Colgate ends men’s hockey chances

Though it won’t be official until the pairings are announced tomorrow morning, Colgate’s victory today over Vermont appears to have killed any chance of Dartmouth making the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years by locking up the last at-large spot for the Raiders. Dartmouth instead gets the painful distinction of being the first team left out of the tournament.

An up and down season that was full of great wins (9-8 over UNH & 2-1 (OT) over Harvard especially) but also, and perhaps more importantly, numerous bad losses (Princeton x2, Yale, Quinnipiac) that will leave the team wondering “what if” for a long time. The second Princeton loss in many ways was the killing blow, not because of its affect on the NCAA race but because it cost Dartmouth the first round bye in the ECAC playoffs and forced the team to travel to Vermont rather than vice versa.

They should bounce back next year, however, though they will obviously have to replace some key players, including captain Lee Stempniak and netminder Dan Yacey. The biggest question mark for the second year in a row is whether Hugh Jessiman stays or whether he bolts for the pros.