PROVIDENCE, R.I. — St. Lawrence freshman Chelsea Grills scored 10:53 into the third period to lift the Saints to a 2-1 victory over Dartmouth in the third-place game of the Women’s Frozen Four Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The win completed a season sweep of the Big Green, as St. Lawrence triumphed in both regular-season meetings and the ECAC semifinal prior to today’s victory.
“I thought their kids played really hard,” Saints head coach Paul Flanagan said of the Big Green. “You know, a game like that, or any 2-1 game, it’s a save here or a bounce there, it could have gone either way.”
“I’m certainly excited to be here,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak, “and disappointed at losing two games. But, I was happy with the way that kids played this weekend.”
Dartmouth got the game’s first goal when leading scorer Katie Weatherston took a well-placed pass from Sarah Clark just outside the St. Lawrence zone, then went in alone, and put the puck past St. Lawrence goalkeeper Rachel Barrie.
The second half of the period was marked by extended special teams play as the Big Green and Saints were called for three penalties each in the final ten minutes of the period. The Dartmouth penalty kill, which allowed three power-play tallies in the last meeting between these teams, stepped up to control play, with Weatherston and Meagan Walton both getting shorthanded opportunities. Neither side was able to capitalize, however, and the Big Green went to the first intermission with a 1-0 lead for the second straight game.
The Big Green’s penalty kill was called on to step up again in the second period, as Dartmouth was whistled for two more second-period penalties. Again, the Big Green supplied plenty of shorthanded pressure, with Weatherston, Walton, and Sarah Clark leading the way to limit the Saints to one shot on six power plays through two periods.
Overall, St. Lawrence outshot Dartmouth 9-5 in the second period, but Barrie and Dartmouth’s Christine Capuano were both up to the task, and the score remained 1-0 entering the final period of the season for the Saints and Big Green.
The Saints finally broke through on the power play four minutes into the third, when Capuano was caught out of position behind the Dartmouth net. The freshman netminder sprawled back in front to make the save on Rebecca Russell’s attempt, but couldn’t stop a high put=back shot by Abbie Bullard who found the back of the net for her third goal of the season.
The Saints then took a 2-1 lead with 9:07 to play, as Grills took a high shot of her own that sailed over Capuano and into the net.
“Both of my linemates were working pretty hard down low, and I got the puck,” said Grills. “I just tried to get the shot on net, and it went in.”
The Saints proceeded to weather considerable pressure from Dartmouth, eventually forcing Hudak to call timeout and pull Capuano with 1:37 to go. While the Saints were unable to hit the empty net, they were able to hold off the extra-attacker pressure from Dartmouth, securing the victory.
With the win, St. Lawrence finishes the season at 28-9-1, while Dartmouth drops to 24-7-2. More than half of Dartmouth’s losses came at the hands of the Saints, a fact that both teams are likely to remember when they meet again at the Saints’ Appleton Arena next season.