D'Oench scored her eighth goal of the season Saturday (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 5 Harvard women's hockey team faced a 2-0 deficit at Bright Hockey Center for the first time this season and could not dig itself out of the hole, as the Crimson fell, 3-1, to No. 6/7 Clarkson Saturday afternoon. Miye D'Oench scored Harvard's only goal and Emerance Maschmeyer and Laura Bellamy combined for 20 saves.
The Crimson put more shots on net during the game than Clarkson, 40-23, but the Golden Knight's Erica Howe came up with 39 saves. Maschmeyer had seven stops in the first period, before being relieved by Bellamy, who made 13 saves the rest of the way.
With the loss coupled with a Cornell win at Union, the Crimson slides into the No. 3-seed spot of the ECAC tournament. Harvard will host No. 6-seeded Dartmouth March 1-3 in a three-game set with the winner advancing to the ECAC semifinals, which will be played at the home of the highest remaining seed.
Harvard put on a resilient initial push, taking nine shots in the opening 4:30. Clarkson was able to weather the initial flurry, before building a 2-0 lead in the period. Carly Mercer, who had her first career hat trick earlier this season against Harvard, started the scoring at 12:58. Mercer sent a snipe from inside the left circle that traveled barely inside the right post and in.
The Crimson looked like it would get to the first intermission with a one-goal deficit, but Clarkson scored with only 0.2 seconds remaining in the period to lead, 2-0. Danielle Skirrow checked the puck up the right boards and followed it to behind the net. She beat a Harvard defender in the race, as the remaining seconds ticked down, and swung around the goal to send a centering pass. Vanessa Gagnon cut to the middle to one-time the dish past Maschmeyer.
With Bellamy in net for the second, Harvard kept possession for much of the period and attempted 18 shots compared to Clarkson's four. The Crimson pressure finally resulted in a Miye D'Oench goal at 11:35 of the stanza to cut the Golden Knight's lead in half. D'Oench shot from between the circles, while a defender skated directly in front of her, and put an attempt at Howe. The Clarkson netminder got her glove to the puck, but she was too late to squeeze it shut and the puck popped out, into the net.
Harvard sent more shots on goal, once again, in the third period, but Howe stood strong. Clarkson padded its lead four minutes into the period on its third goal, this time from Jamie Lee Rattray, and the Crimson failed to muster a comeback bid, as Howe blocked 12 shots in the last 20 minutes.
The Crimson has one game left on its regular season schedule before facing Dartmouth in the conference quarterfinals. Harvard hosts archrival Yale Tuesday with a share of the Ivy League championship on the line.
Today marked the first time Harvard has faced a 2-0 deficit since Nov. 18 vs. BU (L, 3-1) … D'Oench's second-period goal marked her first point since a goal Jan. 18 vs. RPI … The three goals allowed by Harvard is tied for the most the season. Previously Clarkson (Jan. 25) and Cornell (Feb. 15) scored three times … Katey Stone remains two wins away from 400 for her career … This is the first time Clarkson has swept the season series against Harvard in nine attempts.