HANOVER, N.H. – Senior Josh Hartley scored a pair of goals as the Dartmouth men’s hockey team defeated visiting Rensselaer, 2-1, at Thompson Arena Friday night.
Hartley scored his second power-play goal in as many games 15:10 into the middle period and then hit the empty with the Big Green (9-12-3, 6-9-2 ECAC Hockey) on the penalty kill with 1:08 to play, giving the team its first shorthanded tally of the season.
“We held the fort at the end,” head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “Devin (Buffalo) was huge for us with some big saves at key times.
“It was a close one throughout and we had to be solid defensively from the goalie on out,” Gaudet added. “We played really well as a five-man unit in our own end that allowed Buff the opportunities to see pucks and makes those saves.”
The Engineers (6-24-1, 4-14-0 ECAC) battled all night, scoring on their lone power play with just 18.6 seconds remaining to make it a 2-1 game and spoiling Devin Buffalo’s shutout bid for Dartmouth.
Buffalo made several crucial stops during the game, including reaching back to pull a trickling puck out of the crease behind him late in the third period. In all, the junior netminder made 29 saves, one more than his counterpart Chase Perry.
The junior from Alberta had to make 21 of those stops in the final two periods, including 10 in the third as RPI outshot the home team 11-4 in the final frame, desperately seeking the equalizer.
For Hartley, Friday marked his second career two-goal game and his first since a wild 8-8 game against Northeastern at home in the Ledyard Classic on Dec. 30, 2013 as a freshman.
Hartley was also the last Dartmouth player to score a shorthanded goal before his 160-foot bid on Friday, doing so against Colgate in Game 3 of last season’s first-round series at Thompson (March 6, 2016).
After going the first 23 games of the season without scoring a goal, the senior from suburban Vancouver now has three in the last two games with the most recent serving as the 10th of his career and his second collegiate game winner.
“This was a game we had to grind out to get the ‘W’,” Hartley said. “It was slower than we are used to, but that means it’s big for our team because we had to adapt to a new style and still came out with the two points.”
Playing defense for the first time at Dartmouth, senior Grant Opperman picked up an assist on Hartley’s first and would’ve had another, but Cam Strong’s goal with 6.2 seconds remaining in the opening period was waived off due to goaltender interference after video review. Freshman Jamie McLaughlin had the second helper on the opening score, the second of his career.
The Big Green are back in action at home on Saturday at 7 p.m. against No. 6 Union.