played a great game tonight,” head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “I’m so proud of how this team rebounded from last night and the leadership shown by our seniors and captains.
“In terms of putting together a complete game, tonight may have been our best of the season,” Gaudet continued. “And that’s what makes tonight’s result so disappointing because we don’t have the ability to play more hockey and build on that.”
Freshman Cam Strong scored 1:19 into the game — his 10th of the season — the second-fastest marker to start a game this year for Dartmouth. Mike Doherty tied things up early in the second with the first of his two goals on the night only to be answered a few minutes later by senior Grant Opperman with a tip in the high slot on a Josh Hartley point shot.
That’s how the score would remain until Doherty picked the inside of the post from the top of the circles with 6:32 remaining in regulation, forcing the OT period.
After a back-and-forth start to the extra session, Gaus jumped on a rebound to the side of the net on a partial 2-on-1 rush. The initial shot was blocked by Hartley, but deflected off the defenseman and then goalie Devin Buffalo and into the net for the winner, sending Ingalls Rink crowd into a frenzy.
Gaudet wasn’t kidding when he talked about this being his team’s best effort of the season as the visitors outshot the home team, 46-38. Yale benefitted from one power-play goal on two chances, while the Green came up empty on their lone opportunity.
Buffalo finished the night with 35 saves, while Sam Tucker backstopped the home team to a win thanks to his 44 saves.
It was revenge of sorts for the Elis who were swept out of last season’s quarterfinals by the Green in New Haven. The loss marks the first time since 2010 that Dartmouth failed to win at least one playoff round, snapping the program’s longest streak at six years.
The Big Green finish the season 10-18-3, while Yale evens its mark at 13-13-5 heading into next weekend’s quarterfinal round.