HANOVER, N.H. — Friday night’s scare against Brown at Thompson Arena on Friday was the second time this season Dartmouth had fallen behind 2-0 in the first period. But like its Dec. 11 game against No. 1 Minnesota, the Big Green scored the next three goals, took the lead by the second intermission and didn’t let go. A 6-3 triumph preserved Dartmouth’s unblemished record in the ECAC.
“One of the unique things about this team is that we don’t panic when we are behind,” said junior Tiffany Hagge, who had a hat-trick in the game. “[Coach Mark Hudak] jabbed at our pride when he said we lacked the effort, so it was critical to respond quickly in the second period.”
After an idle week, Dartmouth (20-1-0, 13-0 ECACHL) came out with rust on its blades. Brown (10-10-2, 7-7-1 ECACHL) capitalized on the Big Green’s multiple turnovers quickly and often.
At the 8:24 mark, freshman Hayley Moore took the puck down the right side and faked out sophomore goalie Christine Capuano for a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, Bears sophomore Kathryn Moss made it 2-0 by beating a helpless Capuano, who had lost her stick in a scuffle. It was the first time Dartmouth had trailed by two goals entering an intermission.
“We didn’t work hard in that first period,” Hudak said. “Brown outplayed us, and we were getting beat to the puck.”
After the intermission, Dartmouth rebounded quickly, cutting the lead in half on a Kristin Anderson goal just 13 seconds into the second period. Dartmouth would score three more times and take a 4-2 lead before the Bears could answer late in the third period.
Moore scored her second goal of the game with 5:56 left in regulation. However, Big Green sophomore Caroline Ethier would quickly stifle the comeback bid when she rifled a blue-line slap shot past freshman goalie Stacey Silverman to ice the game.
“If [Ethier] dumped that one in instead of taking the shot, it would still be 4-3 and it’s a different game,” said Brown coach Digit Murphy. “We had a great effort from Moore, and Silverman played amazing. [Dartmouth] came out to play in the last two periods and proved why they’re the No. 1 team in the country.”
Dartmouth outshot Brown 49-21 in the contest. Capuano made 18 saves to improve to a perfect 10-0. Silverman made 44 saves in the loss and dropped to 3-6-2 on the season.
On Saturday afternoon, Dartmouth will take its perfect league record against Harvard, who remains in second place in the ECAC after a 4-0 win over Vermont on Friday. The two teams last met nearly a year ago on Feb. 27, when the Big Green toppled then No. 1 Crimson 3-2 in Thompson Arena.
“This is the game we wait for and look forward to all year,” Hagge said. “It will be a tough game with a quicker pace and a lot more passing and finesse. It’s a big one, and we’ll have to take it to them.”
Brown travels to Burlington on Saturday and looks to rebound against Vermont. The Bears slipped to sixth place in the ECAC, but coach Murphy is optimistic.
“Our team just got healthy and they are gelling together. I’m pretty happy about our goalie situation, but we just have to keep on learning the hard way,” she said.
Brown will host Dartmouth on the flip end of the season series three weeks from now. It will be both teams’ last contest before postseason tournaments.