Big Green hockey in conference semifinal

Dartmouth College's Alex Krause (95) jostles with Union defenseman Cal Mell and goaltender Kyle Chauvette as the puck deflects upward during the ECAC teams' March 16, 2024, quarterfinal clash at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, and swept the best-of-three series to advance to next weekend's semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Dartmouth College's Alex Krause (95) jostles with Union defenseman Cal Mell and goaltender Kyle Chauvette as the puck deflects upward during the ECAC teams' March 16, 2024, quarterfinal clash at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, and swept the best-of-three series to advance to next weekend's semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Dartmouth College's Cooper Flinton (20) is upended by Union's Cal Mell (3) in front of goaltender Kyle Chauvette during the ECAC teams' quarterfinal meeting on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, and swept the best-of-three series to advance to next weekend's semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Dartmouth College's Cooper Flinton (20) is upended by Union's Cal Mell (3) in front of goaltender Kyle Chauvette during the ECAC teams' quarterfinal meeting on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, and swept the best-of-three series to advance to next weekend's semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Dartmouth College center Luke Haymes and linesman Adam Wood chat while waiting for a Union player to enter the faceoff circle during the ECAC teams' quarterfinal game on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, and swept the best-of-three series to advance to next weekend's semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Dartmouth College center Luke Haymes and linesman Adam Wood chat while waiting for a Union player to enter the faceoff circle during the ECAC teams' quarterfinal game on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, and swept the best-of-three series to advance to next weekend's semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Union College's Nick Young and Dartmouth's Trym Løkkeberg exchange words after a whistle during the ECAC teams' quarterfinal playoff game on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, to sweep the best-of-three series and advance to the semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Union College's Nick Young and Dartmouth's Trym Løkkeberg exchange words after a whistle during the ECAC teams' quarterfinal playoff game on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth won, 4-2, to sweep the best-of-three series and advance to the semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Dartmouth College's Luke Haymes (28) curves into the corner after scoring the winning goal against Union during an ECAC quarterfinal game on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. The Big Green's Cooper Flinton celebrates at left. Dartmouth won, 4-2, to sweep the best-of-three series and advance to the semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Dartmouth College's Luke Haymes (28) curves into the corner after scoring the winning goal against Union during an ECAC quarterfinal game on March 16, 2024, at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. The Big Green's Cooper Flinton celebrates at left. Dartmouth won, 4-2, to sweep the best-of-three series and advance to the semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-17-2024 3:55 PM

HANOVER — It was a little like the old days in Thompson Arena on Saturday.

The fourth-seeded Dartmouth College men’s hockey team defeated sixth-seeded Union, 4-2, sweeping the Garnet Chargers in an ECAC best-of-three quarterfinal series. It was the Big Green’s first time hosting playoff games since 2020.

Dartmouth advanced to face second-seeded Cornell in Friday’s semifinals in Lake Placid, N.Y. The 7:30 p.m. game will be played in the arena where the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team won a historic gold medal.

“I have a ton of pride and I was emotional in the locker room just now, thinking about the growth our players have made in the last year,” said fourth-year Dartmouth coach Reid Cashman. “They’re taken ownership and earned their success.”

Luke Haymes scored Saturday’s winning goal, pouncing on a turnover in the high slot and racing in on goaltender Kyle Chauvette, beating him with six minutes remaining in the third period. An announced crowd of 2,007 also got to cheer Cam MacDonald’s empty-net goal with 40 seconds to go.

Haymes, who led the conference with 16 regular-season goals, has tallied 15 times in his last 14 games and sparked Dartmouth to a 7-0-2 run. The Big Green won only five of 30 games last winter but is currently 13-9-9.

“It’s definitely exciting and especially after last season, when we knew we were a better team than what we put on the ice,” said 6-foot-8 Dartmouth goaltender Cooper Black, who stopped a combined 47 shots against Union during the weekend. “Seeing all the hard work we put in last spring and becoming so close as a team, that makes it a lot more special.”

Union opened the scoring on a five-minute power play during the first period. The advantage was created after Dartmouth’s Alex Krause was whistled for a hit from behind. Braiden Dorfman forged a tie shortly before intermission, but the Garnett Chargers (16-18-3) took the lead again not long after the break.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Missing Dartmouth student’s body found in Connecticut River
Dartmouth faculty censures college president over response to protest
Search for missing Dartmouth graduate student ends tragically
Rivendell superintendent departure adds to district’s challenges
Affordable apartments slated for vacant city-owned land in Lebanon
NH Cold Case Unit searches Newport property

Dartmouth pulled into a 2-2 tie midway through the second period on Matt Fusco’s shot from the blue line, his second tally in as many games. Despite that marker, the Big Green was outplayed through two periods and the game had become chippy.

“We talked a lot about it (between periods),” said Cashman, whose players were frequently involved in scuffles once play had stopped. “(Friday) night, we didn’t get in any of the B.S.

“(Union) came out hard and really good in the first period, but we were using a lot of energy after whistles.”

Dartmouth’s approach set the stage for Hayme’s heroics, which came after a Union clearing attempt bounced off the Big Green’s Cooper Flinton.

“Luke Haymes is one of the best players in the country and the wrong guy to give the puck to in a scoring area,” Cashman said, his depleted voice sounding as if he gargles with steel shavings. “He’s very cerebral and thinks the game at a high level and gets himself into scoring chances. Then he has the release and shooting accuracy to beat goalies.”

Dartmouth twice tied Cornell (19-6-6) during the regular season, so the Big Green shouldn’t be intimidated by one of the conference’s flagship programs.

“There’s a lot of belief in the locker room,” said Black, noting that his team is undefeated during its last nine games. “We have the confidence that we can take care of business no matter what.”

Cashman and assistant Jason Tapp have both coached ECAC teams in Lake Placid, but it will be the first time in such a situation for their players. Letting them soak in the atmosphere while not being distracted by it is this week’s challenge.

“Enjoy it because it’s a great town and they do a great job with the event and there’s a ton of history there,” Cashman said. “But man, we’ve got a chance to win a couple of games and a championship.”

Notes: The postgame handshake line, normally a docile formality, ground to a halt when Union’s Josh Nixon was removed halfway through and sent off the ice early by the officials. Nixon squabbled with several Big Green players. … Most hockey teams now award headgear of some kind to a player of the game. Construction hats are popular. Dartmouth uses one of its school’s football helmets, distinctive for its four stripes and block D on the front. Recipients usually strike a three-point stance while being applauded in the locker room. … Former Dartmouth player and 2002 graduate Jamie Herrington attended the game. He’s now the New York Rangers’ director of NCAA scouting. … Alex Dodds, a former Hanover High athlete who previously worked as the Big Green football team’s director of video operations, recorded the game and provided highlights to the hosts. He now owns and operates his own video company. … Bruce McDowell, the longtime goal judge at Thompson’s east end, has a deep-roots connection to ECAC hockey. While spending a year with his family in Ithaca, N.Y., the then-elementary school student watched future Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden backstop the Big Red. … Union’s nickname until last fall was the Dutchmen. It then became the Garnett Chargers, with Chargers a reference to Schenectady, N.Y. being known as “Electric City.” The school also decided on a dog mascot. A costumed version and a live canine are now seen at various home games.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.