Two Overtimes Not Enough for No. 5/5 Women's Hockey; Bulldogs Bite Crimson, 3-2

Harvard and Yale will meet again on Saturday in the crucial second game of the best-of-three Quarterfinals. (Photo: Elan Kawesch)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a crucial postseason showdown, Harvard and Yale battled tooth-and-nail for more than 97 minutes on the ice, but the Bulldogs came away with the two-overtime victory in the first game of the ECAC Quarterfinals, skating past the Crimson, 3-2, in game one.

Both Emerance Maschmeyer and Jamie Leonoff stood on their heads the whole game, Maschmeyer making 45 saves to Leonoff's 55, which made for an incredible showing. On the Crimson's side, Hillary Crowe and Samantha Reber found the back of the net, but Janelle Ferrara's power play goal with 2:27 left in the second OT gave Yale the edge in the series.

Though the first period that left the scoreboard blank, it was the Crimson which came out firing. Harvard reeled off 15 shots in the opening frame, while limiting Yale to just five on target. But Yale shed its flat start as Jackie Raines broke the silence at the 6:56 mark in the second. Raines crashed the net and was able to get a shot off from one knee despite solid pressure from the Crimson defensively.

But Harvard struck back around six minutes later. After some great passing by the Crimson on a delayed penalty and with the skater advantage, thanks to an empty net, Marissa Gedman fired a laser from the point that ricocheted off Hillary Crowe for the score to even things up at 1-1.

Phoebe Staenz then got the Yale train rolling again with a cross-ice backhanded pass that caught the Crimson off guard. With Maschmeyer out of position, Raines flipped the puck to Jamie Haddad who was there to bury it for the 2-1 lead with 5:40 left in the second.

Down a goal into the third, Miye D'Oench took control of the pace and the puck, flying down the ice into the zone. As she reached Leonoff on the left side of the cage, D'Oench sent a touch pass back to Samantha Reber who had positioned herself perfectly to drag it over the goal line despite a Bulldog stick in the way to even the leger at 2-2.

After the third period closed, playoff rules dictate 20-minute overtimes until the golden goal is scored. Though both sides had their fair share of chances in the first 20 minutes of extra hockey, the two forced each other into a second overtime period. Maschmeyer started off the frame with a pair of big saves, but a few penalties kept the Crimson on its toes.

With nearly the whole second OT elapsed, and while on its seventh power play of the game, Yale capitalized. Janelle Ferrara ended the lengthy, draining battle, pushing the puck over the goal line after Kate Martini and Raines placed it well for her to end things.

The Crimson and Bulldogs will take to the ice for the second game of the best-of-three series Saturday at 4 p.m.