St. Lawrence University sophomore Amanda Boulier ripped a slap shot from inside the blue line past Dartmouth goalie Lindsay Holdcroft with only 4:35 remaining in regulation, lifting the Saints women's hockey team to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Big Green at Appleton Arena on Friday night.
The Saints pick up two crucial points in the ECAC Hockey standings, improving to 14-9-2 (9-3-1), while Dartmouth falls to 12-6-3 (7-5-2) despite outshooting the home team 34-28.
"Another exciting game with Dartmouth, as always," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "Our penalty kill played a big role in the victory. It could have gone either way as they had some great chances including one off the crossbar with under a minute to go."
Sophomore Carmen MacDonald had an outstanding game in net for the Scarlet and Brown, turning away 33 shots including 14 in the third period. Her 12 saves in the first allowed St. Lawrence to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission thanks to a breakaway goal by junior Rylee Smith at 17:04. The tally was Smith's 10th of the season and was assisted by senior captain Kelly Sabatine and senior Brooke Fernandez.
Ironically, St. Lawrence had the better of the second period but saw Dartmouth tie the score at 12:02. Morgan Illikainen fed Reagan Fischer, who carried the puck into the Saints' zone and floated a shot that fooled MacDonald and crept under the crossbar for her 13th of the season. Illikainen and Jenna Hobeika were credited with assists.
With the game tied 1-1 in the third, each team had quality chances to take the lead from just outside the crease, but the goaltenders came up with key saves. In the final stages of the period, sophomore Jackie Wand backhanded a pass to the blue line for Boulier who one-timed a shot through traffic that went past Holdcroft's right shoulder and into the net for her fifth of the season. The goal, which was assisted by Wand and Ellie Williams, came at 15:25.
The game was far from over, though, as St. Lawrence would have to kill off a penalty to Kelly Sabatine and another to Dayle Wilkinson in the final four minutes of the contest. Though Dartmouth pulled Holdcroft for an extra attacker skating 6-on-4, the St. Lawrence penalty killing unit, anchored by Mel Desrochers, Michelle Ng and Jessica Hon, was able to kill the clock and give the Saints the 2-1 victory, aided by the crossbar on a slapshot by Sasha Nanji.
Dartmouth's loss snaps a six-game unbeaten streak, with a 0-for-8 mark on the power play proving to be too much to overcome. St. Lawrence was 0-for-6 on its power play chances. Holdcroft closed with 26 saves in the game for the Big Green.
St. Lawrence will square off with nationally-ranked No. 2 Harvard University tomorrow, Saturday, January 26 at Appleton Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop on the Saints and Crimson at 4:00pm.