HANOVER, N.H. — On the eve of its homecoming weekend, No. 2 Dartmouth opened its season with a 7-1 victory over Boston College in Thompson Arena.
Junior Katie Weatherston, Dartmouth’s leading scorer from a year ago, led the way for the Big Green (1-0) with a hat trick, and she added two assists late in the third period to finish with a five-point performance. The final assist gave Weatherston the 100th point in her Dartmouth career.
“Katie is a scrappy player in front of the net,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak. “We have great players skating out there, and some of [Weatherston's] points came as a result of the hard work of other players. She seized the opportunities today.”
The game was much closer than the final score indicated. After Dartmouth jumped in front 2-0 in the first, BC closed the gap with a power-play goal midway through the second period. But Dartmouth scored with 35 seconds remaining in the second period to reclaim a two-goal lead.
“I think that we shocked them a little bit,” said BC coach Tom Mutch. “I give [Dartmouth] credit for coming out in their first game in their building. I liked the way our team competed today, I think they held their own at times, but we have nine freshmen on the team, and it’s hard to compete at this level at this point. If not for the late power-play goal in the second, we go into the third, 2-1.”
In the third, the Big Green out-shot the Eagles 18-2 and poured in four more goals, including three in the last two minutes to cap the victory.
Six of the game’s eight goals came on power plays – a reflection of this season’s tighter officiating. Both coaches agreed that the new rules are beneficial to the game.
“I think the officials did a great job calling the penalties today,” Mutch said. “I love the rule, and it opens up the game. It teaches our players how to play defense the right way.”
“I think in the end [the rule] is going to benefit us,” Hudak said. “We shouldn’t be the ones doing the obstructing, and it’s going to give us power plays.”
While BC was held to 1 for 10 on the power play, Dartmouth converted 5 of 12 opportunities. The Big Green players attributed their success to a preseason focus on special teams.
“We were working on that before the season,” Weatherston said. “We’re just getting used to moving the puck, and getting to know the movements better, and I think it helped us today.”
Dartmouth will rest for the remainder of the weekend before starting ECAC play at Princeton Friday night. Boston College will travel north and play Vermont in a 4 p.m. game on Saturday.