The Big Green Weekend Primer

by Blaze Joel and Brett Drucker | 2/19/15 6:01pm

Just as many students suddenly realize how little time is left in the term, the clock is ticking for many of Dartmouth’s winter teams looking to end their seasons on a strong note or prepare for postseason play. This weekend will see some of the Big Green spring teams kick off their seasons with non-conference play, such as the defending Ivy League Champion softball team, which is traveling south for the University of South Florida Wilson DeMarini tournament and the men’s lacrosse team heading to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State University. We chose however, to focus on some of the winter sports heading into dramatic clashes as they sprint to the finish.

Women’s Hockey vs. St. Lawrence (Saturday at 4 p.m.)

Despite wrapping up a post-season berth last weekend, the women’s hockey team is locked in a dogfight for the seventh seed with Yale University as both teams are tied with 20 points on the season. The Big Green (13-11-2, 9-9-2 ECAC) will have a tough road this weekend, facing off against two of the league’s top four teams including the Saints (18-10-4, 12-5-3 ECAC) in Thompson Arena. Saturday’s matchup will be the rubber match of a three-game set between the two teams this season that included a non-conference neutral site game in November. Dartmouth won that game 5-1 before falling to Saint Lawrence 2-1 in league play the next week. Dartmouth will need to see continued production from its power play unit — ranked first in the ECAC with a 28.2 scoring percentage against all competition, nearly four percentage points higher than the second place team — in order to pull off the upset this weekend. After winning two last weekend including an impressive victory over No. 10 Cornell University, the Big Green look poised to at least take a point out of this critical encounter.

Prediction: Dartmouth 2 – St. Lawrence 2

Men’s Hockey at Clarkson University (Friday at 7 p.m.)

After going 1-1 last weekend, the Big Green (12-9-4, 9-7-2 ECAC) sit just one point behind Harvard University for the fourth seed in the ECAC and final first round slot with only two weeks to play. This weekend Dartmouth hits the road, stopping in Potsdam New York, on Friday night for a matchup with Clarkson University (11-15-4, 8-8-2 ECAC) who is tied for seventh in the league. The Big Green will look to get back to the winning ways from its six-game win streak that was snapped on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to Colgate University.

The game against the Golden Knights should be closer than Clarkson’s 5-2 win over the Big Green in January, since Dartmouth began to find a rhythm over the last month for its first consistent winning stretch of the league season. Dartmouth will need to improve on special teams if it is going to get back into position for a bye as the team ranks in the bottom third of the ECAC in both power play scoring percentage and penalty kill percentage. While it will be tough to get many past Clarkson goaltender Steve Perry — who is third in the league with a 1.85 goals-against-average — Clarkson enters the game on a two-game losing streak, including a 2-1 defeat to cellar-dweller Princeton University, which shows they have been trending down since the two teams last matched up while the Big Green is trending up.

Prediction: Dartmouth 3 – Clarkson 2

Men’s Basketball vs. University of Pennsylvania (Saturday at 7 p.m.)

Fresh off its second Ivy win of the season against Columbia University last weekend and a series of individual accomplishments, the men’s basketball team (9-13, 2-6 Ivy) takes to the floor looking to add to its win total against the University of Pennsylvania (7-14, 2-5 Ivy). Against Columbia, forward Gabas Maldunas ’15 became the 26th player in Dartmouth history to score over 1,000 points in his career, and guard Miles Wright ’18 led the way with 16 points to earn his second-straight Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor. The Quakers are sporting a three- game losing streak where they have been out-scored 229-159 and averaged only 53 points of offense. These two teams are matched next to each other in almost every statistical category which should make for an exciting night of basketball as Dartmouth attempts to start a climb up the standings.

Prediction: Dartmouth 62 – Penn 58