HANOVER, N.H. — Yale tallied early and held on for the duration for a 1-0 win over Dartmouth that broke a 20-year losing streak in the process.
Prior to Friday night, the Bulldogs had not beaten the Big Green since February 1, 1986–a 41 game streak. The Bulldogs pulled off the upset with the help of some stellar goaltending and rock solid play in their own defensive end.
Dartmouth (9-9-2, 6-6-1 ECACHL) was coming off a big win against Harvard, ranked No. 7 nationally, but saw its offense go dry against Yale.
Dartmouth, whose defensive pressure managed to stifle Harvard’s attack, had some success against Yale (7-10-4, 4-5-3 ECACHL). The Bulldogs were limited to 23 shots on goal, including many low-quality attempts, but one high-quality attempt proved to be the difference.
With the squads at even strength, Yale took control of the puck off a faceoff, moving possession from sophomore defenseman Ann-Renee Guillemette up to freshman Sarah Tittman, who loosed a shot in the direction of the Dartmouth cage. Classmate Danielle Kozlowski picked up Tittman’s rebound right on the doorstep and managed to slip a changeup past the Dartmouth goaltender, senior Kate Lane.
Carli Clemis, a freshman who splits time with Lane, was supportive of her teammate after the game.
“It’s a heartbreaker when one just trickles in like that early in the game, and those are the ones that can get a goalie down mentally, but she shook it off and really stayed focused,” Clemis said.
While Lane maintained her concentration after an early miscue, Yale’s senior netminder Sarah Love avoided pitfalls throughout the game, and was picked up a few times by her defensemen. Love made 33 saves, including a number in the final frame as the Big Green tried desperately to draw even.
“Our goaltender was a big part of this game,” said Yale coach Hillary Witt.
Love, however, deferred much of the credit to her teammates.
“[The defensemen] kept the shots to the outside for the most part, and they were great about clearing out any rebounds I gave up,” Love said.
The Yale blue liners managed to limit the opportunities of an offense that had poured in 16 goals in the last three games. While the Big Green did manage some quality chances, Dartmouth also had to settle for a number of low quality shots.
Dartmouth, less than a week after smothering Harvard with relentless defensive pressure gave Yale a decidedly different look on Friday.
“We were a bit surprised at the lack of pressure from Dartmouth’s forecheck,” Witt said.
Witt further clarified that Dartmouth was aggressive and effective in the neutral zone, but maintained her surprise.
Regardless of the intensity of Dartmouth’s defense, Yale had difficulty hanging on to the puck and was tentative about taking advantage of offensive opportunities. On several occasions, Yale hurt its chances of extending their lead by looking a bit too hard for a perfect shot and turning the puck over in Dartmouth’s defensive end.
“We’d play with the puck too much, and they’d take it away from us,” Witt said, adding “Dartmouth played very well…luckily we can out on top.”
Luckily might be the right word. Dartmouth appeared to control play for much of the game, put 10 more shots on goal than Yale did and won 42 faceoffs to Yale’s 29.
Dartmouth next plays on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. against the Brown Bears. Yale will take on Harvard at the same time.