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By Emily T. Wang, Crimson Staff Writer

After Rensselaer provided an early-season shock to the Harvard women’s ice hockey team, the Crimson was ready to redeem the first loss of the season in its rematch against the Engineers in front of a home crowd.

The Crimson (16-2-2, 12-2-1 ECAC) faced RPI (10-13-2, 6-7-1) at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Saturday night and found redemption with a win, 3-1.

“I think we played a physical game,” junior forward Hillary Crowe said. “We really fore-checked well and kept them pinned in their zone which I think created a lot of opportunities offensively for us, so that was huge.”

After a scoreless second period, Harvard found an offensive opening when junior forward Samantha Reber passed the puck to sophomore forward Miye D’Oench, who then waited for Crowe to position herself on the left side of the crease for the goal. Crowe slid past a RPI defender to beat the goaltender and connect with the back of the net.

“Anytime you can get a little bit more of a cushion, it helps,” coach Maura Crowell said. “[The second goal] rejuvenated the bench and the confidence went up from there. It was a tight game. RPI is a good team, and they play hard. They have some dangerous weapons up front and they showed that and stifled us for quite a while.”

Crowe’s goal widened the lead to two, 3-1, for Harvard. Crowe also tallied her tenth goal of the season, and second of the game.

Harvard sophomore goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer had 30 total saves through the contest, compared to RPI goalie Kelly O’Brien, who had 18 saves. The Engineers outshot the Crimson, 31-21, but Maschmeyer turned aside almost all of their attempts. Maschmeyer’s save percentage is now at .956, with 455 total saves this season.

“We were supporting each other really well,” junior defenseman Sarah Edney said. “Especially behind the net and in neutral zone. Our goalies have been supporting our defense well and talking to us on the defensive end.”

15 seconds after Harvard scored its second goal of the game, Rensselaer responded with a try from junior forward Ali Svoboda. Svoboda slapped a shot through the Crimson defense, and while Maschmeyer had her glove on the puck, it managed to slide barely past the goal line to make the score 2-1 halfway through the closing frame.

Despite coming away with the win, Harvard encountered difficulty at the face-off circle, capturing 15 compared to the Engineers’ 26 face-off victories.

And while four power play opportunities present themselves through the second period, the middle 20 minutes saw no action inside the net. There were also the most total shot attempts during this period—19 between the two teams—even though none were converted.

The slow second half of the first period and entire second period were preceded by Crowe’s first goal of the game. Edney intercepted an RPI pass and sent the puck up to her teammate, who patiently waited for the opportunity to slip it to the back of the net, past O’Brien. Edney has had eight other assists this season, second only to Reber.

Harvard’s total penalties shot up to six by the third period. During the second period, the Engineers were given with a 3-on-5 advantage but were unable to convert against the Crimson’s penalty kill. In fact, both Harvard and RPI went 0-for-2 and 0-for-6, respectively, on power plays.

“I think that especially as the second game of the weekend we really came together as a team,” Edney said. “Our penalty kills were solid two-minute kills, which was a really strong part of our game.”

In an effort to score a quick goal to tie the game, the Engineers pulled their goalie with a minute left, creating an opportunity for the Crimson when sophomore forward Mary Parker forced a turnover. Using the pass from senior defenseman Elizabeth Parker, D’Oench skated up the blueline to score the second empty netter in four games with 37 seconds left on the clock. The third Harvard goal secured the win, 3-1. D’Oench’s goal was her 11th this season, making her the leading scorer on the Crimson’s side.

With the win against RPI, the Harvard women’s hockey team retains ownership of first place in the ECAC, three points ahead of runner-up Clarkson.

Crimson staff writer Emily T. Wang can be reached at emilywang@college.harvard.edu.

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