Women's Hockey Advances to ECAC Semifinal
Freshman goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer did it again.
After getting benched against Clarkson last weekend and sitting out Tuesday’s contest against Yale, Maschmeyer registered her second straight shutout of Dartmouth in as many days, Saturday at Bright Hockey Center. With the 4-0 win, the No. 6/7 Harvard women’s hockey team (23-5-3, 17-3-2 ECAC) completed its two-game sweep of the Big Green (16-10-5,11-7-4 ECAC) and will play in the ECAC semifinals next weekend.
Maschmeyer tallied 18 saves to record consecutive shutouts for the first time in her career. Friday, she stopped all 21 of Dartmouth’s attempts, her second-highest save tally in a shutout effort.
“She’s played well, she’s done well, she’s practiced hard and she’s very good when there are a lot of shots taken,” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “One of the things that I think was great was that it was an up and back game—we knew it was going to be—and she was focused and she was definitely sharp.”
The Crimson defense helped Maschmeyer in the effort, thwarting the Big Green’s attempts to control the puck in the attacking zone and successfully clearing the puck from danger in times of trouble.
“I thought everybody played very well in front of her and played good defense,” Stone said.
With the Harvard defense and Maschmeyer clicking, the home team only needed a single goal to complete its seventh straight quarterfinal sweep. It didn’t take long to get it.
Just 17 seconds into the first period, junior forward Lindsey Fry got her team on the board. After skating behind Dartmouth’s net, Fry turned and shot a backhander across the Big Green’s goalie, Lindsay Holdcroft, and above her blocker for an early tally on the Crimson’s first shot of the game.
“I think the biggest thing there was just taking it in with possession,” Fry said. “Lately we’ve really been focusing on getting pucks on net and it’s really all we try to do and I was just lucky enough that it went in.”
Fry added another goal on a power play nearly two full periods later. With less than three minutes to go in the second, the junior located the puck after a save by Holdcroft and fully extended to push it back home, watching the puck get by a diving Holdcroft as Fry fell to the ice herself.
“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and put it away,” Fry said.
Just like she did in the first game of the series, senior Kaitlyn Spurling provided a third-period insurance goal for the Crimson. With less than 10 minutes to play, Spurling gathered the puck along the boards, and curved toward the goal. Left open entering the slot, she fired a backhand past Holdcroft’s goalie to give Harvard a 3-0 advantage. The marker was Spurling’s seventh in her last seven games. She had only netted five goals in the previous 26 games this season.
The Crimson piled on seven minutes later thanks to some precise passing. On the power play after a Dartmouth tripping penalty, freshman Mary Parker sent a pass from the red line across the ice to sophomore Samantha Reber in the center of the opposite circle. Reber then passed the puck back to Parker, who was waiting at the far post to tuck it into the net, putting an exclamation point on Harvard’s victory.
“Our kids don’t quit,” Stone said. “I’m always satisfied with how hard they work so it was really good.”
Harvard’s power-play unit scored twice on four opportunities a day after converting on two of its three man advantages. Entering the tournament, the Crimson’s power-play unit was a combined 1-for-15 over the previous four games.
In its three home contests against Dartmouth this season, the Crimson outscored its visitors, 13-0. Harvard will now travel to take on second-seeded Clarkson. The game will be played in Ithaca, N.Y. because Cornell is the highest-ranked seed remaining. If the Crimson top the Golden Knights, it will move on to the tournament final, but Clarkson beat the Crimson, 3-1, in both of the two teams’ matchups thus far this year.
“Those games we are going to have win differently than we did these games,” Fry said. “We definitely owe a couple teams some big wins.”“
—Staff writer Jacob D. H. Feldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jacobfeldman4.