Josephine Pucci led the Crimson defense in holding Cornell to a season-low 14 shots (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a fast-paced showdown between two of the top teams in the nation, the No. 9 Harvard women's hockey team couldn't light the lamp against No. 3 Cornell as the Crimson dropped a 2-0 decision Friday night at Bright Hockey Center. With the result, the Big Red claims the season series sweep and improves to 12-1-0 in the conference, while Harvard dips to 11-6-1 overall and 8-4-1 in ECAC action.
Harvard had ample opportunities to grab a lead in the opening stanza, earning a trio of power plays throughout the first period. The hosts got a handful of good looks that tested Cornell goalie Amanda Mazzotta, but the senior stood firm and kept the Crimson off the board.
After a pair of successful kills it was Cornell that broke through first as Rebecca Johnston stuffed home a short-range rebound after Kendice Ogilvie put the puck on the doorstep. The teams each received penalties in the final two minutes of the period, and after just 15 seconds of 4-on-4 play, the Big Red struck again with Brianne Jenner redirecting a Lauriane Rougeau shot past Laura Bellamy for a 2-0 lead after one.
The pace of the game stayed quick through the second period, but the defenses went into lockdown mode as neither team could muster a goal. Harvard once again held the edge in shots, 6-5 in the period, but entered the third frame staring at a 2-0 deficit.
The final frame was more of the same as the Crimson outshot the Big Red, 8-2, but was unable to capitalize on a handful of good chances. With 1:37 remaining in the contest, Harvard pulled Bellamy for an extra skater and gained a two-skater advantage soon after thank to a Cornell infraction. The Crimson managed to keep the puck in the Cornell zone, but Mazzotta stayed true and staved off a late Crimson flurry to preserve the clean sheet.
The Crimson allowed just 14 shots on goal in the game, a season-low total for the Harvard defense. Bellamy notched 12 saves in the game while Mazzotta picked up 22 in her shutout.
The Crimson wraps up its four-game homestand tomorrow afternoon in a 4 p.m. game against Colgate.