HANOVER, N.H. -- Nicole Ruta's shorthanded goal 2:11 into overtime gave Dartmouth a 4-3 win over Vermont in women's college hockey Friday night at Thompson Arena. Kristen Olychuck (Kelowna, B.C.) made 41 saves and Chelsea Furlani (Colchester, Vt.) had a goal and an assist for the Catamounts in a very spirited effort against the nation's ninth-ranked team in their season opener.
"I'm very proud of our effort tonight in a very tough place to play and a harder place for a visiting team to win," said Vermont coach Tim Bothwell. "It was a disappointing finish for our ladies whose hard work should have been better rewarded."
Vermont (4-3-0) took advantage of their few good scoring opportunities to keep pace with Dartmouth, the defending ECAC champion. Despite being out-shot, 45-17, Olychuck and the UVM defense also limited the Big Green to very few second chances in front of the goal throughout much of the contest.
Vermont made three great bids for the game-winner in the extra session on shots by Kate Lesniak (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Kristi Anderson (Naperville, Ill) before Ruta's goal ended it. Ruta drove toward the net from the right saide and her shot was first stopped by Olychuck before the puck trickled in after a goalmouth scramble.
After Vermont killed an early 5-on-3 Dartmouth power play opportunity in the first period, Furlani gave the Catamounts a 1-0 lead rapping home a rebound of a shot by Brittany Nelson (Shelburne, Vt.) 5:24 into the contest. Dartmouth tied the game on a goal by Jenna Cunningham at 16:02.
In the second, Olychuck made several solid saves to keep the game even before the Big Green went ahead on a power play goal by Katie Gray at 7:14. The Cats tied it just 31 seconds later as Karen Sentoff (Liverpool, N.Y.) created a turnover killing another penalty and her wrist shot beat Dartmouth goalie Carlie Clemis for a shorthanded goal. UVM regained the lead on a goal by Teddy Fortin (Brunswick, Maine), on assists from Furlani and Peggy Wakeham (Bay Roberts, Newfoundland) at 10:25 for a 3-2 advantage at the second intermission.
Olychuck kept Vermont alive in the third with 17 saves including robbing Cunningham at the goalmouth midway through the stanza. Dartmouth finally picked up the equalizer on a power play goal by Sarah Parsons, last year's ECAC Rookie of the Year, at 12:21. With 1:40 to go in regulation, Olychcuk forced overtime by stopping Shannon Bowman on a breakaway.
The Big Green went 2-for-7 on the power play while Vermont went 0-for-6. Sentoff's shorthanded goal was the fourth in seven games this season for Vermont which did not have a shorthanded tally in all 32 games a year ago. Clemis, the 2006-07 ECAC Goalie of the Year, finished with 14 stops for Dartmouth including three in overtime.
Vermont returns home next weekend to open its Hockey East slate when it hosts seventh-ranked Boston College Friday at 4:00pm and third-ranked New Hampshire Saturday at 7:00pm. For ticket information, please contact the UVM Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-4CAT-TIX or log on to uvmathletics.com. UVM students (with a valid ID) and all Rally's Round Up members are admitted free to all home women's hockey games.