DENVER – A Jaakko Heikkinen power-play goal was all the scoring fans at Magness Arena would see Friday night as No. 2 Denver defeated the visiting Dartmouth men’s hockey team, 1-0.
The Pioneers’ Tanner Jaillet got the win and a 23-save shutout, but the star of the game was Big Green (2-8-1) netminder Devin Buffalo, making his first appearance in goal since sustaining an injury on Nov. 11.
Buffalo made 31 saves and was all but perfect were it not for the Heikkinen power-play tally after some nifty passing from the home team’s (10-3-4) Colin Staub and Kohen Olischefski.
“Both goalies played really well tonight,” head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “This was a game that had its ups and downs for both teams and was really entertaining for the fans here.
“Our guys played so hard. We hit a post and had some really great chances that their guys (Jaillet) was able to make big stops on,” Gaudet added.
That post Gaudet was referring to was a Clay Han wrist shot alone in the slot during the second period. Han’s shot beat Jalliet on the glove side, but rang off the post and settled into the far corner.
Friday’s result marked the first 1-0 loss for the Green and White since Feb. 28, 2014 at Cornell. The Big Green’s winless mark stretched to seven games (0-6-1), while Denver’s unbeaten streak runs to six with the one-goal victory (4-0-2).
Dartmouth’s power play was 0-for-3 on the night, while the PK managed to kill 4-of-5 Pioneer chances with the one goal against proving to be costly.
These two teams are back at it again Saturday night in the final game of the first half of the season for both. Puck drop is set for 9:07 p.m. EST.