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After coming off of a 4-1 loss to Northeastern in the first round of the Women’s Beanpot, the Harvard women’s ice hockey team (3-17-4, 3-11-4 ECAC) returned to the Bright Landry Hockey Center to face off against a pair of ranked opponents in No. 5/5 St. Lawrence and No. 3/3 Clarkson.
“We weren’t ready to play on Tuesday night and right from the beginning of the game, our focus and intensity weren’t where they should be,” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “I think we recognized that we have seven more games [coming into Friday]. If we keep working, we can try to get ourselves into the playoffs”.
Coming into the weekend slate, the Crimson had already faced 10 ranked opponents this season. The team went 0-7-3 in such games, with five of those contests going into overtime. In its matchups against the Golden Knights (21-4-5, 15-1-2) and Saints (23-3-2, 15-2-1) earlier this season, Harvard fell to both teams by scores of 4-0. The Crimson was much closer in both contests the second time a row and was able to secure a point against Clarkson on Saturday.
HARVARD 2, No. 3/3 CLARKSON 2
The Crimson’s second game in as many days came against the nation’s third-ranked team. After a scoreless first period, the Golden Knights opened the scoring in the second, as senior forward Cayley Mercer scored at 5:29 off of the power play.
“Our kids are really resilient, and it doesn’t always show in the box score, but we’ve been in that situation a lot where we’ve been down one, down two, and we keep fighting,” said Stone. “And it’s more about us than it is about anyone else. It’s hard to spot someone multiple goals and keep scratching and trying to win. But that’s a testament to them”.
Following its coach’s words, the team quickly responded to Clarkson’s goal. Less than three minutes later, junior forward Lexie Laing’s shot from the right wing was stopped but junior forward Haley Mullins was able to collect the puck and score. The Crimson took the lead with 19:01 remaining in the second, as Laing won a faceoff and fed junior defender Chelsea Ziadie for the one-timer.
Harvard’s defense held firm throughout the third period until a late penalty with 1:47 to play. On the power play, the Golden Knights pulled their goalie and elected to have six skaters on the ice. The gamble pulled off as sophomore forward Rhyen McGill netted the equalizer with 48 seconds to play. With neither team able to score in the closing seconds, the Crimson broke a school record by playing an extra session for the ninth time this season.
In overtime, the teams both had four shots, but neither was able to score the decisive goal.
No. 5/5 ST. LAWRENCE 2, HARVARD, 1
The action started early in the Crimson’s game against St. Lawrence, as Saints freshman forward Kalie Grant scored the game’s opening goal just 1:43 into the opening period. Despite the early goal, Harvard controlled the puck for much of the first period, outshooting St. Lawrence, 13-11.
Just over three minutes into the second frame, the Saints took advantage of a power play to push their lead to 2-0 with a goal from junior forward Kennedy Marchment. However, Harvard pulled to within a goal before the end of the period. Two minutes later, sophomore forward Kate Hallett and senior defender Briana Mastel freed the puck from behind the net. When the Saints tried to clear the puck, freshman defender Kyra Colbert deflected the puck past the goalie for the score, the first of her career. On the play, Hallet and Mastel picked up their first and ninth assists on the season, respectively.
In the third period, Harvard continued to dominate the action, outshooting St. Lawrence, 12-7. However, the Crimson was unable to net the equalizer, as Saints sophomore goalie Grace Harrison made 12 of her 32 saves in the period.
“It was a good game,” co-captain Sydney Daniels said. “We controlled momentum for a lot of the game. I think that’s going give us more momentum going into our game against Clarkson. I think if we keep playing relentlessly and pressure all over the ice like we did, more pucks will bounce our way.”
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