Power-Play Tallies Help No. 6 Harvard to 2-1 Win Over Connecticut: Kessler Ties School Record with 63rd Career Victory

Power-Play Tallies Help No. 6 Harvard to 2-1 Win Over Connecticut:  Kessler Ties School Record with 63rd Career Victory

Pictured: Kailtin Spurling netted the game-winning goal with a power-play tally at 16:12 of the second period.
Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Kate Buesser and Kaitlin Spurling each netted a power-play goal and Christina Kessler stopped 17 shots, as the sixth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to eight games with a 2-1 victory against Connecticut Tuesday evening at Bright Hockey Center. With the win, Kessler ties Ali Boe ’06 for the most career victories for a Harvard goaltender with 63.

The Huskies struck first, netting a power-play goal at 2:11 of the first period. After Connecticut (8-6-4) won a faceoff in the Crimson zone, Jody Sydor played the puck from the left point to the right side, finding fellow defender Cristin Allen. Allen sent a long shot that got through Kessler for the goal. The Crimson scored its own power-play goal later in the frame, as Buesser notched her sixth goal of the year. Cori Bassett passed the puck down the left boards to Liza Ryabkina, who was camped out in the corner. Ryabkina paused for a moment before connecting a pass to Buesser in front. Buesser fought off a defender and slid the puck into the lower left side of the net at 15:44. Harvard fired the final 14 shots in net in the frame, outshooting the Huskies, 16-7, in the frame.

Late in the second period, Harvard, which improves its record to 8-3-2 overall, grabbed a 2-1 lead as Spurling netted Harvard’s second-power play goal of the contest. Katharine Chute moved the puck from the lower left corner to the point and directly to Kathryn Farni’s stick. Farni wound up and blasted a slap shot that was stopped by Connecticut goaltender Alexandra Garcia. However, the shot created a rebound in front of the goal and Spurling backhanded a shot into the goal at 16:12.

In the third, the Crimson, which outshot Connecticut, 37-18, for the game, enjoyed a 12-2 lead in shots on goal, as the team held off the Huskies in the final stanza. Harvard finished the game 2-for-8 on the power play and each team won 27 faceoffs.

The Crimson will enjoy a 30-day break before visiting Princeton Friday, Jan. 8 at 3 p.m.