Jillian Dempsey netted the eventual game-winner in a 4-2 win over Brown (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With strong back-checking and defensive play on the offensive blue, the Harvard women's hockey team outpaced Brown en route to a 4-2 victory, the Crimson's first in the young season, Saturday afternoon at Bright Hockey Center. The Crimson is 1-0-1 on the season while Brown slips to 0-3-0 on the year.
Despite several quality chances, the Crimson struggled to get the puck past the Bears' freshman goalie Aubree Moore until 1:29 remaining in the opening period, when Josephine Pucci scored on a committed effort. Stopping a Brown breakout attempt at the blue line, Pucci quickly accelerated and threaded the puck through two defenders, finally putting the puck into the top corner. Harvard outshot Brown 13-7 in the first frame.
Harvard continued to control the flow of the game in the second period, amassing 16 shots on goal to Brown's two. With 9:24 remaining in the period, Harvard struck again to go up 2-0. Rounding behind the net, sophomore Kaitlin Spurling found senior tri-captain Liza Ryabkina at the top of the crease. Ryabkina promptly one-timed the puck through Moore's legs to extend the lead to 2-0. Sophomore Kelsey Romatoski also assisted on the goal.
On an odd-man rush 58 seconds later, freshman Gina McDonald's well-placed shot caromed off Moore's leg, and Jillian Dempsey buried the rebound past the sprawling goaltender to give the Crimson a 3-0 lead. The Bears answered with Erica Kromm's power play goal with 2:57 on the clock. Alena Polenska assisted on the play.
The Bears came out with more bite in the early minutes of the third period, firing several successive pucks on goal. At the 16:00 mark, Samantha Woodward fed Polenska for a close-range goal, and Brown found itself within one, with the score 3-2. Laurie Jolin also assisted on the goal.
Things began to unravel for the Bears in the second half of the period with back-to-back penalties. Just 11 seconds into a 5-on-3 advantage, senior tri-captain Leanna Coskren picked up a flying puck mid-air and sent it to the back of the net to put Harvard up 4-2. Pucci assisted on the insurance goal. For the second straight game, Harvard topped 40 shots on goal while limiting its opponents to less than 20, finishing with a 41-15 shot advantage.
Harvard hits the road next weekend for a pair of league games at Cornell (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Colgate (4 p.m.).