Penalty Kill Boosts Women's Hockey in 2-1 Win Over Rensselaer

Penalty Kill Boosts Women's Hockey in 2-1 Win Over Rensselaer

The Crimson avenged a 2-1 loss to the Engineers with a 2-1 win at Bright Friday night (Gil Talbot).

The Harvard women's ice hockey team withstood a late charge from Rensselaer and killed two 5-on-3 opportunities to capture a 2-1 victory Friday at Bright Hockey Center. It was the third straight win for the Crimson, which ups its record to 9-7-2, and 8-3-2 in ECAC play.  

The Crimson put itself behind the eight-ball early with a penalty just 2:50 into the contest. However, a solid kill helped build some confidence for the hosts and Harvard upped the pressure on offense through the mid-section of the frame, firing a total of 12 shots on the RPI goal. The penalty bug bit again at the tail end of the period and the Crimson went into the first intermission tied at 0-0 but with two skaters in the box.

For the third time in four games, the Crimson killed off a 5-on-3 and the resulting momentum shift saw the game's first goal, just 2:53 into the second. Jillian Dempsey picked off a pass at the blueline near the boards and weaved back into the RPI zone, dishing a last-second pass to Liza Ryabkina whose one-timer found the back of the net.

Harvard doubled its lead at the six-minute mark of the middle period as a trio of underclassmen combined on a pretty goal. Kelsey Romatoski poked a puck to Whitney Kennedy and the sophomore maneuvered her way through the opposing faceoff circle. A pass across the crease found a wide open Kalley Armstrong and the rookie put the pass home for a 2-0 lead. Harvard had two man-up chances at the end of the second but RPI held tight to go into the second break, down 2-0.  

The third period was marred with Crimson penalties with four in the frame going against Harvard. Early in the period, the Crimson again went two skaters down when Katharine Chute and Marissa Gedman took penalties 32 seconds apart. Harvard was able to kill off the 5-on-3 for second time in the game, but had more trouble stopping a man-up chance a few minutes later. The Engineers were able to get the score within one when Jordan Smelker slammed home a rebound in front of Laura Bellamy on RPI's sixth power play chance of the game. Harvard was able to hold off a flurry of offensive rushes by the Engineers to hold on for the 2-1 victory and improve to 5-1-1 at home this season.

Harvard returns to the ice at Bright tomorrow for a 4 p.m. showdown with Union.