HANOVER, N.H. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team fell to the Dartmouth Big Green 3-2 on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. The loss moves the Friars overall record to 7-12-0 on the season.
The Friars took an early lead with a goal from sophomore Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.). Illikainen received a drop pass from freshman Cassidy Carels (Bruxelles, Manitoba) and fired the puck on Dartmouth goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft, who made the initial save but could not control the rebound. Illikainen crashed the net to capture her fifth goal of the season just 18 seconds after the opening face-off at 19:42 of the first period. Carels notched her third assist of the season on the play, while sophomore Lexi Romanchuk (San Jose, Calif.) also assisted on the play for her eighth of the season.
Dartmouth had a flurry of chances during the 13:00 minute mark of the first period. Sophomore goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.) stopped all three Dartmouth chances to keep the Friars ahead 1-0. Later in the period, Bryant made a big breakaway save to keep the Friars ahead heading into the second period. Dartmouth's Ali Winkel intercepted a Providence pass and came in on Bryant alone. Bryant stepped out to stop Winkel's shot with less than two minutes left in the period to give the Friars the edge heading into the middle frame.
The Friars extended their lead to 2-0 halfway through the second period. Junior Allison Micheletti (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) entered the offensive zone where she split the Dartmouth defenders and sniped a puck high blocker side on Holdcroft for her third goal of the season at 9:43 of the period. Illikainen moved the puck up the ice to senior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.), who tipped the puck along to Micheletti to both earn assists on the play.
Providence killed its first penalty of the game during the second period to keep the Big Green scoreless heading into the third period. The Friars held Dartmouth to zero shots on goal during the kill with a block from senior Maggie Pendleton (Woodbury, Minn.), who came out to block a point shot in the final seconds of the penalty.
The Big Green turned up the pressure with a power-play goal under a minute into the third period to cut the Friars lead to 2-1. Carels took a tripping penalty that led to a Dartmouth goal from Kennedy Ottenbreit. Ottenbreit skated around a Providence defender before firing the puck high glove side past Bryant at 00:42 of the period.
Dartmouth continued to build momentum as the Big Green notched two more goals to take the lead during the third period. Zoe Brennan tied the game with a point shot at 7:57 of the third period that deflected off a Friar defender to go past Bryant. Winkel notched the eventual game-winning goal at 13:02 of the period off a rebound shot taken by Karlee Odland.
Bryant finished the game with 22 saves, while Holdcroft finished with 28 for the Big Green. Providence outshot Dartmouth 30-25 in the loss. The Friars were 0-for-3 on the power-play, while Dartmouth went 1-for-4.
The Friars will resume play in 2014 with a weekend series against Rensesslaer on Saturday, Jan. 4 and Sunday, Jan. 5. Providence will play host to the Engineers in a 7:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday, followed by a 4:00 p.m. start on Sunday. The two-game series will mark the last non-conference games for Providence before it finishes off the year with 13 Hockey East games.