Wednesday, 12 September 2018

From Raiders To Big Green

You'd think that a program who just finished second in the nation in women's hockey would do everything they could to lock up the woman in charge of the hockey operations, bit it seems that Colgate may have missed the memo on that. Regardless of how or why it happened, former Director of Women's Hockey Operations for Colgate University Krista Patronick is, as of today, officially the Director of Women's Hockey Operations for Dartmouth University! With head coach Laura Schuler at the helm and Krista now looking after the business side of the collegiate game, Dartmouth should see an upward tick in their standings after posting 5-19-3 overall record last season that included a 3-16-3 conference mark.

It wasn't a good season for Dartmouth last year as the team went winless in their final seven games and managed just two ties in the month of February. Similarly, the Big Green didn't get off to the greatest start as they managed just three wins - two of which were in-conference - in the ten games before the calendar flipped to 2018. Things did get better in the second half of the season which saw the Big Green only blown out by the eventual NCAA champion Clarkson Golden Knights, but the Big Green's rather anemic offence that saw them score just 37 goals in 27 games needs to improve in a big hurry.

The Big Green often started slow, found themselves in a hole early, and then couldn't dig out of it. The team went 0-13-0 when they trailed after one period, but were a solid 3-1-0 when they led after the first period. If the Big Green are going to change their course for this season, getting ahead early would be a good start. When they scored the first goal, they were a respectable 3-3-2, but if the opposition scored first, the Big Green were a dismal 2-16-1. In other words, this team doesn't pull off comebacks often.

Like Krista's last team, the Big Green have a Winnipeg-born player on their roster as Tess Bracken, the former Balmoral Hall Blazer, will skate for them this season. Tess was a big part of the team's offence last season as she led the Big Green in goals with eight while posting a career high in points with 12. In fact, Bracken all scored all three goals for Dartmouth in a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Brown on January 26 for her first NCAA hat trick! Interim head coach Joe Marsh said of Bracken's performance on the night, "The most obvious note about tonight was Tess' hat trick. That was huge. She's a very skilled kid."

Overall, Krista's work begins today and I'm certain she's going to help Dartmouth find their way back to the NCAA's upper echelon of elite teams. She'll have her work cut out for her after Dartmouth was picked to finish 11th in the 2018-19 ECAC Hockey Preseason Women's Coaches Poll released by the ECAC today as well. What Krista will be doing at Dartmouth will be virtually the same role as she had at Colgate where she coordinated all team travel logistics and day-to-day operations while coordinating and distributing of all team video, communicating with the players and staff, and developing a social media plan.

Team Canada head coach Laura Schuler, who returns to the bench for the Big Green this season, seems excited to bring Krista into the Dartmouth family. "I'm very excited to welcome Krista to Dartmouth. I'm looking forward to her assistance with branding our program, elevating our social media, and managing our video operations," Schuler said in the release. "She played a key role in Colgate's success last season and she will bring a lot of knowledge and experience to our staff."

Congratulations to Krista Patronick, former GM of the Boston Blades and a guest of The Hockey Show, on her new position with Dartmouth women's hockey! I'm already excited for the first official game of the season when Dartmouth travels to Harvard on October 19! Go get 'em, Big Green!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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