Women’s hockey still searches for midseason stride after loss

by James Handal | 1/24/16 7:00pm

The Dartmouth women’s ice hockey team lost 2-0 to Harvard University this past Saturday in Boston, extending its winless streak to 12 games dating back to Nov. 27. The Big Green fell to 4-13-3 overall and 4-7-3 in ECAC play while the Crimson improved to 11-7-1 overall and 8-5-1 in conference play. In Ivy League play, Dartmouth currently stands fourth at 2-3-1 and Harvard second at 4-2.

Starting out the game strong, the Big Green’s Laura Stacey ’16 tested Harvard netminder Emerance Maschmeyer after Ailish Forfar ’16 won the faceoff early on in the first period. Despite the start, Harvard put pressure on the Big Green and Karly Heffernan tallied a goal at 9:02 with the assist from Dani Krzyszczyk. Harvard continued to dominate and outshot the Big Green 14-4 to end the first period.

“There is effort and consistency within the group and defensively, we’ve done a really good job these past five games only given up three [games] versus really tough teams,” head coach Mark Hudak said. “I think we’re still trying to get healthy, as we haven’t play with a full roster in three months so, maybe next weekend, the team needs to work on our scoring, change our lineup and get a little spark.”

In the second period, the Crimson came out strong taking shots on Robyn Chemago ’17, and the persistent pressure led to Harvard’s second goal coming early at 2:11 by Lexie Laing, assisted by Abbey Frazier.

The Big Green fired back offensively with a power play at 4:11, forcing Maschmeyer to make a few saves to keep the Crimson on top. Dartmouth dominated the latter part of the second period after a strong start by the Crimson, and both took 11 shots each in the period.

“We just need to continue to work hard and dig down even deeper to capitalize on our chances, which I think will make the biggest difference in our outcome at the end of the game,” Kennedy Ottenbreit ’17 said. “We need to somehow find the back of the net more and we just need to keep battling and working hard and stick to our game plan.”

Chemago was able to block the Crimson shots in the beginning of the third period and tallied 15 saves in the period. The Big Green put pressure on Maschmeyer with shots by Lindsey Allen ’16 and Forfar midway in the third period. The Big Green was unable to capitalize on a second powerplay starting at 15:49 and put six skaters on the ice with an empty net, but ultimately the team could not beat the Harvard goalie.

“Its been pretty tough lately as we can’t seem to pull out a win and are struggling to score but I think we are doing the little things right and it is just a matter of time before things start clicking for us,” Stacey said. “We had a pretty good second and third period, shots wise, but just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.”

Overall, the Big Green tallied 23 shots on goal with respect to Harvard’s 40. Harvard was 0-1 on the power play while Dartmouth was 0-2 when up a player. Chemago had 38 saves, while Maschmeyer turned away all 23 shots on goal across 60 minutes of play.

“Robyn played another great game, and I also think the team played a great game in front of her as a lot of the Harvard shots looked quite dangerous. She will make those saves that she needs to,” Hudak said.

The Big Green has eight games remaining with four games against Ivy League opponents Princeton, Yale, Brown and Cornell Universities.

“I am excited for the rest of the reason as I know we are so much better than the results,” Ottenbreit said. “Our team is very close and works really hard and has the ability to win. So I am looking forward to these two weekends at home coming up, especially [three of the four] games being Ivy [League matchups]. It will be a battle and I believe our team will turn it around and dig deep to find a win and turn this season around for the second half.”

The Big Green next takes on Princeton on Friday, Jan. 29 at Thompson Arena at 4 p.m.