CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Game 1 of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals went the way of the home team as Harvard defeated the visiting Dartmouth men's hockey team, 3-1, Friday night at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
With the victory, the fourth-seeded Crimson (18-9-3) take a 1-0 lead in the series and are just a win away from a fifth-straight trip to the conference semifinals.
Junior Ryan Blankemeier scored the lone goal for the fifth-seeded Big Green (13-16-4), his second goal in as many games.
"Harvard did a good job answering the bell tonight," Koenig Family Head Coach Bob Gaudet '81 said. "We scored first and they came right back at us and tied the game and started to control the ice after that.
"We played well tonight, I thought, but have to be better tomorrow," Gaudet added of his team's upcoming win-or-go-home contest. "We've played a couple of really good games with them this season and we'll have to do it again on Saturday if we want to keep playing."
Blankemeier's third of the year was reviewed for a long time after he found the back of the net at the 7:50 mark. That allowed any momentum built from the goal to be canceled out even after the refs ruled there was no goaltender interference on the play as Cam Strong was pushed into the Crimson netminder Cameron Gornet.
The home team responded 78 seconds later as Lewis Zetter-Gossage put a shot in off the skate of a Dartmouth defender in the low slot to tie the game at 1-1.
An Adam Fox goal on a give-and-go play at 11:51 of the third broke the tie with what proved to be the game winner. Colton Kerfoot hit the empty net with just over a minute to play for the two-goal lead in the game and the 1-0 series lead.
Big Green netminder Adrian Clark finished with 27 saves in the game, several of which kept his team in it until the very end. Gornet had 19 in the win with 10 in the opening period with Dartmouth pressuring at its highest rate.
These two will play Game 2 Saturday night at 7 p.m. A Harvard win sends the team to Lake Placid, while a Big Green victory would force a third game to be played Sunday at 4 p.m.