HANOVER, N.H. — If the Dartmouth women decide to watch a movie to unwind after their ECAC playoff victory over Yale, it’s a safe bet that they won’t pick “Love Story,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” or “I Love Trouble.” They’ve had enough “Love” for one day.
Dartmouth may have won game one of the best-of-three series against the Bulldogs, 3-0, but it wasn’t for a lack of strong play from Yale goalkeeper Sarah Love. The sophomore from Bayfield, Ont., stopped 37 of 39 shots, but it wasn’t enough, as Dartmouth came out with a hard-earned 3-0 victory.
“Sarah was amazing,” Yale coach Hillary Witt said of her All-Ivy keeper. “Some of the saves, especially in the second period were amazing. That’s kind of my word for that kid.”
“She’s a very good goalie,” agreed Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak. “She does a nice job, and I think Yale does a nice job in front of her by making sure that she doesn’t have to make too many unbelievable saves.”
Love’s performance, “unbelievable saves” and all, even drew praise from her counterpart, Dartmouth’s Stephanie Cochran.
“I thought she played great,” Cochran said of Love. “They’ve been playing teams pretty close, and I think that’s a lot to her credit.” Not that the Pawling, N.Y., native didn’t have a solid game in her own right, turning aside all 25 Yale shots for her second career playoff victory.
Yale came out firing, launching 10 first period shots at Cochran, while Love displayed the same kind of poise in the Yale net that allowed her to hold Harvard down for 59:53 last weekend in a 1-0 loss. She was only able to keep Dartmouth off the board for 18:39, however, as the Big Green broke through with a dose of “Love Potion No. 9,” better known as tri-captain Meagan Walton. The junior from Calgary, Alta., beat Love five-hole for a power-play tally that put Dartmouth up 1-0 in the first intermission.
Dartmouth looked to build its lead in the second, holding Yale without a shot for the first 7:49 of the period, while testing Love seven times during that same stretch. When the period was over, Dartmouth had taken 16 shots to Yale’s five, but the same number had gone in for each team: zero. At the second intermission, Yale was holding its own against a nationally-ranked foe for the second straight week.
Dartmouth continued to dominate play in the third, but Love’s strong play in the net kept Dartmouth out of it for the first nine minutes. Then, Dartmouth’s Gillian Apps redirected a blue-line shot from Meredith Batcheller into the top of the night to put Dartmouth up two.
Yale got a late boost from a series of Dartmouth penalties, which created a 27-second 5-on-3 for the Bulldogs. However, Dartmouth successfully killed off the penalties and took a two-goal lead into the home stretch. A late penalty to Dartmouth’s Lesley Reiart gave Yale another power play in the last two minutes, but the Bulldogs wasted the opportunity with a too-many-players minor. That was the end of the visitors’ chances, as Katie Weatherston closed the scoring with an empty net goal.
“I think the shutout was definitely a team effort,” said Cochran, “especially in the second and third period. I was able to see all the shots. They really did a good job.”
These two teams will meet again tomorrow, as Dartmouth will look to end the series and move on to Union’s Messa Rink when Dartmouth and Yale face off at 2:30 p.m. in Thompson Arena.