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Women's Hockey Blanks Union, 5-0, to Start 2011 Schedule

Laura Bellamy notched her first shutout of the season against the Dutchwomen (Kevin Burns).

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. –
The Harvard women's hockey team matched its highest offensive output of the season and goalie Laura Bellamy notched her first shutout of the year as the Crimson rolled to a 5-0 victory over Union Friday afternoon. Harvard ups its league record to 5-2-2 and overall mark to 6-6-2 while Union drops to 1-17-3 overall and remains winless in league play at 0-7-2.

A quiet first period saw both goalies answer the call on every shot they faced, with the Crimson holding a 9-4 edge in shots on net through the stanza. Two Harvard penalties gave the hosts a pair of power-play chances, but the Crimson penalty kill was up to the task, keeping the Dutchwomen off the board. Harvard turned up the intensity at the end of the period, firing a slew of shots on the Union net, but the period ended with the score at 0-0.

After a strong end to the first period, the Crimson came out in the second and didn't skip a beat. That beat upped the tempo of the Harvard offense, and the guests found the back of the net less than three minutes into the second. Rookie Kalley Armstrong nudged the puck out of a scrum at the Union blueline and Josephine Pucci bolted towards the net and beat goalie Alana Marcinko top shelf.

Harvard doubled its lead just over a minute later when another freshman fed another sophomore for a score. Liza Ryabkina flicked a puck to Lyndsey Fry near the Union goal line and Fry threaded a pass to Jillian Dempsey who one-timed the short range effort home for a 2-0 lead. At the 5:01 mark, the Crimson took a 3-0 edge thanks to a stylish finish by Kaitlin Spurling on a one-on-one with Marcinko. The Crimson outshot the Dutchwomen 16-4 for the period.

The goals kept coming in the third as Katharine Chute scored Harvard's first power-play goal of the game at 15:02 off assists from Pucci and Ryabkina to make the score 4-0. Just over four minutes later it was Fry getting in on the goal-scoring action, pounding home a Pucci pass at 10:34 of the third for a 5-0 lead.

Pucci finished the game with three points on a goal and two helpers while Fry (1g, 1a) and Ryabkina (2a) had two points apiece. The Crimson boasted five different scorers in the game and Bellamy needed just 10 saves to record her first clean sheet of the season.  

Harvard wraps up its weekend road trip Saturday as it takes on league opponent Rensselaer in a 3 p.m., showdown in Troy, N.Y.