Gina McDonald netted a pair of goals and an assist in an 8-1 win over Connecticut (Gil Talbot).
Video Highlights: Harvard at Connecticut
STORRS, Conn. – An offensive onslaught in its first game back from Winter Break saw the Harvard women's hockey team dominate from start to finish in an 8-1 pounding of Connecticut Tuesday night at Freitas Ice Forum. The win is Harvard's fourth in a row and third straight over a Hockey East opponent.
The Crimson got a huge opportunity to jump out to an early lead when Connecticut picked up a five-minute major less than a minute into the contest. However, the Husky penalty kill proved to be a greater foe than Harvard had expected and the five minutes passed without a goal.
Harvard did break the scoreless tie at even strength, netting the game's first goal at 9:09 of the opening stanza. Kaitlin Spurling collected a loose puck in her own zone and bolted up the left side of the ice with Gina McDonald skating free to her right. Spurling timed the pass perfectly and McDonald was able to shove the puck past UConn goalie Nicole Paniccia for her fourth tally of the season.
The guests doubled their lead 3:50 later, taking advantage of their second power-play opportunity of the night. Spurling fed Hillary Crowe near the goal and while Crowe's shot was blocked by Paniccia, Kalley Armstrong was there to stuff home the rebound for a 2-0 edge. Lyndsey Fry got in on the scoring at the 14:13 mark of the first, putting home a close-range shot off passes from Jillian Dempsey and Samantha Reber.
It was more of the same in the second period as the Crimson poured in four more goals to take a 7-1 lead into the second break. Spurling found the back of the net 6:34 into the period, and after Connecticut snuck one past Laura Bellamy, Dempsey stretched the lead back to four with her 10th goal of the season at the 11:04 mark. Crowe put home a redirect with just over two minutes remaining and Fry notched her second with 1:32 left in the second to give Harvard a commanding advantage.
Harvard finished the scoring in style, potting its second shorthanded effort of the season as Fry fed McDonald on a two-on-two rush. Fry finished the game with two goals and an assist, while McDonald also tallied a pair of scores. Spurling had a three-point night with a goal and two helpers, and Dempsey recorded a goal an d a pair of assists in the win. Bellamy needed just 14 saves to record her ninth win of the season.
The Crimson returns to conference play this weekend as it travels south for a pair of ECAC contests. Harvard takes on Princeton Friday night at 7 p.m., and faces Quinnipiac the following afternoon in a 4 p.m., game.