Coming off back-to-back conference victories this past weekend, including an upset win against No. 3 Cornell, the No. 6/5 Harvard women’s hockey team (7-1-0, 6-0-0 ECAC) had no time to rest, travelling to take on No. 9 Northeastern (8-4-2, 4-3-1 WHEA) Tuesday night.
“It was a hard fought weekend,” co-captain Jillian Dempsey said. “Maybe there was a little bit of tiredness. This is the first time in the season when we had a Friday, Saturday, Tuesday turnaround.”
Posting a goal in all three frames, the Crimson earned a 3-1 win against the Huskies. Despite more than 30 shots on goal, the team could not find the same spark that it had the weekend before.
“Honestly, this was not necessarily our best game of hockey,” junior forward Lyndsey Fry said. “Obviously, we are really happy we pulled out a win. But I think coming off such a high from the weekend, I think we need to be more careful next time not to get ahead of ourselves.”
Even with the win, Harvard felt that its performance on the ice was not up to last weekend’s standards. The climactic win over Cornell, followed by the quick turnaround to Tuesday night’s game, resulted in disappointing play on both ends of the ice.
“What we were really missing was just beating them to pucks and just going full speed all the time,” Dempsey said. “We backed off a lot and gave them a little more room, whereas the other night [against Cornell], we were on top of them. Cornell didn’t have a second to breathe. We had pressure right in their face, every single time they got the puck. Tonight, it was inconsistent.”
Dempsey, the reigning ECAC Player of the Week, led the Crimson’s offensive charge, tallying both a goal and an assist on the night.
On the defensive end, goalkeeper Emerance Mashmeyer, who earned both Rookie of the Week and Goaltender of the Week honors over the weekend, put up 15 saves on the night. The freshman is the only goaltender in the ECAC who still holds a perfect win percentage.
“You’re not always going to win pretty,” Dempsey said. “Sometimes you have to win ugly. You’re not always going be 100 percent. It was one of those nights where things weren’t clicking exactly the right way. We didn’t have our same drive and urgency on every play.”
But Harvard still managed the better offensive showing of the two teams. In the first period, the Crimson took the first shot on net and continued to put pressure on Northeastern, outshooting its opponent 9-5 in the frame. Forward Miye D’Oench gave Harvard an early lead, nabbing an unassisted goal for the Crimson nine minutes into the period. It was the freshman’s second career goal.
Harvard took its 1-0 advantage into the second period and controlled offensive possession of the puck, outshooting its opponent 8-1 in the first five minutes of the frame. The Crimson racked up 35 shots on the night, compared to the Huskies’ 16.
At 5:26, junior forward Kalley Armstrong found the back of the net to give Harvard a 2-0 lead. Armstrong’s goal was assisted by Fry and Dempsey.
Just over 11 minutes into the second frame, a holding penalty sent senior defender Kelsey Romatoski to the box. Northeastern capitalized on its one-man advantage, as junior forward Katie MacSorley scored with 34 seconds left in the power play.
But Dempsey picked up her eighth goal of the season off an assist from Fry to regain the Crimson’s two-goal advantage. The junior now sits tied for third in goals scored in the conference standings.
Harvard mounted one last offensive charge at the end of regulation, posting seven shots on net in the final minute. None converted, and the game ended in a 3-1 decision.
“If nothing else, what these games are doing for us is constantly building confidence,” Fry said. “It’s good to know we are on the uphill all the time, getting better every day. We pulled away with the win. We are going to keep pushing and getting better.”
Despite the less than stellar play, the Crimson managed to put away its top-10 opponent.
“It just wasn’t Harvard hockey tonight,” Dempsey said. “[But] I’m glad and I’m proud that we were able to dig down deep and even not having our best, be able to beat a strong team like Northeastern. That says something too.”