Four minutes into the second period and still scoreless, the No. 9/8 Harvard women’s ice hockey team earned its second power play of the night against University of New Hampshire. Capitalizing on the team’s numerical advantage, the Crimson’s offense dominated the ice, with four players contributing shots on goal in just two minutes.
But Harvard could not find the back of the net, and the score remained tied at 0-0. After a shot from UNH freshman defenseman Jenna Rheault, saved by Crimson co-captain Emerance Maschmeyer, Harvard took control of the puck and raced it back to the other side of the rink. A scuffle ensued in front of the net, and sophomore forward Lexie Laing managed to slip the puck past freshman goalkeeper Kyra Smith 10 minutes in the second period. The goal gave Harvard a 1-0 lead, earning Laing her second goal of the season.
The Crimson (6-1-1, 5-1-1 ECAC) went on to defend its five-game win streak, dominating UNH (2-12-0, 2-7-0 Hockey East), 4-0, at home on Wednesday. Senior Miye D’Oench led the team in scoring with a goal and two assists while Maschmeyer recorded her first shutout of the season.
The Crimson did not find its footing until the second period. By the end of the first period, UNH had recorded 12 shots compared to Harvard’s 10, and had won eight faceoffs to Harvard’s seven.
“UNH was ready to play from the first puck drop,” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “It took us a little bit of time to get going. The first period really looked like both teams sorting it out, and they had a lot of very good opportunities.”
Maschmeyer, who is currently ranked third in the Crimson record books in saves recorded, kept Harvard in the game and thwarted UNH’s offensive plays. With UNH on a power play going into the second half, the Alberta native secured three consecutive saves to give the Crimson time to regroup its offense.
“Sometimes you need a little bit to get you firing on all engines and you’ve got to play good defense in the meantime,” D’Oench said. “Emerance was huge for us, so we weathered that storm and came out strong in the second period.”
Just minutes later, sophomore forward Haley Mullins got ahold of the puck and slid it across the face of the goal to freshman forward Grace Zarzecki, who found the back of the net for the fourth time this season.
With two goals under its belt, the Crimson played the rest of the game with the confidence that it lacked in the first period. By the end of the second period, Harvard turned the tables to lead 22-21 in shots and 20-10 in faceoffs.
“As the game went on, we started to tighten up our game and recognize what they were giving us. We took advantage of space behind the net, and then all of a sudden the defense would open up,” Stone said.
The Crimson scored again just three minutes into the third period. After a few successful consecutive shifts, Mullins stripped the puck from a defender and passed it to D’Oench, who tucked it into the net. D’Oench ended the game with three points, one goal and two assists, marking her third straight game with a goal.
“We spent some time regrouping, we made some adjustments and I think that helped a lot,” Stone said. “They ran a 2-1-2 in the neutral zone and I think we started to skip a pass and that made a difference for us.”
The final goal of the night came off a power play at 15:33 in the third period. Mastel and D’Oench passed the puck back and forth, before Mastel snapped it to senior forward Jessica Harvey. Harvey nudged the puck in for a decisive 4-0 shutout.
By the end of the game, Harvard led UNH in shots, 37-26.
“Getting that power play goal was a huge confidence boost for us, and going forward we just want to be better on power plays. The power play is all about creativity and working with who you’re out there with, and it ended up working well tonight,” D’Oench said.