HANOVER, N.H. — Thanks in large part to junior Tiffany Hagge’s hat trick, Dartmouth scored early, added a couple of pretty goals, and took a 1-0 series lead against Colgate in their first-round ECACHL quarterfinal match up.
Just under three minutes into the game, Hagge redirected a Kirsti Anderson slap-shot from the point between the legs of goalie Rebecca Lahar for the opening tally, but it was the second goal that gave the Big Green (24-5) all the momentum they would need against the Raiders (16-14-4).
In the first period’s final minute, Hagge raced off the bench on a line change and streaked towards the net. Dartmouth forward Gillian Apps sent a hard backhand pass across the crease. Hagge dove for it when her extended stick and tipped it over Lahar’s shoulder for the 2-0 intermission lead.
“You don’t want to give those up,” said Colgate coach Scott Wiley of the late goal. “We allowed them to do what they wanted to do tonight, but you have to give credit to Dartmouth. They played really well tonight.”
Colgate had quality scoring chances in the second period, including two minutes of five-on-threes due to consecutive penalties to Dartmouth forward Cherie Piper. However, they were unable to capitalize despite putting six shots on goal.
“I thought they got a lot of bounces,” Wiley said. “But you know, good teams make their own bounces.”
Dartmouth drew a Colgate penalty late in the second period and held on to the two-goal lead into the second intermission.
“It takes the edge off when the team’s playing hard,” said sophomore goalie Christine Capuano, who made 21 saves for the shutout. “It’s always good to get an early lead. It gets the energy going. The team was ready to play and worked hard, so I was able to see the puck really well.”
In the third period, junior Cheryl Muranko iced the game at the 3:08 mark on a goal assisted by classmates Piper and Katie Weatherston.
Then at the 11:17 mark, Hagge completed her hat-trick for the finishing touch. On a Dartmouth power play, co-captain Meagan Walton kicked a hard pass from Piper across the crease, and an opportunistic Hagge was there for the easy finish.
“I take it upon myself to be a leader for this team,” Hagge said. “I think it’s important to send a message that we’re still one of the top teams in the nation.”1
The Big Green had lost four of its last seven contests after starting the season with a 20-1 record. The team had to deal with numerous injuries in the past month. Recent injuries to Krista Dornfried and Caroline Ethier kept them out of today’s game.
“We’ve gotten through the adversity and it made us stronger,” Hagge said. “We have to stay focused because we want to go to the Frozen Four.”
Colgate will regroup after the loss and prepare for the second game of the best-of-three series tomorrow at 2pm.
“We didn’t compete as well as I would have liked,” Wiley said. “I am disappointed, but I am optimistic for tomorrow. I hope our team will make it more of a challenge for them.”
1The original version of this recap misquoted Tiffany Hagge as saying “I think it’s important to send a message that we’re still the top team in the country.” USCHO regrets this error.