Did You Know: The Clarkson Hockey program has amassed 10,001 goals since the 1920-21 season?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ECAC Season Preview - Dartmouth

Dartmouth Big Green

Last Years Finish - Tied for 1st, won tie break against Colgate

Key Returnees - David Jones Jr. F, Tanner Glass Sr. F, Nick Johnson Jr. F, Mike Devine Jr. G

Key Losses - Mike Ouellette F, Eric Przepiorka F, Sean Offers D

It all came down to one game. Dartmouth had clinched the overall number one seed in the regular season and had swept upset minded Yale in the second round of the ECAC tournament. Poised with an 18-11-2 record overall, Dartmouth needed one win in Albany to all but assure themselves of a NCAA tournament birth. The Big Green were tuned up and ready to go. They had won ten of their last fourteen games, outscoring their opponents by a two to one ration on the run. Their defense had allowed only two teams to score more than three goals, and they won both games. Dartmouth was taking on Ivy rival Harvard and a win would send them to the dance.

Harvard hung a ten spot on the Big Green.

There would be no ECAC championship, no NCAA tournament for the Big Green. However there would be a solid core of returning forwards and a returning goaltender who has something to prove to the league and the rest of the country. Dartmouth has the talent to be the top team in the league again, but the questions linger from the disappointment in Albany, and in a league that has only seen one team repeat as regular season champions since 1995 it is tough to pick the Big Green to repeat.

Up front Dartmouth losses two power forwards in Przepiorka and Ouellette but they arguably to of the best junior forwards in the league to replace them. David Jones and Nick Johnson will be expected to provide a large part of the Big Green offense. An offense that was first last year averaging 3.82 goals per league contest. Adding to the offensive talent is senior Tanner Glass who will look to take some of the focus off pre-season all league selection Jones and put up big numbers himself. The possible weak spot in the offense is the sophomore class, who last year only factored in 12 percent of Dartmouth's offense last year will need to make a bigger contribution in the upcoming season.

On defense the Big Green are lead by seniors Grant Lewis and Ben Lovejoy. Dartmouth gave up 2.55 goals per league game last year which was good for fourth overall. The defense looks to contribute more to the offense but is not an integral part of the offensive success of the team. While the defense was sound last year they are not immune to breakdowns. The Harvard game is an example of this but Dartmouth allowed teams to score four goals or more nine time over the course of the season. Dartmouth needs to clamp down this year on the blue line to repeat as champs. This may prove difficult as the defense behind Lewis and Lovejoy is pretty green. With only Mike Hartwick and John Gibson getting serious ice time last year. Head coach Bob Gaudet will need his incoming class to step up on the third defensive line.

In net Mike Devine came through with a solid sophomore campaign and he will be expected to continue this trend in the upcoming season. Devine will be called on more this year as Dartmouth's defense develops in front of him. Whether or not Dartmouth contends for the top spot in the league and on a national level will weight on Devine's play in net early in the season.

Best Case Finish - 1st
Worst Case Finish - 5th

CHF's Pick - 4th


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