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Women's Hockey Edges Out Big Green for Second Victory of Season

By Ariel Smolik-Valles, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard women’s hockey team’s only win this season before Tuesday night had come on October 23 at Dartmouth. On Tuesday night in Bright-Landry Hockey Arena, the Crimson (2-13-2, 2-8-2 ECAC) faced off against the Big Green (5-13-0, 3-9-0) and were able to garner a similar result, coming through with a 2-1 win.

The team had been on a four game losing streak coming into the contest, but the wins have not been far away. Since Nov. 11, nine of 13 games have been lost by one goal or have ended in a tie, making the opportunity to push through and be on the winning end of the stick that much sweeter.

“I’m so psyched,” sophomore Kate Hallett said. “This is huge for us. To be honest ever since we started this second semester there has been a new vibe in the locker room and we are all really excited so we are just going to keep pushing each other to get better.”

Hallett broke the silence for Harvard first at the 2:26 mark when she was on the receiving end of a sequence of pinpoint passes from a junior Dani Krzyszczyk and sophomore Audrey Warner which allowed her to launch the puck into the back of the goal.

“Something we’ve been working on a lot the past couple weeks is net front and getting net front,” Hallett said. “In hockey the puck is always bouncing and you never know where it’s going to go so if you’re net front you’re ready to pounce and I just kept thinking that’s my job.”

Dartmouth answered right back less than three minutes later when Big Green senior Eleni Tebano broke away from the fray and drove to beat all defenders down the ice. She went one on one with senior goalie Brianna Laing and fooled her with a shot to the upper left hand corner.

In last five minutes of the first period the Crimson came knocking more than once on goalie Christie Honors’ door with shots by Hallett and senior Briana Mastel that went wide of the goal or were deflected before being gloved by the netminder.

The end result would come courtesy of sophomore attacker Kaitlin Tse, who picked up her second goal of the season with a rifle from just outside the faceoff circle courtesy of assists from captain Sydney Daniels and rookie Val Turgeon.

Unlike the past three contests where Harvard has given up a goal when its opponent was man-up as a result of a powerplay, the Crimson defended its powerplay well against Dartmouth. When junior Haley Mullins drew a penalty at 3:44 in the second period for a cross check, classmate Lexie Laing quickly got the puck out of the Harvard zone and gave herself the opportunity to score but was tripped up in front of the goal and could not convert her opportunity. After Mullins returned to the ice, the Crimson dominated control of the puck, with three consecutive shots on goal to test Honor.

Harvard was tested in the final two minutes of the contest as well when Laing was flagged for a tripping penalty that gave the Big Green an opportunity to pull their goalie and create a six-on-four situation until the end of the game. The defense stayed strong as the final buzzer sounded, cementing the team’s second victory.

“Your best penalty killer is your goaltender and I think Bri did a great job tonight,” head coach Katey Stone said. “We did a great job in front of her too with our decisions. If we were going to pressure we were all over them and if we weren’t we’d lay off. We did a much better job coming up the ice too.”

When all was said and done, the Crimson left the ice having dominated offensively. Harvard led in both shots on goal and faceoff wins, with 31 in each respective category.

In goal senior Brianna Laing notched the win, improving her record to 2-4-0 on the season while making 24 saves.

“Obviously it feels pretty good to win and our kids got rewarded for their hard work,” Stone said. “We’ve talked about in other games how they’re worked their tails off and done a lot of things but haven’t been able to get over the hill and beat teams. So tonight was a really good victory, there were a lot of things we did well.”

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