NEW HAVEN, Conn. — After facing Yale in the first round of the ECACHL playoffs last season, No. 2 Dartmouth already knew exactly how good Yale goalkeeper Sarah Love could be.
Saturday at the Bulldogs’ Ingalls Rink, Dartmouth was determined not to let anyone else know, chasing Love off the ice en route to a 9-1 win. Junior Katie Weatherston continued her sensational play, scoring four goals and adding two assists to bring her point total to 13 (9g, 4a) in just three games.
“I think the team has recognized that just having good players does not equal winning games and being successful,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak,, whose Big Green improved to 3-0 (2-0 ECACHL) with the win. “I think the effort the team is putting forth is more consistent [than in past seasons], and I think it’s stronger.”
“They came out prepared, and our kids came out flat,” said Yale coach Hillary Witt, whose team dropped to 2-2 (1-1 ECACHL). “We didn’t play well. We can play with that team if we come in ready to go.”
Dartmouth came out hot in the first period, torching Yale goalkeeper Sarah Love – a preseason All-USCHO Second Team selection – for three goals on 14 shots. Senior co-captain Meagan Walton broke the ice at the 5:03 mark, jamming home a rebound during a scramble in front of the net. From there, it was all Weatherston.
For the third time in three games this season, Weatherston scored Dartmouth’s second and third goals. The first came during a scramble in front, as Weatherston used her backhand to move the puck out of reach for a sprawling Love, then shot it into the gaping net.
For the third goal, Weatherston came in from Love’s glove side, then skated across the goal, put the puck on her backhand, and lifted it into the net. The goal with 1:25 remaining gave Dartmouth a 3-0 lead that would stand until the intermission.
In the second, Dartmouth put the game away with five goals. Weatherston started the scoring by completing her hat trick. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native came in on a 2-on-1 with Gillian Apps and slid a backhand shot behind Love for the goal. Weatherston didn’t stop there, getting a fourth straight goal on the powerplay, this time cleaning up co-captain Alana BreMiller’s rebound.
“I just feel like we’re clicking as a team,” Weatherston said of her hot start. “We’re very confident with the way we’re playing.”
The rest of the Big Green forwards joined the fun at that point, adding three more goals before the end of the period. Junior Cherie Piper was first, the beneficiary of a Weatherston pass. Her goal, which was credited to Caroline Ethier, was the first goal on backup keeper Shivon Zilis, who replaced Love after Weatherston’s fourth goal.
Tiffany Hagge was next, scoring on her own rebound for a power-play tally. Apps followed with a shorthanded goal with 6:16 left in the frame that closed the scoring for the period. Yale managed 12 shots on goal in the second, but junior Kate Lane was up to the task.
Things slowed down a bit in the third, as Yale came out and pressured Dartmouth. The Bulldogs kept the Big Green off the board for most of the period, led by Zilis, who made several tough saves. She couldn’t stop Hagge, though, who roofed a shot from the slot for a power-play tally.
Yale finally hit the scoreboard shortly thereafter, as Kristin Savard went five-hole to finally solve Lane, but the damage had already been done, and Dartmouth left with a 9-1 victory.
“We played great in the third,” Witt said. “If we paly like that the whole game, I think it’s a much better game.”
Dartmouth will play a home-and-home series with travel partner Vermont next Friday and Saturday, while Yale will play host to Harvard and Brown at Ingalls Rink on the same dates.
Elliot Olshansky is an assistant editor for CollegeSports.com