Dartmouth Hosts Colorado College and UConn in Ledyard Classic Match-Ups

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THE LEDYARD CLASSIC
• The Dartmouth men’s hockey team hosts the 31st Ledyard Classic Saturday and Sunday at Thompson Arena, welcoming in Colorado College and UConn and St. Lawrence as the fourth team who will alternate opponents with the hosts.
• Neither Colorado College nor UConn have ever made an appearance in the Big Green’s mid-season tournament, but this will mark the fifth time the Saints have made an appearance with the most recent coming in 2011.

LAST TIME OUT
• Dartmouth went into the break on a down note, dropping an exciting 6-4 game at Northeastern on Dec. 14.
• The Green and White fell behind, 3-0, after the first period but bounced back with three straight goals to start the middle frame. However, that was short-lived as the hometown Huskies answered with another three-goal run thanks to a pair of power-play goals. The visitors would add another, but it capped the scoring in a game that featured 10 total goals.

DARTMOUTH IN THE LEDYARD CLASSIC
• This weekend marks the 31st incarnation of this holiday tournament that was called the Auld Lang Syne Tournament from 1978 through 2002.
• Dartmouth and Vermont used to alternate hosting a mid-season tournament with one another serving as a fixture opponent until the two split. In that spirit, it is easy to see those two programs have the top two number of titles with Dartmouth winning seven and Vermont claiming the crown six times.
• The Big Green’s most recent title was in 2016, having dropped the title game in each of the last seasons to the likes of UMass Lowell, Minnesota Duluth (shootout) and Providence. The Bulldogs would win the national championship three months later, while Providence used the title as a springboard to reach the Frozen Four in Buffalo last spring.

THESE TEAMS IN THE LEDYARD CLASSIC
• Neither UConn nor Colorado College have ever enjoyed the pleasure of a late-December or early-January weekend in Hanover involved in the premier mid-season college hockey tournament based in Northern New England.
• St. Lawrence has been fortunate on four previous occasions to be a participant in this tournament.
• The Saints’ last of two titles came in 2011 when it defeated Dartmouth in a shootout after the two league foes officially played to a 2-2 tie. 
• They have previously made the trip in 1980 (1-1-0), 1996 (2-0-0), 2006 (1-0-1) and 2011 (0-0-2), winning both games via the shootout in that run to the title that featured current Dartmouth women’s hockey volunteer coach and Hanover native Pat Doherty playing in front of his hometown fans and scoring in the shootout.
• The 2006 Saints lost the title game to a North Dakota team that featured eventual Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan on the left side of a line centered by T.J. Oshie. Duncan scored two goals in that game and was named Tournament MVP, the personal highlight of his 2006-07 season after robbing Dartmouth’s David Jones ’08 of the Hobey Baker, who had to settle for All-America honors and a top-10 finish in the award’s voting.

ANOTHER AWARD
• Sam Hesler had himself the best week of his playing career with a pair of two-point games, scoring once and assisting on another against both Bentley and at Northeastern.
• In doing so, he tied for the national lead in scoring last week and the most top mark amongst all ECAC Hockey players.
• For that, he was honored as the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week, his first collegiate honor.
• Injuries limited Hesler to just four games as a rookie last season. But in 10 games this season, the sophomore winger has six points on a pair of goals and four assists.
• His first career goal came in that Thursday night game against Bentley, the team he scored his first and only point of his freshman season against.
• Hesler then matched the feat, scoring Dartmouth’s third goal of the second period at Northeastern.  
• He joins Drew O’Connor (11.18) as the two Dartmouth players to be named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week already this season.

THREE IN A ROW
• Jeff Losurdo headed into the break with a three-game goal streak, having netted tallies against the Falcons and the Huskies.
• His goal just 54 seconds into the second in Boston marked his first even-strength goal and his first of the year not to come in the first period. 
• Additionally, the Illinois native added a helper on the next goal, giving him his second multi-point game of the season and the first since the second game of the season on Nov. 2 at UNH.

FOUR IS CROWDED
• Who leads the Big Green in goal scoring this season?
• Five players can make that claim as a quintet of Dartmouth skaters have netted four goals this season: Will Graber, Drew O’Connor, Jeff Losurdo, Matt Baker and Daniel Warpecha.
• Losurdo and Warpecha both potted tallies at Matthews Arena and moved into the five-way tie at the top.
• Those five players have accounted for just north of two-thirds of the team’s total scoring, amassing 20 of the 29 goals scored in the first 10 games of 2019-20.

THE OPPOSITION THIS WEEKEND
• Both teams Dartmouth will be facing this weekend are not only unfamiliar with the Big Green’s tournament, they’re unfamiliar with the Big Green in general.
• Saturday night’s game against Colorado College is the seventh all-time meeting between the two teams, but first since Jan. 4, 1954.
• All six previous games have been played in Colorado, including the 1948 NCAA National Semifinal played at Broadmoor Arena, home of the Tigers. Dartmouth would win that game, 8-4, to advance to the first-ever NCAA National Championship game, where it would fall by the same score to Michigan.
• The teams played a pair of games in both 1941 and 1946 with each winning once. The Tigers came out on top, 5-4, in the most recent game 65 years ago and have been seeking retribution ever since.
• Sunday’s game against UConn marks the first game against the Huskies since posting a 5-1 home win on Jan. 1, 2011. Prior to that, the only other match-up between the two was a 4-1 win on Halloween in 2004 at Thompson.

GAMES No. 998 and 999
• Koenig Family Head Coach Bob Gaudet ’81 coached his 997th career game in the first-half finale at Northeastern.
• This weekend will move him just one game shy of becoming the seventh coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 games coached within one league and the first to do it in ECAC Hockey.
• Already the league’s all-time leader in games coached, Gaudet is set to hit this milestone after nine years behind the bench at Brown and the last 23 at his alma mater in Hanover.

100 AND COUNTING!
• It is expected that against UConn, senior Cam Strong will suit up for his 100th career game.
• In reaching the mark, the lone Montana native in Division I will become the 107th player in program history to hit the milestone figure.
• He will join classmates Will Graber and Daniel Warpecha to reach the mark this season.

FROM AMERICA’S TEAM TO AMERICA’S TEAM
• Dartmouth associate head coach David Lassonde left the team following the game at Northeastern and joined up with Team USA for the World Junior Championship for the second straight season and the fourth time overall.
• As part of the staff at the 2019 WJC, Lassonde helped guide the Americans to a silver medal. He was also an assistant during the 2013 tournament that saw Team USA claim gold in Ufa, Russia.
• Additionally, once Gaudet reaches his 1,000th game, Lassonde will have worked with three of the seven coaches to have hit the milestone mark: Wisconsin’s Jeff Sauer and UNH’s Dick Umile.

HOME AND AWAY
• Overall, the Green and White are in the top half of the nation in scoring, averaging 2.90 goals per game.
• However, Dartmouth is tied for 47th in the nation in goals per game in home contests, averaging 2.00 a night. 
• That is true in the last two as the Big Green scored twice in both games against Cornell and Bentley. However, that wasn’t too bad as they didn’t suffer a defeat in that time.
• In comparison, the team is seventh in the nation in terms of scoring in road games, averaging 3.80 goals a night. That figure has been bolstered by four times scoring four goals in four road games this season, including the game at Northeastern prior to break.

RIGHT WHERE WE WANT ‘EM…
• Despite it being referred to as the end of the first half, the game in Boston before the break is actually only a third of the way through the season for the Green and White.
• Dartmouth and Harvard have played just 10 games each, the lowest total in the nation so far. Both will have a more loaded schedule in the second half, something that the Big Green have used to their advantage in recent years, stringing together win streaks with continued momentum that they are not afforded in a fragmented first half.

SPECIAL TEAMS
• Dartmouth will look to play to one of its strengths in the Ledyard Classic as it will face two of the weakest penalty kills in the country.
• Not that the Green’s 75.6% (54th) is spectacular, but UConn’s 74.1 (56th) and Colorado College’s 68.5% (59th) both rank below them.
• That being said, Dartmouth’s power play is clicking at 20.7% (20th) and can help the team start off the second half on a strong note were they to keep that going.

CAP THE DECADE
• Heading into the final two games of the 2010’s, Dartmouth is 142-157-36 in this decade.
• Eric Neiley ’15 (45-49-94) was the top scorer in the period with 94 points with Tyler Sikura ’15 right on his heels with 92 (36-56-92).
• Neiley’s 45 goals are the most of any player in the decade.
• Will Graber is only one helper behind tying Neiley for most assists in the decade as he has 48 coming into the Ledyard.
• No player appeared in more games in the last 10 years than former captain Brad Schierhorn ’16, who suited up in 132 games for the Big Green in his time, the fourth-most in program history. Taylor Boldt ’14 and Neiley appeared in 129 with Sam’s older brother Carl Hesler ’18 playing in 128, all placing themselves top-10 all-time in program history. 
• Charles Grant ’16 led all Dartmouth goalies with 31 wins in the 10’s with Devin Buffalo’s 25 ranking second.
• Adrian Clark’s seven shutouts are the most of any decade for a Dartmouth goalie as he is tied with George Bott for the program’s all-time lead.

vs. NCHC TEAMS
• Coming into the weekend, Dartmouth is just 1-1-2 against NCHC teams since the league formed prior to the 2013-14 season.
• Three of those games have come against Denver (1-1-1) and another against Minnesota Duluth (0-0-1).
• Two of them came in the Ledyard Classic*: Denver in 2014-15 and UMD in 2017-18.
          o 1.2.15 vs. Denver | T, 1-1 (2-1 SOW)*
          o 12.15.17 at Denver | L, 1-0
          o 12.16.17 at Denver | W, 5-4 (trailed 3-0 after 1st period)
          o 12.30.17 vs. Minnesota Duluth | T, 2-2 (2-1 SOL)*
          o 12.28.19 vs. Colorado College*

ESPN+
• All of Dartmouth home games will be carried this season on ESPN+ with Tyler Murray providing play-by-play throughout the home schedule in 2019-20. This weekend, he will be joined by Adam Giardino, former radio play-by-play man for the Big Green who now works for his alma mater at UConn.
• In addition to games played in Hanover, ECAC Hockey road games at each school besides Rensselaer will also be carried on the network, making ESPN+ your home for 21-of-22 conference games and 26 regular season games total.
• Postseason games will also be carried on ESPN+ in 2019-20 and will not need subscribers to pay any additional fees to watch the league’s postseason.

ON THE AIR
• Once again, Rob Kennedy will be the Voice of the Big Green on the radio.
• Kennedy begins his third season with the team and will broadcast all 29 regular season games via an audio link through DartmouthSports.com.

WHAT’S AHEAD?
• Dartmouth will kick off the new year and decade on the road at Princeton and Quinnipiac as it returns to league play.
• The following will see Dartmouth head to Vermont on Friday, Jan. 10 before returning to Thompson for a Saturday night game with Boston University on Jan. 11 at 8 p.m.