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College Hockey: Big Green celebrate upset of No. 2 Denver

December 17. 2017 8:43PM

Name the word that best describes Dartmouth College’s victory at Denver on Saturday night.

Unlikely? Stunning? Heroic? All of the above, probably. The Big Green, carrying a seven-game winless streak into Magness Arena, scored one of their biggest triumphs in years by beating the No. 2-ranked and defending national champ Pioneers 5-4.

They did so after trailing 3-0 after the first period. Freshman Colin Rutherford’s goal with 1:37 remaining put Dartmouth ahead for the first time, 4-3. The Big Green added an empty-net goal and Denver scored with 27 seconds remaining for the final margin.

Dartmouth had never beaten Denver in seven all-time meetings and the victory was the first for the Big Green over a team ranked No. 2 through No. 5 since 2012 when they beat No. 2 UNH 4-1 at Thompson Arena.

“There was no quit in this team all weekend, but especially tonight,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “During the first intermission, we didn’t have to say much to the team. The guys in the room started talking about winning battles and winning shifts and that’s just what they went out and did.

“This was a big weekend for us,” Gaudet added. “We played so well in both games. Buff (goalie Devin Buffalo) was huge both nights, our defense did everything we asked of them and the forwards scored goals, which was key for us against a great team like Denver.”

Dartmouth (3-8-1 overall) received 38 saves from Buffalo, who also played well on Friday night in a 1-0 Denver victory.

Kohen Olischefski scored the first two goals of his career in the opening frame, sandwiching a Troy Terry score as the Pioneers used the power play to open a 3-0 lead. The first Olischefski tally and the Terry goal came on the man advantage.

Dartmouth rallied. Cam Strong scored his first goal of the season on a redirect at the top of the blue paint at 3:06. Will Graber followed with a wrap-around goal 70 seconds later. Shane Sellar’s first goal of the season came on a shot from behind the goal line and in the corner. It hit the back of All-American goalie Tanner Jaillet (23 saves) and trickled over the line for the equalizer.

After Rutherford’s goal, Sellar was credited with an empty netter, giving him the first two-goal game of his career.

Dartmouth plays next in its annual Ledyard Classic on Thompson Arena on Dec. 29-30. The Big Green play UNH the first night and Minnesota-Duluth the Saturday night. Yale is the other team in the tourney.