Coming off a road split the previous weekend against Ivy foes Brown and Yale, the Harvard women’s ice hockey teams returned to Bright Landry to take on ECAC opponents Cornell and Colgate.
After getting blanked out, 4-0, in its first game against the Raiders (18-7-3, 9-6-1 ECAC), the Crimson (3-15-3, 3-10-3) made adjustments and bounced back less than 24 hours later to force a 2-2 draw against a top-10 ranked Big Red team (14-6-3, 10-3-3)
“It was more of a mental tactic,” co-captain Brianna Mastel said. “We know what we have to do. It’s just a matter of doing it and reminding ourselves how we want to play. [Colgate’s] game wasn’t really our style. W played more on our heels rather than on our toes and [Harvard coach Katey Stone] gave us the reminder that we need to move forward.”
HARVARD 2, No. 8/8 CORNELL 2
Despite converting just nine of 68 power plays on the season, Harvard used the player advantage on Saturday to tie a game after surrendering an early lead to the Big Red.
With just over three minutes remaining in the final period and in a power play situation following a slashing penalty on Cornell defender Erin O’Connor, Mastel gained control at the point following passes by co-captain Sydney Daniels and freshman defender Ali Peper. The co-captain sent a rocket past Big Red keeper Paula Voorheis to tie the game at two a piece.
“Mastel is doing a whole lot for us,” Stone said. “One minute she is playing offense, the next minute we take advantage of the TV timeout and she’s playing defense. And then [she] makes something happen with the big shot on the power play.”
Despite both teams getting a few good looks at goal in the remainder of the third frame as well as the extra stanza, neither side was able to break through. So it was that Harvard picked up its first points of the season against a ranked team.
Less than 24 hours after starting flat against Colgate, Stone changed her team’s lines, opting to go for youth by starting freshmen and former high school teammates Kat Hughes and Val Turgeon on the wings along with junior Lexie Laing–just the second time this season that usual stalwart Daniels was not in the starting six. Peper and sophomore Kaitlin Tse manned the blueline while senior Molly Tissenbaum started between the pipes after rookie Beth Larcom had started the night before.
The changes paid immediate dividends for the Crimson, which was aggressive in the early going with an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal before junior Haley Mullins found the back of the net to give Harvard an early lead.
Though the Crimson took control in the first, it was almost all Big Red for the rest of the period as the Cornell fired off seven shots at Tissenbaum to end with an 11-10 lead in shots on goal.
Harvard was finally broken just over three minutes into the second period as forward Kailin Doering found the back of the net for the Big Red on the power play. Thirteen minutes later, defender Sarah Knee put the Big Red up with a shot from the left circle after the Crimson defense failed to properly clear the puck in a scrum.
While Harvard was ultimately unable to come away with a victory, the result was a positive one going into a big game against Northeastern in the first round of the Beanpot.
“We’re feeling pretty good after tonight’s draw.” Mastel said. “Approaching the Beanpot, it’s different. It becomes a battle of Boston, and it’s a clean slate against everybody. We’re 0-0 against Northeastern this year, and we’re looking to be 1-0 against them.”
COLGATE 4, HARVARD 0