The Harvard-Yale rivalry moved from the field to the ice as the Crimson women’s hockey team (12-2-2, 8-2-1 ECAC) took on the Bulldogs (6-10-1, 4-5-1) this weekend at the Bright-Landry Center. But this time, Harvard was unable to capture victory in its own Yale matchup, falling to the Bulldogs, 2-0.
Coming off of a 12-game unbeaten streak, the Crimson failed to come back as the Bulldogs secured the game with goals in the first and second period while Harvard did not respond, giving the team its first loss since November 1st at Rensselaer. It is the first time Yale has defeated the Crimson since 2005.
In recent years, Harvard has been nearly unstoppable at home, with a record of 7-0-2 this season alone in the Bright-Landry center. The team had lost only nine games in Cambridge since the start of the 2010-2011 season, but the Bulldogs have ended its nine-game home winning streak.
Yale came out quick, scoring early on in the first period. Junior forward Jackie Raines took the puck from the right side and dished it to sophomore forward Hanna Astrom in the circle. When a Crimson defender went for the puck, it popped into the air, giving Raines the opportunity to move in for a hard shot into the right corner of the net past sophomore goalie Emerance Maschmeyer. The goal was Raines’s fourth in as many games since returning from an injury last season.
“They worked harder than us. They had a lot more energy,” head coach Maura Crowell said. “They battled harder. They came to get to the loose pucks, and we weren’t getting any bounces. The puck was bouncing off our sticks and over our sticks. You work for that sort of luck and they were rewarded for it.”
The second goal for the Bulldogs came midway through the second period from sophomore defenseman Kate Martini. Yale had possession in the Harvard zone when Martini received a pass at the blue line and beat Maschmeyer.
Along with strong offense, the Bulldogs were backed up by the strong performance of junior goalie Jaimie Leonoff who had 29 saves in the contest. The Yale defense followed Leonoff’s model, playing strong throughout all three periods, including five penalty kills, three of which they did not allow a single shot. Leonoff is only the second Bulldog goalie to ever shut out the Crimson.
Harvard is no stranger to being behind. Just this past week against the University and Connecticut, the women were able to overcome a late deficit with the help of back-to-back goals from Elizabeth Parker and Sarah Edney. Against the fellow Connecticut competitor of Yale, however, they experienced a different fate.
Hillary Crowe and sophomore Miye D’Oench led the Crimson offense with six and five shots on goal respectively, although neither was able to connect. The team as a whole made offensive adjustments between periods, but it couldn’t get the puck in the net.
“You change your offensive attack when you’re behind two goals late in the game so just putting more pressure on them and trying to come up with loose pucks and put pucks to net,” Crowell said.
There is still plenty of hockey left in the season, so Crowell is looking for the team to use this loss as a motivator and not let it happen again.
“We have to work a lot harder… and not look past any teams and not assume anything about any teams based on their records,” Crowell said. “We’ve done a good job of that this year just taking it day by day. We let them get away with one yesterday and we are certainly not going to let anyone else do that.”
The team faces Colgate next weekend as it continue ECAC play. Last time the two teams met Harvard defeated the Raiders with a final score of 2-0 with strong performances from freshman goalie Brianna Laing, freshman defense Natasha Rachlin, and freshman forward Sydney Daniels.
“We had a lot of shots on net, but we didn’t play as well as we could have,” freshman defenseman Robyn White said. “We are going to come back next weekend and definitely play better.”
The loss was its first shutout of the season, though the team typically averages 2.75 goals per game and is used to winning by a margin of at least two, with only three of its wins being within one goal.
“I think Yale was better than us yesterday,” Crowell said. “They wanted it more and they got rewarded for that. Unfortunately we weren’t able to put up 60 minutes of hockey. We got behind and never really got back into it. They were better than us.”
—Staff writer Theresa Hebert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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