Successful Penalty Kill Guides No. 8 Harvard to 2-1 Win at Colgate in Season Opener

Successful Penalty Kill Guides No. 8 Harvard to 2-1 Win at Colgate in Season Opener

Pictured: Leanna Coskren tallied Harvard's first goal of the season at 11:17 of the second period.
Photo courtesy: David Silverman Photography

HAMILTON, N.Y. -- The eighth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team killed two Colgate power plays in the final four minutes of the third period to earn a 2-1 victory over the Raiders in the Crimson’s season opener Friday afternoon at Starr Rink. Christina Kessler made 29 saves, helping Harvard (1-0, 1-0 ECAC Hockey) finish 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, while Leanna Coskren and Anna McDonald provided the scoring with a goal apiece.

Early on in the second period, Evan Minnick gave Colgate (1-6, 0-1 ECAC Hockey) a 1-0 lead as she fired the puck past Kessler at 5:32. Less than six minutes later, Harvard knotted the game, as Kaitlin Spurling and Randi Griffin earned assists on Coskren’s first goal of the season, coming at 11:17 of the second stanza. After successfully killing Colgate’s second power play of the game later in the second, McDonald netted a goal after receiving a pass from Katharine Chute with 1:10 remaining in the frame, putting Harvard ahead, 2-1.

With 4:07 to play in the third period, Harvard was called for a roughing penalty and the Raiders pulled goaltender Lisa Plenderleith to give Colgate a 6-on-4 advantage. The Raiders fired three shots on goal, but Kessler stopped each one to keep Harvard in front. The Crimson later found itself down a skater with 56 seconds left because of a tripping penalty, but once again, Kessler and the Harvard defense stood tall, as the Crimson netminder made three more saves to preserve the victory.

Colgate had a 30-22 advantage in shots for the game, including a 16-4 lead in the third period. The Crimson continues its road trip at Cornell Saturday at 3 p.m.