Chu created the game-winning goal when she wrapped a pass around the net through the Bears’ coverage, finding Johnston waiting to knock the puck airborne over the helpless Katie Germain with 1:13 remaining for the thrilling 4-3 overtime victory.
“It was really scrambly, we were really working well down low, and then the puck just ended up laying out in front of the net,” Johnston said. “No one was even around me, so I just hit it. And it worked.”
The victory completed the weekend sweep of No. 10 Brown (12-7-2, 8-3-1 ECAC) for the Harvard women’s hockey team (20-2-1, 10-2-0) in a turbulent weekend across the nation in women’s hockey.
“It was a big weekend,” said Crimson coach Katey Stone. “To play a team like that twice…[and] come away with two victories is huge for us.”
In Harvard’s smoother 5-2 victory at Brown the night before, five different skaters tallied a goal to pace the Crimson’s balanced attack.
“I don’t care who [the goal] comes from, as long as it comes from somebody with a Harvard jersey on,” Stone said.
The weekend sweep was all the more important for the Crimson given the results around the nation.
Then-No. 5 St. Lawrence swept then-No. 1 Dartmouth, while then-No. 2 Minnesota split its pair with then-No. 4 Wisconsin. Harvard—now possessing the best-record in the nation—moved up to No. 2 in the national rankings released Sunday and currently stands second in the ECAC, two points behind this coming weekend’s opponent, St. Lawrence, setting the stage for yet another epic battle at Bright Hockey Center.
HARVARD 4, BROWN 3 (OT)
The 823 fans—Harvard’s second largest home-game draw this season—who packed into Bright Hockey Center on Sunday were in for a treat when a typical day at the rink turned into a dramatic overtime Crimson victory.
Led by two goals from both Johnston and co-captain Lauren McAuliffe, Harvard needed an extra five minutes to squeak past the Bears 4-3.
Midway through the third and less than half a minute after Brown’s Keaton Zucker put one past sophomore Ali Boe on the power play, Johnston answered right back for the Crimson, beating Germain for her first of two goals and putting Harvard ahead 3-2.
Johnston’s play is a further sign of good things to come. Her clutch goals come after an impressive effort from all of the first-years in the Crimson’s 5-1 win over Northeastern in the Beanpot Championship less than a week ago.
Harvard applied early pressure to Germain, who stopped all but one of the Crimson’s 15 first-period shots on goal. She flashed several spectacular moves as she stifled a series of quick point-blank attempts while sprawled across the ice.
The Bears, meanwhile, lit the lamp three times in the third period. Sophomore Ali Boe remained relatively untested early on, keeping the game scoreless through two periods with only eight saves, posting 14 on the night.