Women’s hockey stuns No. 4 Clarkson in 3-2 overtime win
The women’s hockey team scored a major upset on Friday, defeating defending-national champion Clarkson in OT.
In a week that honored the Big Green’s seniors, it was a first-year who earned Dartmouth its biggest win in years. After trailing No. 4 Clarkson University by two goals after the first period, the Big Green forced overtime and Chloe Puddifant ’22 wristed in a rebound with 9.4 seconds left in overtime to deal a stunning defeat to the defending national champion Golden Knights.
The Big Green played St. Lawrence University to a 0-0 tie the next day, cementing this weekend as the best two-day stretch of the season.
For a 5-20-2 Dartmouth team that has been unable to string together wins, the weekend was something of a breakthrough.
“Our defensive play was spectacular,” head coach Laura Schuler said. “It’s reflective of where we are as a team and where we’re continuing to go.”
Clarkson controlled the opening minutes of Friday’s game. Less than four minutes into the first period, Christine Honor ’19 slid right to protect against a shot from a hard-charging Loren Gable. A quick pass in front of the goal left the net wide open for an easy score. Three minutes later, T.T. Cianfarano took the puck at the blue line and weaved past Brooke Schroeder ’22, finishing with a backhand to make the score 2-0.
Dartmouth came roaring back in the latter half of the second period. The Big Green power play, ninth-best in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, opened the scoring at 14:19. Christina Rombaut ’20 launched a powerful shot that deflected off a Clarkson defender. After several rebounds, the puck found its way back to Rombaut, who buried it through a crowd of skaters. Five minutes later, Tess Bracken ’19 entered a scrum in front of the Clarkson net and poked the puck past Clarkson’s Kassidy Sauve to even the score at 2-2.
Honor closed the door on Clarkson in the third period. With the Golden Knights busy in the Big Green’s defensive zone, Honor made 15 saves for a total of 31 through three periods. She held up in overtime too, rebuffing several Clarkson chances to allow Dartmouth the last-second opportunity.
Just 15 seconds remained when Kat Dajia ’21 chipped the puck to the Clarkson blue line. Puddifant stick-lifted the puck past the Clarkson defender to set up a shot for winger Jen Costa ’21. The puck bounced off Sauve’s pads and straight to Puddifant, who went low glove-side to win the game.
“It just shows how much hard work matters, and it’s not all about talent,” Puddifant said.
Dartmouth and St. Lawrence played 65 scoreless minutes the following afternoon’s Senior Day. Shannon Ropp ’19 got the start, stopping three pucks in 2:37 of action before yielding to Honor. Honor had another outstanding night, stopping 43 pucks amid consistent pressure from the Saints, who were in the box seemingly all night long. Kate Landers ’19 came closest to scoring with a one-timer near the halfway mark of the third period, but it went into the glove of the St. Lawrence goalie.
After five scoreless minutes of overtime, the Big Green’s six seniors remained on the ice for a postgame ceremony, taking pictures with their families in front of a loud contingent of students.
“They have set some pretty high standards for the girls to follow in their footsteps, and I think it’s just going to elevate our program moving forward,” Schuler said of the seniors.
With a senior class that saw its share of losses over the past four years — the team was 23-79-8 — Schuler seemed glad to send out the class of 2019 with a big win.