The Crimson remains unbeaten in its last eight contests before heading into a crosstown showdown against Boston College on Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass – Looking to remain unbeaten for the eighth game in a row, the No. 4/5 Harvard women's hockey team did just that and more on Friday against New Hampshire in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The Crimson (9-1-1, 7-1-1 ECAC) handled the Wildcats (6-10-2, 2-3-2 WHEA) with ease, 5-0, behind a potent offense and stellar goaltending from freshman Brianna Laing.
Hillary Crowe led the aggressive Crimson offensive attack, notching three points (2-1-3) herself, while Miye D'Oench bumped her team-high goal count up to six (6-5-11). Dylanne Crugnale (5-5-10) and Sydney Daniels (5-1-6) also got into the scoring mix, each tallying their fifth goals of the year.
Not to be outdone, however, Laing made her second career start and shined. The Marblehead, Mass., native turned aside a career-best 29 shots to register her second shutout in as many games played. UNH didn't make it easy on her, firing away nine shots on power play opportunities. Laing and the defense in front of her killed off seven Wildcat power plays, pushing the Crimson to an incredible season total of 58-of-59 on the kill.
It was D'Oench who got things rolling for the Crimson just 1:48 after the puck initially dropped. Elizabeth Parker poached a mishandled pass from Megan Armstrong, flipping it to D'Oench, who raced up the ice on a breakaway. After a deke left, the sophomore slid the puck across the goal line for her 16th career score.
Midway through the opening stanza, Abigail Frazer one-timed a pass from Hillary Crowe, which redirected off of Daniels to put the Crimson up 2-0 early on. The assist for Frazer was her first career point at Harvard.
After UNH committed a penalty in the waning seconds of the first, the Crimson took advantage of the opportunity in the opening seconds of the second. Crowe started the play, sprinting up the boards with player disadvantage. After wrapping around the net, Crowe handed the puck off to Samantha Reber, who found Briana Mastel at the point. Mastel fired one into traffic, conveniently finding the back of the net via Crowe's stick. The goal was the first shorthanded score of the year for the Crimson.
Up 3-0, Harvard remained relentless. Just 1:18 later, Dylanne Crugnale poked away a UNH pass, taking up the center of the zone herself through the Wildcat defense. After splitting the blue sweaters, the sophomore backhanded one past Ashley Wilkes to give Harvard a 4-0 lead.
At the 14:51 mark in the final period, Crowe added another for good measure, her second of the evening. Reber set a play up from the right circle, finding her classmate right in front of the net, in prime position to bury the fifth Crimson goal.
Harvard returns to the ice on Saturday, looking to "White the Bright" against crosstown rival and No. 6/7 Boston College at 4 p.m.
Brianna Laing recorded her second career shutout in her second career start; she has now steered away all 50 shots she's faced this season … Hillary Crowe's three-point night is the second of the season for her (Oct. 26 vs. Princeton); the junior now has 50 career points … Abigail Frazer earned her first-career point as a Crimson skater with her assist in the first period … Harvard is unbeaten (7-0-1) in its last eight games, tied for the longest such streak in the nation (with Robert Morris).