STORRS, Conn. — Freshman Dominique Thibault (L’Orignal, Ont.) scored twice to lead the University of Connecticut women’s hockey team to a 4-2 win over No. 4 Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs. The Big Green is the highest ranked team ever defeated by the Huskies, topping the No. 5 ranking held by Harvard when the Crimson lost to UConn, 3-2, on Dec. 5. Prior to this season, UConn had never beaten a team ranked higher than eighth in the nation.
UConn improves to 12-9-1 on the year with the win while Dartmouth dips to 14-4-2. Dartmouth’s lineup today included three student-athletes who took last year off to compete in the Olympic Games, including Gillian Apps, the third-leading scorer in Torino for gold medal-winning Canada.
Dartmouth held a strong territorial advantage in the first period, outshooting the Huskies 10-5 and producing the stanza’s lone goal when Nicole Ruta slid home a shot from the side of the Husky net on the power play at 11:30. Riding a five game losing streak, the Huskies responded with an inspired second period of play where UConn scored three times. Thibault scored the first goal of the frame on a power play just 49 seconds into the action. Thibault worked a give-and-go with junior Jaclyn Hawkins (Manotick, Ont.) and beat Dartmouth netminder Carli Clemis upstairs with a wrist shot form the slot off of Hawkins’ pass from behind the net. UConn caught the Big Green is a line change for their second goal of the period at 15:05. Senior defenseman Alicia Ramolla (Barrie, Ont.) sent a long cross-ice pass to a streaking Amy Hollstein (Pembroke, Mass.) who flew down the right wing, deeked a Big Green defender and beat Clemis with a backhander. UConn took a 3-1 advantage in the game at 17:20 of the second when Thibault struck again. The freshman netted her 10th goal of the year from the slot as she one-timed a Hollstein pass through Clemis’ legs. The goal made Thibault the fourth Husky freshman to ever hit the double digit plateau in goals.
The Big Green were the third period’s dominant team as it held a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. Dartmouth cut its deficit to a single goal at 3-2 just 1:15 into the period when Sarah Newman sent a slap shot from the right point in off of the post. The Huskies held their ground though, finally securing the game with 48 seconds to play on an empty net goal by Britney Chandler (Pickering, Ont.). Sophomore Brittany Wilson (Nepean, Ont.) made 28 saves in the UConn net to record her 12th win of the year. Clemis stopped nine shots for Dartmouth which outshout the Huskies 30-13 on the afternoon.
UConn returns to action next weekend when it heads to Erie, Pa. for a pair of games against No. 1 Mercyhurst (19-1-1). The Huskies and Lakers will play at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and 1:000 p.m. on Saturday.