Laing's two goals lift Harvard to its eighth consecutive victory. (Elan Kawesch)
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Behind four first-period goals, the No. 6/6 Harvard women's hockey team stormed past Union on Friday night, 7-1, for its eighth consecutive victory. For the second straight outing, freshman Lexie Laing found the back of the net twice for the Crimson, adding two assists for a career-high four points.
Karly Heffernan (1-0—1), Lyndsey Fry (1-1—2), Abbey Frazer (1-0—1), Samantha Reber (1-0—1) and Briana Mastel (1-1—2) all chipped in with goals in the winning effort. In net, Brianna Laing picked up her fifth win on the season in as many starts thanks to nine saves in 40 minutes of action. Molly Tissenbaum also turned aside nine shots in the third period alone, allowing just one late goal to the Dutchwomen.
Harvard sent in 14 shots in the first period alone, finishing the game with a 31-19 advantage. For the seventh straight game, the Crimson penalty kill units shut down the oppositions power play, holding Union to zero goals on three chances. With the three kills, Harvard has now successfully fended off 24 consecutive power plays. The Crimson's own power play unit etched one more to its total, going 1-for-2 on Friday.
Lexie Laing started the first-period onslaught with a put-back at the 5:21 mark. After navigating the puck through traffic, Josephine Pucci (0-1—1) and Mary Parker (0-2—2) eventually guided the puck to Laing's stick for the early score.
In the next five minutes of action, both Heffernan and Fry added to the tally with scores to give Harvard a 3-0 lead midway through the opening frame. After earning its first power play on the day, the Crimson had luck thanks to Frazer, who buried a shot from Laing on the right side of the cage to make it 4-0 into the first intermission.
A speedy second period almost featured no scoring action between the two teams, though shots were 8-6 in favor of Harvard, but with just .01 second on the clock, Reber tipped in a Mastel shot to beat the buzzer and extend the lead to a comfortable 5-0.
Mastel would earn her goal in the third period, just 5:08 into the frame. After collecting a loose puck in the faceoff circle, the sophomore fired on target, just beating new Union goalie Alexx Ridding to the top left corner for her second career goal.
Laing added her second tally of the night minutes later, burying a feathered pass from Michelle Picard to make it 7-0 in favor of the Crimson. Though Union escaped from being shutout, Harvard ultimately proved to be too much in the 7-1 victory.
The Crimson turns its attention to Rensselaer on Saturday, before stepping out of ECAC play for one at New Hampshire on Wednesday.