Women’s hockey continues success
By Joe Clyne, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The Dartmouth women’s hockey team continued its recent hot streak this weekend, taking down conference rival Colgate 3-2 before tying No. 3 Cornell, 0-0 in overtime. The successful road trip leaves the Big Green (15-7-5, 10-6-4 ECAC) with substantial control of their destiny, as the team sits just three points behind St. Lawrence University in the race for the fourth seed in the ECAC playoffs. The Big Green takes on the Saints (17-11-4, 12-5-3 ECAC) in a pivotal matchup on Saturday, which could determine important playoff positioning.
On Friday night, Dartmouth traveled to Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. to take on the Colgate Raiders (9-19-3, 4-13-3 ECAC) in an important conference battle. On Nov. 24, the Raiders tied the Big Green 2-2 in a game on the Big Green’s home ice. Dartmouth could not afford another tie if it wanted to continue trying to secure an opening-round home game in the ECAC playoffs.
The goals came fast and furious at the outset for Dartmouth as the Big Green jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. Laura Stacey ’16 fired a shot at the Colgate net, only to have it ricochet off a Raider defenseman. The carom landed on Camille Dumais’ stick and the ’13 forward promptly deposited it in the back of the net, putting Dartmouth up 1-0 less than three minutes into the game. The scoring spree continued in the second when the Big Green notched two more unanswered goals. 90 seconds into the second period, Dartmouth went on the power play, eventually scoring when Ailish Forfar ’16 jammed a rebound home. Three minutes later, Jenna Hobeika ’12 scored an unassisted goal that would prove to be decisive.
Though Dartmouth seemed to dominate the game at this point, the Raiders refused to go down without a fight. Midway through the second period, Colgate junior Brittany Phillips notched a power play goal of her own to put Colgate on the board. Just two and a half minutes later, Phillips scored another goal, trimming the deficit to one and striking fear into the hearts of the Dartmouth faithful. Dartmouth goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft ’14 had already stopped two shots from point-blank range, but the third-chance opportunity proved to much.
“They got a power play goal and we kind of started falling apart a little,” Sasha Nanji ’13 said. “They’re a very dirty team and we got a little out of our game. We came out after the period break calmed down, knowing that we could get back at them on the scoreboard.”
With more than a period still to play and a one-goal lead, Dartmouth refused to let up, continuing to create pressure with their forecheck. An increasingly desperate Colgate team pulled its goalie with nearly two minutes to play and Dartmouth was called for tripping, but Colgate could not take advantage of the advantage and fell by a score of 3-2.
After the win against Colgate, the Big Green traveled to Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. to take on conference-leading Cornell (21-5-1, 16-3-1 ECAC). Dartmouth had already fallen to the Big Red once this season, but needed to pull out at least a tie to keep pace in the increasingly competitive upper echelon of the ECAC. On senior night against such a strong squad, that seemed to be an incredibly difficult task.
“For the first two periods we held them to very few shots and didn’t let them get any speed or momentum through the neutral zone,” Hobeika said. “We were trying to prevent odd man breaks and slow the pace of the game down.”
From the start, Dartmouth put a great deal of defensive pressure on the Big Red squad. Despite the Big Green’s defensive prowess, Cornell still managed to rack up 34 shots, each of which was stopped by Holdcroft. The game marked the first time that the Big Red has been shut out since 2010.
“That was definitely a team shutout,” Holdcroft said. “They’re a very skilled team and they like to pick their chances. We back-checked well, got on people and were aggressive — I don’t think they were used to having people in their space.”
Dartmouth managed 23 shots on Cornell goalkeeper Lauren Slebodnick, but she also secured a shutout. Dartmouth had not played to a 0-0 tie since 2003.
The most controversial play of the game came during overtime when the officials went to video replay to determine if Cornell had netted a decisive goal. A shot by junior Jessica Campbell had slipped beneath Holdcroft as she fell backwards into the net and Cornell believed the puck had crossed the goal line, but video replays proved inconclusive and no goal was awarded. Dartmouth maintained a five-game unbeaten streak that began with the Big Green’s 2-2 tie against Harvard University.
“I made a save and it went through me a little bit,” Holdcroft said. “They blew the play dead before it crossed the line and it held up after a video review.”
Next weekend is the last weekend of the regular season for the Big Green. On Friday, Dartmouth will take on No. 7 Clarkson, hoping to avenge a 5-0 loss in the teams’ last matchup. Dartmouth will then face St. Lawrence to close out the regular season at Thompson Arena, potentially with playoff seeding on the line.
“We don’t necessarily control our own destiny, but we could potentially move up to the fourth seed for a home playoff game,” Hobeika said. “Our home record has been pretty good recently and we really want to hit the playoffs in stride. This is for sure the biggest weekend of our season so far and we want to get out of it with two big wins.”