Hockey teams hope for wins
By Macy Ferguson
Published on Friday, February 15, 2013
The Big Green Hockey teams are going back to the basics for weekend games against Colgate University and Cornell University. The women’s ice hockey team (14-7-4, 9-6-3 ECAC) will zero in on their overall focus and team dynamic while the men (11-8-4, 7-6-3 ECAC) aim to play hard and fast.
Both teams played Colgate and Cornell earlier this season with unsatisfactory results.
“We don’t forget,” defenseman Rick Pinkston ’15 said. “We definitely want to come back and make a statement.”
To prepare for the Big Red (8-13-2, 4-10-2 ECAC) and the Raiders (13-11-4, 5-8-3 ECAC), the men have been working on staying in shape, synchronizing special teams for power plays and getting on the ice as much as possible, Pinkston said.
“We’re making sure everyone is on the same page and following the game plan,” he said.
Dartmouth is tied for third in the ECAC with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Princeton University, while Colgate is sixth and Cornell is seventh.
In practice, the men focus on speed and quick decision-making to prepare for the highest level of collegiate play, head coach Bob Gaudet said.
“Our focus is really just performing the best we can,” he said. “Our overall standing is dictated by how we play – it’s really just that simple at this level.”
Gaudet fosters high energy in practices to mirror game intensity.
“Our emphasis is on how we play our game and the importance of having that mentality,” Gaudet said.
Cornell and Colgate are both tough teams and Dartmouth cannot count on an easy win against either one. In November, Dartmouth lost to Colgate by one and tied Cornell in overtime.
“We not only want to put up points for ECAC, but we’re also playing for the Ivy League contention against Cornell,” he said. “The Cornell game is huge for us in both regards.”
The Big Red women (20-5-0, 15-3-0 ECAC) are big competition for the women as well, and defense will be a key focus.
Since Dartmouth last saw them on the ice, Cornell has taken some losses and shown its vulnerability, head coach Mark Hudak said.
“We’re focused on preparing us to play good hockey,” he said. “It’s not just what we’re doing on our end of the ice, but what we’re doing on their end of the ice as well.”
The Big Green looks to challenge Cornell’s talented squad, which is tied for first with Clarkson University in the ECAC. The Big Green lost to the Big Red in overtime in November.
“Cornell has some highly skilled players so we don’t have a chance if we don’t play a solid defensive game as a team,” co-captain Jenna Hobeika ’12 said. “But I think we can give them a run for their money.”
Although Colgate (9-17-3, 4-11-3 ECAC) is currently ranked sixth in the ECAC to Dartmouth’s fourth-place standing, the Big Green looks to avenge a November tie.
“We realized last time that we cannot take Colgate lightly,” Hudak said. “We relied on talent rather than work ethic.”
This week, and for the rest of the season, the women are focused on tightening up their performance for future games and, eventually, the playoffs.
“I want to see us keep the game plan and play as a team,” Hobeika said.
The team is focusing on competition drills, high energy drills and power plays.
“Our best weapon is when we’re playing with lots of energy and positivity,” co-captain Reagan Fischer ’12 said.
Both captains are looking for dynamic teams to implement strategies effectively this weekend.
“It would be great if we could put together two solid team wins this weekend,” Hobeika said. “I want to see us staying true to the game we know we’re capable of.”
The men’s team will play at home in Thompson Arena this weekend, beginning with Cornell at 7 p.m. on Friday and Colgate on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Big Green women will travel to Hamilton, N.Y. to play against Colgate tonight, and to Ithaca to take on Cornell on Saturday.