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Playing a pair of ranked opponents for the second weekend in a row, the Harvard women’s ice hockey team returned to Bright-Landry to take on No. 10/RV Princeton (4-3-1, 2-3-1 ECAC) and No. 8/8 Quinnipiac (9-4-1, 4-2-0)
Despite taking the lead against both teams early on, the Crimson (1-4-0, 1-4-0) was unable to hold onto its leads, falling by a 2-1 margin to both opponents to extend the team’s losing streak to four games.
QUINNIPIAC 2, HARVARD 1
With the Bobcats offense firing on all cylinders, a checking penalty by sophomore defender Kaitlin Tse along the boards gave Quinnipiac a power play opportunity just over five minutes into the final stanza.
Thirty seconds later, senior Emma Woods sent the puck across the face of goal to junior Taylar Cianfarano, who was parked right next to the far post. Harvard netminder Brianna Laing, who dived in an attempt to nab the puck, was unable to keep her balance as Cianfarano fired into the net to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. The scoreline proved to be final as Quinnipiac kept Harvard off the scoreboard for the remainder of the period.
“It was a hard-fought game and we ended up playing alot of defense.” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “We came out of the gates pretty strong and had some good momentum and then we ended up having to play quite a bit of defense and that’s tough. [Quinnipiac] is a very seasoned team and they’re tough.”
After two scoreless periods to start the game that saw the Bobcats outshoot the Crimson by a 23-8 margin, it was Harvard that took an early lead through freshman forward Val Turgeon. Streaking down the left hand side on the counterattack, the rookie fired a shot glove side into the net for her second goal of the season.
The Bobcats, whose offense had been largely sloppy up to that point, sparked to live and immediately began to pepper Laing with shots. Quinnipiac finally broke through just two minutes after Turgeon’s shot as freshman Kati Tabin’s rifle from the point made its way top-shelf.
The goal set up Cianfarano to be the hero for the Bobcats, while the Crimson were left to lament their second lost lead in the span of less than 24 hours.
The loss wrapped up a span of four consecutive games against four ranked opponents. While the Crimson was unable to claim any points during that stretch, the team insists early exposure to difficult opponents can only help the team.
“We learned so much and about our teammates the past four games.” Daniels said. “Obviously it hurts walking away without the Ws but we’re excited for the opportunity to meet these teams down the road.”
PRINCETON 2, HARVARD 1 (OT)
Just over a minute into the extra stanza, Princeton freshman Julia Edgar’s shot from the point found the back of the net to give the Tigers an overtime victory over Harvard. The defender’s shot rebounded off a Crimson stick, leaving senior netminder Molly Tissenbaum stranded as the puck looped over her and into the net.
While the team struggled against a powerful Princeton attack that outshout Harvard, 50-21, it exhibited a marked improvement from its earlier performances.
“I think we’re a better team than we were two weeks ago,” Stone said. “We’ve just got to keep our heads up and not get discouraged cause it’s a long hockey season.”
Co-captain Sydney Daniels opened up the scoring after a 0-0 first period as the senior took control of the puck just outside the crease following a shot by junior forward Lexie Laing before firing past Tiger netminder Alysia Dasilva for her fourth goal of the season.
Despite falling behind, Princeton continued to test Tissenbaum, who would end up registering a career-high 50 saves in goal. Along with Tissenbaum’s heroics, the Tigers were no doubt left frustrated with their power play as the team ended up failing to convert eight penalty opportunities.
Princeton finally evened up the game with just over eight minutes left as senior Morgan Sly collected the puck along the boards before sending a pass into the slot for classmate Cassidy Tucker. The senior fired it home to get the Tigers on the scoresheet and force the extra period.
“I think that after we score we get a little too excited and forget about our gameplan.” Laing said. “We just have to stick to our gameplan all game and after we score, after we let in a goal, nothing has to change.”
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