Securing arguably its biggest triumph of the season, the Harvard women's hockey team (8-7, 4-7, ECAC) defeated third-ranked Cornell,5-2, on Saturday at Lynah Rink.
The game began with ar. offensive outburst, followed by a silent second stanza.
In the third period, Harvard put the game out of reach and ended the suspense with two clutch tallies.
Freshman Tara Dunn inaugurated the wild first period of scoring at 3:52 into the game.
Cornell, though, responded at 4:11 when Morag McPherson scored on assists from Alison Stewart and Danielle Bilodeau.
Harvard stayed focused and pulled ahead 2-1 on a goal from freshman Kiirsten Suurkask, with Dunn assisting.
Junior Jen Gerometta then shot the game-winner past Red goalie Alanna Hayes (16 saves) at 15:05, with Junior Melissa Milbert collecting the assist.
McPherson closed the Crimson lead to 3-2 on her second goal of the game, but Cornell (8-4, 7-2 ECAC)could not score again.
This closed out the first period and it was a wonder, on paper at least, that the Crimson was in contention, let alone holding a one goal lead.
Critical to the success of the Crimson was the goaltending of sophomore Crystal Springer. During the first period, Cornell outshot Harvard by a whopping 24-4 count yet finished the period behind, 3-2, as Springer dominated the opposition's netminder. Springer's 22 saves were almost as good as Hayes' three goals allowed in four shots were bad.
In the second period, both guns were silenced as the defense took over and the game slowed down. Springer needed to make just nine saves; Hayes made 11.
Harvard broke the game open with third-period goals from sophomore Courtney Smith and Suurkask, who shot in an empty-netter at 18:25.
Springer stopped an astounding 52 shots for the Crimson, and dominated her counterpart in the save column during the third period, 19-1.
A frustration for the Crimson, though, was its power-play efficiency.
Harvard failed to convert all three of its power-plays. The denfense, however,proved resolute in killing all four Red Power-Plays.