Hilary Crowe was the first star of Friday nights game against Colgate (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Four Crimson skaters netted goals, and Laura Bellamy made 10 saves in net to propel the No. 7 Harvard women's ice hockey team to a 4-1 win over Colgate Friday night at Bright Hockey Center.
Samantha Reber, Hillary Crowe, Sarah Edney and Hilary Hayssen all found the back of the goal for Harvard, who extended its season-opening ECAC win streak to five in its first home contest of the season. Jillian Dempsey contributed her sixth and seventh assists of the season to take sole possession of the team lead and extend her point streak to a career-long 20 games, while four other players added helpers.
Harvard put 12 shots on target in the first period, but could only find one goal as the two teams entered the first intermission squared at 1-1. Samantha Reber scored her first of the season just 2:16 into the game to give Harvard an early lead. Reber controlled a Hillary Crowe pass in front of the crease and flicked the puck past Colgate's Ashlynne Rando to put the Crimson in front.
The Raiders evened the game late in the frame with a tally from its leading scorer, Brittany Phillips, who banged home a rebound from in front of the net on the power play to snap Harvard's streak of 15 consecutive penalties killed to begin the year.
The Crimson turned up the defensive pressure in the second period, limiting Colgate to one shot on goal over 20 minutes and dominating possession of the puck. Harvard fired 13 shots on net, including three past Rando to break the game open. Crowe started the second-period scoring at 5:07 with a goal from right in front of the net that trickled past Rando to restore the Harvard advantage. The Raiders had one more chance to knot up the game; however, Bellamy made a fantastic pad save to keep the Crimson in front at the 12-minute mark.
Colgate's Rachel Walsh had the puck at the blue line with only Bellamy to beat, but the senior co-captain denied the Raiders' attempt from the left side to thwart the breakaway opportunity.
It was all Harvard from there on out as the Crimson ran its power play to perfection to extend the lead. Edney fired a shot from above the left faceoff circle, after Dempsey and Fry worked the puck around the zone, that got past Rando to push the Crimson advantage back to two with just 3:32 left to go in the second.
Harvard struck less than two minutes later to put the game away. Following a scramble for the puck, Dempsey circled in and found Hayssen waiting on the right circle. The senior made the most of her opportunity, burying the puck in the back of the net for her first goal of the season and her career.
In the third period, Harvard continued to dominate the puck, firing 14 shots to Colgate's three, but both teams failed to score, as the Crimson skated away with the 4-1 win.
Harvard returns to action Saturday at 4 p.m. against No. 2 Cornell at Bright Hockey Center. The Big Red beat Dartmouth, 2-1, in overtime tonight.