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Sophomore Surge Lifts Harvard to 7-1 Season-Opening Win at St. Lawrence

Marissa Gedman notched a goal and two assists in the season-opening win over St. Lawrence (Gil Talbot).

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
After falling behind, 1-0, the Harvard women's ice hockey team, led by its sophomore class, tallied seven unanswered goals in a 7-1 season-opening win against conference foe St. Lawrence Friday at Appleton Arena. With the win, Harvard has now outscored the Saints, 21-5, in the teams' last three meetings.

While the Crimson won the pressure battle in the opening frame, the hosts managed to jump out to a 1-0 lead late in the period. After Harvard's second and third penalties of the game created a 5-on-3 for the Saints, Rylee Smith won a faceoff to Ally Bero, and Bero passed to Brooke Fernandez whose slapshot zipped through a crowd in front of the net and past Harvard goalie Laura Bellamy for a 1-0 lead. The Crimson outshot the Saints, 8-5, in the frame, but was unable to convert on a handful of promising chances.

In the second period, however, Harvard turned those scoring chances into goals, potting four unanswered goals to take a commanding lead. Harvard killed 16 seconds of a remaining penalty from the first period and proceeded to tie the score just over a minute later. Samantha Reber slid the puck to a streaking Lyndsey Fry and the sophomore forward beat St. Lawrence goalie Carmen MacDonald glove side to knot the score at 1-1.

Three minutes later, it was classmate Marissa Gedman giving the Crimson a 2-1 lead, blasting home a shot from just inside the blueline off passes from Gina McDonald and Kaitlin Spurling. In the back half of the period, Harvard showed its power-play prowess, netting two more goals, both on skater-advantage opportunities. Jillian Dempsey put back a shot-range deflection off a Gedman shot at 11:16 and Fry capped the scoring in the period with her second of the game, putting home the puck off passes from Gedman and Josephine Pucci.

Harvard struck on the power play once again in the third as Dempsey collected passes from Fry and Pucci and lifted home a shot to push the score to 5-1 with 13:49 to play. Reber notched her first collegiate goal late in the third, besting MacDonald on an unassisted effort with 3:27 showing on the clock, and McDonald took an Armstrong faceoff win and deposited the puck in the net with 13 seconds to play to seal the 7-1 win.    

Gedman and Fry both finished with three points on the evening, while Dempsey (2g), Reber (2a), McDonald (1g, 1a) and Pucci (2a) all had two apiece. Bellamy was stellar in goal for Harvard, helping the Crimson kill six-of-seven power plays and making 17 saves in the game.

Harvard  is back in action tomorrow afternoon in Potsdam, N.Y., when it takes on league foe Clarkson in a 4 p.m. showdown.