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Monday, Sept. 15, 10:41 a.m.
Sports

Dartmouth College sweeps UMaine women’s hockey in Alfond

The University of Maine women's hockey team couldn't put an end to their slump, falling to Dartmouth College twice over the weekend.
Haley Johnston
The University of Maine women's hockey team couldn't put an end to their slump, falling to Dartmouth College twice over the weekend.

Dartmouth senior forward Camille Dumais added an assist to go along with her third career hat trick, fellow senior forward Reagan Fischer netted four points and the Big Green of Dartmouth College outshot the University of Maine women’s ice hockey team 61-15 on their way to a 6-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Alfond Arena before finishing the sweep Sunday afternoon.

Dartmouth improves to 6-4-2 on the season while the Black Bears fall to 2-12-1.

Dartmouth pressured UMaine all over the ice throughout, making it difficult for the Black Bears to break the puck out of their defensive zone. The pressure helped the Big Green win the majority of the loose puck battles along the boards as well, something head coach Mark Hudak said was a major key to Dartmouth’s game plan.

“We knew that Maine has success when they’re allowed to collect [the puck] and turn up ice,” he said. “That’s something we didn’t want to allow them to do today.”

UMaine head coach Maria Lewis was hoping for a better effort following last weekend’s debacle against Boston College when the Black Bears were outscored 17-2 in the two game series. Lewis said her team didn’t start competing until the middle of the second period, something that will have to change if UMaine wants to add to their win column moving forward.

“I’m just really disappointed in the way we came out coming off of last weekend against BC,” Lewis said. “[Dartmouth] did exactly what I thought they would do. They played exactly how I thought they were going to play.

“I’m just really disappointed with the fact that we didn’t come out with fire.”

Fischer scored her first goal of the night to break the scoreless tie 7 minutes into the first period on a wraparound that squeaked through UMaine senior goaltender Brittany Ott’s pads. She was assisted by sophomore forward Karlee Odland.

Ott was busy once again against the Big Green, stopping 55 of the 61 shots she faced, but the three-headed monster of Dumais, Fischer and freshman forward Laura Stacey proved too much for the Black Bear defense. The trio had a hand in all six Dartmouth tallies in the contest and now account for 17 of the Big Green’s 29 goals this year.

The Big Green extended their lead to two with 6 seconds left in the period on a goalmouth scramble after Ott was unable to corral a rebound. Dumais eventually slammed the puck through for her first goal of the night. Fischer was credited with the assist on the score.

It was tough sledding for UMaine in the second period as well.

Stacey’s third goal of the year came with just over 2 minutes gone in the middle stanza off a ricochet in front that found its way past Ott. The goal, which was assisted by fellow freshman forward Lindsey Allen, marks Stacey’s 11th point of the season as she tries to keep pace with Fischer for the team lead.

Two minutes later, another Black Bear turnover extended the deficit to four. Fischer one-timed a centering pass from Dumais for her second goal of the contest. Senior forward Jenna Hobeika was also credited with an assist on Fischer’s third point of the game.

UMaine went on the power play with just under 12 minutes remaining in the second, but could not solve the Dartmouth pressure. The Black Bears went 0-3 with one shot on goal with the extra skater in the contest.

UMaine’s penalty kill has struggled for most of the year, but performed well Saturday, allowing just one goal in six Big Green power-play chances.

“If our kill was at this level earlier in the season, you never know,” Lewis said. “But a couple of wins here and there changes your mentality of things. It’s probably one of the bright spots at the moment.”

The Black Bears saw a little more of the puck in the final frame.

Sophomore forward Tori Pasquariello had the first real scoring opportunity of the period when she exited the penalty box with just under 15 minutes to play. The sophomore had a clear path in on Dartmouth junior goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft, but couldn’t quite maintain control of the puck as she skated in, preserving the Dartmouth shutout for the moment.

UMaine sophomore defender Jessica Hall had to be helped off the ice less than a minute later with an apparent knee injury after she collided with Allen along the boards. Hall didn’t suit up for Sunday’s game, adding to the Black Bears’ injury list that already includes freshman defender Brooklyn Langlois, who hasn’t played since Nov. 9 as she continues to suffer from post-concussion symptoms.

Dartmouth’s lead stretched to five on a breakaway goal with just over 7 minutes remaining. Dumais wristed a shot that beat Ott top shelf for her second goal of the contest. Senior defender Margaux Sharp and freshman defender Zoe Brennan assisted on the tally.

UMaine’s lone goal of the day came with just 2 minutes to go in regulation. Senior forward Brittany Dougherty notched her team-leading sixth goal of the season on an unassisted effort, upping her point total to 13. Dougherty scooped up a loose puck in the slot and wielded between two Big Green defenders before beating Holdcroft high on her glove side to prevent the shutout.

Holdcroft would finish with 14 saves on 15 shots.

Dumais completed her hat trick on the power play with 33 seconds remaining to cap the scoring. Fischer earned her second assist of the game — and team-leading 14th point of the season — on Dumais’ rebound goal that made it 6-1.

Lewis said she wasn’t surprised with how the Big Green played in game one and believes game two should have a different outcome if the Black Bears can find a way to carry out their systems.

“We weren’t doing what we’re supposed to do,” she said when asked about UMaine’s lack of execution.

“There are certain strategies that you put in place to counter what you’re going to face, and if you don’t execute those strategies then the other team has the advantage because they put their systems in place to beat you. And if you don’t do what you need to do then you’re going to get beat, and that’s what was happening.

“But we welcome adversity,” she added. “It makes us stronger.”

Dartmouth gains sweep with 4-2 Sunday win

Despite a bounce back performance after their 6-1 loss in game one on Saturday, UMaine fell to the Big Green 4-2 behind senior defender Sasha Nanji’s game-winning goal with just over three minutes to play.

The win improves Dartmouth’s record to 6-4-2 on the season. They were aided by another solid performance by Dumais, who followed up her four point effort from Saturday with a goal and two assists in game two.

The Black Bears’ loss extends their winless streak to seven games, dropping their record to 2-12-1 on the year. Ott got the start in net for UMaine and was busy once again, stopping 32 of 36 shots she faced to help the Black Bears remain competitive until Dartmouth’s two goals in the final four minutes.

The referees were busy as well in this one, as the two teams combined for 16 total penalties. Over half of the game was played with at least one player from either team in the penalty box.

The Big Green enjoyed a 36-21 shot advantage, but the game was very much up for grabs until the closing moments thanks to a rejuvenated Black Bear penalty kill that snuffed out all nine Dartmouth power play opportunities. UMaine would finish with one goal in their six chances with the extra attacker.

“We were in the box too much,” Lewis said after the game. “Overall, I was happy with the way we bounced back from yesterday, but being on the [penalty kill] that many times hurt us. It took away our momentum.”

Hudak said his team was fortunate to come away with the victory after not executing on their power play chances.

“It was almost as if we were playing two opponents today,” Hudak said. “We were playing Maine, but we were also playing ourselves a little bit. Maine played much better as I thought they would. They responded, they had us back on our heels a little bit, but in the end, we caught a break.”

The play in the opening period set the tone for what would be a very up and down hockey game.

The only goal of the period came on a UMaine power play with just over 10 minutes gone in the frame. Junior defender Kayla Kaluzny, playing in just her fourth game of the season, found the puck on her stick following a scramble in front of the Dartmouth crease that pulled junior goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft out of position. Kaluzny backhanded the puck into the open net to give the Black Bears their first lead since the opening minutes of game one against Boston College last weekend. Dougherty and sophomore defender Brittney Huneke were credited with assists on the play.

Holdcroft would finish with 19 saves on the way to her sixth win of the season.

Three even strength goals highlighted an action packed second period despite seven combined penalties from the two teams.

UMaine’s penalty kill stepped up once again behind the stellar play of Dougherty, who created a flurry of short-handed chances. The Black Bears held the Big Green power play to an 0-4 effort in the stanza.

Dartmouth tied the score at one on a snap shot from the left dot that sneaked by Ott’s pads. Sophomore defender Morgan Illikainen was assisted by senior forward Sally Komarek on the tally that made it 1-1 with 1:30 to go before intermission.

The Big Green would go up 2-1 30 seconds later on Dumais’ fourth goal of the weekend following her hat trick from Saturday. The goal came on a bad-angle wraparound attempt that passed just inches over Ott’s glove. Dumais was assisted by Hobeika.

The Black Bears would tie it once again on a tip-in goal with 10.8 seconds remaining in the frame. Freshman forward Shawna Lesperance’s first collegiate goal was assisted by junior forward Brianne Kilgour to make it 2-2 heading into the final period.

“I thought Shawna’s goal got them back in it,” Lewis said. “When they score one after the other like that, it can mess with your head as you try to come back. She ended a very good shift on her part with a very important goal.”

The game looked as though it was heading to overtime, with neither team gaining much of an advantage until the final moments when Dumais took charge.

Dumais earned assists on the final two goals of the game: Nanji’s eventual game-winner with 3:07 remaining in regulation, and Hobeika’s insurance goal that made it 4-2 less than two minutes later.

“It was a great to come away with two wins before the break,” Dumais said after the game. “It definitely puts a smile back on our faces, that’s for sure. Everybody did what they had to do, and I think this weekend definitely gives us some momentum moving forward. It’s just a really good team win.”

Fischer also earned an assist on Hobeika’s goal that capped the scoring. The helper marks the 100th point of Fischer’s career.

Dartmouth improves to 11-0 all-time against the Black Bears with the win.

UMaine heads back out on the ice when they host ECAC foe Union College in a two game set Dec. 14-15. Game one is set for 7pm, with puck drop for game two scheduled for 3pm the following day.

Dartmouth now heads into winter break on a two game win streak. The Big Green won’t play again until New Year’s Eve, when they travel to Providence to take on the Friars.