No. 4 Women’s Hockey Heads to ECAC Hockey Semifinals, Tops Princeton

No. 4 Women’s Hockey Heads to ECAC Hockey Semifinals,  Tops Princeton

Pictured: Jillian Dempsey and Liza Ryabkina celebrate a goal in Harvard's win.
Photo courtesy: Kevin Burns Photography

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The fourth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team earned a two-game sweep against Ivy League and ECAC Hockey rival Princeton, as the Crimson picked up a 4-1 win in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series. Kate Buesser, Kaitlin Spurling, Liza Ryabkina and Jillian Dempsey each netted a goal for Harvard in the win.

For the second straight day against the Tigers, Harvard (20-6-5) grabbed a first-period lead, as Buesser lit the lamp with a shot from the top of the slot at 8:32. Josephine Pucci earned the primary assist after making a clean pass from the right corner, while Margaret Chute picked up a secondary assist after stealing the puck in the Princeton zone.

In the second, the Crimson continued to surge offensively, as Spurling batted home a rebound to put Harvard in front, 2-0, at 4:08. Randi Griffin fired a shot on net, which was deflected by Anna McDonald, and Spurling picked up the puck and shot it across the goal line. Less than three minutes later, Ryabkina netted a power-play goal, as she beat Princeton goaltender Rachel Weber with a chance in front at 6:40. McDonald and Pucci each collected their second helpers of the game on the play.

Princeton (13-14-4) clawed back into the game as Melanie Wallace tallied an unassisted goal 6:19 into the third period. Dempsey sealed the deal for the Crimson with 1:30 left to play. The freshman potted an empty net goal to send Harvard through to the ECAC Hockey semifinals with a 4-1 victory to clinch the series, 2-0.

The Crimson killed off all six penalties in the game and only allowed three shots while on the penalty kill. Laura Bellamy turned aside 15 shots in the game to pick up her 10th win of the season. Harvard outshot Princeton in the game, 39-16.

Harvard will face a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the ECAC Hockey semifinals March 5.

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