HANOVER, N.H. — Sophomore forward Gillian Apps scored two goals in the third period to lead No. 2 Dartmouth to a 4-2 victory over No. 10 Princeton on Friday in Thompson Arena. The win extended Dartmouth’s season-opening win streak to six games.
“We worked hard out there tonight,” said Big Green head coach Mark Hudak. “We had to work harder than we wanted to, with all the penalties.” It was, indeed, a game of special teams play, as 22 penalties were assessed in the contest, including 12 during a high-scoring third period.
The first period was an even-handed affair. Dartmouth benefited from strong defense, as sophomore goalie Stephanie Cochran was left untested for most of the period. Princeton, meanwhile, kept pace with the Big Green behind stalwart goalkeeping from senior Megan Van Beusekom, who frustrated the Big Green forwards throughout the opening frame.
The Big Green finally got on the board with 2:51 left in the first period, when forward Sarah Clark beat Van Beusekom from point-blank range off of a pass from Katie Weatherston (freshman blueliner Emily Nerland also picked up an assist). The senior’s first goal of the season prompted a shower of tennis balls from the Dartmouth stands, as a longstanding tradition from the Dartmouth-Princeton men’s rivalry hopped across the gender gap and onto the Thompson Arena ice.
“I was a little worried,” Hudak said of watching tennis balls rain on Van Beusekom. “I think it’s neat, it’s a tradition, but you still worry a bit [about a penalty].” Hudak was glad to see a season-high 1,367 in the stands, however.
“We had a great crowd tonight. It’s fun to see that many people here, getting into the game.”
Following Clark’s goal, the Princeton attack intensified, and the Tigers made up for lost time by peppering Cochran throughout the final three minutes. However, the Big Green sophomore remained solid in the net, and the first period ended with a 1-0 Dartmouth lead.
Dartmouth started the second period with a delay-of-game bench minor, but weathered the storm ably. With the penalty killed off, it was less than three minutes before the Big Green scored again. This time, Weatherston took the puck from classmate Cherie Piper behind the net, then came up and slipped the puck past Van Beusekom on her stick side. The Tigers continued to threaten, but Dartmouth’s defense clogged the passing lanes and allowed only five shots to reach Cochran. Again, Cochran held strong in the net, and the Tigers headed to the locker room looking at a two-goal deficit and a 4-on-3 Dartmouth power play.
“The defense did a great job tying it up in front,” said Cochran. “Some games I may only get 20 shots, but they’re 20 important shots.”
When the third period started, Dartmouth wasted no time in capitalizing on its advantage, as sophomore Gillian Apps scored her seventh goal of the season 40 seconds into the third period. Piper and senior defenseman Lesley Reiart contributed assists as Dartmouth took a three-goal lead.
The Tigers cut into the Dartmouth lead 1:18 later, on a goal by forward Gretchen Anderson. The senior assistant captain came up with the puck during a scramble in front of the net, and put it past Cochran to end a 175:52 shutout streak for the sophomore Dartmouth netminder. Junior center Becky Stewart and senior defenseman Angela Gooldy were credited with assists on the goal.
Princeton looked to pick up a major opportunity with 8:17 to play, as Apps was handed a high-sticking major, while Stewart picked up a roughing minor for retaliating. A previous penalty to Piper left the Tigers with four minutes of power-play time.
Princeton got another goal with 6:07 to play, as senior captain Lisa Rasmussen picked up a power-play goal 10 seconds after Stewart left the box.. With Apps still in the box, Rasmussen’s goal (assisted by freshman Kim Pearce) gave the Tigers new life, with another three minutes of power play to go.
Those three minutes passed without another score, however, as Dartmouth escaped the major with a one-goal lead. 2:01 later, it was once again a two-goal lead, as junior Alana BreMiller launched a shot from the blueline, and Apps slammed the rebound past Van Beusekom to make it 4-2. Apps’ tally gave her her second straight multiple-goal game, and third of the season. Apps’ insurance goal — her team-high eighth tally of the year — gave Dartmouth all the breathing room it would need, as the Big Green held on through the last 1:16 to preserve the victory.
While Dartmouth’s defense made it hard for Princeton to get shots off, the Tigers managed to finish with 23 shots on goal to Dartmouth’s 26.
“I think our kids competed hard,” said Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal. “They fought till the last minute. I’m proud of our effort tonight.”
The Tigers will have the opportunity to salvage a weekend split Saturday, when they travel to Vermont for a 4 p.m. start. Dartmouth will attempt to stay undefeated, as the Big Green hosts Yale at 4 p.m. in Thompson Arena.