Women’s hockey opens season with win over No. 5 Harvard
The No. 10 women’s hockey team kicked off its 2015-16 campaign with an upset 2-1 win over then-No. 5 Harvard University at home in Thompson Arena. Despite an early deficit, Dartmouth remained confident and scored a pair of unanswered goals to sink Harvard. The upset victory over the Crimson was substantial enough for Dartmouth to move from un-ranked to the No. 10 team in the country, and the victory marks the second straight year that Dartmouth has upset a No. 5 Crimson squad at Thompson Arena.
“Although it is only one game in a long season, it was a great victory and will give us momentum heading into the rest of the season,” Lindsay Allen ’16 said.
Harvard’s early lead came courtesy of a power play goal 12 minutes into the game after Eleni Tebano ’17 was sent to the box for hooking. Harvard had five seconds left on its power play when a pass from behind the net was sent past goalie Robyn Chemago ’17 off a one-timer to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead.
The Crimson’s lead lasted almost the entirety of the first period until Dartmouth responded with a power play goal of its own just before the end of the period. With five seconds remaining in the period, co-captain Laura Stacey ’16 brought the puck into the offensive zone and sent a saucer pass to Allen, who was ready and waiting in the slot. Allen ripped a buzzer beater into the back of the net to level the score at 1-1 as time expired.
The goal was sent to replay review to ensure that the puck had crossed the goal line prior to the end of the period. Allen’s goal was upheld as the review found that her goal occurred with a mere 0.4 seconds left in the period.
“Being down a goal is obviously pretty tough, but it also really motivates you,” Stacey said. “We battled back pretty hard, and we were getting shots through to the net and it finally went in for us. When we got that goal in, we really all believed we could do it. Being behind 1-0 was not something that was going to stop us from winning that game.”
To start the second period, Dartmouth came out with the momentum from Allen’s last-second goal and looked early and often for a second goal to put themselves in the lead. The opportunity came just over 12 minutes into the second period when Kennedy Ottenbreit ’17, Allen and Kate Landers ’19 entered the Crimson zone with an odd-man rush. Allen drew a defender wide on the ice before dropping a puck back to an open Ottenbreit who quickly slapped the puck into the net, giving Dartmouth the 2-1 lead.
“[The 3-on-2 situation] is something we practice over and over each day, and it worked out,” Ottenbreit said. “Honestly, all I did was shoot, they did everything [else]. Everything we practiced with our entry and regroup happened, and it was perfect.”
Despite taking the lead, the Big Green refused to let up, out-shooting Harvard 14-to-6 in the second period.
The final period was a heated and physical affair with tempers rising on multiple occasions between the two squads. Ottenbreit, who scored the game-winning goal, was involved in one of the minor scuffles.
“That’s going to happen when you have that much energy and adrenaline, especially against Harvard, because we are rivals,” Ottenbreit said. “We don’t take anyone lightly, because we don’t want to be taken lightly either.”
Heading into the matchup, playing a tough physical contest was a priority for Dartmouth, Stacey said.
“That was one of our goals heading into the game,” Stacey said. “We need to be physical and be the ones applying the contact. Once you start applying the pressure to them you start forcing them to make mistakes. We wanted to show that we were coming after them all night long.”
This emphasis on toughness defined the final period as Dartmouth kept the pressure on to prevent the Crimson from tying the game, which ended with a final score of 2-1.
Dartmouth continues its season with another pair of home games this weekend against St. Lawrence University on Friday, Oct. 30, and Clarkson University on Saturday, Oct. 31.