No. 9/10 women’s hockey heads to winter break with two conference wins over Union, RPI | Sports
In their final pair of games before the next three-week winter break, Harvard’s No.9 / 10 women’s hockey team has scored two wins – one in an exciting way and one by a comfortable margin.
On Friday, the Crimson (9-3, 6-3 ECAC) took advantage of three goals in the first four minutes of play to set off for victory against Union (2-15-1, 0-9 EAC). A day later, he returned to the Bright-Landry Hockey Center to claim a 4-3 overtime victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (6-13, 3-7 ECAC).
The Crimson won’t play again until December 31, when they host Minnesota-Duluth as they look to extend their successful season into the New Year. The bulk of Harvard’s lecture program kicks off at Colgate on January 7.
HARVARD 4, RPI 3 (OT)
In Game 2 of the weekend, Harvard opened up a three-goal lead before RPI staged a comeback, tying the game at three goals apiece in 60 minutes of play. The Crimson then put the Engineers to work quickly in overtime. , scoring the game-winning goal just 19 seconds into the extra 3v3 golden goal. Despite a tough challenge from RPI, Harvard improved to 9-3 with the victory.
Harvard freshman forward Taze Thompson, who also found the back of the net in Friday’s 5-0 win over Union, continued the momentum on Saturday, scoring just over a minute after the first falling puck. Thompson recovered a short rebound from a long range attempt by senior defenseman Emma Buckles and pulled it into the wide open net for her third goal of the season. The Crimson scored another goal later in the first period after senior forward Becca Gilmore skated in the back of the cage before finding junior forward Kristin Della Rovere in front of the right post. It was Della Rovere’s fourth goal of the season and Gilmore’s seventh assist, one short of senior forward Dominique Petrie’s team manager.
Then, in the second period, Harvard took a two-minute power play when RPI’s Nyah Phillip was called up for a boarding penalty. In her second power play opportunity of the period, the Crimson converted, with senior forward Brooke Jovanovich weaving through traffic before first-year forward Paige Lester cleared him right in net. Lester, a native of Oakville, Ont., Scored just the second goal of his career. Coming into the game, the Engineers had been excellent on the penalty kill, allowing just two goals on 55 occasions heading into the weekend to lead the nation.
“[Power plays] are great levers in a game. When you’re able to score on one it really helps change the momentum and deflate the other team, âsaid Petrie. “Being able to take advantage of it gave us confidence and allowed us to settle down a little more in the game.”
But RPI came back strong to tie the game at three goals apiece, finally breaking first-year goaltender Alex Pellicci’s hold on the cage. After shutting out Union on Friday, she made 10 saves while allowing three goals. The first two goals were rebounded and were scored by graduate student forward Lauren Severson, who has found the back of the net for the third and fourth time this season.
âWe definitely let them come back in the game,â said Petrie. “Any team we play with is going to be tough to play against, and we can’t really give them a thumbs up, and we did it a bit at the end of the second and third periods, and they recovered their way. And I think it just shows that we can never let go. “
Following RPI’s third goal, which came with just under six seconds left in the contest, Harvard had four more shots on goal in regulation, but Engineers goaltender Amanda Rampado saved them all, sending the result of the match balanced over the five-minute period, an additional period of 3 against 3 for the winner. The Crimson did a quick job after the puck fell, as Petrie won the initial face-off and Willoughby’s mid-range shot found the right side of the net just 19 seconds into overtime.
âWe always play a game in practice that is like, ‘Next goal wins’, and I remember when we came out on the ice, I saidâ¦’ Next goal wins, let’s do it under the 30 [seconds], ‘and we did it, so that was pretty cool, âPetrie said. âWe went out and knew we wanted to attack, and [Petrie, Willoughby, and junior forward Anne Bloomer] I’ve played on OT before and looked great so it was great to come out this time around and bury it right away.
On Saturday, Harvard produced a strong statistical performance. Th Crimson had 39 shots on goal while allowing just 13, and continued his dominance in the faceoff circle. Harvard entered the weekend as the nation’s second-best team in the faceoff. game behind Wisconsin – the highest-ranked team in the country – and won 38 of 54 face-offs against RPI. Each of Crimson’s four goals was scored by a different player, and Petrie led the team with two assists.
HARVARD 5, UNION 0
Harvard got off to a good start on Friday, finding the back of the cage on each of its first three shots to open up a 3-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. The Crimson scored their first goal 44 seconds into the game, when Gilmore’s entry pass down the middle found Della Rovere in front of the cage. His backhand shot was the fastest first goal Harvard has scored this season.
Over the next three minutes of playing time, Harvard scored two more goals in a very similar fashion, with right-wing center passes finding the scorers directly in front of the cage. Each goalscorer finished on the left side of the net. First it was senior forward Keely Moy, who found fellow Californian Petrie for a score. Then, just 92 seconds later, Gilmore completed one herself, this time assisted by Thompson.
âIt was an amazing start for our team,â said Petrie with a laugh. “I probably couldn’t write it better, [with] three goals on three shots. We just came out hungry. We had some great looks and we all buried our opportunities which was good. And that allowed us to settle into the game a little bit andâ¦ let us play a little more relaxed.
After the Crimsons’ fourth goal, a finish from Thompson at close range, the game turned into a goaltender battle, as the Dutch replaced struggling starter sophomore Olivia Rinzel with rookie Sophie Matsoukas . Rinzel conceded four goals and made two saves in about 13 minutes, but Union’s defense turned exceptional after Matsoukas took control. The first year managed to stop 32 Harvard shots while allowing only one to find the back of the net.
For the Crimson, 27th-year head coach Katey Stone leaned on Pellicci, who made the second start of her career – the first in a 5-2 win over Brown on November 13. The Prior Lake, Minn. Native made a stellar stop. after a stellar save, beating Matsoukas en route to a 22-save shutout, Harvard’s second clean sheet of the season. Pellicci was the third goaltender to play for the Crimsons this season after senior Becky Dutton made five starts and junior Lindsay Reed made two.
âIt was amazing,â said Petrie. âShe’s a great goalie, very calm there, and she allows our team to play with a lot of confidence when they’re in goal. She’s just very stable and it was great for us to help her out and get that first career shutout.
Pellicci’s brilliance helped Harvard achieve a dominant victory, scoring many significant statistic wins in addition to the score. The Crimson managed to win 31 of his 46 puck throws, increasing his overall average. Meanwhile, the prolific offensive managed to fire 70 shots, 39 of which were on target. Union had 42 shots but only 22 went on target. The 39 shots on goal are tied for the fourth record set by Harvard so far this season.
The victory represented a complete team effort for the Crimson, as all five goals were scored by five different players, and seven different players registered an assist.
Before Harvard takes on Minnesota-Duluth on New Years Eve, it will look to clean up its discipline, as the Bulldogs have the second-best power play in the country. Against the Dutch, the Crimsons committed four minor penalties in the second half alone and five in total.
“I think that we [have] to stay a little more disciplined, âPetrie said. “Special teams play a big role, but the more disciplined we are and the more we can stay out of the box, I think it’s a lot easier when you’re playing five-on-five than on a woman.”
After the winter break, Harvard will be back to face a few strong teams within the conference, starting with a road trip to Colgate on January 7. The Raiders (15-4-1, 5-2-1ECAC) handed the Crimson a 5 -4 loss in overtime on October 30. With a solid comeback from hiatus, the Crimson apparently has a chance to return to the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament for the first time since 2015. If Harvard does, he hopes to do better than she did this. that year, when that 27-6-3 team fell to Minnesota in the national championship, marking the fourth second place in school history. Harvard has not won a national ice hockey championship since the NCAA tournament’s inception in 2001, winning the only national championship in the program’s history in 1999.
– Editor Griffin Wong can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Wong_THC.