Women’s hockey ties No. 4 Clarkson and loses to St. Lawrence

by Sam Stockton | 11/1/15 6:30pm

Following a disappointing 4-2 defeat at the hands of St. Lawrence University on Friday night, the No. 10 women’s hockey team rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie No. 4 Clarkson University Saturday afternoon.

On Friday, SLU edged Dartmouth with a 4-2 win in a game that saw four goals scored on power plays. SLU defenseman Megan Armstrong opened the scoring at the 3:42 mark of the first period. This lead did not last long, though, as winger Lindsey Allen ’16 found the back of the net on a power play less than three minutes later. Ailish Forfar ’16 notched another power-play marker at 11:45 of the first frame, but SLU was able to answer with a power-play strike of its own before the first period concluded, knotting the score at 2-2.

“We had to battle harder than we did and be 100 percent committed to the stuff we’re working on,” head coach Mark Hudak said. “We needed to come out with more energy and more jump.”

The Big Green struggled to regain its footing and surrendered a second power-play goal early in the second that went unanswered. With 22 seconds to play, SLU iced the game with an empty-net goal.

“We had a pretty good game, but we didn’t execute as best as we could have. We were pretty disappointed, and we thought we should have won that game,” captain Laura Stacey ’16 said.

On Saturday, the Big Green came out with the energy its coach had hoped to see in the Friday game, but the team did not see the first period go the way its wanted. Stacey was denied on an early breakaway, and subsequently, an early power play saw the Big Green struggle to get pucks on net.

In a 4-on-3 Clarkson power play with Devon Moir ’17 and Allen in the penalty box, Clarkson’s Erin Ambrose sent a cross-ice pass to fellow defenseman Savannah Harmon, who collected the pass and fired a shot past Big Green netminder Christie Honor ’19, who was making her first career start.

Eight minutes later, Honor was unable to corral a Clarkson dump-in that caromed off the end boards to Golden Knight center Genevieve Bannon for a wide-open goal. Then, in the waning moments of the first, Cayley Mercer was able to extend the Golden Knight lead to three on a wrap-around.

“We got ourselves in a hole, but I thought we were playing pretty well in the first period. We had some unlucky bounces, and we had a bad penalty — it happens,” Hudak said.

Hudak said he went into the locker room between the first and second periods and told the team that it had been a rough period, but that “Good things will happen — just be patient.”

Following Mercer’s goal, Hudak lifted Honor in favor of regular starter Robyn Chemago ’17.

“I had full belief in [Honor], but I still prepare my own way as if I’m coming in,” Chemago said. “I think a big difference is that you have to keep relaxed on the bench. You can’t keep focused 100 percent of the time, but you have to be ready to go,” Chemago said of her relief effort.

After the goalie change late in the first frame, the Big Green came out with the same energy Hudak wanted to open the second, and the team’s energy began to be reflected on the score sheet. The Golden Knights were still able to generate a flurry of early chances, but Chemago repeatedly smothered contested pucks in heavy net-front traffic.

At the 17 minute mark, Brooke Ahbe ’18 sent a pass below the goal line to Stacey. After Stacey returned the pass back, Ahbe was able to one-time a shot past Clarkson goalie Shea Tiley and put Dartmouth on the board.

“We weathered a little bit of a storm in the second period. We got that one goal, which was a really nice goal and then things started to go our way a little bit,” Hudak said.

Stacey also emphasized the significance of the momentum the Big Green garnered following its first goal.

“It was awesome, [it caused a] total shift in everybody’s outlook,” Stacey said. “Before, we were all thinking, ‘We’re down three goals against one of the best teams in the nation. How are we going to get back?’ It totally shifted everybody’s vibes on the bench, and after that goal we completely took it to them.”

Two and a half minutes after Ahbe’s goal, Kennedy Ottenbreit ’17 added a power play marker on a slapshot from the top of the left circle to pull the Big Green to within one goal heading into the third.

Just under six minutes into the third period, Allen scored on a beautiful backhand on a three-on-two odd-man rush. Despite numerous chances in the remainder of the third and five-minute overtime period, neither team would be able to find the back of the net the rest of the way.

“We battle really hard, and they got a couple early goals, but we never gave up, and I think that says a lot about our character,” Stacey said. “They couldn’t keep getting the bounces — it was our turn.”

Dartmouth has started the season 1-1-1 with a huge season-opening upset win over Harvard University, followed by Friday’s disappointing loss and Saturday’s come-from-behind tie.

“I’m really happy with where we are,” Hudak said. “We’ve played three teams, and I think all three teams are top 10 in the country right now. To come out of that with a win, a tie and a loss against those three incredible opponents means I’m really happy with where we are right now.”

The Big Green will return to action next weekend with road matchups against Brown and Yale Universities.