BOSTON, Mass. — Personnel changes from the Olympics and graduation made Wednesday’s Harvard-Dartmouth game far different from a year ago, but one thing’s still the same-a No. 9 scoring goals for Harvard.
Reminiscent of Nicole Corriero’s five-goal game last February, freshman Jenny Brine netted a pure hat trick in a 4-1 win for Harvard (8-5-2, 5-2-2 ECACHL) over the rival Green (5-6, 2-5). Harvard coach Katey Stone swapped Brine onto the first line and classmate Sarah Wilson onto the third line with impressive results.
“You constantly tweak things until they complement each other,” Stone said. “I think the change complemented both lines, not just one.”
While Brine did the scoring, linemates Katie Johnston and Jennifer Raimondi did a lot of the work. Each had three assists.
“Basically I was just at the right place at the right time tonight, and I just knocked them home,” Brine said.
The first Crimson goal came just 35 seconds into the second period. Harvard came out on fire, Johnston brought the puck out of the corner for a chance in front, and Brine put in the rebound.
“She played awesome today, she was cycling down low and getting the puck on net,” Brine said.
It was one of several great individual puckhandling efforts by Johnston on the day.
“I was a little more confident today, a little more relaxed than I usually am,” Johnston said. “I just seemed to click well with my two linemates.”
Harvard went on to outshoot Dartmouth 13-6 for the second period, but neither team scored despite good chances on each side. For the day, senior Kate Lane stopped 28 for Dartmouth and senior Ali Boe saved 17 for the Crimson.
Brine netted Harvard’s second goal on the power play at 7:35 of the third period off another rebound, as Wilson took the shot and Johnston screened Lane. Brine completed the hat trick at 9:19 on a feed from Raimondi as she crashed into the net.
“We were joking on the bench that she should have bought a raffle ticket,” Johnston said of Brine’s good fortune.
Dartmouth’s Carrie Thompson capitalized on a series of Harvard mistakes with 4:35 to go for the Big Green’s only goal, but it was too little, too late. Wilson netted the empty-net clincher after Raimondi hit the post.
“We made a couple big mistakes in the third period that they capitalized on,” said Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak. “Harvard played really well in the second and third period. They really got stronger and smarter as the game went on, and we didn’t really keep pace with them.”
As Harvard and Dartmouth enter winter break, neither team is in their typical top four position. But both young teams are making strides, and March is a long way away.
“One game we’ll have the freshmen playing awesome, and the next game they’ll be off a little bit,” Hudak said. “We’ve got to work on getting that consistency. They’ve got to get to the point where they can’t accept an off game.”
“I’m really proud of how they’ve played between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Stone said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re a better team than we were at Thanksgiving.”