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With one shot, co-captain Angela Ruggiero extended the Harvard women’s hockey team’s season-opening win streak to seven games, the best start in the ever in Crimson history.
The goal came at 14:08 in the third period against No. 8 New Hampshire—Harvard’s toughest opponent thus far in the season—breaking a 1-1 gridlock over the first two periods.
Ruggiero gave the Crimson control of the game with a powerful slapshot.
“I pulled the puck across, bringing the goalie to the other side of the goal and then shot it across into the corner,” Ruggiero said.
The goal was her fifth on the season, tied for second for Harvard, despite the fact that she has played in only five of the Crimson’s seven games because of commitments with the U.S. National team.
“She fired us up before the second period,” co-captain Lauren McAuliffe said. “When she speaks, everyone else listens.”
The game-winning goal capped off a stellar weekend for Ruggiero.
The senior defender posted two assists in Harvard’s 6-0 victory over Maine, bringing her season total to five. Against the Black Bears, Ruggiero had a hand in the first three goals of the game.
In the opening period, she assisted on junior forward Nicole Corriero’s score. Less than three minutes into the second period, Ruggiero registered a goal of her own to extend Harvard’s lead. Just a few minutes later she assisted on a goal by junior forward Kat Sweet.
After her performance this weekend, Ruggiero averages 2.00 points per game, fourth best in the ECAC.
“I was personally focussing on one game at a time,” Ruggiero said. “It was one of those times when everything fell into place.”
In addition to sparking the Crimson offense, Ruggiero also spearheaded the defense, which allowed just one goal.
“Angela was at the head of the operation this weekend,” McAuliffe said. “She was a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think Angela got beat one-on-one at all this weekend.”
Harvard will need Ruggiero and McAuliffe to continue leading by example against other top-10 opponents and physical teams it will play this year, including tonight’s opponent, Providence.
“Providence plays a game that utilizes their brute strength,” Ruggiero said. “Our style of play is more fluid, so we’ll have to play through that.”
If there were ever a player who could adapt her game, that player is Ruggiero.
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