HANOVER, N.H. — It hadn’t been like this in five long weekends. The members of the men’s hockey stood collectively by senior goalie Matt Underhill’s net — their shoulders slumped, their invincibility smashed. Underhill was kneeling on the ice, in disbelief. His teammates couldn’t console him; they gazed down at the ice, in need of consolation themselves. They could only watch helplessly as Dartmouth stormed onto the Thompson Arena ice, enveloping Jamie Herrington who had broken a scoreless tie with only 1:01 left in overtime here on Friday night.
Cornell (17-6-1, 13-3-1 ECAC) had not lost since Jan. 12, an eternity for a team that had begun to believe in its infallibility. Ironically, the last time the Red was defeated was also at Dartmouth’s hands.
That game, a 5-3 loss, was disheartening, but this one was cruel. Cornell had held onto the reins of the contest all evening: in all, it managed 34 shots to Dartmouth’s 21. Lack of execution, not lack of opportunity, was the key ingredient in the Red’s loss.
Head coach Mike Schafer ’86 used choice words that cannot be printed in this publication to berate his team’s haplessness in capitalizing on its chances. But he did, in more reasonable language, go on to add: “They had open nets. They didn’t get the job done. I was really disappointed with the offensive focus.”
“We just didn’t bear down in front of the net,” said Underhill. “We’re never going to win a game if we don’t score a goal.”
Herrington’s game-winner was the result of a Dartmouth flurry at the tail end of overtime. After Underhill coughed up a rebound on a close chance by P.J. Martin, Herrington swept the puck back into the net, sparking euphoria on the ice.
“It was just a mad scramble,” Schafer said of the play.
Asked for his reaction to the loss, Underhill’s answer was understandably curt: “Disappointed, pissed off, the whole works. We should have won tonight.”
“You’re devastated, losing a game like that,” added junior captain Stephen B