PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Behind a pair of goals from senior Elizabeth Parker and 30 saves from freshman Brianna Laing in net, the No. 5/5 Harvard women's hockey team handled Brown, 3-1, and clinched the Ivy League title outright in the process.
The Ivy League championship is the second in a row for the Crimson (21-4-4, 16-3-3 ECAC) and 10th overall since 1987. Harvard finished 7-1-2 in League play, just ahead of Cornell, who dropped its season finale to Princeton, 4-3, which finished 7-2-1. The Big Red and Crimson split last season's Ancient Eight crown.
Aside from the Ivy title, Harvard secured the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Tournament. The Crimson will host No. 7-seed Yale in the best-of-three Quarterfinals, set for Feb. 28-March 2 in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
Harvard got off to another quick start between the glass on Saturday, thanks in part to a great effort from Miye D'Oench in the first two minutes. After she and Hillary Crowe flew up the ice, the duo went on the offensive. Crowe weaved through traffic and tapped a short pass to D'Oench who quickly buried it to put Harvard up 1-0 within the first two minutes.
Even though Harvard out-hustled Brown in the early going, eight minutes of penalties allowed the Bears to keep things interesting and in the Crimson zone. Laing and the Harvard defense kept Brown off the board, however, killing off four penalties in the first 20 minutes alone.
Brown nearly got on the board towards the end of the first, especially when the Bears earned a 5-on-3 for over a minute, but Laing stood on her head and prevented any pucks from crossing the goal line.
Into the second, more of the same back-and-forth transpired, with neither side really getting a clean look at the net. Elizabeth Parker changed that quickly, however, just 10:08 into the period. Jessica Harvey maneuvered the puck through the neutral zone, sending it to Briana Mastel who dumped it off to Parker in the right faceoff circle. Parker then ripped a shot that bounced off Aubree Moore's pads, but raced to grab her own rebound and slammed it home to put the Crimson up 2-0.
Just a mere 36 seconds later, Parker made it two in a row. Her sister and linemate Mary Parker received the puck from Marissa Gedman and saucered it to Elizabeth, who beat Moore glove side for the quick 3-0 lead that the Crimson took into the third.
The Bears kept up the pressure in the third, eventually firing away 12 shots in the frame, and the attack finally paid off. At the 7:27 mark, Monica Masucci, picked up an initially blocked shot and sent it home past Laing to escape the shutout.
The Crimson was able to play keep-away for much of the remaining time, eventually running the clock out and taking the 3-1 win and Ivy League title in the process.