Seventh Heaven; Seven-Goal Second Period Blasts No. 7/8 Women’s Hockey Past Princeton, 10-1

Seventh Heaven; Seven-Goal Second Period Blasts No. 7/8 Women’s Hockey Past Princeton, 10-1

Jillian Dempsey netted five goals and a natural hat trick against Princeton Saturday (Gil Talbot).

The No. 7/8 Harvard women's hockey team tied an NCAA record with seven goals in the second period, and Jillian Dempsey came within one goal of tying the NCAA record for goals in a game, as the Crimson pounded Ivy League rival Princeton, 10-1, Saturday at Bright Hockey Center. Harvard (16-7-1, 13-4-1 ECAC) helped solidify its No. 2 spot in the ECAC rankings while the Tigers (10-11-4, 8-8-2 ECAC) finish the weekend with a split against Harvard and Dartmouth.

Dempsey finished the game with five goals, just one short of tying the NCAA record. Her first three goals were consecutive strikes, giving her a natural hat trick, and Harvard its second hat trick of the 2011-12 campaign. The Crimson's seven second period goals is the first time for that occurrence since a game between St. Michaels and Sacred Heart in 2006. Harvard had scored seven times in a period twice before, the most recent time being Jan. 18, 2003 against Boston College.  

The Crimson let out all its frustration from a slow first frame in the second period, lighting the lamp seven times, highlighted by Dempsey's natural hat trick to start the scoring stretch. At 6:25 of the second, Dempsey took a pass from Kaitlin Spurling and fired a perfectly-placed shot into the upper right corner of the net from the right faceoff circle to knot the score. The Crimson took a penalty five minutes later, but that didn't faze the Harvard attack as Lyndsey Fry fed Dempsey for her second short-handed goal of the season and a 2-1 lead. Dempsey finished off her natural hat trick just over two minutes later, converting on a power play for a 3-1 edge.

Gina McDonald got in on the fun at 15:04, putting home passes from Spurling and Kalley Armstrong, and Dempsey struck again 1:51 later for her 20th of the season and fourth of the game. Armstrong got a goal of her own with 2:33 to play in the period, taking advantage of Spurling's third assist of the game, and Hillary Crowe made it seven goals in the period, stuffing home a close-range effort, assisted by Marissa Gedman and Fry.

The teams played most of the third without a goal, but with just over three minutes to play, the Crimson went back to work. Samantha Reber one-timed a Fry pass home from right in front of the Princeton goal at 16:57 and Hillary Crowe stretched the lead to 9-1 with an unassisted tally at 17:58. Dempsey collected her fifth of the night on a savvy redirect with just 41 seconds to play.  

The Crimson found itself in a hole early as the Tigers struck just 1:29 into the game to take a 1-0 edge. Paula Romanchuk stripped the puck off a Crimson defender and slid a pass to linemate Corey Stearns who beat Laura Bellamy with a slapshot for her third goal of the season. The Crimson had a handful of good looks in the period, including a pair of power-play opportunities, but started the second with a one-goal deficit despite holding a 10-6 shots advantage.

Laura Bellamy allowed just the single goal and made 14 stops for her 16th win of the year and fifth-straight in conference play.  

Harvard plays its last non-conference game of the regular season Tuesday when it takes on No. 4 Boston College in the Women's Beanpot consolation game at 4 p.m., at Walter Brown Arena.