While most Dartmouth students were home for the holidays by Dec. 10, the Dartmouth women's ice hockey team was looking down a tough stretch of non-conference games.
The women's icers went on a road trip to Minnesota to play the nationally-ranked Golden Gophers twice, followed by a tune-up exhibition game against the United States National team and finishing up December with the Dartmouth Invitational Tournament.
Minnesota 5, Dartmouth 4
Dartmouth entered Mariucci Arena holding the nation's sixth ranking to play the fourth-ranked Golden Gophers. Lauren Trottier '01 took first blood for the Big Green when she put a shot past Minnesota goaltender Erica Killewald off a feed from Jennifer Wiehn '01 and Jillian Rockoff '03.
In the second period Minnesota's Winny Brodt tied the game. Brodt then assisted Nadie Muzerall's goal a minute later and assisted Ambria Thomas' short-handed goal later in the period.
Dartmouth would answer less than two minutes later on a power play goal by Carly Haggard '03. The goal was Haggard's first of the season and brought the Big Green within a single goal.
Unfortunately for the Green, Brodt would strike again with just over five minutes to go in the period. She found Ronda Curtin, who fired a shot and beat Dartmouth goaltender Meghan Cahill '01 to give the Golden Gophers a 4-2 advantage.
The third period saw a return to the rock soild defense of the first period. For the few shots that did find their way to the net, Cahill was there for the Big Green, making 23 saves on the afternoon.
Haggard's second goal of the game with 10:48 left put Dartmouth within one again.
The drama would come with under a minute to play.
Dartmouth Head Coach Judy Parish-Oberting pulled Cahill in favor of an extra skater. With just 43 seconds left, a smooth passing sequence from Liz Macri '01 to Correne Bredin '02 found Wiehn with a chance to put one on net. Her shot went by Killewald to tie the game at 4-4 in one of the season's most dramatic moments.
But the Gophers wouldn't die. After the ensuing faceoff, Minnesota entered the Dartmouth zone and Laura Slominski fed Courtney Kennedy for the game-winning goal with 11 seconds left to play.
Minnesota 4, Dartmouth 3
Dartmouth returned the following day hoping to avenge their stunning loss from the day before. Lydia Whetaley '03 put the Big Green up early with a goal 2:19 into the first period.
At 12:00, Haggard scored her third goal of the series to extend the lead to two goals. But Minnnesota's Laura Slominski answered just 51 seconds later.
In the second period, neither team had a clear advantage until Correne Bredin '02 scored with 3:07 left in the period. Once again the Gophers didn't surrender and cut the lead back down to one goal on Nadine Muzerall's power play goal with a 1:04 left in the second.
The final period of play was marked by intensity on both sides. After a Dartmouth penalty, Ambria Thomas skated in and beat Dartmouth goalie Amy Ferguson '03 to tie the game at three apiece.
Ferguson had a career-high 37 saves on the afternoon.
Once again, the game would come down to the final minutes of play. With 1:50 left in the game, Curtin netted the game-winner for the Golden Gophers off a feed from Brodt. Head Coach Parish-Oberting again pulled her goalie, but the strategy did not pay off again.
Team USA 6, Dartmouth 1
Dartmouth played host to the U.S. Women's National Team at Thompson Arena in its final game before Christmas. For both teams it was a good chance to just have fun before taking a break for the holidays.
Team USA actually had two Dartmouth alumnae on its roster, Amy Coelho '97 and Sarah Tueting '98. Tueting, Team USA's regular goaltender was out with an injury, but Coelho played defense against her old team.
Karen Bye had two goals and an assist to lead Team USA over the Big Green.
Erin Magee had a goal and two assists while Cammi Granato added a goal and and assist of her own in the third period.
USA outshot the Big Green 43-10 but Cahill stopped 16 shots in two periods and Ferguson made 21 saves in the third.
Dartmouth's lone goal was scored by Kim McCullough '02 on a sparkling heads-up play. As Team USA tried to clear the puck out of their own offensive zone, McCullough intercepted the pass and charged towards the net. She fired a quick, low shot past Whitten to put the Big Green on the board.
Dartmouth 13, Wisconsin 2
Perhaps it was the time off, perhaps it was just a need to get back to its winning ways, but whatever it was, Dartmouth came back with a vengeance.
The Big Green rebounded from a three-game losing streak to thump the Badgers. The 11-goal margin of victory was the largest since an 11-0 victory over the College of Brebeuf in 1997.
Kristin King '02 opened the onslaught for the Big Green , scoring at 14:00.
Eight Dartmouth players had multiple-point games, led by co-captain Kristina Guarino '01 with two goals and three assists. King, Haggard, McCullough, Wiehn and Trottier also scored twice for the Big Green.
Kristen Romberg '01 had four assists and Bredin assisted on five Dartmouth goals. Liz Macri '01 scored the final Big Green goal with seven minutes left in the third period.
Dartmouth 5, Concordia 0
The Big Green showed no signs of slowing down, cruising past Concordia in their second tournament game.
Guarino got things rolling for the Big Green 10 minutes into the game with her third goal of the tournament.
Just past the midway point of the second period, Haggard netted her third of the tournament. King and Emilia Peraza '02 would also score for Dartmouth in the second period. Peraza would add another in the final frame.
The Big Green poured an incredible 52 shots on goal, but Jessika Audet of Concordia was able to stop over 90 percent of them. Cahill stopped all 12 of Concordia's shots.
Northeastern 1, Dartmouth 0
The top team in the country, Northeastern, entered the game with a 11-2-1 record. Huskie goaltender Erika Silva led the ECAC with a 1.00 goal against average.
No one could find the net in the first period of play. At times, both teams had trouble moving the puck through neutral ice, which made transition more of a key as the game progressed.
The Huskies would score the only goal of the contest at 3:19 of the second period when Kim Vallone made a smooth pass through neutral ice to a streaking Hilary Witt. Witt took the puck in stride and banged it in off the post past Ferguson.
Dartmouth's best chance to tie came when Silva mishandled a shot on goal. Although she made the initial save, she lost control of the puck and it slid behind her. At the last possible second, Silva dove backwards and covered the puck, which lay mere millimeters from the goal line.
Silva recorded 27 saves for Northeastern in the victory while Ferguson matched that total in net for the Big Green.