In a gritty matchup, the women’s ice hockey team fell to No. 4/4 Colgate 3-2 at Class of 1965 arena in Hamilton, N.Y. The match added another win to the Raiders now-three game win streak and handed Harvard its second straight loss.
“I would say tonight was probably our best full game of Harvard hockey,” sophomore goalie Beth Larcom said. “We’ve really been stressing playing a full 60 minutes, and I think that’s what we got tonight in terms of holding our own. Obviously, they’re a quick, fast opponent with some good talent, but we definitely held our own and showed that we belong up there with the best teams.”
While the two teams remained scoreless for half of the first period, it was Harvard (8-6-1, 6-4-1 ECAC) sophomore forward Kat Hughes lit up the lamp off of a loose puck in the crease with the assist coming from freshman forward Becca Gilmore. Hughes’ goal added to her season total of eight, which leads the team.
“We broke it out, and Becca Gilmore and Bradley Fusco were on a two on one, and I was right behind the play,” Hughes said. “There was a loose puck in front of the net. I took a shot, and I took another shot, and it went in. The goalie didn’t really see it, so that was pretty lucky.”
Colgate (18-3-1, 9-2-0) would respond a few moments later when freshman forward Malia Schneider slid a shot past Larcom for her 11th goal of the season. Schneider cleaned up a rebound off a shot from senior forward Shelby Perry, who got the assist on the play.
Perry would score a goal of her own two minutes into the second period on a breakaway. However, later in the period Harvard countered with a score from freshman forward Brooke Jovanovich, who redirected a shot from Gilmore. Gilmore’s second assist gave her her fifth multipoint game of the season, a team high.
The Crimson brought immense energy to third period, outshooting the Raiders 15-4 in the frame. However, Colgate would edge ahead four minutes into the period after senior defenseman Lauren Wildfang wristed a shot past Larcom off a pass from Schneider, handing Schneider her 15th assist on the season and three points for the game. The goal would prove enough as Colgate came away with the 3-2 victory. Earlier in the period, Jovanovich almost added her second goal of the game, but was ultimately denied by Raiders goalkeeper junior Julia Vandyk.
The powerplay was ineffective for both teams. The Crimson was unable to convert on seven attempts, while Colgate failed to capitalize on four of its own. The effectiveness of both teams’ goalkeepers may have contributed. Larcom accumulated a career-high 35 saves and Vandyk saved 25 shots of her own.
“I pretty much approach every game the same way,” Larcom said. “You can’t really take any opponent lightly, but granted, I knew going into it that I was probably going to see a lot of shots; it happened a lot last year in the Colgate game as well, but just getting out there and battling for every puck, and at the end of the day having fun, doing the job I’m there to do.”
Harvard returns to the rink tomorrow against Cornell in Ithaca, New York on Saturday and will face a couple of tough games in the upcoming schedule, including a matchup against ECAC top-ranked Clarkson.
“Our next three games are against all top-10 teams, and so was our game tonight, and I think that’s really good preparation at this point in the season,” Hughes said. “After playing Colgate today, who was fourth, we have an understanding for the pace and what we need to do in terms of hanging with the other team and how physical we need to play. That was huge going into our game against Cornell, who is sixth, which will be another hard, physical game for us.”
—Staff writer Leon K. Yang can be reached at email@example.com.
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