Late Comeback Falls Short as Women’s Hockey Falls to No. 4/5 Boston University, 5-3

Late Comeback Falls Short as Women’s Hockey Falls to No. 4/5 Boston University, 5-3

Lyza Ryabkina netted a pair of goals against BU Friday night (photo courtesy: Gil Talbot).

Despite coming back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 2-2, Harvard could not stop Boston University from exploding for two quick goals within 30 seconds of each other and dropped a 5-3 decision to the Terriers Friday night at Bright Hockey Center. Harvard ends the 2010 portion of its schedule with a 5-6-2 overall record while the Terriers improve to 14-2-3.

Down 2-1, the Crimson quickly tied the game 2:24 into the third period on Liza Ryabkina's second goal of the night.  Ryabkina unleashed a heavy one-timer off a Leanna Coskren shot for the equalizer, Ryabkina's sixth of the season.  Josephine Pucci also assisted on the score.

The Terriers quickly quelled the excitement by answering 1:17 later when Jenn Wakefield slid the puck underneath Crimson goaltender Laura Bellamy, notching her third point of the game and 28th of the season.  Kaleigh Fratkin assisted on the eventual game winner.  The Terriers were not done, and just 28 seconds later, Jill Cardella stretched the lead to 4-2.  Carrying the puck on a 2-on-0, Cardella went top shelf to find the back of the net.  Jenelle Konanchuk and Catherine Ward assisted on the play.

With 6:19 remaining, the Terriers padded their lead when Marie-Philip Poulin added her second goal of the night on a scrum in front of Bellamy.  The tally was Poulin's 15th goal and 28th point of the season, tops amongst rookies in the nation.  On the play, Kohanchuk added her third assist of the night. 

With 00.3 showing on the clock, Katharine Chute put an extra goal on the board for the Crimson, assisted by Whitney Kennedy and Alisa Baumgartner, to bring the final score to 5-3.  Harvard held a 13-7 shot advantage in the final stanza.

The Terriers opened the game with a quick bite, as Poulin blasted home a one-timer off a Wakefield pass.  Kohanchuk assisted on the power-play goal.  The Crimson responded with a sense of urgency, taking possession of the puck for the better part of the period, but could not solve the hot hand of Boston University's netminder Kerrin Sperry, coming off two consecutive shutouts.  Harvard outshot BU in the period, 10-5.

In the opening minutes of the second period, Jillian Dempsey nearly caught the Terriers off-guard on a Crimson line change.  Skating through three Terrier defenders, Dempsey found herself in front of a sprawling Sperry, but was denied.  Less than a minute later, Wakefield extended the lead with a pass to Jillian Kirchner, who then sent the puck past a sliding Laura Bellamy.  With the Terriers leading 2-0 and showing no signs of letting up, Bellamy withstood a barrage of shots to keep the game within reach. 

With 4:51 remaining in the period, Ryabkina narrowed the gap, powering a one-timer from Kate Buesser past Sperry for her fifth goal of the season.  The goal, assisted by Dempsey, also snapped Sperry's streak of 180 scoreless minutes and closed the gap to 2-1.  The Terriers outshot the Crimson 15-7 in the period.

The game ended with Harvard landing 30 shots on Sperry and BU landing 29 on Bellamy.  Harvard now breaks for winter recess, and will face Union on January 7th in Schenectady, New York.