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Sports | Hockey

A “Track Meet” on Ice

11.25.15

Senior forward Miye D’Oench is Harvard's lead attacker this season, with six goals and 12 points, including two assists Tuesday night against Northeastern.

Senior forward Miye D’Oench is Harvard's lead attacker this season, with six goals and 12 points, including two assists Tuesday night against Northeastern. 

Photograph Zack Williamson/Harvard Athletic Communications


Senior forward Miye D’Oench is Harvard's lead attacker this season, with six goals and 12 points, including two assists Tuesday night against Northeastern. 

Photograph Zack Williamson/Harvard Athletic Communications

Co-captain and star goalie Emerance Maschmeyer ’16 is back in Cambridge after spending the early season playing abroad with Hockey Canada.

Co-captain and star goalie Emerance Maschmeyer ’16 is back in Cambridge after spending the early season playing abroad with Hockey Canada. 

 Photograph Elan Kawesch/Harvard Athletic Communications


Co-captain and star goalie Emerance Maschmeyer ’16 is back in Cambridge after spending the early season playing abroad with Hockey Canada. 

 Photograph Elan Kawesch/Harvard Athletic Communications

After at 20-point season last year, left wing Karly Heffernan ’18 has a goal and seven assists in nine games this fall.

After at 20-point season last year, left wing Karly Heffernan ’18 has a goal and seven assists in nine games this fall. 

 Photograph Zack Williamson/Harvard Athletic Communications


After at 20-point season last year, left wing Karly Heffernan ’18 has a goal and seven assists in nine games this fall. 

 Photograph Zack Williamson/Harvard Athletic Communications

Four days before the Harvard women’s hockey team was set to play fourth-ranked Northeastern University, coach Katey Stone was thinking about the opponent’s worrisome speed. “They’re very fast.” Her players would need to be faster. “I think you’re going to see a track meet,” Stone, the Landry Family head coach, said last Thursday, after putting her team through a two-hour practice of quick transitions and back-checking drills punctuated by suicide sprints. “You’re going to see both teams flying up and down the ice—at least, I hope it’ll be both teams.” 

It was. On Tuesday night, the eighth-ranked Crimson beat Northeastern 3-0, picking up the team’s seventh win in a row and pushing its record to 7-1-1. What turned out to be the game-winning goal came at the end of a frenetic and goosey first period, when left wing Sydney Daniels ’17 lifted a wrist shot over goalie Brittany Bugalski’s shoulder with less than two minutes to play before intermission. 

Until that moment, it was Northeastern that had looked the more dangerous and dominant and ready to strike. The Huskies held the puck in the Harvard zone for whole shifts and long minutes, sending shot after shot toward the Harvard net while the Crimson struggled to find rarer chances on the other end (in the past 13 games, Northeastern’s top two offensive lines have scored 50 goals alone, and the team averages almost five per game). Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer  ’16 and Harvard’s defense, especially Chelsea Ziadie ’18 and Michelle Picard ’16—who disrupted more than a few Northeastern breakaways and blocked several shots—kept the game scoreless until their teammates could find their track-meet legs. When Daniels’s shot sliced high into the far corner of the net, the cheer that rose up from the crowd sounded almost startled. 

After that, the game seemed to shift.  Northeastern lost a step, and Harvard pressed its way into the Huskies’ defensive zone more and more. After a Crimson goal was waved off midway through the second period—because Harvard forward Lexie Laing ’18 was folded up inside Northeastern’s net when the puck crossed the line (which caused a few cross words after the whistle)—winger Grace Zarzecki ’19 tipped in a heavy blast from defenseman Abbey Frazer ’17 in the dying seconds of a power play to make it 2-0. The final goal came early in the third, a put-back on a long rebound by Jessica Harvey ’16, standing just outside the crease. “We took advantage of our opportunities,” Stone said after the game, perhaps her way of saying that the play on the ice was not as lopsided as the score. Trailing 7 to 12 in shots on goal after the first period, Harvard finished the game with 34 shots to Northeastern’s 31. 

After a 2014-15 season in which they won the ECAC championship (and for the first time since 2010, the annual Beanpot tournament) and went all the way to the NCAA final, Harvard is off to a strong start. “So far so good,” said Stone—a coach’s hedge—allowing a cautious grin. “Honestly, we’re in a little bit better place than I thought we would be right now.” Injuries and illness plagued the first few weeks of the season; Tuesday night’s game was the first time back on the ice for senior center Mary Parker, last year’s leading scorer. And it was just the fourth start for captain and star goalie Maschmeyer, who spent several weeks playing with Hockey Canada for the 4 Nations Cup, held this year in Sweden (where she was the starting goalie twice against the tournament-winning U.S. team; “Can’t ask for better than that,” she said). 

“We’ve had mono and concussions, and just a number of things that can stutter a team’s progress,” Stone said. “But I think our kids have done a good job of filling the holes. They’ve pushed through and found a way to win some pretty tough hockey games.” So far this year, Harvard has not given up more than two goals in any game. The Northeastern matchup was Maschmeyer’s second shutout and the team’s fourth. 

Tougher games lie ahead. After back-to-back contests on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving at Minnesota Duluth, Harvard faces Ivy League rival Princeton in New Jersey on December 4 and fifth-ranked Quinnipiac the following day. Looming in January: home games against number-two team Boston College (which in October handed Harvard its only loss to date this season), and Dartmouth, the team that currently tops the Ivy League conference standings.

“We just need to use our grit,” Stone said, “and keep doing what we’re doing.”

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Last lunge: With senior right guard Larry Allen Jr. (73) keeping Penn defenders at bay, Harvard senior back Charlie Booker nudges the ball over the goal line for the Crimson's first score.

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Happy hookup: Having beaten Columbia’s Will Allen, Harvard junior wide receiver Jack Cook waits for the pass from senior quarterback Tom Stewart. Cook made the grab and then dashed to the end zone for the longest touchdown pass in Crimson history—92 yards.
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Harvard junior defensive lineman Kelvin Apari pressures Dartmouth’s designated passing quarterback, Derek Kyler. The Big Green tried only 11 passes, completing four for 49 yards. 
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