After winning its first conference game last weekend against Yale, the women’s hockey team tacked on another by defeating Vermont 4-2 on Sunday after losing 9-2 to No. 4 Dartmouth on Saturday. The Red (4-16-1, 2-9-1 ECAC) has won three of its last five games, and now has a four-point lead over the Catamounts (3-21-2, 0-11-1 ECAC) for the final spot in the ECAC playoffs. Dartmouth (11-3-0, 19-6-0 ECAC) earned a sweep on the weekend, and is in first place with 22 points, although No. 1 Harvard is behind by one point with three games in hand.
“I think we did alright [on the weekend]. I would liked to have had a stronger showing at Dartmouth, but they have an incredibly talented team; they’re big and strong. We scored the first goal, which was great, but we couldn’t hold on to that lead,” commented head coach Melody Davidson.
Freshman Jen Munhofen gave the icers an early lead at 9:23 in the first off a feed from classmate Andrea Skinner. Dartmouth would answer back less than a minute later, as Carly Haggard put one by senior Liz Connelly for her 25th goal of the season. Cherie Piper added another tally for the Green during a four-on-four 90 seconds later to make it 2-1. Katherine Weatherston extended Dartmouth’s lead to two going into the first intermission, lighting the lamp at 14:05.
Amy Ferguson, who started in net for Dartmouth, was replaced after the first period by Stephanie Cochran. The Green exploded for four goals in the second stanza. Haggard added her second tally of the game at 3:23, while Cheryl Muranko hit the back of the net at 5:44. Sarah Clark made it 6-1 Dartmouth at 7:37, at which point Connelly was pulled in favor of freshman Flora Vineberg. Connelly finished the game with 14 saves for the Red. Gillian Apps rounded out the scoring in the period a minute later, giving the Green a six-goal lead going into the third.
Katherine Lane replaced Cochran, who made four saves, for the Green in the third period. Piper and Apps each added another goal in the third to give Dartmouth a season-high nine goals. The Red played a solid final period, and added a goal with six seconds remaining in the game. Junior Sarah Carter scored her first collegiate goal, with assists from sophomore Maryann Nowak and Munhofen. Vineberg made 12 stops in relief for the Red, while Lane made 3 saves.
“We’ve improved a lot, and even though the score was a little bit different, we’re definitely a better team than when we played them before Christmas. [Dartmouth’s] a better team, and they should be, they’re ranked fourth in the country, and vying for a Final Four spot. I just think we couldn’t handle their size and their skill. We just couldn’t handle it right now, but we will in the future,” said Davidson.
On Sunday against Vermont, senior Sanya Sandahl got the start in goal for the Red. The Catamounts would get on the board early, as Rebecca Godsill found the back of the net 1:43 into the game for her first goal of the season. The Red would answer back on the power play, as junior Anita Khar connected on a feed from juniors Briana Jentner and Allison Simpson for her fourth goal of the season. The icers put up 25 shots in the first, 12 more than they had in the entire game against Dartmouth.
The Red’s offense came to life in the middle stanza, as the line of Munhofen, Skinner, and senior Lindsay Murao accounted for all three of the team’s goals in the period. Skinner added the first tally at 2:34 off a quick pass from Murao. Murao would then add a goal of her own less than a minute later with assists from Skinner and Munhofen. Munhofen capped the scoring at 11:30, with Murao picking up her second assist and third point of the game. The second period marked the highest scoring period this season for the Red.
Caitlin Barnes scored a power play goal for Vermont in the third, but the Catamounts were unable to get back into the game. Sandahl finished with 37 saves for the Red, earning her third win of the season, while Tiffany Hayes stopped 43 for Vermont.
“Four is our highest total goals scored in conference and non-conference games, and we came out flying and did a lot of good things. It was nice to see us get a convincing win, not a hold-on win,” remarked Davidson.
Although she did not record any points this weekend, senior captain Brooke Bestwick made excellent contributions at both ends of the ice.
“Brooke was just solid all the way around. She’s always there, and in previous games she’s been on the scoring summaries and in this particular weekend she was the fourth person involved in the scoring plays. She’s just solid back there, she gives you a good honest night’s work every game,” praised Davidson.
Freshman Caitlin Warren suffered a concussion against Yale last weekend, and did not make the trip with the team. She was evaluated on Monday and Davidson is optimistic for her return this weekend.
The Red will face off against its travel partner Colgate for a home-and-home this weekend, with a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday at Lynah Rink, and then a Saturday afternoon game in Hamilton.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach