Jillian Dempsey scored the game-winning goal with seven seconds to play in overtime against St. Lawrence (Gil Talbot).
CANTON, N.Y. – A penalty-marred regulation ended in a 2-2 tie but Jillian Dempsey played the role of hero, stuffing home the game-winning goal with seven seconds left to play in overtime to lift the Harvard women's hockey team to a 3-2 win at St. Lawrence Saturday afternoon. Harvard earns its first overtime victory of the season and ups its conference mark to 13-4-3 and its overall record to 14-8-4.
The overtime period belonged to St. Lawrence (13-16-2, 8-11-0 ECAC) as the Saints put constant pressure on the Harvard net. Only in the final minute of the frame was Harvard able to get a look at the St. Lawrence goal. Gina McDonald gathered the puck behind the home goal and slid a pass to Jillian Dempsey to put home a close-range shove, giving Harvard the 3-2 win.
The Harvard penalty kill was put to the test as three Crimson players were sent to the box in the first period, and the unit was up to the challenge, holding St. Lawrence to just two shots with the extra skater. Katharine Chute had Harvard's best chance of the frame, stopping short to shake a defender on a breakaway and firing a shot that sailed just high. The Crimson outshot the Saints, 12-7, in the opening stanza.
More penalties were posted through the first part of the second period but the Crimson didn't take advantage until after the midway point. After a number of missed chances to control the puck in the St. Lawrence zone, Liza Ryabkina picked the puck out of a scrum on the right boards, skated through the point and lifted a wrister past Saints goalie Maxie Weisz for a 1-0 lead at 11:23.
The special teams luck would turn for Harvard late in the period as St. Lawrence converted on its fifth power-play of the game. Senior Lauren Brozowski tipped a Jamie Goldsmith shot past Laura Bellamy to knot the score at 1-1 at 16:31. The Saints struck again with less than a minute to go, taking a 2-1 lead on a Kelly Sabatine score with just 39.2 seconds on the clock. However, the Crimson had an immediate response as Josephine Pucci cleaned up a Kaitlin Spurling shot with 13.9 seconds in the period, knotting the score at 2-2 heading into the second intermission.
The Crimson had a pair of power-play chances to start the third period but St. Lawrence held tight on the penalty kill to preserve the 2-2 score. Harvard played a clean period on defense but was unable to find the go-ahead tally, sending it to overtime for the third consecutive contest.
Harvard is back in action Tuesday when it takes on No. 7 Boston College in the 2011 Beanpot final at Conte Forum.