Women’s hockey goes 1-1 on home ice

by Jehanna Axelrod | 11/17/13 5:04pm

by Jin Lee / The Dartmouth

The women’s ice hockey team had a busy weekend with a Friday night victory at home against Colgate University and a Saturday afternoon home loss to No. 3 Cornell University. The 1-1 weekend puts the Big Green at 2-7-0 overall and 2-6-0 in the ECAC. Dartmouth took down Colgate (3-11-0, 1-7-0 ECAC) 2-1 in a hard-fought match, but fell 4-2 to Cornell (8-0-2, 6-0-2 ECAC) after allowing three goals in the first period.

The team started fast against Colgate when Catherine Berghuis ’16 scoring an unassisted goal, her second one of the season, just 1:17 into the first period on a two-on-one odd-man rush.

“We’ve had a little bit of a struggle putting the puck in the net recently so to get one early was pretty huge,” goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft ’14 said.

Despite being called for three minor penalties in the first, Dartmouth managed to keep Colgate off the board with a successful penalty kill. On the evening, the Big Green killed off all seven Colgate power plays.

“We’ve been working on our penalty kill and power play a lot in the past few weeks in practice,” Karlee Odland ’15 said. “I think everyone understands it better, so we’re able to perform it better on the ice.”

Colgate broke through 2:47 into the second period with a quick goal, however, on a deflection in front of the net. The teams battled it out over the next period and a half, trading shots and scoring chances, until Lindsey Allen ’16 snuck a backhand shot past the goalie on a breakaway for her fourth goal of the season with an assist from Odland.

“Colgate plays a pretty gritty game, they play physically, so we were kind of prepared for that,” Holdcroft said.

The Big Green has not been as effective on the other side of the penalty, going 0-5 with the man-advantage during the game to continue its streak of three games without a power play goal. The shots were very even, with the Big Green holding a 26-24 advantage.

“We’ve been struggling a bit just getting shots on net and getting the power play set up,” Holdcroft said.

This was the 11th time in a row that Dartmouth has beaten Colgate and it was Dartmouth’s first home victory this season. The win is also Holdcroft’s 49th for her career.

“We’ve been working really hard to get a lot better. We’re a young team so just over the last couple weeks we’ve really been building on working together, working as a five player unit on the ice.”

The win came at a price, however, as the Big Green lost forward Laura Stacey ’16 partway through the game to a knee injury that kept her out against the Big Red as well.

On Saturday afternoon, Dartmouth took on Cornell at home, but could not overcome a 3-1 first period deficit, falling 4-2.

“Cornell is one of the best teams in the nation, and I think we had a really good game against them,” Berghuis said. “I think our first period was not our best, but I think if we played the game like we did the second and third period the whole game, we would have come out with a win.”

After allowing a goal 1:16 into the first period, Dartmouth tied it up 12 minutes later. Following a scrum in front of the net, Allen turned and fired it past the Cornell goalie, assisted again by Odland.

Unfortunately, the Big Green could not keep the momentum on its side; Cornell netted another goal at the 15:53 mark, and a third with 17 seconds to go in the first. Both of these goals came on power plays, making Cornell the first team to score more than one man-advantage goal against the Big Green.

“We play a really aggressive penalty kill compared to a lot of teams,” Holdcroft said. “We really put a lot of pressure on the puck.”

Dartmouth scored the lone goal of the second period on a power play. Berghuis banged home a rebound created by an Allen shot to bring the game within one. The goal was Dartmouth’s first man-advantage goal in four games.

After being outshot 18-2 in the first frame, the Big Green outshot its Ivy rivals 14-11 and 11-9 in the final two periods, but could not cash in on its opportunities.

“The second and third periods, that’s probably the best hockey we’ve played all year,” Berghuis said.

Unfortunately, the team could not convert on any of its three other power play chances in the third period. Cornell did, extending its lead to two on a power play goal 13:04 into the third.

Despite the loss, the team still feels as if it is improving.

“We lost nine players last year including our two captains,” Berghuis said. “Typically for a young team it’s tough right off the bat to click, but I think we’ve worked really hard to come together as a group.”

With so many young players, the group has a lot of potential, but needs to pull it all together in order to live up to that potential.

“The learning curve is going to be pretty steep, but I think that our improvement will start coming pretty quickly,” Holdcroft said.

The Big Green’s next game is Nov. 29 against Northeastern University at home.