Picard netted one of Harvard's three goals on the afternoon to upend Cornell. (Elan Kawesch)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In front of 2,028 fans – the largest crowd to witness Harvard women's hockey at the Bright-Landry Center – the No. 5/5 Crimson took care of business, downing No. 9/10 Cornell, 3-0, on Saturday. The win moves Harvard to 14-3-2 (11-2-1 ECAC) on the season, while Cornell, which entered the game unbeaten in its last 11 contests, drops to 10-7-3 (8-3-2 ECAC).
Mary Parker (2-0—2) shined for the Crimson on offense, just as much as Harvard goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer did on the other end of the ice. Parker lit the lamp twice, 3:42 into the contest and with an empty netter with just 57 seconds left in the third. Maschmeyer, meanwhile, registered her 11th career whitewash, turning aside all 22 shots Cornell threw at her. The win is the junior's seventh of the season and 35th career victory.
Also finding the back of the net for Harvard was junior captain Michelle Picard (1-0—1), who scored with under a minute left in the first period on a power play. Sarah Edney, Samantha Reber, Josephine Pucci and Marissa Gedman all tallied assists on Harvard's three scores. The Crimson, which registered 40-plus shots for the second night in a row, was 1-for-2 on the power play and held the Big Red scoreless on three man-up attempts.
It was Parker who kicked things off in the early going of the first to give the Crimson a quick strike to set the tone. Edney was able to command the puck and send it rolling along the glass just outside the Harvard defensive zone, where Parker picked it up and did the rest of the work. Beating the Cornell defensemen, Parker cut an angle to Paula Voorheis and forced a low backhanded shot under the sophomore's pads to make it 1-0 on Harvard's first shot of the game.
Picard made it 2-0 with under a minute left in the first after the Crimson earned a power play. Great puck movement from Reber to Pucci allowed Picard to find herself wide open in the high slot with time to react. After pinpointing her shot, the junior ripped the puck past Voorheis for the score, and all the momentum.
After a track-meet of a second period, one which featured just 18 combined shots, the game continued into the third with Harvard still holding a 2-0 lead. Before the horn had sounded, each team nearly converted its own breakaway chances, but each goalie was equal to the task.
In the third period, more of the same progressed. Cornell came out firing early with noticeable pressure, but the Crimson blue liners were ready. As the period wore on, Harvard kept adding to its shot count, eventually firing away 16 on target in the period alone. Finally, with an empty net, the Crimson converted. After feeding it to Gedman, Parker received a pass right back along the center ice boards. The junior did an about face and used the walls as a shield to send a long, trickling puck into the center of the net with just 57 seconds left to put things away for good, up 3-0.
With the victory, Harvard inched one point closer to Quinnipiac for the top spot in the ECAC standings. With a showdown looming next week, the Bobcats hold a one-point lead over the Crimson.