Led by the stellar goaltending of sophomore Ali Boe, the Crimson (12-0-1) extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games, posting a convincing 7-2 victory over No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth (9-6-1) Saturday night after coming from behind to stave off the defending national champions 2-2 on Friday.
Boe posted a combined 59 saves in two of her best performances all season.
In the last Harvard-Duluth match-up, the Bulldogs took home the national championship with a 4-3 double overtime victory.
“Obviously, all of us who were here last year remember that heartbreaking loss,” co-captain defenseman Angela Ruggiero said. “So it was nice to come back to the same place and get a win and a tie.”
Though Harvard needed a late third-period, power-play goal from junior defenseman Ashley Banfield to prevent its first loss of the season on Friday night, the entire offense came out to scorch Duluth on Saturday. Junior winger Nicole Corriero had a pair of goals and two assists.
With its impressive performance this weekend, Harvard staked its claim as one of the teams to beat in women’s hockey.
Although the Crimson entered the weekend with an 11-0 record, there were those who questioned whether it could play with the country’s best because Harvard had yet to play a perennial powerhouse like Duluth.
The Crimson answered that question this weekend with an emphatic “yes.”
“I think we had some doubters,” Ruggiero said. “This solidifies the fact that we are one of the best teams in the country.”
Harvard 7 UMD 2
After a tight, scrappy game on Friday night, Harvard came out aggressively on Saturday and put Minnesota-Duluth away early.
The Crimson pieced together one of its most dominating first periods of the season against a talented Bulldog squad. With four goals in the first 18:12 of the game, Harvard chased goalie Riitta Schaublin and stunned a Duluth team that hadn’t lost a contest by more than two goals all year.
“It was definitely a dominating game from the first period to the third period,” Ruggiero said.
The Crimson opened the scoring just 36 seconds into the game when freshman forward Jennifer Sifers scored on a rebound off a shot by Corriero.
Harvard continued the barrage on Schaublin at 10:41 of the first period. After getting the puck from freshman forward Caitlin Cahow, sophomore defenseman Jennifer Skinner fired a shot from the point that sailed into the net.