UVM suffers 27th straight loss to short-handed Dartmouth
With only 12 dressed skaters, the Dartmouth women's hockey team extended its ridiculous winning streak against University of Vermont, beating the Catamounts twice over the weekend for the 27th consecutive victory dating back to 1981.
The Big Green (5-0, 4-0 ECACHL) were without juniors Gillian Apps, Tiffany Hagge and Katie Weatherston for the weekend because of national team commitments. The trio had combined for 23 points (13g, 10a) in three games this season. However, Dartmouth did not miss a beat in the home-and-home series, easily taking 4-0 and 5-2 victories.
Junior Cherie Piper supplied most of the offense in the two games. The Scarborough, Ontario native tallied a point on each Dartmouth goal on Saturday, setting career highs with four assists and five points. The day before, Piper drove home the game winning goal just four minutes into the contest.
"I think Cherie has consistently contributed both offensively and defensively," Said Darmtouth head coach Mark Hudak.
"Missing some of our other players this weekend though, meant others had to step up in some areas -- Cherie was one of them."
The Big Green's supporting cast also performed admirably over the weekend. Cheryl Muranko '05 recorded three goals and two assists, and co-captain Meagan Walton tallied one goal and three assists.
"I'm extremely happy with the effort the team put forth this weekend," added Hudak. "People did step up at various times to be great leaders on and off the ice and both goalies did a great job when needed."
Freshman Carrie Thompson also recorded her first collegiate goal on Saturday afternoon on a Dartmouth power-play. It broke a scoreless tie midway through the first period, which opened the gates for the Big Green to score three more before the Catamounts could answer back.
"It was so exciting to finally score a goal," Said Thompson. "I was nervous that I would never be able to and now I feel a lot more confident."
The overall team effort this weekend took pressure and focus off of a short Dartmouth bench. Going into the weekend, both players and coach Hudak expressed concerns about having to play smart hockey.
"It was a tough weekend to evaluate," Said Hudak. "Things did not always go the way we wanted them to, but we found a way to make it work. It's really tough, tougher than one might expect to play with so few people."
Putting the difficulties of a short bench in perspective, Harvard went through a tough 1-1-1 stretch over the same span of time because two of its players were absent due to similar commitments. Dartmouth was able to rely on better effort to remain undefeated after the weekend.
"I'm not sure that I would characterize it as the same level of play," Hudak referred to the tougher schedule faced by the Crimson. "But, the effort was there, the focus was there and the team was there."
The effort of the team, especially on defense, has been outstanding this season. In five games, the Big Green has given up only four goals, three of them coming with two-man disadvantage. The two goals allowed against UVM came late in the third period, and the coach cited fatigue as a possible factor.
Fortunately, the Big Green will see their three junior forwards return to action starting next weekend. Dartmouth will play its next four games on the road. Next weekend, the team will attempt to take New York by storm as it travels to Hamilton and Ithaca to play Colgate and Cornell. Dartmouth has not lost to either team this decade, taking all 15 combined meetings. Friday's game against Colgate will begin at 7 p.m. and the Cornell game on Saturday will commence at 4 p.m.