Photo credit: Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.
By Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.
The Harvard Crimson Women’s Hockey Team entered Saturday afternoon’s game against the fifth-ranked Colgate Raiders with a record of 7-12-3 but Colgate Head Coach Greg Fargo knew they would be a tough challenge for his team.
“They’re fast and physical”, Fargo said of the Crimson. “We can play that game too, but I think anytime we play Harvard in the past it’s up and back, it’s physical and it gets emotional at times”.
Despite having a season so far that the 2021-22 ECAC Regular Season champions would have to consider disappointing by their standards, Harvard had a reason to feel good as they entered the Class of 1965 Arena. On Friday, they knocked off the tenth-ranked Cornell Big Red in Lynah Rink in Ithaca, NY by a score of 7-6 behind five points from Anne Bloomer and four points by Kristin Della Rovere. The challenge the duo presents is not lost on Fargo.
“They’ve (Harvard) got a really dangerous line there with Della Rovere and Bloomer. Coming into the game we really wanted to try and focus in on them and keep them off the scoresheet as best we can. We figure if we can do that we would be in pretty good standing”.
The Raiders opened the game at a blistering pace, firing eighteen shots on Harvard goaltender Alex Pellicci in the first period while yielding only four. Despite the onslaught of shots, the period ended in a scoreless tie. Colgate’s team speed presented a problem for the Crimson as they took two minor penalties in the opening frame, but the home team could not take advantage.
The Crimson played a physical game in the first period in an attempt to slow down the Raiders and that would continue throughout the game. Colgate would break through five and a half minutes into the second period on a play started by the nation’s leading scorer Danielle Serdachny. Serdachny skated the puck around the Harvard zone before snapping a shot from the top of the circles, creating a loose puck in front of the net that would be put in by Kaitlyn O’Donohoe.
After the O’Donohoe goal, the Raiders continued to attack in waves pressing for their next goal. They nearly got burned with just under six minutes left in the period, but Colgate goaltender Kayle Osborne made a stop on a two-on-one to keep the Crimson off the board. Seconds after the Osborne save, Elyssa Biederman took a Dara Greig pass from under the Harvard goal line and beat Pellicci five hole with a shot from the right circle to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead. It looked like Colgate might start running away with the game, but looks can sometimes be deceiving…
With just over two minutes remaining in the middle frame, a harmless-looking shot from the right point was tipped by Della Rovere in front of the Colgate net and past a surprised Osborne. Before the next faceoff, the Raiders challenged the play and the officials overturned the goal. “We had a really good vantage point from the bench, and we could see clearly that it was a high stick on the play,” Coach Fargo said about his decision to challenge the goal.
Della Rovere would not be denied, as she would score again with 0.9 seconds remaining, beating Osborne with a wrist shot from the left circle on the short side. This one counted, and the teams went to the locker rooms separated by only one goal.
The teams combined for twenty-eight combined shots (eighteen by Colgate and ten by Harvard), but despite the wide-open action, only one goal would be scored. Tessa Holk scored her second goal of the season at the 13:32 mark securing a 3-1 win for the Raiders.
After the game, Coach Fargo was pleased with his team’s performance, saying:
“It was a good game in a lot of regards, I liked a lot of things we did…You look up at the shot totals and you love that you throw almost fifty pucks to the net. I thought their goalie played really well, but we controlled a lot of the play offensively, even though it was a closer game than we wanted it to be, there were a lot of good things that were taking place out there. I like the determination of our group overall, just to find a way to win in the third period. That’s a good sign for what’s to come with our group”.
Game Notes: Colgate outshot Harvard 49-23…Colgate was 0 for 3 on the power play, while Harvard was 0 for 1…Six skaters registered one point each for Colgate, while three registered one point each for Harvard…Danielle Serdachny led Colgate in shots with eight, while Della Rovere led Harvard with six…Colgate won 27 faceoffs in the game, while Harvard won 26…Neena Brick led Colgate in faceoff wins with ten, while Della Rovere led Harvard with 14…Colgate’s next game is on Tuesday, January 31st at home against St. Lawrence…For more information about Colgate Raiders hockey, visit https://colgateathletics.com.
Three Observations From the Game
The Stars Came Out on Saturday Afternoon
There may have been a total of only four goals scored in the game, but that doesn’t mean the star power for both teams wasn’t on display. For Colgate, Danielle Serdachny appeared to have the puck every time she was on the ice. She drove the offense all day for the Raiders and had eight shots on goal. Kaitlyn O’Donohoe, who is the third leading scorer for the Raiders (but could lead in points on several other teams) had a goal, and defender Allyson Simpson had an assist, five shots, five blocks, and was a +2 for the day.
Kristin Della Rovere and Anne Bloomer were the offensive threats for the Crimson, as Coach Fargo had noted they would be. Every time Harvard had the puck, Della Rovere seemed to be the one who had it on her stick. She had one goal (and one that was waived off), six shots, four blocks, and was 14 for 28 in the faceoff circle. Her linemate, Anne Bloomer had an assist and six shots as well.
Crimson goaltender Alex Pellicci took the loss but was excellent considering she was barraged by the Colgate offense all day. She stopped 46 of the 49 shots she faced.
The Raiders Proved They Can Play Any Style of Game
Colgate is no doubt a high-powered team on offense that can skate with any team in the nation. On Saturday they were confronted with a very physical style of game from the Crimson but Colgate was able to play with physicality themselves when necessary as well. In the end, it was the Raiders who were able to impose their will with their trademark offensive pressure to skate away with the victory.
The Raiders Dynamic Duo In Net is Back
After missing nearly two months, Kayle Osborne returned to action for the Raiders last Saturday at Cornell. She and Hannah Murphy have formed one of the best goaltending tandems in college hockey since last season and Coach Fargo is glad to have both of his star goaltenders back.
“It’s really great”, Fargo said. “We have so much faith in both of those goalies at different times in their careers they both won us championships. It’s good to have Kayle back and she’s finding her form again after a little bit of a layoff, but knowing that we could stay fresh in the net and go with either one of them down the stretch here is a good feeling as a coach”.
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