Green Tries to Think Forward
Dartmouth wing Lindsey Allen awaits the puck drop on a second-period faceoff during last night’s ECAC victory over visiting Quinnipiac. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Dartmouth forward Karlee Odland, right, pursues Quinnipiac defenseman Kristen Tamberg last night during the Big Green's ECAC victory at Thompson Arena. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — The Dartmouth College women’s hockey team is making an effort to leave the past behind. With the meat of its ECAC schedule forthcoming, the Big Green knows what it accomplishes in the next two months will determine its season’s success.
Still, in the wake of last night’s 5-2 defeat of Quinnipiac, Dartmouth’s players couldn’t help but take a peek backwards in satisfaction. The Bobcats won the teams’ first meeting, 8-3, on Oct. 27.
“As much as you don’t want to remember the past, that was a grudge that was in the back of our heads,’’ said senior forward Cammie Dumais, who scored Dartmouth’s first goal last night. “We knew we were way better than that and tonight we came out firing with line after line. They were getting tired and annoyed that we were putting so much pressure on them.’’
Dartmouth, which led 3-0 midway through the game and which took 19 of the contest’s first 28 shots, performed much better than it did a week ago, when it was upset 2-1 at Rensselaer. Dumais tweaked a previous shoulder injury in that clash and the Big Green let the Engineers pack-em-in defense keep it on the offensive perimeter.
“It was a bit of a wake-up call,’’ said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak, whose sixth-place team has won three consecutive games and six of its last seven. “It was so evident in the first two periods at RPI that we weren’t playing tough, hard hockey.’’
That wasn’t a problem last night. The Big Green, which improved to 10-5-2 overall and 5-4-1 in ECAC play, continually fought for the puck in the corners and in front of the net and didn’t shy away from any collisions. Quinnipiac (12-8-2, 8-4-1) is a skilled team adept at escaping its end, but Dartmouth succeeded in breaking the second-place Bobcats down fairly frequently.
“The game is better every year and the days of firing a nice, long pass up the middle are gone,’’ Hudak said. “You have to be stronger along the boards and use your body to protect the puck and that’s been a learning curve for us.’’
Dartmouth took six of the game’s first seven shots, opening the scoring in the 14th minute when Dumais intercepted a diagonal clearing pass from the corner and charged down the slot to beat startled goaltender Victoria Vigilanti.
“You have to look at what the goalie gives you and as soon as I looked up, I saw she was so far out and giving me so much space to that side,’’ said Dumais, who threw a head fake before scoring on her backhand. Teammate Olivia Whitford’s forechecking caused a Quinnipiac defenseman to throw the puck away.
The Big Green went up 2-0 with 5.7 seconds remaining in the first period. Sasha Nanji successfully fought for a loose puck at the center point, skated around the net on her forehand and fired a shot under the crossbar and inside the far post.
The hosts pushed their lead to 3-0 on a power play when Ailish Forfar, standing atop the crease, redirected a low, Nanji shot past Vigilante midway through the second period. The Bobcats got on the board five minutes later, snaring a Dartmouth clearing pass in the middle of the offensive zone before Kelly Babstock beat goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft from close range.
Reagan Fischer put Dartmouth up 4-2 with a goal from the slot four minutes into the third period. Quinnipiac tallied with 11 minutes remaining and Jenna Hobeika fired the puck into an empty net with a second left on the clock. The Big Green hosts Princeton at 4 p.m. today.
Notes: Dumais returned to the lineup after missing the last two games because of her injury. … Defenseman Margaux Sharp missed her second consecutive contest with a knee injury and Hudak said he’s not sure when the senior might return. … Forward Laura Stacey played her second game since representing Canada’s under-22 national team at a tournament in Germany. The freshman missed three Dartmouth contests for the trip.
… Dartmouth scored 10 goals during its previous two games, victories at Union and Vermont. Eight of them were scored by freshmen. … Eighth-place Princeton (6-11-2, 2-9-2) lost 3-0 at league-leading Harvard last night.
Tris Wykes can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3227.