Late-Game Heroics Propel No. 10 Harvard to 3-2 Victory Over Dartmouth

Late-Game Heroics Propel No. 10 Harvard to 3-2 Victory Over Dartmouth

Pictured: Liza Ryabkina notched the game-winning goal in her first game of the season.
Photo courtesy: David Silverman Photography

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In her first game of the season, Liza Ryabkina scored a goal with 3:25 remaining in the contest to help the 10th-ranked Crimson to a 3-2 victory against Dartmouth in an ECAC Hockey and Ivy League matchup Wednesday at Bright Hockey Center. Ryabkina also assisted on a tally, while Jillian Dempsey and Josephine Pucci also had a goal and assit each. In net, goaltender Christina Kessler earned her sixth win of the season, stopping 27 shots.

Even though the Crimson did not muster its first shot on goal until the 14:30 mark, Harvard netted the game’s first goal as Dempsey gave Harvard (6-3-1, 6-3 ECAC Hockey, 3-2 Ivy League) a 1-0 lead at 16:05. Ryabkina found Kate Buesser behind the net with a pass, and Buesser skated toward the right side of the goal. Buesser made a quick pass in front and Dempsey chipped home the puck through the legs of goaltender Mariel Lacina. Harvard’s lead was short-lived, however, as Dartmouth (4-4-1, 4-4-1, 3-2) knotted the game exactly one minute later on a tally by Jenna Hobeika. Jenna Cunningham earned an assist on the play, as Dartmouth held an 11-2 advantage in shots against the Crimson in the first period.

After the Big Green was whistled for interference at 2:19 of the second, the Crimson power play went to work, scoring only 15 seconds later to grab a 2-1 lead. After Harvard won the faceoff in the Dartmouth zone, Cori Bassett took a wrist shot from the right circle that was saved by Lacina, but the shot created a rebound in the crease. Pucci tipped the puck through traffic for her second goal of the season at 2:34. Less than three minutes later, Sally Komarerk made it a 2-2 contest when she scored on a rebound in front of Kessler at 5:34.

In the third, Harvard controlled the puck for much of the period, outshooting Dartmouth, 18-4. At the 16:35 mark, Pucci took a slapshot on net that Lacina stopped with her right pads. The puck bounced to Ryabkina’s stick and the junior forward tipped the puck behind the goal line for the game-winning tally.

Harvard, which scored on one of its five power plays on the evening, held Dartmouth scoreless on with an extra attacker, extending its streak of not allowing an opponent to score on the power play to four games. The Crimson and Big Green finished even in shots, 29-29.

The Crimson, which has won three games in a row, will host No. 2 Minnesota in back-to-back games at Bright Hockey Center Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5.