Women's hockey looks to continue winning streak on home ice

by Jordan Rose | 11/10/06 6:00am

Shannon Bowman '09 and the Big Green will host Cornell and Colgate.
by Jennie Post / The Dartmouth

"We started out with one very tough opponent for two games," head coach Mark Hudak said, alluding to the opening contests against No. 3 Mercyhurst. "We didn't go into the weekend taking anything for granted. What we pulled out of that weekend is that we have to get a little bit hungrier, a little bit grittier. If we can do a good job in the defensive zone, we feel like that can pay great dividends on the other side of the ice."

It is no surprise that the Big Green's success as of late has coincided with a potent offensive performance, led by a trio of Dartmouth's Olympic veterans. Sarah Parsons '10 sits atop the team with six goals and six assists for 12 points overall. She has scored at least one point in Dartmouth's last four games and netted four goals and three assists in an 11-0 drubbing of Union on Oct. 28. Captain Gillian Apps '06 and fellow Canadian Cherie Piper '06 both have 10 points on the season, with Apps leading the team in goals scored with eight.

However, Parsons, Apps and Piper will be unavailable this weekend as they will be playing for their respective countries in the Four Nations Cup in Kitchener, Ontario. That should not stall the Big Green offensively, as there is considerable scoring balance across the board with 17 different players recording at least one point.

The defense hasn't been too shabby, either. Reigning ECAC Goalie of the Week Carli Clemis '09 has had three solid outings, including a 23-save performance against St. Lawrence. She followed that game with a season-high 28 saves in a shutout of Clarkson. On the season, Clemis boasts a 3-2 record with a 1.82 goals against average.

"When we know we're going to play competition that we know is strong, we're probably going to go with [Clemis]," Hudak said. "With this weekend coming up, without our first line we're probably looking to keep Clemis in net.

"Against St. Lawrence, she made the saves she needed to make and made a couple of big saves. It gives the team in front of her confidence. I don't think we played as well offensively against Clarkson, but we played well defensively and gave her the opportunity to see the puck. If we give her the chance to make the save, we're confident she's going to do it."

The Big Red (2-4-1, 1-1-0 ECAC) comes to Hanover in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Last week, Cornell dropped a pair of games to Wayne State in Detroit, losing 4-1 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday. Freshman Rebecca Flewelling leads the team with six points, and junior forward Brianna Schmidt has potted a team-high three goals. Goalie Beth Baronick has a 1-3-1 record in net with a 2.94 GAA and .903 save percentage.

"Cornell has been playing very disciplined hockey," Hudak said. "They're going to play a pretty good defensive game. We're going to have to use our speed if we want to be successful against them. I think Cornell is going to be like an RPI [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute], where if we want to score we're going to have to work for those goals."

Colgate (2-6-1, 2-0-0 ECACHL) will face a stiff challenge this weekend with two consecutive league contests against national top ten teams -- a Friday night game against No. 8 Harvard in Hamilton, N.Y., followed by a trip to Dartmouth. History is not on the Raider's side: the Big Green is 15-0-1 all-time against Colgate, and the Raiders are 0-3-1 on the road this season.

"Colgate is going to be similar [to Cornell] in some ways, and they've got some pretty good juniors and seniors that know how to score and can be fairly explosive," Hudak said. "We're going to really have to buckle down defensively. It's going to be a game of opportunities and taking advantage of those chances."

Game time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday.