Women’s hockey skates to 6-2 win vs. UNH

by Haley Gordon | 10/26/14 4:28pm

10.27.14.sports.potw_Eliza-McDonough
An offensive explosion by the women’s hockey team led to a 6-2 win over Granite State rivals UNH.
by Eliza McDonough / Eliza McDonough

The women’s ice hockey team notched an impressive win in its first game of the season Sunday, beating the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 6-2 at Thompson Arena.

The Big Green’s (1-0-0) top line of Kennedy Ottenbreit ’17, Laura Stacey ’16 and Lindsey Allen ’16 earned nine points on the afternoon.

The women scored against the Wildcats (2-6-1) just over six minutes into the contest.

“We’re really focusing on playing the full 60 minutes, playing an up-tempo game and taking some risks,” head coach Mark Hudak said.

The Big Green kept the puck in the Wildcat’s zone for most of the beginning of the game, eventually leading to a power play goal scored by Ottenbreit in the seventh minute.

Physical play from both teams characterized the game, and several power play opportunities arose for each side. But the Big Green went 4-5 with the man advantage, keeping UNH off the board.

At the end of the first period, UNH had 12 shots on target. Dartmouth’s goaltender Robyn Chemago ’17 saved all 12 en route to 22 on the afternoon. The Wildcats’ junior goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara stopped five of the six shots on net for Dartmouth in the first period.

“I felt confident,” Chemago said. “I wanted to keep it simple so my girls could go out there and score goals.”

Dartmouth’s offense clicked by the middle of the game, putting together passing plays, dominating possession and generating plenty of scoring chances.

After six minutes, the Big Green doubled its lead when Hailey Noronha ’18 played the puck in from the blue line and Allen knocked it into the back of the net. The assist was Noronha’s first point for the Big Green.

A penalty drawn by Katy Ratty ’17 set the Big Green up for its second power play of the day. Karlee Odland ’15 capitalized on the opportunity, blasting a hard shot in the air that flew past Vaattovaara, off an assist from Ailish Forfar ’16.

Just seconds later, UNH scored its first goal of the afternoon to cut the deficit to just two at the end of the second.

Dartmouth continued its offensive dominance in the final frame, with offenders doggedly taking shots and pressuring UNH on the ice. After eight solid minutes, Ottenbreit scored her second goal of the game, assisted by Stacey — her third on the night.

Halfway through the frame, redshirt freshman Kate Haslett scored on a long shot from the outside to bring Dartmouth’s lead down to two goals.

Stacey responded three minutes later with her first goal of the year on a beautiful shot from the circles. Chemago got a point on the play, as she fed the puck to Olivia Whitford ’16, who found Stacey.

Yet another power play for Dartmouth allowed for more offensive chances and Allen scored her second goal of the game to make it 6-2.

“Last year was a struggle for us because we didn’t have as much offense,” Allen said. “So for us having this first game and winning 6-2 — that’s completely different from what we know.”

The Big Green’s consistent defense and hard work sealed the win, according to Hudak, as Chemago made saves all the way until the final buzzer.

The team will play its first two-game stretch this weekend, kicking off at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against Union College before hosting Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday.