Cornell, Harvard Fall in NCAA Women's Hockey Quarterfinals
Portions courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications and Harvard Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Cornell and Harvard both saw their national title hopes ended on Saturday as both were knocked off in the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship's quarterfinal round. Cornell lost in overtime to Mercyhurst, 4-3, while Harvard dropped a 3-1 decision at Boston College.
Cornell's Jillian Saulnier struck with a slap shot goal with only 55.6 seconds left in the third period to tie the NCAA Quarterfinal game at 3-3. But the Lakers' Jenna Dingeldein ended Cornell's season with an overtime goal 4:49 into the extra period at Lynah Rink on Saturday.
No. 2-seeded Cornell (27-6-1) fell behind 1-0 midway through the first period but fought back to take a 2-1 lead on goals from Brianne Jenner and Jess Brown. Then the Lakers got two in the third period including what looked like it might be the game-winner from Caroline Luczak with 1:13 left.
But Cornell pulled the goaltender and got an offensive-zone faceoff when Mercyhurst iced the puck. Saulnier got a clean faceoff win from Jenner and fired the puck past Stephanie Ciampa, sending the Lynah Rink crowd of more than 2,300 into a familiar frenzy.
But Digeldein's goal almost five minutes into extra time handed the Big Red their first-ever opening round loss in NCAA play.
At Chestnut Hill, Mass., the No. 5 Harvard women's hockey team jumped out to an early lead on No. 4 Boston College, but the Eagles scored three unanswered goals to top the Crimson, 3-1.
After the Crimson struck first to take a 1-0 lead, BC responded with three consecutive tallies in the first and second periods to beat Harvard in the first meeting in the postseason between the two schools.
Mary Parker struck for her fourth goal in as many games to account for Harvard's lone tally, and Kaitlin Spurling and Samantha Reber both contributed assists for the Crimson, who outshot the Eagles, 31-24. Freshman goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer made 21 saves in her NCAA Tournament debut, but it was not enough for the Crimson.
Ivy League co-champs this season, Harvard finished the season 24-7-3, while Cornell finished 27-6-1.