Hockey Preview

The Review previews winter hockey.

The Review previews winter hockey.

MEN

Three games into their regular season and ranked sixth in the Eastern Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC), the men’s hockey team currently holds a balanced 1-1-1 record. Under the leadership of head coach Bob Gaudet, the Big Green is looking to improve its previous record of 10-20-4 from last year.

Despite momentum built throughout the latter half of last season, Dartmouth’s injury-riddled 2013-2014 run left much to be desired from the Big Green. Captain Tyler Sikura ‘15 and power forward Eric Robinson were inactive for the majority of last year’s games due to physical ailments. Despite this, the team logged a 5-1-1 record in February after only scoring three wins within the first four months of thee season. The team’s improved performance in the final late-winter matches allowed them to clinch second place within the Ivy League behind Cornell, and fifth in the ECAC.

With a roster of eighteen returning members and a strong freshman class, the Big Green entered the 2014-2015 season with lofty expectations. While his coach Bob Gaudet may have twenty-six years of head coaching experience, Tyler Sikura ‘15, a forward hailing from Ontario, is only the seventh player in team history to hold captaincy for two consecutive years. Aided by a strong cohort of veteran teammates, Sikura has already managed multiple assists and goals in only a few hours of game time this fall. The skilled group of seniors will also rely on the talents of Grant Opperman ‘17, the team’s most recent rookie of the year, and forward Brad Schierhorn ‘16. Both athletes proved themselves worthy of recognition after a series of valuable performances throughout Dartmouth’s 2013-2014 campaign.

In a successful bid to reclaim dominance after falling to Harvard last February, Dartmouth’s men tied the Crimson 3-3 on November 1. The game, which was forced into overtime following Harvard defenseman Patrick McNally’s second goal of night, featured impressive performances from Rick Pinkston, Eric Robinson, and Brandon McNally, all of whom scored for the Big Green. Nearly a week later, the team would notch its first win (4-3) of the season after a dramatic game versus Union College.

Rivalling Union College in their second away game of the season, Dartmouth left Messa rink victorious despite initially trailing the Dutchmen by three goals. Tyler Sikura, Brad Schierhorn, Eric Robinson, and Tim O’Brien all netted goals for the Big Green. Captain Sikura also contributed both a goal and an assist to his team. Dartmouth’s win was highlighted by the strength and reputation of their opponent; Union College ranked first within the ECAC at the conclusion of their 2013-2014 run and had handed the Big Green three total losses over the course of that season.

Unfortunately, the feeling of victory ended the next day after Dartmouth suffered their first loss (1-2) of the season. The Big Green played its third match on the road against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. Netting a goal within the last twenty seconds of the final period, RPI junior Zach Schroeder handed Dartmouth their first defeat of the season. Jesse Beamish ‘15 scored the Big Green’s only goal of the night. The play was assisted by Tyler Sikura ‘15 and Brett Patterson ‘16. James Kruger ’16 served as the primary goalie for all three games.

Dartmouth will finally see some home action in Thompson Arena this coming week, facing Yale, Brown, and Harvard within the span of five days. The team’s next away game will not take place until December 5 versus Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

WOMEN

Four games into the season and with four wins under its belt, the women’s hockey team’s winter is off to an encouraging start. Losing only three members to graduation last June, the Big Green returned to the ice last month with sixteen returning players and a talented group of five freshmen. Head coach Mark Hudak also entered his twelfth season with a wealth of experience at both the regional and national levels. Senior captain Karlee Odland is joined by alternative captains Morgan Illikainen ‘15 and Catherine Berghuis ‘16 at the team’s helm. Each member earned impressive credentials over the course of the 2013-2014 season with each new captain logging multiple goals and Illikainen appearing in all thirty games. Looking beyond the captains’ achievements, the depth of the team’s talent is undeniable. Canada native Laura Stacy ‘16 is armed with over five years of experience at the international level. Recently, Stacy was selected to represent Canada’s National Women’s Development Team for the third consecutive year.

Dartmouth’s women hosted three teams within their first week back in action before bussing to Rochester, N.Y. to face-off against St. Lawrence University. Opening with a 6-2 win versus the University of New Hampshire, sophomore Kennedy Ottenbreit and junior Lindsey Allen netted two goals each. Laura Stacy and Karlee Odland also made their way onto the scoreboard, both scoring one goal. The ECAC opener against Union College also did not disappoint. Dartmouth outmuscled the Dutchmen 3-0. Morgan Turner ‘18 scored the first goal of her collegiate career in the final period, preceded by goals from Emma Korbs ‘17 and Lindsey Allen ‘16.

The Big Green defeated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (5-2) and St. Lawrence University (5-1) with similar ease. Goalie Robyn Chemago ‘17 recorded 29 and 19 saves, respectively, in her impressive second season playing for Dartmouth. The women will travel to Cambridge for their first Ivy League match versus Harvard on December 2.