Women's hockey drops weekend games to Princeton, Quinnipiac

by James Handal | 1/31/16 7:30pm

The women’s hockey team fell to both No. 9 Princeton University and No 4. Quinnipiac University at home this weekend. The Big Green lost to Princeton 4-1 and to Quinnipiac 2-1 to extend their winless streak to 14 games and dip to 4-15-3 overall and 4-9-3 in conference play.

“We were playing the first place team in the ECAC [Quinnipiac] and had them on the ropes numerous times throughout the game,” Laura Stacey ’16 said. “I think we have to be happy with how we played and keep pushing forward. I thought we played really well this weekend and battled hard and it was definitely much improved and we are making huge strides each game.”

On Saturday, Dartmouth faced Quinnipiac for the second time this season after the Big Green’s 7-1 loss on Dec. 4 but lost in a much closer contest this time around. Early in the first period, Lindsey Allen ’16 came close to scoring off a Bobcat turnover in Quinnipiac’s own defensive third, but netminder Sydney Rossman made the save. In the opening period, the Bobcats put up eight shots on goal to the Big Green’s three.

Quinnipiac opened the scoring in the second at 9:23 when Robyn Chemago ’17 got knocked away from the goal. The goal was Quinnipiac forward Emma Woods’ sixth goal of the season. Still in the throes of a close game, Stacey stole a Bobcat pass and beat two players to make an attempt at the net. Rossman, again, was able to snag a goal away from the Green.

The Bobcats started the third period with offensive pressure and scored at 3:41 with a game-winning power play goal by Melissa Samoskevich, her 13th of the season. Later in the third, Hailey Noronha ’18 scored her first career goal on a Dartmouth power play with a wrist shot to cut the lead to a goal. Dartmouth pressured Quinnipiac to the end but could not manage the tying goal.

“I am very happy I was able to put one in the back of the net and I am glad I was able to help the team out,” Noronha said. “I think the team needs to continue to keep our spirits high. Consistency is a huge part of being successful, and we just need to continue to make those good strides.”

Quinnipiac outshot Dartmouth 21-14 in shots that were on target, and the Bobcats were 1-3 on the power play while Dartmouth was 1-2. Big Green netminder Chemago made 19 saves while Rossman made 13 saves.

“I thought we played a good game against Princeton as well as Quinnipiac,” head coach Mark Hudak said. “We had more chances than the other teams did and had probably four to five breakaways in both games. We are just struggling to put the puck in the back of the net. We played really well in both games and we are creating a ton of opportunities but ultimately I was really happy defensively and thought we did a great job”.

On Friday, Dartmouth Ivy League foe Princeton defeated the Big Green 4-1. Stacey’s single goal in the second period to open up the scoring was followed by four unanswered Princeton goals.

In the first period, the Big Green and the Tigers were evenly balanced, exchanging shots with neither finding the back of the net. Princeton’s goalie Kimberly Newell was under distress but made a few timely saves to keep the Tigers in the game.

At 4:38 in the second, Stacey found the back of the net with a well-struck passing sequence between Ailish Forfar ’16 and Kate Landers ’19. Stacey backhanded the goal after skating around Newell. Later in the period, Princeton’s Karlie Lund scored the tying goal to knot the score at 1-1 heading into the third period.

Princeton’s Jamie McDonell tallied two goals, the first at 10:21 in the final period and the second an unassisted tally at 16:23 to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead. Chasing the win, the Big Green pulled Chemago from the net with about a minute remaining, and Princeton’s Molly Contini scored with 27 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Tigers.

The Big Green and the Tigers both registered 28 shots on goal with Chemago saving 24 shots and Newell saving 27. On the player-advantages, Dartmouth went 0-2 and Princeton went 0-5.

“I am really excited for next weekend, as we have two big Ivy games,” Stacey said. “They are both good teams to play against and after a good week of practice hopefully we can get back into the win column and turn the rest of this season around.”

The team is getting back to full strength and is hoping this week with a full squad will lead to a great weekend.

“This was the first time we had the team all together,” Hudak said. “We’re looking forward to this coming weekend, against two Ivy League teams. We are looking forward to the first week with the whole team together, and I feel like we are on the rise.”

The Big Green has six games remaining in the regular season. The Big Green’s final home games will be next weekend on Friday at 7 p.m. against Yale University and on Saturday, the team’s senior day, at 4 p.m. against Brown University. Dartmouth heads into both games with optimism after prevailing over Brown 4-0 and tying Yale 3-3 back in November.