CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Dartmouth may have come out on the winning end of Saturday night’s 3-2 game at Harvard, but both head coaches agreed the losing Crimson outplayed the victorious Big Green.
Of Dartmouth’s three goals, two of them came on deflections in crowds in front of the net. As in yesterday’s game against Brown, Dartmouth found itself trailing by a goal after a period, and was relieved to come out on the winning end.
“Harvard proved a lot tonight,” said Dartmouth coach Judy Oberting. “All we’ve done is sort of end up the lucky team at the end of two games. We need to do a little bit more than that.”
The Crimson scored just 1:26 into the game as junior defenseman Pamela Van Reesema scored on her own rebound off a pass from junior forward Kalen Ingram. The goal followed a series of rapid shots on Dartmouth junior goaltender Amy Ferguson. It was Van Reesema’s third goal of the season-as many as she had all of last year.
Harvard stayed in control of both the scoreboard and the ice, until just past the halfway point, when Dartmouth tied the game on a slow-to-develop goal. As a crowd formed in front of the net, the puck deflected back-and-forth between Harvard sophomore goaltender Jessica Ruddock and the other players. When Ruddock lost sight of the puck, it slowly dribbled over the goal line on a deflection, which was credited to Dartmouth junior Jillian Rockoff.
“Defensively we just get got a little too cramped in front of the net, and the puck was bouncing back and forth between Jess and the defenders,” said Harvard captain and defenseman Jaime Hagerman.
Dartmouth took the lead early in the third period as Harvard again crowded too close to the net, and the Big Green was able to work the puck across the crease for another easy goal from freshman Danielle Grundy.
“There were times, it was periodic, where we sunk in towards the net, and things really got really confused, and we were slapping at the puck, and not controlling it as well as we should,” Ruddock said.
But Harvard answered just seconds later, as junior forward Tracy Catlin-whose twin sister Amy plays on Dartmouth’s top line-single-handedly worked the puck into the Big Green zone and fired the puck high past Ferguson to tie the game.
Dartmouth scored the game-winner midway through the third as senior forward Kim McCullough scored on a rebound off a shot from the point by Rockoff. That would stand for the victory.
But Stone was pleased with the result for her young team nonetheless. With 16 players, three goaltenders and seven freshmen on its roster, the Crimson fields just enough players to fill out three lines.
“They got the horses, we’ve got the heart-our kids outplayed them,” Stone said. “They got two soft goals. They score, we answered back. We’ve got a young team. For those kids to show that kind of character, I walk away-that’s a win for us. I don’t care what it said on the scoreboard.”
The Crimson struggled to mount a consistent attack in the last two periods and failed to connect on long passes as well as it had in the opening minutes.
“We were tired,” Stone said. “We didn’t play a lot of kids in the third period, and that happens. We’re going to win or lose with our best kids, and that’s always been my philosophy.”
The leading goal scorers on each team-junior Carly Haggard of Dartmouth and freshman Nicole Corriero of Harvard-were both kept off the scoreboard. Haggard was clearly frustrated on several occasions, and she earned a game misconduct at one point for slashing.
So ironically, the game ended with the losing coach more pleased with the direction of her team than the winning coach.
“We came out flat yesterday and we came out flat today,” Oberting said. “Part of that is a credit to the other team, but part of it is that we’re not ready. That’s something we’ve got to address.”
“They got one clean goal, we earned every one of ours,” Stone said. “I’m proud of our kids. We’ve improved so much in just one week. I feel good about our future.”