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Any thoughts of starting the new year on the right foot disappeared for the Harvard women’s hockey team on Friday night when No. 10 Princeton handed the Crimson its second straight loss, a disappointing 6-3 defeat at Hobey Baker Rink. Harvard (14-2-1, 6-2-0 ECAC) bounced back yesterday, topping Yale 5-1 at Ingalls Rink.
The Crimson was plagued by time spent in the box during both contests, suffering the effects of 28 penalty minutes against the Tigers—including 22 co-captain Angela Ruggiero single-handedly garnered—and 14 more against the Bulldogs.
Both co-captain Lauren McAuliffe and sophomore Julie Chu posted two goals and three assists over the weekend, while Ruggiero extended her point-game streak to 17 games, tallying at least one score in every game thus far this season.
Friday’s loss marked the first time Harvard has lost twice in a row since the 2001-2002 season and dropped the Crimson into third place in the ECAC standings behind Dartmouth and Brown.
Harvard 5, Yale 1
Trailing1-0 after a slow start, the Crimson rallied late in the first period and came out swinging in the second, rattling off five unanswered goals against the Bulldogs (7-9-3, 4-5-0 ECAC) en route to a comfortable victory in a refreshing performance after Friday night’s game.
McAuliffe led the way with four points, scoring one goal and three assists in Harvard’s furious second period strike.
“We stuck to our own game plan and didn’t let what they were doing affect our style of hockey,” McAullife said.
Similar to Princeton’s strategy, Yale tried to shadow Ruggiero and play a physical game, but the Crimson would not be fazed.
Much of the credit for Harvard’s five goals belonged to the third line, consisting of junior winger Kat Sweet, sophomore center Carrie Schroyer, and freshman winger Lisa Solley.
“Our third line played well and was definitely a part of the difference in the game,” said junior forward Nicole Corriero. “The Sweet-Schroyer-Solley line was making a lot of things happen and sparked the other lines. We started coming on late in the first period, then in the first shift of the second we put one home.”
The Crimson started that first shift on the man-advantage and Chu knocked in the first of her two power play goals of the period just 45 seconds into play.
Though the third line helped generate the Harvard attack early on in the game, the shift did not post a score until the third period, when Sweet and Solley assisted on a Ruggiero goal to put the exclamation point on the Crimson’s victory.
Corriero showcased her own skills at the offensive end, notching a goal and two assists in the second period against Bulldog goaltender Sarah Love, who posted 37 saves in the loss.
On the defensive end, Harvard provided more aid than had been offered the night before to sophomore goalie Ali Boe, who responded by posting a solid 18 saves and allowing one lone goal mid-first period.
“We did a good job of rebounding as compared to [Friday night],” Corriero said. “That helped Ali [Boe] out, and she came through for us and played great.”
“Our defense was very solid–just where we want it to be,” McAuliffe added. “Things started to click better as the game went on.”
Though the Crimson was able to break a bad habit of not clearing the puck from within its own zone, Harvard could not shake the penalty calls. Out of the 14 total minutes for which the Crimson was penalized, 12 came within the final frame of action.
“There was a stretch when players were taking shots at [Boe], and we were just defending our goalie,” Corriero said. “We had four players in the box at one time, but since they were coincidental it didn’t make a big difference. When it comes to protecting your goalie, you expect to do some things to make sure the other team knows that no one can treat your goalie like that.”
Princeton 6, Harvard 3
With just 1:39 gone by in the first period, while on the penalty kill, Ruggiero fired a shot from center ice off a Chu face-off win. The puck took an awkward bounce past the Tigers’ goalie, Megan Van Beusekom, for a shorthanded goal.
The Crimson would have no such luck for the remainder of the game; in fact, the balance always seemed to shift in Princeton’s (12-5-0, 5-3-0 ECAC) favor.
Nor would Ruggiero skate as freely as she had in the opening moments during the rest of the game. The Tigers’ defenders, as well as the game’s referees, shadowed Ruggerio, and the Tigers benefited from the results.
With a minute left in the game, three Princeton defenders surrounded Ruggiero in front of the Tigers’ net. When all was said and done, Ruggiero headed to the sin bin penalized two minutes for roughing with Princeton’s Chrissie Norwich, and was given a 10-minute misconduct as well.
The episode reflected Harvard’s larger struggle in the game.
“It was tough to get a decent flow because of penalties being called against us and [the Tigers],” Corriero said. “That made it hard to build any type of momentum.”
“There were a couple of moments we started to get momentum and got off a few shots on goal,” she added. “But we had a 5-3 advantage and couldn’t capitalize. The chances were there. We just weren’t burying the puck. If we had, the game would have been completely different.”
Following the Crimson’s initial goal, Princeton’s youth struck early and often. Freshman Kim Pearce scored an assist and two goals, while fellow classmate Liz Keady notched a pair of her own, all within the first two periods of the game.
Julie Chu led the Harvard attack, assisting on each of the three Crimson goals.
Behind 4-3 headed into the third period, Harvard was unable to overcome its rusty play and lapsing defense, allowing the deficit to swell to three.
The Crimson struggled to control its rebounds and the Tigers did not cease to pounce on every loose puck they could find in front of the net.
“[Boe] made the first saves, but they were able to capitalize on rebounds,” Corriero said. “It’s up to us as back-forwards and defenders to clean out the rebounds.”
McAuliffe attributed the high score to a larger meltdown on Harvard’s defensive end.
“We weren’t able to get the puck out of the corners, and we didn’t get to a lot of the players as quickly as we should have,” she said. “We weren’t as effective and efficient as we should have been. We didn’t give [Boe] much of a chance.”
Unlike Princeton, the Crimson was unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Harvard was held scoreless in the final frame despite 20 shots on goal, while the Tigers managed two goals on four shots in the third period.
Van Beusekom stonewalled 36 Crimson shots for the victory, while Boe made 19 saves in the loss.
Harvard returns to action Tuesday, when the Crimson travels to Chestnut Hill to take on the Boston College at 8 p.m. in the 26th annual Beanpot.
—Staff writer John R. Hein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
W. HOCKEY 5, Yale 1
at Ingalls Rink
Yale (7-9-3, 4-4-0 ECAC) 1 0 0 – 1
Harvard (14-2-1, 6-2-0 ECAC) 0 4 1 – 5
First Period: Y, Sharun (unassisted), 8:16. Second Period: H, Chu (Corriero, McAuliffe), :45 (pp). H, McAuliffe (Corriero, Cahow), 7:30. H, Corriero (McAuliffe), 9:41. H, Chu (McAuliffe, Johnston), 19:10. Third Period: H, Ruggiero (Sweet, Solley), 3:34. Shots: Y 6-6-7 19, H 16-16-10 42. Powerplay: Y 0-3, H 2-6. Goalies: Y Love (42-37), H Boe (19-18). A: 1335.
W. HOCKEY 3, Princeton 6
at Hobey Baker Rink
Princeton (12-5-0, 5-3-0 ECAC) 2 2 2 – 6
Harvard (13-2-1, 5-2-0 ECAC) 2 1 0 – 4
First Period: H, Ruggiero (Chu), 1:39 (sh). P, Pearce (Brown), 13:34. H, McAuliffe (Banfield, Chu), 15:49 (pp). P, Keady (Pearce, Maglione), 18:19. Second Period: P, Keady (unassisted), 3:14. H, Corriero (Weaver, Chu), 13:39. P, Pearce (Stewart), 16:37. Third Period: P, Stewart (Anderson), 5:23. P, Anderson (unassisted), 17:42. Shots: P 13-8-4 25, H 8-11-20 39. Powerplay: P 0-6, H 1-8. Goalies: P Van Beusekom (39-36), H Boe (25-19). A: 723.
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