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Women's Ice Hockey Splits Weekend Road Trip at Yale, Brown

Rookie Cookin'
Harvard's youngest players, like freshman defender Kate Glover, will have to step up as the team aims for ECAC success.

Making the trek down to Providence, R.I., the Harvard women’s hockey team snapped a seven-game losing skid with a convincing 6-1 win at Brown. After dropping a close 3-2 matchup to Yale in New Haven, Conn., on Friday evening, the Crimson tallied its most goals in one game since Nov. 17 against Holy Cross.

“I think we played Harvard hockey for an entire sixty minutes, and we brought a lot of energy,” said junior co-captain Kate Hallett of the team’s victory over the Bears. “We took what happened the night before, we came back with a lot of resilience, we were ready to play, and we just had a lot of fun.”

HARVARD 6, BROWN 1

The Crimson (9-11-1, 7-8-1 ECAC) made the most of its power plays on Saturday, while the Bears (2-21-0, 1-15-0) struggled to keep up from the very beginning of the game.

Sophomore Kat Hughes opened the scoring for Harvard within five minutes, redirecting a shot from the left side from her first-year linemate Brooke Jovanovich. With the Crimson looking dominant straight away, freshman Keely Moy added a second goal on a power play. The puck took a bizarre bounce over rookie goaltender Lauren Rippy midway through the first period to put the visitors up, 2-0.

Harvard added two goals in each of the second and third frames as well, with Moy grabbing her second of the night, and fellow rookie Becca Gilmore finding the net twice in the third period. Gilmore’s double dip gives her the team lead in points with 20, while she and Moy are tied for second in goals with 7 apiece. Brown senior forward Sam Donovan struck with ten minutes remaining in the game, but it was too little, too late for the team whose season has been all but over for weeks now.

In net for the Crimson was freshman Becky Dutton (1.26 GAA, .948 SV%), making her second career start and earning her first ever win. While sophomore backstop Beth Larcom struggled between the pipes against Yale the night before, Dutton provided some stability—albeit against a team that does not generate much offense—on Saturday.

The win at Brown moved Harvard up to seventh place in the ECAC and tied with Ancient Eight rival Princeton. With six conference games remaining, there is still plenty to play for, and the Crimson will be hoping that its losing streak will be forgotten as it looks to book a chance at ECAC glory with a top-eight finish.

“Our mindset is to get everything we can out of every practice, and to show up to every game ready to put everything on the line,” Gilmore said. “We have to find a way to come together and get wins against teams with very strong programs. I think we have it in us, and it’s going to be exciting to see what we can do.”

YALE 3, HARVARD 2

Harvard and Yale (9-10-4, 7-7-2) came into their matchup neck and neck in the ECAC standings, with the game holding big conference playoff implications. After their first meeting of the season ended in a 2-2 tie following overtime, both teams were looking for a decisive win against their oldest rival.

After a hard-fought but scoreless first frame, the goals poured in during the second period. The Bulldogs struck first through freshman forward Greta Skarzynski on a power play, but the Crimson was quick to respond, with senior Nikki Friesen finding the net on a power play of the visitors’ own less than four minutes later. Yale quickly bounced back, scoring two back to back goals before the end of the second period to pull ahead, 3-1, and chasing Larcom (8-10-1, 2.88 GA, .900 SV%) from the net.

Harvard managed to put the pressure on in the final period, but freshman defender Emma Buckles’s rebound goal with eight minutes remaining was not enough to secure a win for the visitors.

Despite the outcome, the Crimson took the game to its hosts in New Haven, outshooting the Bulldogs, 31-28, in addition to winning 33 faceoffs to Yale’s 24. Harvard was also better on power plays, converting two of its four opportunities, compared to Yale’s 1-for-3 record on the day.

“Obviously it’s always tough to lose, especially a big Ivy League game against Yale,” Hallett said. “They definitely came to play, and we did too, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the job done.”

Power plays were central to the Crimson’s offense in this weekend’s conference matchups. Before this weekend, Harvard had struggled to make the most of its 5-on-4 opportunities, scoring only ten times against shorthanded opposition in nineteen games. In stark contrast to this trend, the Crimson managed to score on five power plays in the Yale and Brown games alone.

—Staff writer Eamon J. McLoughlin can be reached at eamon.mcloughlin@thecrimson.com.

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