The Harvard women’s hockey team, now ranked No. 2 in the nation, rolled through its first two home opponents with crushing shutouts.
The Crimson (5-1, 4-0 ECAC) downed Colgate 10-0 and Cornell 8-0. Coming off road games against the other three of the top four teams in the nation, Harvard showed its dominance against the softer part of its schedule.
Captain Jennifer Botterill led the way with seven goals and two assists while junior defenseman Angela Ruggiero added two goals and five assists for the weekend. The two rank first and second in the nation, respectively, in scoring based on points per game.
The results were a far cry from a year ago when Colgate (5-7, 2-4) took a point from Harvard and Cornell (0-5-1, 0-5-1) actually beat the Crimson.
Harvard completes a three-game homestand against another unranked opponent, Connecticut, on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Harvard 8, Cornell 0
Against Cornell, the Crimson started rolling from the moment it took the ice but only asserted its dominance in the second period.
Harvard took the lead just 16 seconds into the game when Botterill took a pass off the right-side boards from senior defenseman Pamela Van Reesema and tapped the puck past the pads of Cornell senior goalie Sanya Sandahl.
Sandahl’s superb goaltending prevented the Crimson from finding the back of the net again until the second period.
“She was terrific,” said Harvard coach Katey Stone. “We made her look better by shooting right at her, but it was just solid goaltending.”
Though the Crimson dominated each period of play, the scoreboard did not start reflecting the team’s intensity until the second period.
“We took a ton of shots. The goalie made some big saves diving on the puck,” Botterill said.
Once again, Botterill ignited the Crimson attack with two goals to start the second period.
On the first of the goals, freshman Julie Chu claimed possession in the Harvard zone, sped down the ice and passed the puck across to Botterill, who cut in and beat Sandahl glove-side.
Junior winger Mina Pell, in her first weekend of action since the end of a stellar field hockey campaign, scored twice in the period as well.
“We definitely picked up our play in the second,” Pell said. “We try to take it shift by shift. Our specific focus is on small goals, like finding the open cutter. The small things lead to big plays.”
Cornell tried to reduce Harvard’s advantage in skill and speed with rough, scrappy play.
“They were physical, but mainly because they played man-to-man against us,” Botterill said. “Wherever you went, you always felt someone on your back.”
In the final frame of action, Botterill tallied her fourth goal of the night at 5:58. Chu again initiated the play, sending a one-touch pass to sophomore Nicole Corriero, who found Botterill in front of the net. Botterill shot above the glove of a sprawled Sandahl for her 13th goal of the season.
Harvard outshot Cornell 47-9 in the contest. Junior Jessica Ruddock made all the stops to earn the shutout.
Harvard 10, Colgate 0
Harvard made the scoring look easy, thanks to the array of offensive threats on its roster.
The Raiders, in only their second season of Division I hockey, were no match for Harvard. Harvard outshot Colgate 51-10.
The Crimson attack, which did not let up even while killing penalties, took a huge burden off Ruddock, who was forced to make only four saves in two periods before being replaced by junior Emily Smith in the third period.
Botterill put Harvard ahead at 4:36 in the first period. She created a scoring opportunity herself by beating two defenders from the right corner and scoring past lunging Colgate goalie Rebecca Lahar.
The sophomore netminder from Colgate had a long night ahead of her, as Chu slipped a goal through Lahar’s legs 37 seconds later. The Crimson posted two more goals before the period’s end.
The squad began the second period on the power play and capitalized 57 seconds in when Botterill, playing at the point, fed the encroaching Ruggiero at the left of the net to beat Lahar for the goal.
Botterill scored twice more in the second for the hat trick, including a pretty power-play goal set up by Chu from the right face-off circle at 9:22.
“[Chu] gave me a perfect pass across ice for a one-timer,” Botterill said. “When your teammates set you up perfectly, you have to finish.”
The Crimson posted five goals in a dominant second period. Corriero scored the lone goal of the third period at 18:58.
W. HOCKEY 8, Cornell 0
at Bright Hockey Center
Cornell (0-5-1, 0-5-1 ECAC) 0 0 0 — 0
Harvard (5-1-0, 4-0-0 ECAC) 1 4 3 — 8
First Period: H, Botterill (Van Reesema, Chu), 0:16. Second Period: H, Botterill (Chu, Hagerman), 0:27. H, Botterill (Corriero, Ruggiero), 5:32. Pell (Skinner, Schroyer), 10:06. Pell (Schroyer, Raimondi), 17:43. Third Period: Ruggiero (McAuliffe, Sweet), 4:45. Botterill (Corriero, Chu), 5:58. Raimondi (Pell, Schroyer), 9:20. Shots: C 1-4-4 9, H 17-17-13 47. Powerplay: C 0-3, H 0-0. Goalies: C Sandahl (47-39), H Ruddock (9-9). A: 250.
W. HOCKEY 10, Colgate 0
at Bright Hockey Center
Colgate (5-6-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) 0 0 0 — 0
Harvard (4-1-0, 3-0-0 ECAC) 4 5 1 — 10
First Period: H, Botterill (Corriero, Ruggiero), 4:36. H, Chu (Corriero, Botterill), 5:13. H, Banfield (Raimondi), 9:19. H, Catlin (Ruggiero),. 10:23. Second Period: H, Ruggiero (Botterill), 1:03 (pp). H, Botterill (Holbrook, Crum), 5:45 (pp). H, Botterill (Chu, Ruggiero), 9:22 (pp). H, Raimondi, 11:04 (pp). H, McAuliffe (Catlin, Van Reesema), 16:04 (pp). Third Period: H, Corriero (Chu, Ruggiero), 18:58. Powerplay: C 0-1, H 5-8. Goalies: C Lahar (51-41), H Ruddock (4-4) Smith (6-6). A: 375.