HANOVER, N.H. – Thompson Arena was packed, but Princeton sent the announced crowd of 3,866 home unhappy as it handed the Dartmouth men’s hockey team a 6-3 home loss.
A close game early changed course late as the Tigers (7-10-3, 4-8-1 ECAC) scored twice in all three periods, while the Big Green (6-10-2, 4-6-1) couldn’t match that offensive output over the final 40 minutes.
“They’re good. They (Princeton) outworked us,” head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “There are some games that just don’t seem to work out for you. Tonight was one of those for us.
“Princeton played really well,” Gaudet continued. “We played hard and tried to match them, but we just didn’t have our A-game tonight which is unfortunate because we had a great crowd and unbelievable atmosphere in the building.”
The home team actually got the scoring started and sent the crowd into a frenzy as freshman Matt Baker redirected a Corey Kalk point shot on the power play at 8:03 of the first. Baker became the fifth straight freshman to score the goal that sent the tennis balls flying onto the ice following the first Dartmouth score dating back to the 2013-14 season.
However, all the momentum that was built on the goal was gone following the delay to clean the ice of tennis balls and a challenge by the Princeton coaches to see if the play had been offside. After nearly seven minutes without play, the Tigers evened the scored just 30 seconds of action later as Ryan Kuffner potted the equalizer.
Princeton took the lead on an Eric Robinson partial breakaway six minutes later, but the teams went to the dressing room tied at 2-2 thanks to Will Graber’s fifth of the season coming with just 1:04 left.
Jackson Cressey and Josh Teves scored power-play tallies in the middle frame to give the visitors a two-goal lead through 40 minutes. The Tigers scored the first two goals of the third as well with Kuffner notching his second and Mark Paolini hitting the empty net.
Tim Shoup’s second of the season came with 1:11 left in regulation and capped the scoring as Princeton won in Hanover for the first time since 2010, the same year it last swept the season series with the Green and White.
Devin Buffalo was peppered all night as the Tigers had 44 shots on goal in the game. The senior netminder did all he could, finishing with 38 saves, including 29 in the final two frames. Ryan Ferland needed to make just 24 saves in the win, but several of his stops were of the remarkable variety at the other end of the ice.
“We didn’t really play to our strengths tonight,” senior and alternate captain Corey Kalk said. “There were some times we watched them skate right by us and score. That’s something we can’t let happen again and it starts next week.”
Dartmouth is on the road next weekend, taking on St. Lawrence and No. 3 Clarkson.