Women's hockey team ties BC, 3-3

by Blaze Joel | 11/12/12 11:00pm

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11.13.12.sports.whockey
by Maggie Rowland and Jin Lee / The Dartmouth

The tightly contested and fast-paced first period was a defensive battle. Opportunities were few and far between, as the teams combined for 17 shots in the opening period. The Eagles outshot the Big Green, 12-5, in the frame, but could only beat goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft '14 once.

The Big Green's five shots were all quality scoring chances, the best coming on a drive from Lindsey Allen '16. Allen drove to the net, deking through defenders and drawing a hooking penalty. On the ensuing power play, Lisa Berreman '13 cashed in the opportunity on a slap shot from the point. Jessica Gagner '13 slid the puck to Reagan Fischer '12, who found Berreman on the far point for the goal.

The lead lasted for about six minutes, when the Eagles scored on a rebound opportunity with just over five minutes left in the period. The Big Green rebounded nicely from the goal, holding the puck in its offensive zone. Despite numerous other scoring opportunities, Dartmouth could not put the puck past BC goalie Megan Miller. Although the team was outshot, the Big Green controlled the puck for the majority of the period.

The Eagles began to dominate play in the second, scoring twice to take a 3-1 lead. Dartmouth had some good chances, including several back-door opportunities, but could not finish. BC's second goal took advantage of a three-on-one rush created by a turnover in the neutral zone. The Eagles' passing was also on display for their third goal of the night, when the offense took advantage of a defensive breakdown on the penalty kill for yet another back-door goal with Holdcroft out of position.

"With a lot of teams, if we have small breakdowns we can recover, but they're skilled enough to make us pay for it," Holdcroft said. "They're not really a shooting team they look for that extra pass and that perfect shot."

Fischer said that it was important for Dartmouth to play error-free hockey during the rest of the game after a rough second period.

"They're definitely skilled, but I think all three goals they had were on breakdowns by us on some level," Fischer said. "They're a skilled team, so when you do have a breakdown, that's what happened."

The Big Green turned up the intensity at the end of the second, thanks in large part to a power-play opportunity. Dartmouth held the puck in the BC zone and notched six shots in the final few minutes. Despite numerous opportunities to score, the Big Green could not beat Miller and the smothering BC defense. The period ended with Dartmouth trailing the Eagles, but tied in shots with 17 each.

The Big Green came out firing in the third, attempting to tie the game. From the drop of the puck, Dartmouth was fired up, hustling and pressing the Eagles. After two failed breakaway chances, the third time was the charm for the Big Green. Karlee Odland '15 fought off a defender and found Fischer wide open on the far side of the ice, who flew in and shot from the face-off dot, beating Miller for Dartmouth's second goal of the game.

The Eagles did not get a shot on Holdcroft until over five minutes had gone by in the final frame and did not notch their second until the eight minute mark. The Big Green continued its offensive push, however, with seven quality scoring chances in the frame, but could not beat Miller. With just over six minutes left in the game, Dartmouth drew a high sticking penalty, but could not score in the first minute of the man-advantage. Allen was sent to the box for slashing, the second power play the team negated with a penalty of its own.

The Big Green held on the penalty kill before Camille Dumais '13 drew a holding penalty on a rush. On the resultant power play, the Big Green had numerous chances and had the BC defense scrambling. Eventually, the Eagles defense broke and Dartmouth equalized, sending the game to overtime. Allen found Margaux Sharp '13 on the point, who fed Fischer. The captain circled to the front of the net and roofed the puck for her second of the period. The Big Green outshot the Eagles, 11-3, in the final frame, which spurred the comeback.

"This is the first time this season that we played a team with that much skill and quickness, so I think it took a period or two to get in to this game," Holdcroft said. "We went into the third thinking that we had to get one goal and the others would come. That attitude and the energy and excitement we brought into the third made all the difference."

In overtime, play was constrained mostly to the neutral zone, with both teams only having brief forays into the other team's defensive zone. The Eagles enjoyed the lion's share of the pressure, but the Big Green defense and Holdcroft were up to the task. Both teams only managed one shot on net in the final frame, but both were turned away easily by the goaltenders.

Dartmouth will play three of its next four games against ranked opponents, as it takes on No. 2 Cornell, No. 6 Harvard University and No. 9 Northeastern University in the next month.