Tough weekend losses conclude women's ice hockey's season

by Jake Philhower | 2/19/18 2:00am

The Dartmouth women’s ice hockey team concluded its season with a difficult road trip against Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University. Dartmouth has largely struggled with tough competition this year. Despite Clarkson and St. Lawrence both currently ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA, the Big Green hoped to finish its season off strong.

No. 2 Clarkson has been a powerhouse in Eastern College Athletic Conference hockey this year, proving to be a top competitor for the conference and national championship. On Friday, the Golden Knights wasted no time in showcasing their talent, scoring two goals in the first period. This early lead was key as Shea Tiley, Clarkson’s goalie, proved to be difficult to beat, blocking all 23 shots taken by Dartmouth. The Big Green struggled to find the back of the net throughout the game, and eventually allowed two more goals in the third period. Clarkson proved why it is difficult to beat at home, ultimately defeating the Big Green 4-0 on Friday and Harvard University 3-1 on Saturday to end the regular season tied-for-first in the ECAC with Colgate University.

“Clarkson was the toughest team we played this year,” defenseman Caroline Shaunessy ’19 said after the game. “They are the defending national champions and just didn’t make many mistakes at all.”

Though Tiley was able to record a shutout, goalie Christine Honor ’19 still had an impressive game, recording 42 saves and a save percentage of over 91 percent. This was an impressive performance considering Honor was facing one of the best teams in the country with a rowdy crowd.

“Despite being an extremely talented team, [Clarkson] also [has] a pretty rowdy band that likes to heckle the visiting team,” Honor said. “They got some pretty good chirps in on me for sure, but it’s all fun and in the nature of the game.”

In the season finale, the Big Green played at No. 8 St. Lawrence University, who is positioned to make a playoff run of its own. Like Clarkson, St. Lawrence also scored two goals in the first period. Honor put up stout defense, blocking 26 shots. Shannon Ropp ’19 blocked three shots in the last period, but St. Lawrence was able to score one on her as well. The Saints were able to find the back of the net five times throughout the game, blanking the Big Green 5-0. Though Dartmouth ended its season on another tough loss, its numbers were decent. The Big Green recorded 27 shots on goal in comparison to St. Lawrence’s 34, the difference coming from an impeccable performance by Saints’ goalie Sonjia Shelly.

The Big Green, despite finishing 5-19-3 overall and 3-16-3 in conference play, proved that it was resilient and unafraid to play against some of the toughest competition in the nation. This “no-quit” attitude will help cultivate a great culture which will help return the Big Green to its winning ways in years to come.

“I am incredibly proud of my team this year,” captain Hailey Noronha ’18 said after her final game with the Big Green. “Even though our record wasn’t what we wanted it to be, we never stopped giving it everything we had. That’s not easy to do.”

Though this year proved to be difficult for the women in Green and White, it still did not come without its highs and memories. The team was still able to get a few big wins and beat some of the best ranked teams in the country. There was no better example of this than the game at Quinnipiac University on Oct. 27, 2017.

“My favorite moment this season was probably our 1-0 win against Quinnipiac early in the season,” Honor said. “It was a well-fought win, and everyone worked so hard to beat one of the top teams in the league and country. It was also [interim head coach Joe Marsh’s] birthday, which made the win that much better.”

Looking forward, the Big Green will look to its young players. Next year, the team will return 18 players, notably defensemen Tess Bracken ’19 and Honor, who will have one more year of game experience under their belt.

“I am very excited for my team next year,” Noronha said. “I just wish I was a part of it.”