The first time that the Harvard and Princeton women’s ice hockey teams met this season, the Crimson dealt the Tigers a 4-0 defeat, handily pitching its first shutout of the year.
Friday night’s rematch at Hobey Baker Rink was a much different story.
This time, Princeton (10-9-3, 6-7-1 ECAC) went toe-to-toe with No. 3/5 Harvard (17-2-2, 13-2-1), but a late power-play goal from sophomore forward Mary Parker propelled the Crimson to a 3-2 victory.
“At this point in the season, everybody is eager to get conference points,” Harvard coach Maura Crowell said. “We’re trying to hang on to first place, and they’re trying to climb up the playoff ladder. They were chomping [at the] bit ready to go, and we were too, so it was an evenly matched game and a hard fought 60 minutes.”
After a hooking call against the Tigers put the Crimson on the man-advantage midway through the third period, Harvard capitalized. In the latter stages of the power play, junior defenseman Sarah Edney fired a shot on net, which was pushed aside by Princeton goaltender Kimberly Newell. Parker quickly seized the rebound and beat Newell for what proved to be the game-winner with 6:35 remaining in the contest.
Crowell had one word to describe the performance of the junior: “clutch.”
“[Mary’s] got a nose for the net,” Crowell said. “If there are loose pucks in the slot, she’s definitely one that can put them away.”
The Tigers had evened the score early in the final frame on a power-play goal of their own from junior forward Brianna Leahy. Crimson goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer made a save on the initial shot from defenseman Rose Alleva but could not corral the rebound, allowing the forward to connect for the equalizer.
But once Harvard regained the lead late in the third, Princeton could not find a way to level the score once again. The Crimson defense held the Tigers to two shots following Parker’s go-ahead goal, and Maschmeyer, who recorded 22 saves on the night, stopped both.
“Going down and playing at Princeton is always difficult,” Parker said. “Princeton always is a tough team to play against. They always come out ready to go, working really hard.”
The victory extends Harvard’s winning streak to five games. It also marks the fourth time this season that the Crimson has come from behind to win a contest. Nonetheless, it was the team’s first such effort in quite a while.
Not having trailed for over 200 consecutive minutes, Harvard finally fell behind for the first time in two weeks in the opening minute of the second period. After having her first shot stopped by Maschmeyer, Tiger forward Jaimie McDonell poked the puck past the Crimson goaltender in the middle of a crowded crease to put Princeton on top.
However, it did not take long for Harvard to offer a response. The Crimson carried the puck into the Tiger zone after winning the ensuing faceoff, and Parker found freshman forward Sydney Daniels whose one-timer beat Newell just 15 seconds after Princeton had earned its first lead.
“We came right back at them, and that was huge,” Crowell said. “[There was] a big momentum shift once we scored that goal. We’ve done that several times this season, so I just think it speaks to the resiliency of the group and their confidence in each other.”
Momentum certainly did swing in Harvard’s favor following Daniels’ seventh tally of the season, as the Crimson struck again less than three minutes later.
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