Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Harvard Women's Hockey Advances to Beanpot Final

For the second time in as many games, the No. 10 Harvard Women's Hockey team (13-8-3, 12-4-2 ECAC) came from behind to defeat the unranked Northeastern Huskies (14-9-6, 6-7-4 Hockey East) 2-1 in a shootout, after ending regulatoin and a 5-minute overtime period tied 3-3. The Crimson looked sluggish throughout the first period, allowing 13 shots and 2 goals by the Huskies, compared to the Crimson's 9 shots (and 0 goals). Errant passing and poor puck-handling also plagued the Crimson through the opening frame.

Starting in the second period, however, the Crimson begam to fight their way back. After digging themselves into a 3-0 hole, Harvard did not allow the Huskies another shot in the second, and--thanks to a laser from senior co-captain Kate Buesser--responded with a goal of their own. But despite a 10-1 Harvard advantage in shots during the period, Huskies' netminder Leah Sulyma continued to look virtually impregnable.

But in the 55th minute, everything fell apart for the Northeastern Huskies. The Crimson struck twice in quick succession--58 seconds, to be precise--on shots from senior forward Ashley Wheeler and freshman defender Marissa Gedman. After an inconclusive 5-minute overtime, the Crimson sealed the comeback with a pair of shootout goals from sophomores Jillian Dempsey and Josephine Pucci. Crimson goalie Laura Bellamy saved three of four in the shootout. Overall, Harvard held a 35-18 advantage in shots--and allowed only 5 in the second and third periods combined.

Next Tuesday at 8 PM, the Harvard Crimson will face the Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum, BC's home arena, for the Beanpot Championship. The No. 7 ranked Eagles unseated the No. 3 BU Terriers 2-1 to advance, despite being outshot 34-14. Bryan Dummire and Charlie Hobbs will have the call of the championship game live on WHRB, beginning at 7:45 with the pregame.

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