Game 15

Dartmouth Big Green (3-11-0) at
No. 8 Boston University Terriers (14-3-1)
Saturday, Jan. 4 - 3 p.m.
Boston, Mass. – Walter A. Brown Arena

The Dartmouth women’s hockey team heads south to square off with No. 8 Boston University on Saturday afternoon inside Walter Brown Arena. The Big Green head to the Bay State for their final non-conference game of the season. The tilt with the Terriers is the fourth straight against Hockey East opponents for Dartmouth. In 2013-14, the Green and White are 1-4 against Hockey East teams and are in search of their first win versus a team from Massachusetts since topping Northeastern, 4-3, in overtime on Nov. 26, 2011. This year, head coach Mark Hudak’s squad is 2-5-0 inside Thompson Arena and 1-6-0 outside the Upper Valley.

Most recently, the Big Green snapped a five-game losing streak with a dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind win versus Providence. Trailing by two heading into the final 20 minutes, Dartmouth scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Friars for the second year in a row on New Year’s Eve. With the game tied at two and just under seven minutes remaining in regulation, Karlee Odland stole the puck at the Providence blueline and skated in on Friars goaltender Sarah Bryant. Odland’s backhand was turned away with the blocker, but senior Ali Winkel knocked home the gamewinner. Kennedy Ottenbreit opened the scoring for the team from the Upper Valley with a power-play tally and Zoe Brennan added the other Dartmouth goal.

The victory was the 199th for Hudak as the team’s head coach and he is now 11-0-0 all-time versus PC behind the Big Green bench. Brennan’s goal was her first since scoring a pair versus Union on Jan. 5 of last season. Ottenbreit’s man-up marker was her first special-teams collegiate goal with Olivia Whitford and Emma Korbs picking up assists. Korbs is now tied with four other players with a team-best four helpers. Whitford’s assist was the 13th of her career (the fourth most of any player on the team). Winkel ‘s gamewinner was the second of her career.

Boston University enters Saturday’s contest riding a four-game winning streak. At home this season, the Terriers are a perfect 7-0-0, while outscoring opponents, 33-12. The potent BU attack has scored four or more goals in six of their seven games inside Walter Brown Arena. The squad returns plenty of firepower after losing in the NCAA Final to Minnesota last season. Between the pipes, senior Kerrin Sperry has shined, earning a 12-2-1 record with a 1.86 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. Sperry ranks sixth in the country in save percentage and has registered a pair of shutouts this year. Offensively, Sarah Lefort leads the team in goals (10), points (25) and game-winning goals (4). Lefort is also second on the team with 10 assists. Louise Warren is second on the team in goals (13) and points (22), while Samantha Sutherland has four tallies and 11 helpers.

Lindsay Holdcroft turned aside 28 of the 30 shots she faced earlier this week to earn the victory against Providence. The win placed Holdcroft in hallowed territory as she became just the fifth goaltender in program history to register 50 or more wins. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native has made her mark on the program, ranking in the top-five all-time in saves, save percentage, games, goals-against average and wins.

Dartmouth’s come-from-behind win against PC on New Year’s Eve marked the first time since Feb. 27, 2011 that the Big Green won when trailing after two periods.  Entering Tuesday’s game the Green and White had scored just three third-period goals all season. The team matched that total and tied a season-high with three goals scored during the final 20 minutes against the Friars.

Dartmouth lost four-of-the-top-five leading scorers from last season to graduation and looks to a strong core of freshmen to pick up where the Class of 2016 left off. The youthful Big Green go from having eight players with at least 100 games under their belt last season to just one this year. Of the 20 players on the roster, 13 are underclassmen, as senior co-captains Ali Winkel and Holdcroft look to lead the team through the ups and downs of ECAC Hockey and Ivy League play.  The offense has to fill the void left by the Class of 2013 as last year’s seniors accounted for 48 of the team’s 84 goals (57.1%).

The Green and White boast a strong core of second-year players led by Lindsey Allen. The Toronto, Ontario, native leads the team this year with six goals, three of which were power-play markers. After scoring just one tally as a freshman, Catherine Berghuis has burst on the scene in 2013-14, potting a trio of goals. When the winger nets a goal this season, the Big Green are 2-1. Through the first 39 games of her collegiate career, Laura Stacey has nine tallies and a team-leading 18 assists. Stacey has six career multi-point games, including one this season. Her 22 points last season were the most for a first-year player for the Big Green since Camille Dumais in 2009.  In fact, Stacey’s 27 points are the most in a career of any player on the roster.

The Green and White’s penalty killers have been playing well of late, killing their last 14 penalties. Over the last three games, Dartmouth has held New Hamphire, Vermont and Providence scoreless when a man down. The last team to capitalize with the man advantage against the Big Green was No. 5 Harvard on Dec. 1. In that contest, the Crimson converted two of their three power-play opportunities. The Green currently rank third in the conference and fifth in the country when a man down, killing 89.7 percent of their penalties. The special-teams unit ranked third in ECAC Hockey last season, killing 87.9% of opponents’ man-advantage opportunities in 2012-13. Stacey netted the team’s first short-handed goal in over a year, breaking out and finishing to give Dartmouth a two-goal lead in the third period against Rensselaer.

Last season’s 7-2 senior-day victory over St. Lawrence on Feb. 23 2013, was the 600th in program history. In their 37th season, the Dartmouth women’s hockey team has averaged more than 16 wins a year since its inception as Hudak has been at the helm for 197 of those triumphs.

Dartmouth will take a month-long hiatus from conference play through mid-December and early January with four straight games versus Hockey East opponents. This season, the Big Green are 1-4 against the Hockey East. A year ago, the team was 5-0-1 in such contests. Allen has three goals and an assist in the four tilts versus Boston College, Northeastern, UNH and Vermont.

The two teams will meet for the first time since October of 2007. During that game the regional rivals skated to a 5-5 tie in Boston. Under Hudak, Dartmouth is 1-0-1 versus Boston University and the all-time series is tied, 2-2-1.