Jillian Dempsey was the first star after contributing a goal and an assist to help the Crimson past Northeastern Tuesday night (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior co-captain Jillian Dempsey led the way for Harvard with a goal and an assist and the No. 6 Crimson women's hockey team knocked off No. 9 Northeastern, 3-1, Tuesday night at Matthews Arena. Lyndsey Fry picked up her seventh and eighth assists of the season and Emerance Maschmeyer made 15 saves in goal for her fourth win in as many career starts to propel Harvard to its second consecutive win over a ranked opponent. Harvard previously upset No. 2 Cornell, 3-1, Nov. 24.
The Crimson (7-1-0) moves its record to 8-0-1 in its last nine outings against crosstown rival Northeastern. Harvard has not dropped a contest to the Huskies since 2001.
The Crimson started the scoring midway through the first period with Miye D'Oench's second career goal. The freshman intercepted a Northeastern (8-4-2) pass inside the Harvard zone and fired from in front of the right faceoff dot. D'Oench lifted the puck over Chloe Desjardin's left shoulder and it ricocheted off the top pipe and past the line.
Harvard's penalty kill stepped up once again in the initial frame. After Hillary Crowe went off for tripping at 13:02, the Crimson limited the Huskies to three shots and only one that made its way to goalie Emerance Maschmeyer. The reigning ECAC Goaltender of the Week and Freshman of the Week made the save during the power play, and four others in the period, to blank NU in the first and keep Harvard in front.
Most of the action was on Harvard's end during the opening 20 minutes, as the Crimson put nine shots on goal to Northeastern's five.
The Crimson sent a flurry of shots at Desjardin to start the second period, including four from the second line while holding the puck in the offensive zone for nearly a minute. Crowe, Samantha Reber, Michelle Picard and Gina McDonald sent in attempts before making way to the first line. Harvard's starters continued the push and converted at the 5:26 mark. Jillian Dempsey stuffed a shot off Desjardin's leg pad that the NU goalie could not corral and Kalley Armstrong was there to redirect the rebound into the back of the net.
Northeastern's Katie MacSorley cut Harvard's advantage in half with a power-play tally at 12:45. She sneaked in a shot from close range on the left side under Maschmeyer's stickhand pad and under her outstretched right leg for her fourth marker of the season. The goal proved to be the only blemish of Maschmeyer's night.
Harvard wasted little time in the third period to push its lead back to two. Dempsey, who had previously increased her career-high points streak to 22 games with a second-period assist, padded the Crimson's lead with a goal off her skate. Fry circled the puck around the net and passed it the center, where a spinning Dempsey skate inadvertently sent it through the crease.
The Winthrop, Mass., native kept her 1.00 goals per game pace with Harvard's third goal of the night to remain tied for fifth in the nation. Dempsey also came into the game ranked fifth in points per game at 2.14.
The Crimson put 15 shots on target in the third frame to total 35 for the game. Northeastern directed 16 attempts at Maschmeyer.
Harvard killed 2-of-3 penalties, while going 0-for-3 on power-play opportunities. The Crimson penalty kill dropped to 91.7%, good for fifth in the nation.
The Crimson faces off against Dartmouth Friday at 7 p.m. at Bright Hockey Center, before finishing the weekend by hosting Team Russia in an exhibition contest Saturday at 3 p.m.