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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dartmouth 7, Women's Hockey 3

La-crashed
Friars left to lick wounds

Report based on Live Stats

Hanover, N.H.- Pitting their own packages of stealth and anti-stealth against those of a frightfully truculent Dartmouth Big Green team, the Friars were given an oblique warning that their reactivity was running low in the waning minutes of last night’s second period at Thompson Arena.

Forty-eight seconds removed from Laura Veharanta’s pulling their third knot of the evening, PC slipped a pace behind yet again when Dartmouth freshman Kelly Foley leveled her team back up, 4-3. And this time, there would be no easy shot for amends; hardly any time to envision the prospect of it.

In just another 24 ticks, the Green’s Reagan Fischer granted her club the nightlong elusive multi-point upper hand to lay back out for the final twenty minutes. From there, they paced themselves to a ruggedly executed 7-3 final, the most abrasive voodoo doll treatment –perhaps the only performance fit for such a label- on freshman goaltender Genevieve Lacasse’s otherwise pristine young resume.

Lacasse (25 saves), would be forked out of her cage with 6:59 to spare upon admitting the seventh goal. Sophomore Jen Smith would fill in for her first sliver of action all season and face a melancholy calm after her team was clouted by a 53-minute tempest of red light blindness, endless Dartmouth-inflicted bruises, and spilled power plays.

One law of puck physics immortalized by every coach’s stay-out-of-the-box homily did not materialize against the Green last night. They simply continued to pile on the insurance goals and the penalty minutes (nine total minors) while the Friars recorded a mere three of each.

Upon planting a speedy 1-0 lead courtesy Sarah Parsons and an ominously tone-setting 5-1 upper hand on the shot board within the first three minutes of action, Dartmouth opted for a daring approach to nurture their primordial command. Just seven seconds after Parsons lit up Lacasse, Jenna Cunningham endured a two-minute citation for body-checking, the first of (four) unanswered penalties the Green would accept.

After initially fending off the Friars on their first two kills –which had overlapped towards a 5-on-3 set-up for 39 seconds- the Green felt a fleeting burn over defender Julia Bronson’s term in the box for elbowing. After striker Jennifer Friedman saw her initial bid blocked, she left things up to Alyse Ruff, who slugged home the equalizer on PC’s third shot in as many player-up offerings.

Dartmouth’s psychological slide and disciplinary fumbles carried precariously on to the cusp of the buzzer. A checking penalty to their top gun, Amanda Trunzo, allotted the Friars 1:48 worth of carry-over power play time to commence the second period. But once they cleared that kill unscathed, the Green got down to drawing their own opportunities, bolstering their ability to keep a consistent stride ahead of Providence.

Veharanta paid her club’s first trip to the bin within 35 seconds of Trunzo’s jailbreak. Dartmouth promptly pounced to renew their lead to 2-1 via Foley at the 3:20 mark.

The persistent Friars nibbled back right at 6:02, again circumventing their host’s New Jersey Devilishly defensive barrier and watching Erin Normore deposit their second equalizer behind stopper Carli Clemis (24 saves).

The same fundamental pattern reran in the latter half of the period, Trunzo inserting the Green’s second strike on as many power plays at 12:19 for the 3-2 advantage.

All the while, PC’s forward push was vexingly stuffed up on another two power plays, affording three stabs on one and a handful of wide/blocked attempts plus a shorthanded bid by Shannon Bowman on the other.

The Friars would knot the Green in the third period shooting gallery, 6-6, three of those shots distributed over two more full-length player-up segments. Another, granted at 10:07 on a hooking flag against Foley, was halted at 11:00 by a too-many-players infraction.

Providence would grudgingly settle for one power play conversion out of nine opportunities and 10 shots.

Meantime, connections by Maggie Kennedy (at 6:41) and Marley McMillan (13:01) solidified the 7-3 upshot and exiled the overcooked Lacasse.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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