No. 12 Dartmouth Edges Men's Hockey, 3-2
Jimmy Vesey had Harvard's first goal against Dartmouth Saturday (Gil Talbot).
Jimmy Vesey's Goal Against No. 12 Dartmouth
Petr Placek's Goal Against No. 12 Dartmouth
HANOVER, N.H. – The Harvard men's hockey team rallied to tie the score at 2-2 in the third period, but No. 12 Dartmouth scored late in the third period to seal a dramatic 3-2 victory Saturday night at Thompson Arena. Harvard dips to 5-8-1 and 3-6-0 in ECAC action while Dartmouth moves to 9-5-2 on the year and 5-3-1 in conference play.
It was the hosts providing much of the pressure in the early going, letting loose a handful of shots that Raphael Girard managed to turn away. The Crimson defense also prevented a significant amount of the shots from ever reaching Girard, as it blocked seven blasts in the first period alone. Harvard's power play had a chance to grab an early lead when a slashing penalty at 8:56 gave it a man-advantage, but the score stayed tied despite two shots on net in the two-minute window.
Harvard had few problems generating the breakout through the first period, and it was that play that led to the game's first goal with 13:22 gone in the frame. Brian Hart controlled a floating puck at the far boards in his own end and handed it off to Jimmy Vesey, who charged up ice with a full head of steam. Vesey got by one defender at mid ice and a smooth toe drag got him by two more at the Dartmouth blueline, giving him plenty of room to lift the puck past Cab Morris for his sixth goal of the season. Harvard ended the period with a slight 10-9 edge in shots.
Things got physical in the second period and the penalties resulted in a pair of goals for the hosts. It looked as though the Crimson would benefit from a major penalty just minutes into the frame, as a Dartmouth skater was sent to the box for a facemask while Harvard countered with a minor for roughing. The four-on-four went by without incident, but just 35 seconds into the extended Crimson power play, Vesey was booked for a face-masking major. Dartmouth took advantage of the ensuing four-on-four as Matt Lindblad put home a short rebound to knot the score at 4:09.
It looked as though the Crimson might escape the major penalty with the score still tied, but on Dartmouth final push of the power play, it found the go-ahead score. Nick Bligh deposited a Jack Barre feed with just 29 seconds left in Vesey's major, giving the Big Green a 2-1 edge at 8:04. Dartmouth continued to pepper Girard to the tune of a 14-6 shot advantage in the period, but Girard stood tall down the stretch. Conor Morrison nearly found the equalizer late in the frame, picking off an errant pass and wristing a shot of the near post.
The teams fought back and forth to start the final period, but it was the guests that would find the scoresheet to tie the game at 2-2. Greg Gozzo chipped a puck to Dan Ford near the Dartmouth blueline and Ford put a shot towards the cage. The puck hit a Dartmouth defender and got caught up in his sweater momentarily, and when the puck dropped out, Petr Placek was there to swat it home for the game-tying score.
The crowd of over 4,300 in Thompson Arena rose to its feet in the back half of the third and the Big Green responded to the energy, as Jesse Beamish ripped a low shot through traffic that snuck past Girard with just over seven minutes to play in the game. The Crimson pulled Girard in the waning seconds of the game, but the Crimson couldn't find another equalizer before the final horn sounded.
The Crimson is back in action next weekend when it takes on Yale Friday and Brown Saturday afternoon. The game against the Bulldogs will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.