HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth scored not once but twice during a five-on-three in the second period to come from behind and beat Colgate 3-2 and advance to the ECAC semifinals with a series sweep.
Six minutes into the second frame, Colgate (16-15-4) held a 2-1 lead on Dartmouth (25-5), but the Raiders received consecutive penalties six seconds apart. The first was a too-many men penalty, just minutes after Dartmouth had one of its own. The Big Green peppered goalie Rebecca Lahar with shots, and junior Katie Weatherston finally put in a rebound with just 24 seconds remaining on the first power play.
19 seconds later, still with eleven seconds left on the second Colgate penalty, Big Green co-captain Meagan Walton put in another rebound under Lahar’s pads for the game winning goal.
“We were down one goal at that point, and we needed to respond,” Walton said. “After that first goal, I looked up to see 30 seconds left [on the second power play] and we just kept plucking away. I think [one of my linemates] put a shot on net. The loose puck was there and I batted it in.”
Dartmouth’s power play this year is its best in school history, having surpassed records set by the previous season’s team.
“They’re a great skilled team,” said Colgate coach Scott Wiley. “I thought we killed our 5-on-4′s well, but the 5-on-3, they’re going to do great things if you give them opportunities like that.”
It was the third time in four years that Dartmouth had eliminated Colgate in the quarterfinals via a sweep.
Colgate started strong against Dartmouth in the first period. After a Weatherston goal at the 8:27 mark, the Raiders fought back and took the lead on two power play tallies. Freshman Kara Leene put in the rebound off a shot from senior Kristin Cirbus in the right corner to tie the game at one. Then junior Micki King gave Colgate the first intermission lead with 4:03 remaining in the frame.
“We have a lot of kids with a lot of pride,” Wiley said of the strong start. “Their characters showed tonight, and that’s something I’m proud of.”
The intensity of the game was reflected in the physical play that resulted in 21 combined penalties, many of which were coincidental. The teams do have a history bad blood between them, as Allison Paiano and Cherie Piper both got disqualified for fighting in one meeting their freshman year. Both teams capitalized when given the advantage, as Dartmouth finished 2 for 9 and Colgate finished 2 for 7 on the power play.
“There was not a great flow to the game,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak. “Lots of penalties were called and that takes away the momentum for both teams.”
After Walton’s goal put the Big Green up 3-2, the teams traded scoring opportunities, but neither side was able to capitalize. Dartmouth goalie Kate Lane held her ground after the first period and made 23 saves for the victory. Lahar made 34 saves in an losing effort.
“[Lahar] always plays well here,” Wiley said. “She likes to play against good players, and I’m proud of her efforts.”
With the victory, the Big Green will travel to Schenectady next weekend to participate in the ECAC Championships. If No. 3 seed St. Lawrence wins the third game of its best-of-three against No. 6 seed Brown, the No. 2 seed Big Green will play St. Lawrence. If Brown pulls the upset, Dartmouth will play No. 4 seed Yale because the ECACHL reseeds the teams for the semifinals.