Seeing its first action in the rink in 2018, the Harvard women’s ice hockey team (8-5-1, 6-3-1 ECACH) split the weekend in New York, edging out Rensselaer (7-10-4, 4-4-1) on Friday and then falling to Union (6-13-3, 4-6) on Saturday.
UNION 3, HARVARD 1
In its second showdown of the weekend, the Crimson fell to the Dutchwomen 3-1 in Schenectady, N.Y., in a game in which sophomore goalkeeper Beth Larcom recorded the 500th save of her career. The mark came in the game’s scoreless first period.
After a defensive battle in the first, Union notched the game’s first goal off a wrist shot from junior defensemen Arianna Kosakowski six minutes into the second period. A little over four minutes later, the Dutchwomen added another goal past Larcom on the power play, this time from sophomore forward Cheyenne Harris cleaning up a loose puck in front of the net. Taking a 2-0 lead into the final period was enough for Union to hold on, as freshman goalie Coco Francis came up big for the Dutchwomen, stopping 29 of Harvard’s 30 shots on the game.
The Crimson countered in the third period with a goal from senior captain and forward Haley Mullins. However, with time expiring in the game and Harvard down 2-1, Union padded its lead as Harris collected her second goal of the game when she sent a shot through the the Crimson’s empty net.
Union converted one of three of its power play opportunities, while Harvard was unable to capitalize on any of its three chances.
“Tonight didn’t go as expected, but I think we started the game off really well tonight and unfortunately couldn’t keep it for an entire 60 minutes,” junior captain and forward Kate Hallett said. “But like our coach always says, we’re going to lick our wounds and get ready for the next battle.”
Hallett said she is looking forward to what the rest of the season will offer for the team.
“We’re a young team, but we’re a really close-knit group, and I think that with that, the possibilities are endless,” Hallett said. “It’s just going to be about showing up to play at the rink every single day, whether it be a practice or a game, so I’m excited to see where this team can take our talent and our camaraderie, and if we put our minds to it, we’re going to see a lot of success.”
HARVARD 2, RENSSELAER 1
In the first weekend matchup of the weekend, the Crimson emerged victorious in a gritty comeback win over the Engineers, 2-1, in Troy, N.Y.
Rensselaer recorded the first goal of the game after Harvard was penalized for hooking minutes into the contest. RPI junior forward Jaimie Grigsby cleaned up a rebound to give the Engineers the 1-0 advantage. The goal gave Grigsby her fifth power play goal of the season.
However, the Crimson bounced back before the first intermission on a goal off the stick of freshman forward Becca Gilmore, assisted by a quick pass from sophomore forward Kat Hughes.
“The play started with Katherine Hughes making an all-out effort on backcheck,” Gilmore said. “We had a lot of good opportunities throughout that period, so just a good hustle play and a heads up look gave me a pretty good opportunity to get on the board with a 1-on-1 with the goalie.”
Harvard tallied another goal with less than a minute to go in the second period, this one off a power play when freshman forward Keely Moy cleaned up a loose puck in front of the crease. This turned out to be the winning goal, as goalkeeper Larcom would stop 25 Rensselaer shots en route to her third straight win.
“We got a lot of chances and generated a lot of opportunities we wanted and played Harvard hockey,” Gilmore said. “So we were pretty happy with how the team performed especially after the first period, getting the rust off.”
Besides the team’s rigorous winter training, Gilmore said that she attributes the success of the team to strong camaraderie.
“Just to keep the competitiveness up between all of us and to play a full 60,” Gilmore said. “We have a lot of great opponents coming up, and we’re going to have to show up for every minute of every shift. That’s going to be huge for our team.”
—Staff writer Leon K. Yang can be reached at email@example.com.
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