Vermont’s Late Comeback Effort Falls Short at Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. – Freshman Ben French buried five goals for the second time in three games and classmate Nick Washuta made a career-high 17 saves, but a fourth quarter Vermont rally came up just short as the Catamounts fell to Dartmouth 11-9 on Tuesday at Scully-Fahey Field.

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With the win, Dartmouth improves to 1-2 on the season and the Catamounts fall to 3-2.

Dartmouth rookie George Christopher matched Washuta with 17 stops of his own in goal.

In the first seven minutes of the first quarter Washuta made three saves to preserve a scoreless tie. That helped the Catamounts finally win the race to the scoreboard with 8:55 on the clock, when Rob Hudson converted an extra-man opportunity on a feed by French. After Richie Loftus responded for Dartmouth to even the score at one-apiece, Hudson returned the favor and set up French to close the scoring for the Green and Gold in the first 15 minutes.

As the second period progressed it was Dartmouth’s Cameron Nolting who scored twice in less than a minute in the middle stages of the quarter. Although Cam Milligan later cut the Vermont deficit to 4-3, Loftus countered for the Big Green less than a minute later to send the teams into halftime with a 5-3 score.

Early on in the third stanza the teams traded goals before proceeding to exchange four-goal runs in a sequence that stretched into the fourth quarter. Loftus closed the Dartmouth run with a pair including a man-up tally, while Milligan dished out a pair of assists to French as the Catamounts worked to chip away at what began as a five-goal deficit.

Michael Clarke and French added unassisted goals by the 6:41 mark of the fourth quarter, but the Catamounts were unable to move any closer than two despite significant offensive pressure. Nolting extended the Dartmouth lead to 11-8 and Milligan added his second of the day with 1:30 left in regulation. UVM peppered seven other shots in the final six minutes but could not even the score.

Milligan’s day marked his 12th consecutive contest finding the back of the cage as well as his 37th straight game with a point, the latter of which includes each game in his Catamount career. His goal-scoring streak is now tied for sixth nationally, while sharing the nine-spot in the point-streak column.

The Catamounts had only one other EMO on the day following Hudson’s early goal, while Dartmouth went 1-for-6 in total. Charlie Erdmann once again guided UVM at the faceoff X with a 15-for-22 showing, scooping 11 ground balls in the process.

Vermont faces its second of back-to-back Ivy League foes on Saturday (March 4), traveling to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a 4 p.m. matchup at Harvard.