Senior day spoiled as RPI falls to Dartmouth

Senior day spoiled as RPI falls to Dartmouth

TROY, N.Y. – Junior Will Graber recorded a hat trick to lead the Dartmouth College men's hockey team to a 5-2 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), on Saturday night at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Big Green improve to 11-14-4 overall (10-9-3 ECAC Hockey), while the Engineers drop to 10-21-3 (7-13-2 ECAC Hockey). RPI will be the 11th seed in this year's ECAC Hockey Playoffs and face sixth seed Yale University in a best-of-three series next weekend.

For the second straight night, the Engineers netted the game's first goal, as freshman blueliner Jake Johnson(Bloomington, MN/Cedar Rapids Roughriders) buried a shot from the middle of the slot for his first collegiate tally. RPI forced a turnover below the goal line and classmate Ottoville Leppanen (Espoo, Finland/Espoo Blues U20) found Johnson all alone for the tally.

Graber (Broomfield, CO/Fargo Force) answered at 8:08 of the second, firing the first of his three goals past RPI freshman goaltender Owen Savory (Cambridge, ON/St. Catharines Falcons).

The visitors took the lead (2-1) just 19 seconds later, as freshman Drew O'Connor (Chatham, NJ/Boston Jr. Bruins) steered home the first of his two goals on the night, off a centering feed from Graber. Senior defenseman Connor Yau (Algonquin, IL/Youngstown Phantoms) collected the secondary assist on the go-ahead goal.

Dartmouth pushed its lead to 3-1 at 10:58 of the second, when sophomore Quin Foreman (Needham, MA/West Kelowna Warriors) stole the puck behind the RPI net and found a cutting O'Connor for the back door finish.

Six minutes into the third, Engineers junior Jacob Hayhurst (Mississauga, ON/Cedar Rapids Roughriders) walked to the front of the net and beat Dartmouth goaltender Adrian Clark (Toronto, ON/South Shore Lumberjacks), but not the post, as his wristed dinged the right iron from inside the left circle.

Graber potted his second goal of the game, midway through the third for a 4-1 advantage. After Savory made a big save on cross-ice one-timer, Graber collected a pass in the right circle and ripped a shot over Savory for a power play goal at 9:42.

Rensselaer junior Mike Gornall (Irwin, PA/Topeka Roadrunners) brought the hosts within 4-2 at 15:52 of the third, jamming home his first tally in the Cherry & White. Freshman Ture Linden (Great Falls, VA/Lone Star Brahmas) earned the lone assist on the goal.

The Big Green capped the scoring with 5.5 seconds left, as Graber was able to push the puck just over the goal line, when RPI had the netminder pulled for an extra skater. The tally, which completed the hat trick, was Graber's eighth goal of the year.

Clark (11-12-4) finished with 21 saves, while Savory (5-13-3) had 20 stops at the other end of the ice. Sophomore Linden Marshall (Victoria, BC/Trail Smoke Eaters) came on in the relief for 7:00 of the third period, but did not face a shot.

Dartmouth will be the fifth seed in the ECAC Hockey Playoffs and host 12th seed St. Lawrence University next weekend.