CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — No. 3 St. Lawrence outlasted No. 5 Harvard on Saturday at Bright Hockey Center, scoring two goals early in the third period to escape with a 3-2 victory.
Center Jessica Wilson recorded the game-winner with 13:35 left in regulation. Skating down the ice on a one-on-three breakaway, Wilson flipped the puck on net from outside the left circle and watched it slide past Harvard goaltender Jessica Ruddock.
The Saints had pulled even just 1:45 into the final period when center Nicole Kirnan scored a goal with help from her two linemates, wingers Caroline Trudeau and Trisha Powers. On the day, three different lines scored for St. Lawrence coach Paul Flanagan.
“We tried to go with four forward lines and overwhelm Harvard physically to try to tire them out,” Flanagan said. “Jess Wilson did a good job skating down the ice and throwing the puck on net and we got a break when it went in. We need to play like that all the time because it builds confidence and makes other teams worry about us beating them.”
But Harvard had a chance to send the game to overtime. A St. Lawrence penalty with four seconds left led to a draw deep in the Saints’ zone with four seconds left in regulation. Center Angie Francisco won the faceoff to forward Jennifer Botterill, the conference’s leading goal-scorer, but Botterill’s slapper skidded just wide of St. Lawrence netminder Rachel Barrie as the buzzer sounded.
“We did everything right on that last play,” said Harvard coach Katey Stone. “We practiced that play all week and put ourselves in a position to tie. We’re learning to execute and getting better every game so I can’t be disappointed about the loss.”
Barrie made 33 saves against Harvard’s high-flying offense, but the Crimson did produce two goals in the second period thanks to smart play on special teams.
Harvard scored its first goal with a give-and-go on the power play when Francisco, handling behind the net, fed Botterill in the slot. Eight minutes later, a Botterill steal led to a two-on-one breakaway for the Crimson, playing shorthanded, that winger Tammy Shewchuk finished by sending the puck top-shelf past Barrie.
St. Lawrence’s Amanda Sargeant scored the only goal of the first period, although the Crimson outshot the Saints, 16-5.