CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's hockey class of 2014 – made up of two skaters, Gina McDonald and Elizabeth Parker – celebrated Senior Day in style on Saturday evening as the sixth-ranked Crimson (20-4-3, 15-3-2 ECAC) outmuscled St. Lawrence (11-17-3, 10-7-3 ECAC), 5-2, in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
For the second time this season, five different Crimson skaters found the back of the net in the win, Harvard's 20th of the season. Samantha Reber led all scorers with three points, including the game winner on a power play six minutes into the final frame. In net, Emerance Maschmeyer stonewalled the Saints for much of game, ending up with 47 saves, five off her career high set against Boston College earlier this year.
It was Sarah Edney who got the scoring started in the first with a great effort on Harvard's first power play of the day. The junior defenseman positioned herself perfectly in between the middle of the zone, wristing a Reber saucer pass past St. Lawrence's Carmen MacDonald to put the Crimson up 1-0 midway through the opening period.
Just two minutes later, Hillary Crowe lit the lamp to give Harvard a 2-0 lead. Reber worked to dig the puck off the boards, flipping it quickly to Miye D'Oench. D'Oench then turned around to find an open Crowe who was waiting in the slot and one-timed it glove-side for her 13th goal of the season.
Though St. Lawrence pressured the Crimson defense, Maschmeyer padded away 13 Saints shots to keep the visitors off the board. But SLU took advantage of its opportunities in the third. With a 27-second skater advantage in its back pocket to open the final period, the Saints pocketed a rare power play goal against the Crimson. Brooke Webster was able to just beat a reaching Maschmeyer to cut Harvard's lead to 2-1 just 1:30 into the period. Twenty –eight seconds later, Ellie Williams backhanded a Mel Desrochers pass across the ice to knot things up at 2-2, making it a new game in a flash.
But Crimson retaliated in no time. On just its second power play of the night, Reber came streaking across the ice, and after D'Oench spotted her, sent in a quick shot past MacDonald to vault the Crimson back into the lead, 3-2.
SLU nearly had a chance to even the ledger once again with a penalty shot at 14:18. After being interfered with as she was mid-shot, Kayla Raniwsky was allowed to test Maschmeyer's mettle with the one-on-one opportunity. But the sophomore netminder was equal to the task, emphatically sending Raniwsky's shot away to preserve the lead.
As time was winding down, MacDonald was pulled from the net, but Mary Parker capitalized on the move. Parker sent in the Crimson's first empty netter of the night, thanks to hard work from Sarah Edney and Sydney Daniels along the boards. Just five seconds of game time later, senior Gina McDonald intercepted a SLU pass and sent in another empty netter to push the lead to 5-2 in the blink of an eye.
With the win, Harvard maintains its second-place standing in the ECAC with 32 points. The Crimson will cap off the regular season next week on the road, visiting Yale and Brown before the ECAC quarterfinals on Feb. 28-March 2.