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Women's Ice Hockey Drops Double Header at Home

By Ariel Smolik-Valles, Crimson Staff Writer

For the second year in a row, the Harvard women’s ice hockey team (1-8, 1-4 ECAC) faced off against No. 4/3 Minnesota-Duluth (10-3-3, 7-3-2 WCHA). This year’s double header was played in Cambridge, though the Crimson was not able to defend home ice and dropped both games to the Bulldogs.

Harvard 1, Minnesota-Duluth 2

In the second matchup in the weekend series between the two teams, the Crimson came close to avoiding its eighth loss of the season, but ultimately fell to the Bulldogs 2-1 in overtime.

After losing by a score of 4-1 to previous day, Harvard’s close encounter with Duluth showed improvement on the ice over the course of the home stand.

“The advantage to playing a team the night before is that you know what they are trying to do and how they play,” junior defenseman Chelsea Ziadie said. “In the game on Saturday we really stuck to our players in the D-zone and focused on our breakouts and tightened up a few things which really helped our game.”

With neither teams scoring until the third period of play, the opening 40 minutes of the game was a defensive standoff on both sides of the ice. Senior goaltender Molly Tissenbaum saw a combined 24 shots on goal in the first and second period, with the Crimson only being able to muster nine over the same amount of time.

It was Harvard who struck the back of the goal first. Assisted by senior defenseman Briana Mastel and junior forward Lexie Laing, senior defenseman Abby Frazer was able to break away from the pack and place the puck past Bulldog goalie Maddie Rooney.

The Crimson lead would hold for less than 10 minutes as Duluth answered the goal with one of their own when Ashleigh Brykaliuk fooled Tissenbaum with help from teammates Lara Stalder and Katherine McGovern.

As the third period came to a close without either team breaking the stalemate, the game was sent into overtime. However, it did not take long for Duluth to break the silence, as Staider had her second assist of the game, this time aiding teammate Sidney Morin in scoring the game-winning goal.

Though the loss did drop Harvard to 1-8, the improvements in play between the two weekend matches was tabgible.

“This weekend we really came together as a team and gave it everything we had,” junior forward Dani Krzyszczyk said. “The difference between Friday and Saturday nights games was that we truly believed in ourselves the entire game and never quit.”

Harvard 1, Minnesota-Duluth 4

Once again, it was the Crimson that notched the first goal of the game but failed to come away with the victory. On Friday night in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, freshman forward Kat Hughes netted her second goal of the season at the 11:19 mark of the first period, but that would prove to be all the Harvard offense could muster on the night.

The center of attention for the night was Bulldog senior forward Katie McGovern, who lit up the Crimson defense for two goals in the third period with one coming off of a power play. Duluth was able to convert on two of its five power plays, with the other goal coming from junior forward Michelle Lowenheim late in the third period of play.

Despite the dominance on the offensive side of the ice the Bulldogs showed late in the game, the match up with the 4/3 seed provides Harvard with heavy competition early in the winter.

“The beginning of our season is always traditionally is always very tough,” Ziadie said. “We play some great teams and we’re always up for the challenge. No matter who we play we’re always trying to do the best we can regardless of who our opponent is.”

—Staff writer Ariel Smolik-Valles can be reached at ariel.smolik-valles@thecrimson.com.

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