Natalie Cantave / The Dartmouth
The Big Green came into the weekend on a two-game losing skid that had dropped them out of the top half of the conference standings. The game against Harvard, who had taken down the Big Green 6-0 earlier this season, marked a chance to turn the tide and return to their winning ways in front of a national television audience.
"We came into this game wanting revenge," forward Laura Stacey '16 said. "That was the main difference. There was a big home crowd and we were on national TV, which definitely got us even more excited to play."
The game started off fast and furious as Harvard notched a goal less than two minutes into the first period. Junior forward Kalley Armstrong took a pass from senior forward Jillian Dempsey in front of the net and, after ducking past a few Dartmouth defenders, placed the puck in the back of the net.
"Their girl came out of the corner with some nice moves," goalie Lindsay Holdcroft '14 said. "She shot it from the slot and put a backhand in off the post. It was a tough goal early, but we definitely responded."
Less than five minutes later, Dartmouth responded with a goal to knot the game at one. Lindsey Allen '16 scored off an assist from fellow freshman Olivia Whitford '16.
"We won the draw and Olivia found a lane," Allen said. "The defender lifted up her stick for some reason and pushed it right to me. I just tried to redirect the puck at the net and it went right through their goalie's legs. She wasn't expecting a shot to come from that angle."
The early outburst of scoring was not done as Harvard returned the favor almost immediately after Dartmouth leveled the game at one. Less than a minute later, Harvard retook the lead off a goal from Dempsey, who leads the conference with 23 goals thus far this season. Harvard junior Lyndsey Fry shot a perfect backhand pass to Dempsey who whipped the puck past Holdcroft.
"It's definitely tough when they score a quick goal," Stacey said. "They scored 50 seconds after us and burst the bubble. Last time they scored early and took it to us, after their second goal we really steadied our emotions and got after it."
With 15 seconds left in the first period, the Crimson took a penalty that proved to be very costly. Sophomore Sarah Edney was sent to the penalty box, giving Dartmouth a power play that would extend into the beginning of the second period. Although Harvard had the number one penalty kill unit in the country and the Big Green had struggled immensely on the power play over the past few games, the one-woman advantage marked a chance that the Big Green knew they had to take.
"We've been working on the power play in practice, but in games it just hasn't been working," Stacey said. "We haven't been able to find the net. We talked about it at intermission and all of a sudden it just clicked, now we know what we need to do."
This confidence proved well-placed as the Big Green knotted the score at deuces after a power play goal by Stacey less than a minute into the second period. Stacey received a pass from Reagan Fischer '12 near the right faceoff dot and buried a wrist shot past the sprawling Harvard keeper.
"We controlled the puck, Reagan had it on the point," Stacey said. "She cycled down and passed it far side to me. I just put it on the net and the goalie didn't see it."
From then on, neither team managed to break through and score a go-ahead goal. On Dartmouth's end, the defense was mainly provided by an incredible performance by Holdcroft, who notched 41 saves throughout the game and stopped Harvard on numerous chances. Of those saves, 25 came in the second and third periods as Holdcroft kept the Big Green in the game.
"Lindsay Holdcroft played unbelievably, she really stood on her head out there," Stacey said. "She was a big reason why we got the tie versus Harvard."
After a tightly contested overtime period, Holdcroft and the Dartmouth defense held firm, holding on for a well-earned 2-2 tie against the Crimson. The tie kept Dartmouth at sixth in the ECAC standings with 17 points and marked only the fourth time a team has taken a point off of Harvard this season.
"Overtime was very exciting and we came out fresh for the extra period," Holdcroft said. "We controlled the period, but this was still one of those ties that felt more like a win."
The women's hockey team takes the ice again next weekend at Thompson Arena with a Friday night game against Brown University and a Saturday night game against Yale University.