Jillian Dempsey netted Harvard's first goal in a 2-1 win over Clarkson Friday night (Gil Talbot).
Katey Stone Postgame Comments
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's hockey team faced a 1-0 deficit early in the second period, but two goals in the back half of the frame and solid penalty killing in the third allowed Harvard to skate away with a gutsy, 2-1, win over Clarkson Friday at Bright Hockey Center. The win marks the second 2-1 victory over the Golden Knights (7-4-4, 3-3-1 ECAC) this season and gives Harvard (4-1-0, 4-1-0 ECAC) the season series sweep for the first time since 2007-08.
After a quiet first period, the Golden Knights struck first, taking advantage of the third Harvard penalty of the game. Carly Mercer slipped a pass to Hailey Wood and Wood fed Jamie Lee Rattray who beat Harvard goalie Laura Bellamy from close range for a 1-0 lead 6:45 into the second period.
The Crimson had some good looks but came up empty on its next power-play, but a Clarkson penalty at 14:37 of the second enabled Harvard to knot the score. Marissa Gedman led Gina McDonald into the right corner with a pass and McDonald redirected the puck back across the goalmouth to a streaking Jillian Dempsey, who one-timed the shot past Erica Howe for a power-play tally at 15:01.
Harvard took its first lead of the game just 47 seconds later, as Hillary Crowe muscled through a crowd in front of the net and shoved home a trickling puck for a 2-1 lead. Hilary Hayssen and Kalley Armstrong assisted on the play. Clarkson made a final push in the period, but Bellamy made a trio of sprawling saves to secure the 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Clarkson looked primed to net the equalizer late in the third as a trio of Harvard penalties, including back-to-back infractions that put Clarkson on a 5-on-3, pinned Harvard in its own zone. Bellamy stayed true and managed to fend off a barrage of shots and even after the Golden Knights pulled their goalie with just over a minute to play, the Crimson defense was sure.
The two teams stayed consistent with the rest of the league in the first period as all four ECAC matchups on the night finished the opening frame with no score. The Golden Knights were efficient on the penalty kill, stymieing the Crimson on a pair of power-play opportunities. Harvard answered back later in the first with a penalty kill of its own and the period ended with the guests holding an 11-9 advantage in shots.
Bellamy finished with 29 saves in the game as the Crimson killed five of six Clarkson power-plays. Howe ended the night with 26 stops while Armstrong picked up her team-leading fifth assist of the season.
The Crimson returns to the ice tomorrow afternoon for a 4 p.m., showdown with St. Lawrence.