Harvard ends its run at the ECAC crown with the loss to Cornell. (Gil Talbot)
POTSDAM, N.Y. – Sophomore Miye D'Oench netted a pair of goals for the No. 6/6 Harvard women's hockey team, while Gina McDonald and Jessica Harvey each found the back of the net as well, but Cornell used four unanswered scores to skate past the Crimson, 6-4, in the ECAC Semifinals in Cheel Arena on Saturday.
McDonald got Harvard (23-6-4, 16-3-3 ECAC) on the board first in the opening period as she banged home a loose puck that that was initially shot by Hillary Crowe. McDonald was able to beat the Big Red defense, sliding the puck over the crease to give the Crimson an early lead.
Cornell eventually tested the Crimson's top-ranked penalty kill unit with 1:47 of a 5-on-3 power play. The Big Red put their top-5 power play to good use Emily Fulton finished an Alyssa Gagliardi pass to tie the game at 1-1 as the first was drawing to a close.
The Big Red took its first lead just 36 seconds into the second when Jessica Campbell fired a wrist shot over Emerance Maschmeyer's blocker to give the Big Red their first lead of the game at 2-1. The Crimson wasn't down for long, however. After Sydney Daniels went headstrong into the offensive zone, the freshman found D'Oench, who was waiting patiently. D'Oench fired in a shot from near the left faceoff circle, beating Slebodnick for the tying score.
Harvey, a native of the North Country, gave the Crimson the lead not long after. Briana Mastel found Harvey streaking up the ice, where the sophomore sent a shot from the high slot that beat Slebodnick over her right shoulder to put Harvard up, 3-2.
D'Oench tallied her fourth multi-score game with her second goal of the evening to extend the Crimson's lead to 4-2 on a power play. Sarah Edney started the play near the goal line, shipping the puck up to the blue line where Marissa Gedman was waiting. Gedman found D'Oench, who slapped a one-timer high in the corner of the net to give Harvard the edge.
Jillian Saulnier and the Big Red answered back quickly, though. Saulnier beat Maschmeyer with a wrist shot to cut the deficit in half at 4-3 as a wild second period waned to a close. The Big Red knotted the game at 4-4 after just two minutes of play in the third period. After Maschmeyer made a diving save to deflect a shot across the ice, the sophomore lost her stick in the process. Saulnier, standing circle, beat an extended Maschmeyer with a wrister.
Cornell's Jess Brown gave the Big Red its final lead at 5-4, but they would add an empty netter with just 24 seconds left to put things away.
With the loss, Harvard will await the NCAA selection show set for Sunday at 6 p.m.