Like many of the 111 seasons of Dartmouth men's hockey, the 2016-17 campaign featured many memorable moments. This past year was no different as a new group of players made their mark on the century-old program with moments of their own.
Although a season of 31 games features many memories, here is a list of 10 that stood out this past season for the Big Green.
Late in the game and tied 0-0 against a Colgate team it had played in each of the last two postseasons, Dartmouth needed a goal if it was going to remain unbeaten to start the season on its three-game homestand. They got just that in the form of a scores late game winner to take down Colgate for first ECAC Hockey winTroy Crema slapshot on a break down the right side of the ice. A play that started with a faceoff just outside the defensive zone ended seconds later after Crema collected a loose puck and deposited it over the glove of Raiders' goalie Charlie Finn for the eventual game winner and the first league victory of the season.
9 | Dartmouth battles to 2-2 tie at Princeton with just four defensemen
Freshman Clay Han left the game after being hit on his first shift. Senior Josh Hartley was assessed a five-minute major and shown the door for an elbow in the opening minute of the second period. Those two scenarios created perhaps Dartmouth's greatest team-first mentality of the season as it played the final 39 minutes with just four defensemen. Although Princeton capitalized with a power-play goal just 18 seconds after the major, the Green held steady and earned the league point thanks to the play of Connor Yau, Tim Shoup, Karan Toor and Cameron Roth on the blueline and strong play in their own zone by the team's forward group.
8 | hat trick helps erase early deficit at Brown
Brown scored twice in the opening three minutes and looked poised for a season sweep of the Big Green. The Bears did not count on senior Grant Opperman's first career hat trick that would erase that early 2-0 edge and led to a 5-4 Dartmouth win. Opperman responded to his team's early hole by scoring twice in the first period before notching his third of the game in the middle frame. Crema and junior Corey Kalk each had a goal and an assist in the game, but it was the scoring touch of Opperman that led the Big Green to the two ECAC points on that February night in Providence.
7 | Advancing at Ledyard Classic with shootout win against Army West Point
Like the Brown game, this one featured a 2-0 lead by the home team only to see the visitors battle back. However, this Ledyard Classic game saw Dartmouth as the home team squander the two-goal lead nearly as fast as it got it. Like many other nights this past season for the Green and White, there was a player who made a splash and on this particular evening at Thompson, it was Corey Kalk. The Maple, Ontario, native netted his fourth of the season late in the second period only to have rookie Cam Strong make it 2-0 less than a minute later. However, a goal with 1.3 seconds left in the frame and another 45 seconds into the third period allowed Army West Point to tie things up. But in the shootout used to determine who would play UMass Lowell in the consolation game, it was a deke and a low shot into an open netmouth from Kalk that proved to be the difference (see below).
6 | Earning an impressive win at PPG Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins
The 2016 and now 2017 Stanley Cup Champions call PPG Paints Arena (formerly CONSOL Energy Center) in Pittsburgh home. But on an afternoon on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Dartmouth Big Green looked like the team comfortable in the downtown arena setting. The road had not been good to the Big Green prior to that afternoon, including a 3-0 loss across the city the night before to Robert Morris. Nevertheless, the Colonials were outmatched when the weekend series shifted to the NHL rink. Kalk and Crema scored in the opening frame with the latter adding another in the second with help from the former on the assist. Freshman Daniel Warpecha scored the first goal of his career midway through the second period and, in the final minutes of regulation, after Crema hit the post from the neutral zone, sophomore John Ernsting scored into the empty net to give Dartmouth a 5-2 win and its first road victory of the season.
5 | Battle of the Granite State ends in lopsided victory for Dartmouth
UNH had jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the previous meeting between the two teams the year before. It seemed like that had weighed on the minds of the Big Green players over the summer and they weren't going to allow it to happen this year at Thompson. And boy did they not let history repeat itself. It was Dartmouth that scored the first four goals of the game before the Wildcats finally broke through with their first score of the game in the third period. Ernsting made it 1-0 in the first, Warpecha and Crema scored in the second and Opperman got his first of the year early in the third before Clay Han's empty netter sealed the 5-1 win. It was the largest margin of victory against UNH since a 7-3 win against the Wildcats in the Consolation Game of the 1979 Frozen Four at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
4 | A 5-0 shutout of Princeton to ring in 2017
Playing his first game on defense, freshman Will Graber scored two goals and finished as a plus-3, leading the way for a Big Green offensive attack that appeared to be shot out of a cannon in front of 3,949 raucous fans on Jan. 6. For the fourth year in a row, tennis balls rained down from the stands thanks to a member of the freshman class as Cam Strong notched his sixth of the season at 9:13 of the opening period before Kalk quickly made it 2-0 on the home team's lone power-play chance of the night just under five minutes later. Warpecha's strong month continued with his sixth goal since the PPG Paints Arena game the month before. Offense may have been the headline grab the next morning in Hanover, but junior netminder Devin Buffalo's 32-save shutout was the driving force behind the win and not overlooked inside the locker room.
3 | Crazy third-period comeback at Lynah Rink to beat No. 14 Cornell
The story of the season was the danger of two-goal leads. Apparently Cornell didn't get the memo as they looked like they would take their 2-0 lead into the third period and play lockdown defense they are known for to secure the win. Four unanswered goals later, the Big Green left Lynah Rink in Ithaca victorious for the fourth straight season. It started with Cameron Roth's blueline shot in the final minute of the second that pinballed off two Cornellians before sneaking in. The third period was where sophomore Alex Jasiek took over, scoring a pair of power-play goals separated by just 62 seconds to take the lead. Crema hit the empty net and their team's colorful counterparts from Hanover once again left the best student section in college hockey silent.
2 | Opening the season with a last-minute goal to defeat No. 11 Michigan
You always circle the opener no matter who it's against. It's the first time you can show people the type of team you can be. Dartmouth didn't disappoint the Thompson faithful on the evening of Oct. 29 when the 2016-17 opener came against national power and 11th-ranked Michigan as the Wolverines made their first ever appearance in Hanover. As a sign of things to come, it was Crema that provided the late-game heroics, breaking a 2-2 tie with 49 seconds left in regulation to send the packed house into a frenzy. After a Michigan goal in the first, Kevin Neiley and Cam Strong countered in the middle stanza to give the home team the lead. After a dazzling goal from the Wolverines' Alex Kile, it looked like Strong would be the hero with his second of the night with under five minute to play, only to see it waved off due to goaltender interference. Crema made sure the fans didn't go home disappointed, collecting a pass from Kalk near the top of the circle and beating the Wolverines' netminder before celebrating with the student section.
1 | Beating No. 6 Harvard, 8-4, at Thompson in mid-January
This might not have been the most exciting game of the season, but it's big for several reasons. It proved what Dartmouth was capable of and gave a good glimpse into the talented young players in the system. It also served as the wake-up call for a Crimson team that would not lose again until the Frozen Four in Chicago. This was another of the infamous 2-0 leads that were littered throughout this list and the entirety of the season for the Green and White. Then-No. 6 Harvard jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead. Crema chipped away at the deficit with his ninth of the season before the opening frame was done. Kevan Kilistoff scores his second goal of the year 2:24 into the middle stanza with freshman Shane Sellar notching his first career score exactly a minute later. Two straight goals by the Crimson put them back on top and in control. That was the last time they found the back of the net. A goalie change from head coach Bob Gaudet saw freshman Adrian Clark take over between the pipes and spark a noticeable change for the home team. Freshman Ryan Blankemeier scored his first career goal with Opperman netting what would be the eventual game winner in the final minute of a wild period. Connor Yau found the back of the net for the first time all season 3:08 into the third, while Crema and Charley Michalowski each deposited pucks into the empty net in the last minute of regulation. The Michalowski tally was also his first career goal, giving Dartmouth three first-time goal scorers in a game for the second time in as many seasons following River Rymsha, Tim Shoup and Neiley accomplishing the feat the year before at home against Clarkson. The Crimson would go on to rattle off 17 wins as part of an 18-game unbeaten streak following the loss, not falling again until the national semifinals.