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Harvard Drops Last Home Contests Against Brown and Yale

The Harvard women's ice hockey team dropped both games of its double header this past weekend to Brown and Yale.
The Harvard women's ice hockey team dropped both games of its double header this past weekend to Brown and Yale. By The Crimson Staff

Unable to bounce back from its 2-0 loss to Dartmouth last weekend, Harvard (5-20-2, 3-16-1 ECAC) women’s ice hockey lost both games of its double-header to Brown (11-13-3, 7-10-3 ECAC) and No. 14/RV Yale (14-12-1, 11-8-1 ECAC), 3-1 and 3-0, respectively. Along with deciding playoff seeding, the contests had the added weight of being the last two home games of the season.

“We realized this is one of our last periods dressing at home, in our gear, in our own locker room,” Gwyn Lapp said about the team’s mindset in the last period against Brown.

Harvard 1, Brown 3

On Friday, Harvard matched up against Brown in a contest with strong ECAC playoff seeding implications. Entering the weekend, the Bears occupied the eighth seed, which is the last rank required to earn the home-ice advantage during the first round of playoffs. For the Crimson, its loss against Brown means that squad will be traveling for the first round of tournament play.

Brown won the opening faceoff and continued with that intensity for the entire 60 minutes of play, remaining in control of the puck with more than 50 percent of the faceoff wins. The Bears’ offensive success was propelled by a pair of standout underclassmen, marked by a hat trick from sophomore forward Jade Iginla, all of whose goals were assisted by freshman Ava DeCoste.

Iginla struck paydirt two minutes into the first frame. The close-range shot was initially blocked by the Crimson’s sophomore goalie Emily Davidson before sliding through the five hole into the back of the net. Iginla then extended Brown’s lead to two in the second period with another close range goal. The last of Iginla’s three goals came at the five minute mark of the third period. Unlike her first two points, it was a long range snipe that found the net as Davidson was unable to catch up to it with her glove.

The brightest moment of the match for Harvard came in the third period as sophomore forward Gwyn Lapp was able to net a goal, preventing Brown’s senior goalie Kayle Doyle from securing a shutout. Lapp continues to be Harvard’s most successful offensive player, notching her 11th goal in the contest against the Bears, and leading the Crimson with 15 overall points this season.

“It was just a nice series of events that led up to the goal.” Lapp explained, “it was one of the only times where we had a good bounce that went our way, a shot on net, then finally from our defender [Kate Kasica] a good shot that got the goalie sliding.”

Despite Lapp’s third period effort, the Crimson was unable to generate more excitement on the offensive end, falling short to Brown by two goals.

The squad will enter into its last weekend of regular season play with a roadtrip to New York.
The squad will enter into its last weekend of regular season play with a roadtrip to New York. By Leanne Alvarado

Harvard 0, Yale 3

On Saturday, Harvard faced Yale in what marked the 100th meeting between the two historic programs, and what also marked the team’s senior night celebration. While the Crimson looked to come out of its last weekend of Ivy League play with a win, it was Yale who came out on top with a 3-0 victory. This loss, combined with Friday’s against Brown, places Harvard at the bottom of the ECAC rankings.

The first two periods saw extremely level play between the two squads, with each defense holding its opponent to zero goals. The Crimson’s defense, which has been its bright point this season, continued to stand strong, blocking five shots in the first period, and 24 in the entire game. Led by junior defenseman Mia Biotti, and junior goalie and captain Alex Pellicci, it wasn’t until the third that the Yale squad started to break away and showcase its crafty offensive skills.

The Yale contest marked Pellici’s first start since Jan. 27th. Head Coach Laura Bellamy ’13 has been relying on sophomore netminder Emily Davidson, but Bellamy made the decision to switch up her lines and start Pellicci between the pipes.

While it was not reflected in the score, the offense, which has struggled this season, played well against the rival Bulldogs. It took 24 shots on Pia Dukaric, the Yale goalie. This was an improvement on the 12 shot performance it had against Brown the previous day. Despite a slew of well orchestrated offensive possessions, the Crimson couldn't get anything by the Slovanian goalie, who posted her third straight shutout win.

With playoffs soon approaching, it is critical that the team find a way to convert more its shots.

“I think with the results of the past weekend, something we are going to focus on improving is our shots,” sophomore forward Sophie Ensley said. “Getting to the net to create those scoring opportunities that will help us get to the next level during playoffs.”

During the second period, the Crimson generated two one-on-one breakaways with Dukaric but was unable to convert the opportunities. The first chance came when the Canadian forward Gabi Davidson Adams forced a blueline turnover. Davidson Adams intercepted a weak Yale pass and flew up the right side of the ice with the puck. She ripped a shot hoping to sneak it past the glove side, but Dukaric made a great kicksave, blocking the opportunity.

Harvard hockey honored the team's two seniors on Saturday in what was Shannon Hollands’ and Rose O’Connor’s last game in Bright Landry Arena. The game had the highest attendance in Bright Landry for a women’s hockey game since 2019, with 1,622 people in attendance to send off the graduating skaters.

“It’s always special to be able to put on the Harvard jersey and play for each other, but even more special to be able to play for our two amazing seniors and honor their last game at Bright Landry,” said Ensley.

The squad will head into its last weekend of regular season play with a road trip to N.Y. this weekend where it will face off against No. 7/6 St. Lawrence University and No. 3 Clarkson the following day. These contests mark the last two opportunities for victory before the ECAC playoffs start on Feb. 23. Tune in to ESPN+ at 6:00 EST on Friday to watch the Crimson take on the Saints in Canton, N.Y.

—Staff writer Josephine Elting can be reached at

—Staff writer Isabel Smail can be reached at

—Staff writer Christopher Wright can be reached at

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