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Crimson Outclasses ECAC Foe Saints

Junior Jillian Dempsey had a busy weekend for the Crimson women’s hockey team, scoring two goals in as many matches. On Saturday, Dempsey led the squad with five shots and scored the game’s final tally.
Junior Jillian Dempsey had a busy weekend for the Crimson women’s hockey team, scoring two goals in as many matches. On Saturday, Dempsey led the squad with five shots and scored the game’s final tally.
By Catherine E. Coppinger, Crimson Staff Writer

Building on momentum from a tight victory over Clarkson Friday night, the No. 10 Harvard women’s hockey team (5-1, 5-1 ECAC) closed out its first weekend at home with another conference win—this time over St. Lawrence (6-5-3, 3-4-1), 6-1, Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center.

“Anytime we can go into the weekend and come away with four points, that’s great for our team,” junior goaltender Laura Bellamy said. “But we still want to take everything one game at a time.”

The Crimson wasted no time getting on the board, as sophomore defenseman Marissa Gedman tallied her second game-winning goal of the season at 0:56 in the first period. Freshman forward Hillary Crowe and junior defenseman Josephine Pucci were credited with assists on the play.

“We got off to a great start [Saturday night], getting a goal less than a minute into the first period, and never looked back,” Bellamy said. “We tried to put on as much pressure as we could. ... You hope you can win a game when you score six goals, but the biggest part [of the win] was our all-around pressure.”

At 9:09, freshman defenseman Sarah Edney pushed the Harvard lead to two on a power play.

Edney, freshman forward Sami Reber, and junior defenseman Kelsey Romatowski worked the puck around in a strong man-up stretch before Edney tucked away the second goal of her rookie campaign.

“It was great to see us connecting and getting points on the board,” junior defenseman Josephine Pucci said. “We were also able to continue with that momentum throughout the game.”

Six different players scored goals for the Crimson Saturday night, and 11 players earned points, as a balanced offensive effort helped Harvard over the Saints.

“To have six different kids score just shows how well we are working as a team,” Bellamy said. “Our defensemen are getting some good looks on goal. … I think it’s definitely a positive to see how much everyone is pitching in on offense.”

The Crimson was especially effective on the power play, going three-for-five on the night with man-up goals from Edney, sophomore forward Gina McDonald, and Pucci.

“We have a lot of pride in our power play,” Pucci said. “Every time we get out there, we’re excited and we want to execute. It’s awesome that we’ve had some success in previous games [on power plays] ... but we want to continue to improve on it.”

In the second period, Harvard netted three unanswered goals to close the frame with a five-goal advantage. The Crimson scored twice in the first five minutes of the frame, as McDonald earned a power-play tally at 1:55, followed quickly by a goal from sophomore forward Elizabeth Parker at 3:28. Pucci netted a power-play goal of her own at 15:39.

“We just kept playing strong and never let up,” Pucci said. “That’s the biggest thing. It was great to have so many different people get points and do their part to get the win.”

Junior forward Jillian Dempsey led the team with five shots on the day, while Pucci topped the squad with four points on one goal and two assists.

Harvard also found success on the penalty kill, stopping all eight of St. Lawrence’s power-play opportunities.

“We know how important special teams is, and to be as successful in that area as we were [on Saturday] is also definitely a positive,” Bellamy said. “You don’t want to have eight penalties every game, but we did a great job killing them off. It was a team effort. We know we can depend on each other in penalty kill.”

Bellamy had a strong night between the pipes, recording 26 saves on the day. The junior netminder currently owns a .943 save percentage.

“It’s so huge for us that she’s been playing so well,” Pucci said. “It just gives us confidence, [because] she’s so strong in the back. We know we can depend on her back there. … She’s continuing to get better every day, and that’s definitely a big plus for our team.”

Down 5-0 at the start of the final frame, the Saints tallied their only goal of the game at 12:54.

But Harvard answered quickly, as Dempsey closed out the scoring for both teams with an empty net goal less than four minutes later.

—Staff writer Catherine E. Coppinger can be reached at ccoppinger@college.harvard.edu.

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