Sarah Edney recorded a goal and an assist for the Crimson in Saturday's exhibition win over the Martlets. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Eleven different Crimson collected points en route to a 5-2 win for the No. 8/9 Harvard women's hockey team on Saturday, led by Sarah Edney and Samantha Reber who each notched a goal and an assist. The Crimson earned its eighth consecutive exhibition win over the Martlets in Bright Hockey Center with the thorough victory.
McGill opened up the contest firing, putting a shot on goal not two minutes into the contest, but Emerance Maschmeyer was there to pad away the first of her 20 saves in two periods of action. Enjoying her return to the ice since missing all of 2012-13, junior captain Marissa Gedman nearly got things rolling for Harvard around the 13:41 mark with a mid-range shot on goal, but was narrowly turned away by MU's Taylor Hough.
Not two minutes later, however, Edney slid the first goal of the season past Hough, after being set up by Elizabeth Parker and Jessica Harvey on the play. Harvard eventually took the early 1-0 lead into the first intermission, thanks to stout goaltending from Maschmeyer and solid defense from the Crimson blue liners.
In her Harvard debut, Sydney Daniels' first shot found the back of the net just 1:02 into the second frame to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead. Gina McDonald and Mary Parker each picked up an assist on the score. Just five minutes later, Hillary Crowe made it 3-0 in Harvard's favor after stellar passing from Edney and Reber. Standing right in front of Hough, Crowe corralled a cross-ice pass from Reber, slipping the puck over the line before McGill's defense could react.
Minutes into the final period, the offensive-thinking defender, Gedman kickstarted the Crimson attack, feeding a pass to Reber on a power play. Reber maneuvered her way through the Martlets and sent a backhander top-shelf to extend Harvard's lead to a daunting 4-0.
After back-and-forth shots and scuffles throughout the third period, McGill finally dented the scoreboard as Leslie Oles trickled a tough shot by freshman netminder Branna Laing, who was seeing her first minutes of collegiate action as the third period starter. Laing yielded two scores on the evening, but denied five more shots in 20 minutes of play.
Freshman Abigail Frazer kept the first-year theme rolling as she sent a loose puck by Hough after Dylanne Crugnale drove it in from the point to make it 5-1 in favor of the home team. Oles tacked on a goal just 49 second before the final horn sounded, but the damage was done and the Crimson ran away with the 5-2 victory.
Harvard returns to the ice in a week's time as Quinnipiac and Princeton visit Bright for back-to-back contests on Oct. 25 and 26, respectively, as the Crimson officially gets its 2013-14 season underway.