Harvard Athletics

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- No. 10 Harvard (12-8-2, 11-4-2 ECAC) fell to Princeton (12-11-1, 9-7-1 ECAC) at the Bright Hockey Center in a see-saw battle Friday night, that saw three lead changes. Although the loss snaps Harvard’s six-game win streak, the Crimson remains in second place in the ECAC behind No. 2 Cornell, and Princeton moves within five points of Harvard in the ECAC standings.

With the game tied 2-2 in the third period, Denna Laing scored the game-winning goal off the rebound of Olivia Mucha’s shot 5:45 into the third period to put the Tigers back up for good, 3-2. Despite two power-play opportunities, a hit post, and an extra attacker in the last 1:05, Harvard could not find the equalizer, and Princeton preserved the 3-2 lead to the final buzzer. Princeton outshot Harvard 8-6 in the final period, but the Crimson ended with an overall 27-23 shot advantage.

Princeton skated out to its first lead late in the first period when Corey Stearns capitalized on the Tigers’ power play. Crimson goaltender Laura Bellamy had stopped the first two shots of the sequence, but Mucha found Stearns on the far post, and with Bellamy out of position, Stearns buried the puck for the tally. Despite being outshot 9-5, the Tigers held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Harvard erased the 1-0 deficit 7:41 in the second period to make the score 1-1 on Liza Ryabkina’s 10th goal of the season. Jillian Dempsey initiated the scoring play when she fired a well-placed shot on Princeton goaltender Rachel Weber’s right leg, leading to a rebound that Ryabkina picked up and went top-shelf over Weber’s shoulders. On the play, Ryabkina and Dempsey both extended their point streaks to six games, with 10 points (4G, 6A) for Ryabkina and eight points (2G, 6A) for Dempsey over that span.

The Crimson struck again with 6:40 left in the period to go up 2-1 when Josephine Pucci found Alisa Baumgartner waiting alone on the top of the crease. Baumgarter then stick-handled to Weber’s left and lofted the puck just above Weber’s glove for her first goal of the season. Elizabeth Parker also recorded an assist on the play. However, the Tigers were determined to come back – after Tigers’ captain Laura Martindale came close, hitting the post with 3:00 remaining in the period, the Tigers responded just 11 seconds later. After winning a faceoff in the offensive zone, Laing passed the puck back to Charissa Stadnyk, whose slap shot trickled past Bellamy

The Crimson wraps up its quick two-game homestand when it welcomes Quinnipiac to Bright Hockey Center tomorrow afternoon in a 4 p.m. matchup.