HANOVER, N.H. — Princeton had given Dartmouth splitting headaches in each of the previous three seasons, but this time around the Big Green finally emerged from their regular season series with a sweep. On Saturday the No. 9 Tigers gave No. 3 Dartmouth another close game, but the Big Green held on for a 2-1 victory on senior day.
The win moved Dartmouth (23-3-0, 16-2-0 ECACHL) into a first play tie with No. 6 Harvard atop the ECAC standings leading in their next head-to-head duel on Friday. Princeton (14-7-5, 8-6-3) failed to gain ground in its hunt for the last home-ice spot in the ECAC playoffs, and Wednesday’s game at Yale will likely decide it.
Before the contest, the Big Green recognized its four seniors–Kirsti Anderson, Meagan Walton, Alana BreMiller, and Krista Dornfried–but it was junior Katie Weatherston who broke the game open just three minutes after the initial face-off.
At the 2:41 mark, Weatherston took a neutral zone turnover up ice, beat a defender and slipped the puck behind goalie Roxanne Gaudiel for the 1-0 lead that stood for most of the game.
Late in the second period, Big Green freshman Carrie Thompson added an insurance goal that turned out to be the game winner. Thompson tipped a BreMiller blueline slapshot off of Gaudiel’s glove. The puck bounced out and trickled across the crease for a 2-0 score at the end of the second period.
Princeton mounted a furious comeback effort in the third period, outshooting the Big Green 14-5 in the period and 26-23 in the game. However, Dartmouth junior Kate Lane held her ground for the second night in a row with 25 saves in the victory.
“Our team as a whole worked really hard today,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak. “We worked smart and kept the puck on the outside, so two-thirds of their shots weren’t threatening. And [Lane] did a great job on the others.”
The Tigers got onto the scoreboard with 13:37 left in the game when a scramble in front of the net left Lane out of position, and senior Becky Stewart threaded the puck past three sprawled bodies into the net.
Princeton kept up the pressure throughout the period and pulled its goalie with 1:05 remaining on the clock, but Dartmouth’s defense prevented any legitimate scoring opportunities.
In what turned out to be a physical contest, only six penalties were called–five against the Big Green.
“[The players] were angry by it,” Hudak said of the lack of interference calls. “They didn’t really understand what was going on.”
Princeton coach Jeff Kampersal declined to comment on the game.
Dartmouth was playing again without juniors Gillian Apps and Cherie Piper. The two have combined for 84 points on the season, and both are ranked in the top five on the team scoring chart.
“We are playing through a lot of adversity right now,” Hudak said. “We’re playing without two of our top scorers, and Walton is playing with a broken finger. We’re doing well considering what the team has gone through recently.”