Vaillancourt Tallies Game Winner in Come-From-Behind Victory

Cahow, Bassett also pot goals in second straight comeback victory

On Friday, it was the freshmen who paved the way for the Harvard women’s hockey team in a win against Quinnipiac. But on Saturday the veterans carried the No. 7 Crimson (2-0-0, 2-0-0 ECAC) to a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Princeton (1-3-2, 1-3-1) at the Bright Hockey Center.

Senior tri-captain Caitlin Cahow, junior Sarah Vaillancourt, and sophomore Cori Bassett scored the Harvard goals in Saturday’s challenging victory.

“I thought it was a great win for us,” Cahow said. “We struggled a bit in the second period and there were a lot of switches in momentum, but we were able to find a way to come back and win.”

The game-winning goal came in the 11th minute of the third period when the Crimson took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play. Vaillancourt had an open look from the top of the left side and slapped in her first goal of the season.

Princeton dominated possession in the early going and found the back of the net first. Tigers junior Annie Greenwood took a high shot from the middle of the ice that beat sophomore goalie Christina Kessler glove side.

Harvard had its share of opportunities in the first period as well.

The Crimson outshot the Tigers, 11-10, in the opening frame and 41-18 for the game.

Harvard came out with a vengeance in the second period and capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage in the third minute of play to tie the score. On assists from Vaillancourt and freshman Liza Ryabkina, sophomore defenseman Cori Bassett zipped a shot past junior goalie Kristen Young.

But Young turned in a strong performance, recording an impressive 38 saves on the afternoon.

“She looked like she was seeing the puck like it was beach ball today,” said Crimson head coach Katey Stone.

Princeton answered 14 minutes into the frame to take a 2-1 lead. On the power play, Princeton senior Lizzy Keady picked up a loose puck in front of the Harvard net and slammed it home.

The Crimson took the ice for the third period with its top lines reconfigured, and the changes set the stage for a quick pair of game-changing goals.

“In the third period the kids came out hard,” Stone said.

“We made some adjustments to our lines—it’s early and we are still working on it.”

In the 10th minute of play, Harvard rallied back to tie the score again on another 5-on-3 power play. Vaillancourt passed to junior Jenny Brine who slid the puck across the goal to a wide-open Cahow, ready to rip a shot past Young.

The Crimson has next week off but will resume play on Nov. 16 against Yale in New Haven. The team intends to remain focused and intent on improving.

“These are big wins for us,” Stone said. “We don’t take anybody lightly and we know that we have to get a lot better and we will.”