By MARK GARBINO
Freshman goaltender Kyra Smith stopped 33 of the 37 shots she faced, but the Wildcats were defeated 4-0 by No. 9 Harvard University on Wednesday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
With the win, the Crimson extended their winning streak to six games, and improve their overall record to 6-1-1. The Wildcats’ struggles continue, and they are now 2-12 on the season.
Junior forward Jonna Curtis had five shots on goal in the game, and has at least two shots in all 14 games. Her 62 total shots are enough to rank her first on the team, and third overall in Hockey East.
Freshman defenseman Marie-Jo Pelletier recorded one blocked shot in the game, bringing her season total to 30, which leads all Hockey East skaters.
UNH applied early pressure on the Harvard defense, and managed to put together long stretches of offensive zonetime. The Wildcats controlled the majority of the game’s first ten minutes, outshooting Harvard 7-3 in that span, but Crimson goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer stood tall.
Harvard pushed back and answered with scoring chances of its own, and the remainder of the first period was a tight, back-and-forth battle.
UNH held a 12-10 shot advantage through 20 minutes, but both goalies remained perfect.
Momentum swung in Harvard’s favor in the second period, and the Crimson were able to find the back of the net twice. Midway through the period, Harvard threw the puck to the front of the net and crashed the crease, potting the game’s first goal on a rebound by forward Lexie Laing.
Five minutes later, a centering pass to Harvard’s Grace Zarzecki was fired through Smith’s five-hole to put the Wildcats in a 2-0 deficit.
Harvard stymied any potential third period momentum for UNH with an early goal to extend its lead to 3-0. Just 3:17 into the final frame, Harvard senior Miye D’Oench found herself all alone behind the UNH defense, and redirected a pass towards the net that broke past a sliding Smith.
A late power play goal sealed Harvard’s victory and sent the Wildcats back to Durham with their third straight loss. The final shot totals in the game favored Harvard, 37-26. The Crimson converted on one of their three power play opportunities, while the Wildcats were 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
This was the second straight game in which the Wildcats failed to record a goal, and their fourth overall.
The Wildcats will look for their scoring touch when they host the 2-8-0 Providence College Friars on Saturday and Sunday. Providence took the first matchup between the two teams on November 7, pulling off a late comeback to claim a 5-4 win. Both games will begin at 2 p.m. in the Whittemore Center.