Dartmouth College, on the eastern side of the scenic Connecticut River, has a stout hockey history tracable to 1904 when its first team was formed. It wasn’t until January 20, 1906, though, that Dartmouth played its first intercollegiate game-a 4-2 win over Williams
College at the Empire Rink in Albany, NY.
After that first game ended, Dartmouth’s hockey reputation over the years grew to mythic proportions and its hockey history now is among the richest in the land. For instance, 11 Dartmouth alumni have been enshrined in the US Hockey Hall of Fame and two notable graduates were among the charter inductees in the NH Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame. Then there’s the women’s program, a bit younger but just as much of a national force as the men’s program has ever been.
In those early years, when indoor rinks and artificial ice were only restless thoughts in the minds of dreamers, Dartmouth played outdoors on natural ice, the games tied directly to the vagaries of New Hampshire weather. Through 25 seasons, there were several outdoor rinks but the historic first one occupied the site where today Leverone Field House stands.
Davis Rink opened in 1930 and was Dartmouth’s first indoor facility but it had natural ice. It wasn’t until 1954 that artificial ice came to Hanover. As the seasons rolled on inside Davis Rink, it became apparent that a new facility was necessary. By 1975, Thompson Arena, with its 3500 seats, was ready for use. It is considered one of today’s best collegiate facilities.
The pioneers of Dartmouth hockey were many. Addison Brooks (Class of ’06), Gene Brooks (no relation, ’07), John Crocker (’07) and Warren Foote (’08), all came to Hanover from the Boston area. Over the next two decades, they were followed by such Dartmouth legends as Clarence (Bags) Wanamaker (’15); Leon Tuck (’15, a member of the first US Olympic hockey team in 1920); Doug Everett (’26), and Myles Lane (’28.)
The best known era of Dartmouth College hockey ran from 1937 to 1967 when Eddie Jeremiah was head coach. Known far and wide as Jerry, he graduated from Dartmouth in the Class of 1930 after a making a name for himself as a player. He returned to Hanover in 1937 to coach the Green, signing a one-year trial contract. He remained for three decades and his time on the bench became the stuff of legend. He wrote a book on hockey that many coaches still use. When he finally retired, his teams had won 300 games, losing 247 and tying 10. No era in the annals of Dartmouth hockey surpasses the 1940s when Jeremiah’s teams dominated the opposition. From 1941-49, Dartmouth had a record of 107-15-3. In 1942, Dartmouth was awarded the mythical national championship for its 21-2 record. That team started an unbeaten streak (45-0-1) that continued through the 1944-45 season. In 1948, and again in 1949, Jerry’s teams reached the championship games in the first two NCAA hockey tournaments.
In addition to Jeremiah, the Dartmouth graduates named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame are:
• Jack Riley (’44) who coached West Point and the 1960 US. Olympic Team;
• Bill Riley (’46) who is the all-time men’s scoring leader with 228 points (118 G);
• Joe Riley (’49) who was MVP of the 1948 NCAA tournament;
• Dick Desmond (’49) who as a goalie was MVP of the 1949 NCAA tournament;
• Dick Rondeau (’44) who scored 12 goals against Middlebury in his last collegiate game;
• Charlie Holt (’45) 1945 captain and later coach at the University of New Hampshire;
• Bruce Mather (’47) leading Dartmouth scorer from 1945 to 1947;
• Walter Bush (’51) who helped develop amateur and professional hockey in the US;
• Doug Everett (’26) a Dartmouth captain and 1932 Olympian;
• Myles Lane (’28), who also is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Jeremiah, Holt and Everett were among the charter inductees into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2004, former Dartmouth men’s/women’s coach, George Crowe, whose 20-year tenure at Dartmouth resulted in 305 wins, also was inducted. Crowe, from 1975 to 1984, had control of the men’s team that finished third in back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament in 1979 and 1980.
While Crowe coached the men, a women’s team which was established in 1974, was gradually evolving from intramural to club to intercollegiate status. Initially coached by Lea Bolling (’78), and Ted Wingate (’77), the women’s team in 1986 became George Crowe’s charge and he remained as head women’s coach for 12 years. His women’s teams compiled a record of 196-107-20 and won four Ivy League Championships. He retired in 1998. His successor was Judy Parish Oberting (’91) who had been a high scoring Dartmouth forward/defenseman (215 points) and a three-time All-Ivy selection. During her head coaching tenure from 1998 to 2003,
her teams had a record of 114-40-8 and became a perennial presence in NCAA tournaments. Dartmouth women also have represented the United States and Canada in Olympic and international competitions, including four members from the Green’s 2006-07 team: Gillian Apps (’06,) Cherie Piper (’06,) Katie Weatherston (’06) and Sarah Parsons (’10.)
Still ranked as Dartmouth’s all-time women’s scoring leader is center Gretchen Ulion (’94), who in four seasons scored 312 points. She was joined by goalie Sarah Tueting (’98) on the 1998 US Olympic team that won the gold medal.
Current men’s coach, Bob Gaudet (’81), was a goalie on Crowe’s outstanding teams between 1978 and 1980. Gaudet took the helm of the men’s program in 1997 after a nine-year coaching stint at Brown University. He completed his 10th season at Dartmouth this winter and has guided the resurgence of Dartmouth men’s hockey. Under Gaudet, Dartmouth has had seven
straight winning seasons, and the 2006 regular-season ECAC title.
Perhaps the most prominent among the recent contributors to Dartmouth’s long hockey history is Lee Stempniak (’05,) a two-time All-America now with St. Louis Blues in the NHL.