Kalley Armstrong's third-period goal lifted No. 7 Harvard past No. 2 Cornell (Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Jillian Dempsey scored a goal and assisted on the game-winner as the No. 7 Harvard women's ice hockey team snapped No. 2 Cornell's eight-game win streak, 3-1, to remain unbeaten in ECAC Hockey play Saturday afternoon at Bright Hockey Center.
Dempsey extended her point streak to 21 consecutive games, including all seven in 2012, with her first-period tally before setting up the game-winner midway through the third for Harvard (6-1-0, 6-0-0). Kalley Armstrong netted the go-ahead tally midway before Lyndsey Fry buried an empty-netter to put the game away. Michelle Picard assisted on all three goals, and Sarah Edney and Mary Parker both contributed one helper. Emerance Maschmeyer made 21 saves to pick up her third win of the season in goal and hand Cornell (9-2-0, 7-1-0) its first conference loss of the year.
The Crimson and Big Red played a back-and-forth first period with Harvard holding slight advantages in total shots, 17-16, including eight on target compared to Cornell's seven. The Big Red had the first opportunity to open the scoring as Dempsey was penalized for hooking just 46 seconds into the game; however, the Crimson penalty kill, which was leading the nation at 94.1% (16/17) entering today's contest, denied Cornell over the two-minute man-advantage to keep the score at zero.
Dempsey quickly redeemed herself as the senior co-captain gave Harvard a 1-0 lead just 2:04 after coming out of the box. Picard fired a shot from beyond the right circle that was blocked by Cornell's Lauren Slebodnick, but the Big Red goalie could not control the puck. It bounced in front of the crease, where Dempsey and Kalley Armstrong hacked at the puck, before the Crimson's leading scorer pushed it across the line.
Cornell evened the score in the second period 2:06 into the second frame. Laurian Rougeau drove through the left circle towards the Crimson's goalie, Emerance Maschmeyer, before sliding on the ice and dumping back to Erin Barley-Maloney. The Big Red forward shot towards a covered Maschmeyer to knot the game at 1-1.
Harvard ran a strong power play just over a minute later at the 3:44 mark. The Crimson made Slebodnick come up with five saves to keep Harvard off the board, but Harvard's best opportunity to reclaim the lead came with Cornell on the power play.
Just nine seconds after Armstrong was called for tripping, Cornell's Jess Brown was whistled for the same infraction on a Kaitlin Spurling breakaway, which gave the Crimson a penalty shot. Spurling skated in and attempted to go into the top left corner, but Slebodnick rejected the attempt to keep the game tied.
The score would remain that way until third period when Harvard finally broke through on a 4-on-4 situation. Harvard's Elizabeth Parker was sent to the box for tripping before Taylor Woods joined her 33 seconds later for interference.
Michelle Picard stole the puck along the boards and pushed it ahead to Dempsey skating down the left side. The senior co-captain pushed ahead in a two-on-one rush before dishing off to Armstrong crashing the right side of the net. The junior buried the one-timer in the back of the goal to restore the Harvard advantage.
The Crimson had multiple opportunities to push the lead to two, including a pair of power-play opportunities, but Harvard finally broke through after the Big Red pulled its goalie for an extra skater with 1:36 remaining. Armstrong blocked Alyssa Gagliardi's shot attempt, which Lyndsey Fry picked up and took to just outside the Cornell zone before flicking a wrist shot into the back of the empty net to lock up the win.
Harvard visits crosstown rival Northeastern Tuesday before hosting Dartmouth Friday. The Crimson also hosts the Russian national team in an exhibition game Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.