McDonald recorded her first goal of 2013-14 -- 16th of her career -- in the Crimson's 3-1 win on Friday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a top-10 showdown at Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Friday, it was the No. 5/6 Harvard women's hockey team that came away with a thorough, 3-1 victory over crosstown foe No. 9/9 Boston University. The Crimson (7-1-1, 6-1-1 ECAC) had three different goal-scorers over the course of the game, and got 34 saves from sophomore goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer, who earned her sixth win of the year.
Just 3:19 into the contest, senior Gina McDonald tallied her first goal of the season, burying a shot off a Dylanne Crugnale pass. After Jessica Harvey fired a rocket that bounced off the glass, Crugnale mopped up and sent over a backhander to McDonald, who easily laid in the first goal of the contest to give the Crimson early momentum and a nice cushion.
Harvard kept at it in the opening stanza, reeling off shot after shot towards Terrier netminder Kerrin Sperry. In total, the Crimson used its tenacity to keep the puck in the offensive zone, firing away a season-high 16 shots in the frame.
The second period proved to be more even, with both teams settling in. BU rattled off 11 shots on target in the period, but Maschmeyer halted each one, including a breakaway attempt from Rebecca Russo and a few mismatched 2-on-1's to keep the Terriers off the boards. With just two minutes left in the period and up 1-0, the Crimson got another boost from Samantha Reber. Back on the first line, Hillary Crowe reeled off a snipe shot towards Sperry, but after the pads got the best of the puck, Reber corralled it quickly with a nice put-back to lift Harvard to a 2-0 lead late in the period.
A part of a third line that gathered three points on the evening, Miye D'Oench made the Terriers pay midway through the last period. After Sarah Edney stopped the puck from leaving the zone, she flipped it to Elizabeth Parker, who weaved through traffic to find D'Oench to give the Crimson a comfortable 3-0 lead at the 9:49 mark.
BU had 15 shots on net in the final frame, one of which found the back of the net. In a sticky situation, Russo gathered a pass from Dakota Woodworth to finally put BU on the board, erasing the Crimson shutout.
It was too little, too late, however, as the Crimson was able to skate away with the 3-1 win at home. For the first time in four games, Harvard outshot its opponent, firing 35 shots to BU's 32. But the Harvard defense, which was a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, kept the Terriers in check.
The Crimson return to the ice in two week's time when ECAC travel partner Dartmouth makes the trip south to Bright-Landry for a Dec. 1 clash.