Big Green Prepare For the Final Weekend of the Regular Season
7 Clarkson Golden Knights (24-8-0, 16-4-0 ECAC Hockey) at
Dartmouth Big Green (15-7-5, 10-6-4 ECAC Hockey)
Friday, Feb. 22 - 7 p.m.
Hanover, N.H. - Thompson Arena (4,500)
St. Lawrence Saints (17-11-4, 12-5-3 ECAC Hockey) at
Dartmouth Big Green (15-7-5, 10-6-4 ECAC Hockey)
Saturday, Feb. 23 - 4 p.m.
Hanover, N.H. - Thompson Arena (4,500)
Home Sweet Home
The Dartmouth women's hockey team returns to Hanover for the final weekend of the regular season. The Big Green ended their 2012-13 road slate against Colgate and No. 4 Cornell, going 1-0-1. On Friday, head coach Mark Hudak's team jumped out to an early three-goal lead against Colgate and held off the Raiders late surge to net a 3-2 win. The following afternoon, Dartmouth played to a scoreless tie at Cornell. The shutout snapped a streak of 108 consecutive games with a goal for the Big Red. The Big Green enter the weekend with a record of 6-1-4 inside Thompson Arena this season. The lone blemish at home came against Cornell in a 2-1 overtime defeat on Nov. 23. Dartmouth has outscored its opponents, 31-17, in Hanover in 2012-13.
During their eight-game unbeaten streak at home, the Big Green have scored 11 goals in the first period. Only once have they failed to hold on to the first period lead as RPI rallied to score a pair of third-period markers to force overtime and the eventual tie on Jan.19. The team from the Upper Valley has scored first in eight of their 11 home games in this year, while outscoring their opponents, 11-5, in the opening period over the last eight at Thompson Arena.
Dartmouth is led by a strong core of experienced seniors, with eight players seeing action in over 100 contests. The class of 2013 paces a balanced offensive attack for the Big Green as four of the team's five leading scorers are set to graduate. Co-captain Reagan Fischer and Camille Dumais are tied for the team-lead with 14 markers, while Dumais also has a team-best four power-play goals and four game-winning goals. Co-captain Jenna Hobeika is second on the team with 13 helpers and defenseman Sasha Nanji has picked up three assists in her last three games.
In Good Company
Over the last 11 games, Fischer has six tallies and two multi-point contests. In her final season on campus, the Irma, Alberta, native is averaging a point a game, while racing up the program's career points list (she currently is tied for 25th with 111 points). Not to be outdone, Dumais is putting an exclamation point on her career, currently sitting in 16th on the all-time list with 127 points.
Holding Down the Fort
Junior netminder Lindsay Holdcroft is coming off another solid weekend of action for Dartmouth. Holdcroft stopped 63-of-65 shots against the Raiders and the Big Red, while picking up a victory. Against Colgate, the Pittsburgh, Pa., turned aside 29 shots en route to her 14th victory of the season. Holdcroft followed that up with a 34 save performance against No. 4 Cornell. She picked up her fourth shutout of the season and the 12th of her career. The third-year starter lowered her goals-against average to 2.00, while upping her save percentage to .916. Holdcroft also earned ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week honors last week.
The Green and White boast a strong core of first-year players led by Laura Stacey. Through the first 24 games of her collegiate career the Kleinburg, Ontario, native has six tallies and a team-leading 14 assists. Stacey has five multi-point games this season and she scored her first collegiate game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory against Brown on Feb. 8. Stacey is the top-scoring freshman in Ivy League games this season, scoring three goals with four helpers. Other newcomers making an impact this season are Ailish Forfar and Lindsey Allen. Forfar has twice been named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week and leads all freshmen in the conference with three game-winning goals, while Allen is sixth on the team with 14 points (7g-7a).
With the Man Advantage
Dartmouth's power play broke out over the weekend going 2-for-8. The special-teams unit scored a pair of goals against Colgate. It was the first time the Big Green scored more then one power-play goal in a game since Jan. 12 against Princeton. After netting power-play tallies in back-to-back games against Princeton and Union Jan. 12 & 18, the Big Green are just three for their last 42 with the man advantage.
The Green and White's penalty killers continued their strong run, killing 12-of-13 penalties last weekend. They have now killed off 48-of-52 power-play chances over the last nine games. The special teams rank third in ECAC Hockey, killing 87.9% of opponents' man-advantage opportunities this season. They are also the fourth-most penalized team in the league with 290 penalty minutes through 27 games.
First 40 Minutes
The key for the Big Green is to hold a lead after 40 minutes of play. When leading through two periods, the Green and White are 14-0-1 this season, a figure that reached its current state on Feb. 15 as Dartmouth led Colgate, 3-2, heading into the third. RPI is the only team all season to battle back from a second-period deficit against the Green and White to earn a point. On the other hand, when trailing after two periods Dartmouth is 0-5-1. When the team is tied after two periods this season they are 1-2-4, a figure that reached its current state after skating to a draw with Cornell. The Big Green haven't won when trailing after two periods since Feb. 27, 2011, when they rallied to beat Clarkson, 4-3, in overtime.
North Country Woes
Dating back to the 2011-12 season, the Big Green have struggled against their rivals from the North Country. St. Lawrence has won four of the last five match ups, including a sweep in last season's ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals. Dartmouth has also lost two of the last three against Clarkson. The last win for the Green and White against the Golden Knights was on Feb. 12, 2011 (3-1).
Rank and File
Heading into the game against No. 7/6 Clarkson, the Big Green are still in search of their first win against a ranked opponent this season. They are 0-4-3 when facing top-10 programs, erasing a two-goal third period deficit to draw a tie against No. 5 Boston College at Thompson Arena on Nov. 12. The Big Green twice erased one-goal deficits en route to a 2-2 tie with No. 3 Harvard on Feb. 1 and skated to a scoreless draw last time out at No. 4 Cornell. The team's last win against a nationally-ranked foe was on Nov. 26, of last season as they topped No.10 Northeastern, 4-3, in overtime at home.
Scouting the Golden Knights
After splitting a home conference weekend against Princeton and Quinnipiac, Clarkson hits the road where it is 11-4-0 this season. Over their last eight games, the Golden Knights are 6-2-0, while outscoring opponents, 21-12. The Golden Knights boast a potent special-teams unit, leading the conference in power-play goals scored (32), while having the fourth-best penalty kill (86.9%). Offensively, Clarkson is led by a pair of juniors, Jamie Rattray and Carly Mercer. Rattray ranks third in the conference in points (42) and fourth in goals (17), while Mercer has six power-play goals and five game-winning goals this year. Between the pipes, Erica Howe has shined going 23-8-0 with a 1.65 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. Howe has recorded six shutouts this year and ranks in the top five in the conference in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and saves. Howe has been named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week five times in 2012-13.
scouting the Saints
St. Lawrence enters the weekend looking to lock up the fourth seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Saints currently sit in fourth-place two points ahead of Quinnipiac and three points ahead of Dartmouth. Last weekend, St. Lawrence went 1-0-1, running its unbeaten streak to five games. On Friday, The Saints skated to a 1-1 tie with Quinnipiac and on Saturday, they scored a pair of third period goals to notch a 4-2 come-from-behind victory against Princeton on Senior Day. St. Lawrence is led by Kelly Sabatine, who has a team-high 15 goals and 34 points. Rylee Smith and defenseman Amanda Boulier are the other weapons on the offensive end for the Saints. Smith has 11 goals and 18 helpers, while Boulier leads the team with 22 assists. Freshman Abbey McRae is second on the team with 12 markers. In goal, junior Carmen MacDonald is having a quality season, amassing a record of 15-11-4 with a save percentage of .920 and goals-against average of 2.24.
Against the Teams Earlier this Season
Dartmouth traveled to the North Country Jan. 25-26 and the trip marked the first time since Jan. 8-9, 2010, that the Big Green were swept in a road conference weekend. On Jan. 25, the Green and White dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to the Saints. The following afternoon, the Golden Knights scored a 5-0 victory over the Big Green inside Cheel Arena.
Dartmouth is 12-8-4 all-time against Clarkson and 10-6-4 under head coach Mark Hudak. The Big Green are 29-26-2 all-time against the Saints, while a posting a record of 8-19-0 during Hudak's tenure.