November 3, 2006
Dartmouth Determined to Start and Finish Better

By Joe Gladziszewski

Tanner Glass remembers his first game for Dartmouth. It was against Holy Cross and in his words, during the pre-game warmup he "beat the puck until it was square."

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Tanner Glass and Dartmouth started the season with wins over Harvard and Vermont. St. Lawrence and Clarkson visit this weekend.

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That game was three years ago, Nov. 1, 2003, and Glass assisted on the game-winning goal in the second period of a 2-1 victory. Some guy named Stempniak scored it. Glass had 11 points in his freshman campaign and 15 points as a sophomore. Last year he scored 28 and already has five points through the first two games this year.

Now Glass is a senior and is the captain of the Big Green. His game has blossomed over the last three years, but just as important has been the growth of his poise and confidence. In many ways, it has mirrored the development of Dartmouth's team. It had been among the four of five best teams in the ECAC Hockey League, but it took until last season for Dartmouth to earn a trophy, by sharing the regular-season title with Colgate.

This team is ready to do more, and Glass is a perfect captain for it. A strong group of upperclassmen lead the way for the Big Green.

"A lot of our most depended-on players are older guys. We've been through it before. On defense you've got Hartwick, Lovejoy and Lewis, and up front you've got guys like myself and Nick Johnson and David Jones," Glass said. "As an older team we're more familiar with our opponents."

While last year marked Dartmouth's first ECAC Hockey League title of any sort, the beginning and end of the season were regrettable. Dartmouth lost its first four games last year, and finished its season, save for a consolation game against Colgate, by getting smoked 10-1 against Harvard in the ECACHL semifinals.

The obvious goal for the team is to avoid a repeat of those events. The first part has been taken care of. Dartmouth defeated Harvard and Vermont on home ice and welcomes St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend.

We won't know until March how the second part unfolds, but we do know that Dartmouth hasn't forgotten the sting of that defeat. It has motivated them through the summer and fall. The loss also factored into Dartmouth narrowly missing the NCAA Tournament last year. They know that a better regular season can help get them into the NCAAs this time around, and want to avoid being in a one-game elimination that might entirely end the Big Green's season.

"Starting this season goes back to how last year ended, with a 10-1 loss to Harvard. Guys didn't forget that, and going back the last few years we didn't get (into position for) a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Once you're in the ECACHL Tournament, anything can happen, especially in a one-game situation. Now we're treating every game like it's a big game," Glass said, "treating every night like it's the ECACHL final."

And that's exactly where they hope to end up.


Going To Albany. Again.: The bus ride from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. To the Pepsi Arena in downtown Albany takes approximately two and a half hours. The Bobcats know that quite well by this point as they have made their second trip to New York's Capital District in less than a week.

Quinnipiac went to Albany last Friday night for weekend games in the Governor's Cup. Now they've got ECACHL contests at Union on Friday and Rensselaer on Saturday. That's not a bad thing. The eventual goal for all ECACHL teams is to get to Albany in March for the league's championship weekend. Quinnipiac appreciated the opportunity to get a feel for the downtown rink.

"It was good for us to get a taste of it, and see that arena if we're fortunate enough to get back there at the end of the season," Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. "If that happens, we'll be more comfortable after having gone through the Governor's Cup."

Defensive concerns linger for the Bobcats. The win over Union was an 8-5 victory with an empty-net goal, but the game was tied 5-5 with fewer than 10 minutes to play.

"We've played OK so far but we need to continue to become a better defensive team," Pecknold said and cited the Union result from Sunday. "We had a lot of defensive breakdowns that Union capitalized on. You won't win a lot of games by giving up five goals a night."

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St. Lawrence at Dartmouth (Fri.)
Clarkson at Dartmouth (Sat.)

The Big Green is off to a big start, but they'll get a big test when the North Country teams come to town. Dartmouth is 5-1-1 against St. Lawrence in the last seven meetings between those teams, but Clarkson provides a formidable test. Two of the most skilled teams in the league should put on quite a show Saturday night.

While You're There: Stop in and grab a beer and a bite to eat at 5 Olde Nugget Alley, commonly referred to by the locals as "5 Olde." There, you'll see newspaper headlines celebrating the recent success of the local high school football team, the Hanover Marauders. Or even better, make the 90-minute trip from Hanover to Laconia on Saturday morning and catch the Marauders' playoff game against the Laconia Sachems at 1 p.m. You'll have plenty of time to return to Thompson Arena in time for Saturday's tilt.

Stick Salute

If you love Christmas as much as I do, then you'll be jealous. An FM radio station in Syracuse switched to their all-Christmas music format on Wednesday, the first day of November. It's great to hear the traditional classics again, and a reminder ... Friday means there's only 51 shopping days left. Visit the INCH Shop!

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If you've missed the news, you obviously haven't been paying much attention. RPI's loveable mascot Puckman has been relegated to a supporting role, as he won't be the primary logo for the hockey team anymore. He'll appear on uniform shoulder patches and the mascot will still entertain at Houston Field House, but it's a bit of a bummer for the little guy. I would like to think that Puckman is taking the news well, and will help the team by moving from the power play to the checking line. Whatever it takes to win.


• RPI won the inaugural Governor's Cup tournament at Pepsi Arena in Albany last weekend. Both semifinal games were tied after 65 minutes of hockey and will be recorded as ties in the teams' overall records. Colgate and RPI advanced to the championship game via shootout. RPI's Dan Peace scored with 49 seconds left in the third period to give the Engineers a 2-1 win over Colgate. Peace, a junior, was playing in his first game of the season. It was just the third goal of his career.

• Quinnipiac's Pecknold on the quality of play at the tournament: "I thought it was a great tournament and was really impressed with the other three teams. Anyone could've won it, and I give credit to RPI for doing the things that it took to win."

• Dartmouth isn't the only Ivy League team off to a perfect 2-0-0 start on the season. Yale impressively scored wins over Holy Cross and New Hampshire. Bulldog freshman Greg Beller scored 3:02 into overtime at UNH's Whittemore Center to give Yale a 4-3 win. The winning goal was assisted by another freshman, Chris Cahill, who also scored the game-tying goal with 3:15 left in the third period.

• Cornell is the third 2-0-0 Ivy. The Big Red defeated visiting Robert Morris and RIT, and Like Yale, freshmen are making an impact at Cornell. Rookie defenseman Brendon Nash leads the team with four points, one goal and three assists. Forward Blake Gallagher had a goal in the opener against RMU and Tony Romano had two assists against RIT.

• St. Lawrence snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory at Wayne State on Saturday. The losses to Niagara, Providence, and Michigan State were all one-goal defeats or by a two-goal margin with an empty-net goal for the opponent.

• Clarkson enters league play with a pair of tests at Harvard and Dartmouth. An exhibition loss against the U.S. Under-18 team followed an earlier home loss to Lake Superior State. The inconsistent efforts are bothering Golden Knights coach George Roll. He said in the team's weekly notes, "To get beat 5-1 and 6-2 in your own building in two out of three games is certainly not the type of effort we need. It is something that is certainly a concern for us as a staff. We have to get the players motivated to play each and every night. Until we learn that we are going to continue to have those ups and downs."

• Union battled back from a pair of two-goal deficits to tie the game each time against Quinnipiac on Sunday. A slew of penalties helped cause the downfall of the Dutchmen in the 8-5 defeat. Union's goaltending situation is still unsettled as junior Justin Mrazek and freshman Rich Sillery have shared the ice time in recent games. Sophomore Augie DiMarzo carries a four-game point streak into this weekend's games against Quinnipiac and Princeton.

• Brown's Brian Ihnacak is back on the ice. He had a goal and an assist in an exhibition win over Trois-Rivieres, and no points in a tie against Merrimack, but he did see time on the power play. Goaltender Mark Sibbald started both contests.

• Princeton made three lineup changes from their opening-game tie against Bentley. With the new faces in the lineup the following night, the Tigers lost 3-2. Senior Darroll Powe and freshman Mark Magnowski each have three points to lead the team.

• Expect Harvard to come out hard against Clarkson on Friday. The Crimson are 14-0-1 in their last 15 games following a loss, and haven't lost back-to-back games in the regular season since the first week of January 2005.

• All of this early-season optimism might translate into box office revenue. The ECACHL started selling ticket packages for its championship weekend in Albany. Tickets went on sale Wednesday at the Pepsi Center, which will be called the Times Union Center by the time the tournament takes place.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report