No. 5 Harvard Drops Road Contest at Quinnipiac, 1-0

No. 5 Harvard Drops Road Contest at Quinnipiac, 1-0

Pictured: Laura Bellamy made her second career start, recording nine saves.
Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography

HAMDEN, Conn. -- Freshman goaltender Laura Bellamy recorded nine saves and held Quinnipiac scoreless on two power plays, but the fifth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team fell on the road to the Bobcats by a 1-0 margin Saturday afternoon at TD Bank Sports Center.

In a scoreless first period, Harvard (8-4-3, 6-4-1 ECAC Hockey) fired four of the five shots on goal in the opening stanza, including two off the stick of Anna McDonald late in the frame that were saved by Quinnipiac goaltender Victoria Vigilanti. In the opening minutes of the second, Quinnipiac (9-7-6, 6-3-5) tested Bellamy, and the rookie netminder came up with two big saves on Bobcat rushes. First, Janine Duffy skated down the left side before wristing a shot that Bellamy turned away, and then Breehan Polic’s attempt from the right circle was batted away by the Harvard goaltender.

Harvard’s best chance in the middle stanza came on a quick move in front of the goal by Jillian Dempsey. Playing the puck in the right corner, Dempsey spun around, eluding a defender, before trying to stuff the puck through the pads of Vigilanti. The Quinnipiac goaltender covered up the puck on the play, as Harvard extended its advantage in shots on goal to 13-4 at that point. At the 17:12 mark of the second period, Quinnipiac’s Kate Wheeler slid a pass to Kelley Davies who fired a shot through Bellamy and into the back of the net, giving the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.

In need of a goal to tie the game late in the third period, the Crimson earned a power play at 16:07 when Quinnipiac’s Heather Hughes was called for slashing. On the ensuing chance with an extra attacker, Liza Ryabkina blasted a shot from the right point, but the puck hit Vigilanti in the chest, allowing her to make the save. With time winding down in regulation, the Crimson pulled Bellamy with 48 seconds remaining, giving Harvard an extra attacker. In the final seconds, Kate Buesser nearly tipped home a rebound in front, but the puck bounced over her stick and away from the cage.

The Crimson held the final count in shots, 31-9, and was 0-for-2 on the power play.

Harvard will return to Bright Hockey Center to host No. 8 Cornell in a key Ivy League and ECAC Hockey contest Friday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.