Women's hockey ends losing streak, splits weekend

by John Mitchell | 11/21/05 6:00am

The Dartmouth women's hockey team salvaged a split with Brown and Yale on the road this weekend, halting its losing streak at three. The power play continued to improve, and the offense yet again proved capable of creating numerous scoring opportunities. However, the goaltender position has turned into a question mark for the Big Green.

Friday night's game against Brown extended the team's losing streak to three. Dartmouth dominated virtually every aspect of the game not tracked on the scoreboard, but just couldn't put the puck in the back of the net.

Despite having as many shots in the third period as Brown did all game long, the Big Green dropped the game 2-0. This marked the third consecutive game where the Big Green had left a big goose egg on the scoreboard.

Brown tallied only 24 seconds into the first period, essentially taking a one goal lead before Dartmouth had started playing. Brown also capitalized on a power play late in the first. Dartmouth had a pair of power play opportunities in the first period of this almost whistle-free game, and one in each of the final two periods.

The power play unit was passable, getting five shots on net during the first three penalties, but then failed to create a shot during the last opportunity.

Shot creation, however, was not a problem during the rest of the game. Dartmouth took 27 shots to Brown's 12.

"We outshot them and dominated play but unfortunately we just couldn't get the puck to bounce our way," team captain Tiffany Hagge '06 said.

The Brown game did not seem to get into the team's head, however. While the loss upset the squad, they seemed to realize that at times the better team does not win.

"Even though we lost to Brown, we were really happy with the way we played," said Caroline Ethier '07. "It was one of those games where we played better than the other team but still could not get the win."

After giving up two goals on 12 shots against Brown, Kate Lane '06 was replaced by Carli Clemis '09 as starting goaltender against Yale. However, Clemis received a rude welcome to the college game. After giving up a couple of goals on mini-breakaways and making three saves, she sustained an injury that forced her out of the game 17:21 into the first. Lane took over between the pipes and finished the game admirably.

Yale had a tough second period, racking up six penalties for 12 minutes in the box during the frame. While the Bulldogs protested oppressive hockey regulations with civil disobedience, the Big Green pulled even and Lane settled into goal, making three stops during the period. The Big Green entered the final period tied 2-2, needing a solidly played 20 minutes to break its three-game losing streak.

The team did play solidly over the final period, although they did not control play the way they had over the first two periods. After racking up a 33-8 lead in shots on goal over the first two periods, Dartmouth managed 11 in the third, but let Yale fire 10 of its own.

Luckily, Lane was up to the challenge, stopping all 10 of the Bulldog's shots, and completing a two period shutout after being relieved of her starting duties.

While the team would have liked to have swept the weekend, they will certainly take the win over Yale.

Head coach Mark Hudak was pleased with the effort from his team. "In both games we completely outplayed and outshot our opponents," he said. "The big difference between Friday's loss and Saturday's win was that we started to execute offensively by making some better decisions on the ice."

Ethier shares her coach's confidence. "The teams in the league this year are so similar in strength that everything is possible. We still have a shot at the Ivy and ECAC title and we certainly believe that we can make it to the Frozen Four. We just need to do what we did this weekend and play our game."

Hagge agreed. "Overall I think it was a great weekend, we played the kind of hockey we are capable of and its just going to continue getting better...we need to play like this all of the time, with that kind of intensity, work ethic, and toughness. If we can do that, things will start to go our way," she said.

The Big Green next takes the ice during a Thanksgiving weekend homestand. Friday night the icers from the University of Wisconsin will take on the Big Green followed by an exhibition game against the Ottawa Raiders on Saturday.

The puck drops at 4 p.m., for both games.