ITHACA, N.Y. – The No. 4/4 Harvard women's hockey team continued its strong push towards the post season on Friday, downing No. 10/10 Cornell, 4-1, in Lynah Rink. The Crimson moves to 20-4-2 (15-3-1 ECAC) and maintains the top spot in the conference standings, while the Big Red drops to 14-9-3 (12-5-2 ECAC) in the loss at home.
With its 20th win of the season, Harvard earns its 13th 20-win season in program history, and fourth in a row. Its eight Ivy League victories in 2014-15 marks the 11th time the Crimson picked up at least eight Ancient Eight victories.
Sophomore Sydney Daniels knocked in two goals – her third multi-score performance of the year – while senior co-captain Samantha Reber added a power play score and Mary Parker tallied an empty netter in the waning moments.
Standing guard in net, junior Emerance Maschmeyer turned aside 23-of-24 shots to earn the win, her 11th on the year. Maschmeyer and the defense in front came up big throughout the game, killing off five Cornell power plays. Over the last two games – both against ranked opponents – Harvard is 12-for-12 on the kill.
After Cornell's Emily Fulton broke the silence just 2:27 into the contest, the Crimson settled in. Fulton's highlight-reel goal kept the Crimson on its heels until Daniels evened the ledger. After Kalley Armstrong and Lyndsey Fry put forth the extra effort to hand the puck off in space, Daniels did well to split the defense and assume a 1-on-1 scenario into the offensive zone. Daniels drew a delayed holding penalty on Erin O'Connor, but didn't give up on the play, burying her own rebound before the whistle.
Just 20 seconds later, on the power play that Daniels earned, Reber gave the Crimson the lead it was looking for. Seeing an opportunity to race into the offensive zone, Sarah Edney did just that and found Mary Parker near the hashmarks. Parker fired on target, but even though Paula Voorheis got her pads down, the puck rebounded right to where Reber was positioned, one-timing an easy score past an out-of-position Voorheis to make it 2-1.
A track meet of a game ensued through the second period, one which featured a pair of dicey power plays for the Big Red, but Daniels extended the lead to 3-1 with just five seconds left in the frame. After a power play of its own, the Crimson struck with force. Josephine Pucci blasted a shot from the blue line, where Armstrong was there to collect it off the boards. Armstrong then fed it back off the end boards, right to Fry, who spun around and found Daniels on a tape-to-tape pass; Daniels simply buried the puck past Voorheis with no issues to make it 3-1.
Mary Parker added an empty net score – her third of that variety this season – in the waning minutes of the game to make it a final 4-1 margin. With the win, the Crimson inch closer to clinching the No. 1 seed in the ECAC Tournament, but still need victories down the stretch to do so.