HANOVER, N.H. — Colgate made a strong bid to upset Dartmouth once again on Saturday, but the Red Raiders came up a goal short of the Big Green for the second time this season.
Behind the solid goaltending of senior Rebecca Lahar, the Raiders (9-11-2, 3-6-2 ECACHL) gave up only three goals to the best scoring offense in the nation. However, the Big Green’s defense was equal to the task, allowing only 11 shots in the game en route to a 3-2 final score.
“Lahar is a great goalie,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak. “She’s done a great job every time we’ve played them, and today was no exception.”
Dartmouth (19-1-0, 12-0-0 ECACHL) took an early 2-0 lead in the first period on 13 shots, but Lahar allowed only one goal after that, giving the Raiders a chance to come back.
“Our strength has always been good goaltending,” said Colgate coach Scott Wiley. “We believe that we can play at the top level. We just have to be patient and weather the storm, so to speak.”
The Raiders showed signs of life early in the second period. After a Dartmouth turnover in the neutral zone, junior Becky Irvine fed classmate Allison Paiano for a breakaway goal that cut the lead in half.
The Big Green responded three minutes later when sophomore Caroline Ethier stole the puck in the offensive zone and scored the eventual game-winner.
With the score at 3-1 going into the third period, both teams tightened defensively. The Big Green put just five shots on goal in the period, while the Raiders managed six.
At the 13:34 mark, Paiano fired a clear slapshot from ten feet in front of the net under the pads of sophomore goalie Christine Capuano. That goal cut the deficit to 3-2, but Dartmouth held on for the victory.
“After their second goal, the players were resolved to play a little tighter defense,” Hudak said. “I think the key is to be focused for the whole 60 minutes, and we are doing a good job of that and I’m psyched about the way they played.”
The two teams last played on Nov. 19 and Dartmouth survived with a 4-3 victory. Just a season ago, the Big Green beat the Raiders 8-0 in the ECAC playoffs.
“We have players on this team that have lost badly in this building, but we played believing we can do it and stayed positive,” Wiley said. “Dartmouth is a great team and extremely gifted, but I think we always play them well. There weren’t many scoring chances, but I think we capitalized on them when they came.”
Dartmouth will be idle next week and resume play on Feb. 4 against Ivy rival Brown. Colgate will continue its road trip against intrastate rival Clarkson on Jan. 28.