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Cornell came into their Saturday afternoon match-up against Harvard red hot offensively, averaging five goals per game on the season, and seven goals per game over their past three games. But the Big Red had no answer for Harvard goalie Alex Pellici and the Harvard defense as the Crimson prevailed with a 2-0 win.
After a scoreless first period, Harvard got on the board first at 7:42 of the second period when Kristin Della Rovere finished off a 2-on-1 pass from Gabi Davidson Adams to put Harvard up early.
Cornell’s best chance at tying up the game came midway through the third period when Harvard was whistled for back-to-back penalties, giving Cornell 35 seconds of 5-on-3 power play advantage. But Cornell was unable to convert, and after Cornell’s Grace Dwyer took a penalty to make it a 4-on-4 situation, Harvard’s Jade Arnone scored on a shot from the left point to give the Crimson a key insurance goal.
With the loss, Cornell remains in a four-way tie for first place in the ECAC with 12 points, but now having played one more game than Colgate and Quinnipiac and two more than Yale. Harvard, meanwhile, got off to a slow start in ECAC play, and needed these key league points to fight their way back into the conversation atop the league. They trail the group at the top by two league points, but are still giving up multiple games in hand to each.
-The ECAC was expected to be a crazy close league this season. Harvard was picked seventh—though they did receive a first-place vote—but I think expectations were for them to be more competitive in that top pack than they have been to this point in the season. A loss today would have really put them in a deep hole. But with the win, I think it shows they can compete with the top of the league.
After losing Becca Gilmore to graduation and Dominique Petrie and Taze Thompson to the Portal, they’re probably a little too thin offensively to work their way to the top of that group. But I really liked the way they played defensively today. They were outstanding in the tough areas of the ice in front of their net, and were able to shut down a team that was scoring at an incredible pace over their past few games.
-Tough day offensively for Cornell after playing a couple wild games in a row. Gillis Frechette and Izzy Daniel have been leading the way for Cornell offensively, as the top scorers in the country on a per game basis. They combined for nine shots on goal, and Daniel rung a shot off the post in the first period that might have change the game if it had gone in. But for the most part, credit Harvard for keeping that duo quiet and off the scoresheet.