Powered by a hat trick from sophomore Kristin Della Rovere, the Crimson (1-0-0, 1-0-0 ECAC) raced past Dartmouth (0-1-0, 0-1-0 ECAC), 7-4, in the first game of the 2019-20 season.
Della Rovere, who led Harvard in scoring and was second in points last winter, notched all three of her goals in the third period, turning a one-goal game into a blowout victory.
“There were a lot of really good things that we did,” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “It’s always nice to score seven goals and get the offense going. Obviously it’s early in the season, there’s a lot for us to work on, but I like where we start.”
The Crimson’s offensive showing was encouraging. Harvard scored seven goals in a game just once last season, and Friday marked the first time in four years that the Crimson has posted that many goals against an ECAC opponent.
Despite Harvard’s offensive onslaught, the Big Green never went away in the contest. When the Crimson jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period, Dartmouth slowly clawed back to get within one goal in the second.
“I think the thing that impressed me the most about our game last night was how, when Dartmouth came a little closer to us, we pulled away a couple times,” Stone said. “That showed me a lot, that we were able to answer pretty quickly.”
Delle Rovere’s flurry of third period goals ultimately put the game away for Harvard. The hat trick was the first of the sophomore’s collegiate career.
“I think, in the first game of the season, there’s going to be ups and there’s going to be downs,” said Harvard sophomore Dominique Petrie, who led the Crimson in points with two goals and two assists Friday. “One thing that we learned from last night was that you can never take the foot off the gas because it might let the other team jump back in it. Even though they did kind of come back and battle back, I think we battled even harder and that’s what allowed us to ultimately end up on top last night.”
The Crimson dominated the run of play early in the game, jumping out to a commanding three-goal lead in the first eight minutes.
Sophomore Katie Tresca, who missed the majority of last season due to an injury, scored her first career goal two minutes into the game. Tresca collected a backhanded pass from Petrie and fired a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that snuck past Big Green goalie Hannah Humphreys (21 saves).
“It was awesome to see Katie Tresca score her first collegiate goal,” Stone said. “She had a tough year last year with a concussion, and to get her back into a jersey and be able to put that one in the back of the net was just awesome. Everyone was so fired up.”
Petrie added her first goal of the game three minutes later, slipping a shot from the doorstop between the post and Humphreys’ left pad. Sophomore Anne Bloomer scored the third Harvard goal at 7:48 in the first when she broke out on an odd-man-rush and fired a shot that went top-shelf past the glove of Humphreys.
The Big Green came roaring back in the second period with goals by freshman Catherine Trevors junior Jennifer Costa.
Petrie notched her second goal late in the second, extending Harvard’s lead back to two, but the Big Green again responded with a goal from freshman Currie Putrah 1:31 into the third period.
Petrie, who plays on a line with Della Rovere and junior Keely Moy, said that the trio’s chemistry “was on fire” in the contest. Moy recorded a career-high three assists, helping the line tally a combined 10 points in the game.
“We were reading each other well, setting each other up nicely,” Petrie said. “My goals could not have come from a solo effort. ... I think that overall, we were reading each other well on the ice, off the ice and all just having so much fun out there. It kind of just allowed our line to really seed and have a good performance.”
That chemistry helped Della Rovere to take over in the third period and score three goals, putting the game out of Dartmouth’s reach.
“I thought we did a really good job of adjusting when they got back in the game a little bit, just taking charge and finishing out strong,” Petrie said.
Harvard sophomore goalie Lindsay Reed turned away 17 shots. Reed, who last year set a single-season program record with 927 total saves, was named The Crimson’s Female Athlete of the Year in May.
Four Harvard freshmen made their debuts Friday.
“I think our freshman class is an extremely talented and skilled class and immediately their impact was felt all over the ice,” Petrie said. “It was great to see them get out there and contribute, do what they can, play their roles and ultimately help us get the W. I’m really excited to see their play develop as the season goes on.”
Harvard will host a pair of conference rivals, Brown and Yale, next weekend.