CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — After trailing 2-0 with just more than 10 minutes remaining in the third, Minnesota staged a dramatic comeback, scoring three unanswered goals in a span of three minutes, to win 3-2. The game-winner came off the stick of unlikely hero Jarilyn Glenn, who had not scored a goal this year coming into this game.
With freshman phenom Kelly Stephens scoring two quick goals to even the game at 2-2, Glenn redirected a shot from senior La Toya Clarke past Crimson goaltender Jessica Ruddock at 18:52 of the third period.
“I think there’s a natural let down, after a win like [yesterday against Brown],” said Minnesota coach Laura Halldorson. “We did not play as well as we did yesterday. But I was impressed with the comeback, even if I wasn’t real happy with our execution throughout the game.
“This team is really good at being a team, it’s fun to coach them because they get along so well. They work hard and they care about each other. And any lack of talent that we have from last year, we have made up for with character, hard work and heart. If we didn’t have those things, there’s no way we would have been successful.”
The game had seemed to be in the bag for the Crimson in the 9:26 mark of the third, when Nicole Corriero scored her second goal of the game. She flipped the puck in the air, and coming down it rolled off the back of Gopher netminder Brenda Reinen and into the goal. With Minnesota only getting 11 shots and no goals in the first two periods, a third period comeback seemed unlikely.
But with just under four minutes remaining, Stephens started the rally by taking a pass from Rhonda Curtin’s faceoff win in the defensive zone, carried the puck down the ice, and skated past the goalie for the first goal of the afternoon for the Gophers.
Stephens scored again just over a minute later, taking a pass from Laura Slominski from behind the net, and throwing it toward the net for the game-tying goal.
“It just goes to show you that you have to play 60 minutes of hockey, whatever it takes to win the ballgame,” said Katie Stone, Harvard coach. “We had significant lapses in the last four minutes of the game, we had some tough luck, a few bounces, and we showed our inexperience.”
The three goals at the end of the period were a complete reverse from the earlier trend of the game, which included solid defensive play, few scoring chances, and even fewer goals.
The game’s first goal was scored with less than a minute remaining in the first period. On a defensive breakdown, two Harvard forwards broke into the Minnesota zone, facing a lone Minnesota defender. Crimson junior Tracy Catlin slid the puck across ice to freshman Corriero, who shot the puck into the far side of the net, past Minnesota goalie Reinen.
“[Corriero's] effort has been very consistent,” said Stone. “She works very, very hard. She keeps continuing to bring the same, if not better, performance every day. She’s a tremendous player.”
Minnesota played a much tighter defensive game in the second period, limiting Harvard to no shots on net. The Gophers, despite dominating play territorially, had just four shots on goal with only a couple of quality scoring chances.
“We tend to play in low scoring games,” said Halldorson. “We don’t score a lot of goals, and we don’t allow a lot of goals, generally speaking.”
After defeating No. 3 Brown and Harvard this weekend, the Gophers now get prepared to host No. 2 Dartmouth and No. 7 New Hampshire next weekend at Mariucci Arena. Harvard hosts No. 3 Brown and Providence.
Katie Stone summarized what’s next for the Crimson: “We’ve gotta get back at it. We’ve got to keep at it, get in better shape, become stronger.”