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Buesser Hat Trick Powers Women’s Hockey Into ECAC Semifinals With 8-3 Win Over St. Lawrence

Kate Buesser netted three goals in Harvard's 8-3 win over St. Lawrence Saturday (Gil Talbot).

Katey Stone Postgame Comments

Kate Buesser Postgame Comments

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
Senior Kate Buesser posted Harvard's first hat trick of the season as the Harvard women's hockey team netted four goals each in the first and third periods of an 8-3 win over St. Lawrence in the ECAC quarterfinals, Saturday at Bright Hockey Center. With the win, the Crimson sweeps the quarterfinal series with the Saints and advances to the ECAC semifinals for the 12th consecutive season.

Harvard matched its first-period output from game one, scoring four goals in the opening frame to take a 4-0 edge in to the first break. Buesser started the scoring for Harvard at 5:03, putting home passes from Katharine Chute and Ashley Wheeler for an early 1-0 edge. Wheeler was the next scorer, putting home her fourth goal of the season just 11 seconds in to Harvard's first power-play of the game at 7:10.

Gina McDonald worked her way onto the scoresheet at the 16:05 mark, netting her second goal of the season off feeds from Whitney Kennedey and Kelsey Romatoski. Buesser notched her second goal of the night, burying the puck off assists from Josephine Pucci and Chute on a Harvard power-play with one minute left in the period. The Crimson outshot the Saints 18-6 in the period and entered the first break with a four-goal lead.

St. Lawrence managed to draw blood past the halfway point of the second as Vanessa Emond took advantage of a Harvard penalty to make the score 4-1 at 12:02. Rylee Smith closed the gap to 4-2, 3:28 later when she picked off a pass in the Harvard zone and bested Laura Bellamy on an unassisted effort. A second goal from Emond with just 37 seconds to play in the second period shrunk the Harvard lead to one and the Crimson went into the locker room clinging to a 4-3 advantage. The Saints held a 13-7 edge in shots in the second stanza.

The Crimson needed exactly one minute to build its lead back to three goals as Buesser completed her hat trick just 15 seconds into the third frame, blasting home a shot from the right faceoff circle. Jillian Dempsey followed with her third goal of the series just 45 seconds later, sliding home a Leanna Coskren feed to push the score to 6-3. Dempsey added another tally, this time on a power-play, depositing a close range shot off feeds from Liza Ryabkina and Pucci. Marissa Gedman capped Harvard's offensive outburst with 4:40 left to play, winging a puck the length of the ice for an empty-net goal to seal the 8-3 final.

Bellamy finished the game with 23 saves and the Crimson converted three of eight power-play chances. Pucci logged three assists on the night and Coskren, Chute and Romatoski all finished with a pair of helpers each.

The Crimson will now host either Dartmouth or Quinnipiac in the ECAC semifinals, Thursday, March 3. Fifth-seeded Quinnipiac secured a spot in the semifinals with a 2-0 series win over fourth-seed Princeton, and six-seed Clarkson and three-seed Dartmouth are tied at 1-1 in their quarterfinal series.