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Women's Hockey Downs UNH in Home Opener

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By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H. — Behind goals from three different players, the Dartmouth women's hockey team slipped past New Hampshire, 3-2 in its home opener at Thompson Arena Tuesday night. With the victory, the Big Green (4-1-0; 2-1-0 ECAC Hockey) have now won three straight, while the Wildcats (3-7-0; 1-2-0 Hockey East) have dropped their last six games.

Lindsey Allen's second-period goal proved to be the game-winner, as Dartmouth went on to win its third straight contest by a one-goal margin. Jenna Hobeika got the play started with a faceoff win in the UNH zone. She then sent a quick pass to a waiting Laura Stacey, who sped down-ice and fired off to Allen. With 18 seconds remaining in the frame, Allen's wrist shot caught Wildcats goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara off-guard for a 3-2 Big Green advantage.

It was New Hampshire who struck first, just 2:21 into the opening period on a scramble in front of the net. Junior Jessica Hitchcock took the initial shot from the far point, which rebounded off the pad of Big Green goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft. Freshman Brittney Redlick corralled the rebound and stuffed it in for a 1-0 Wildcats lead.

Hobeika pulled the home team even later in the first period, scoring her first goal of the season. With Dartmouth on the power play, the senior captain drilled a shot from the slot that found its way past Vaattovaara for the 1-1 tie. Senior Camille Dumais and sophomore Karlee Odland were credited with assists on the play.

Stacey notched the first goal of her rookie career 4:11 into the second frame to give the Big Green their first lead of the game. Controlling a pass from senior Lisa Berreman, Stacey beat Vaattovaara top shelf from the near faceoff circle, putting Dartmouth up, 2-1.

UNH pulled even less than two minutes later when sophomore Hannah Armstrong scored her first of the season on a shot down low. Seniors Kailey Chappell and Kristine Horn earned assists.

After Allen's go-ahead goal in the second, the third period was quiet for both offenses. As time wound down, the Wildcats made several attempts to pull Vaattovaara in favor of an extra-attacker, but Dartmouth did a good job of keeping the puck in the UNH zone. Finally, with 35 seconds remaining, New Hampshire emptied their net, but it did no good, as Holdcroft and the Big Green defense held strong for the victory.

Dartmouth outshot UNH, 28-25, including a 10-5 advantage in the third period. In goal, Holdcroft (3-0-0) earned her third consecutive victory of the season. The junior netminder stopped 23 shots, including 10 in the third frame. Vaattovaara (3-6-0) made 25 saves in the loss for the Wildcats.

The Big Green is back home at Thompson Arena on Monday, Nov. 12 against nationally-ranked Boston College. Faceoff is 7 p.m.