Laing, Harvard on their way to Frozen Four

CAMBRIDGE – Marblehead?s Lexie Laing is heading for the Frozen Four after notching two assists as Harvard rolled to a 5-0 victory over Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals of the NCAA women?s hockey tournament Saturday at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
Laing, a freshman center, set up the first and final goals for the third-ranked Crimson (26-5-3), who will meet No. 2 Boston College (34-2-2) in the NCAA semifinals Friday at the Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
?It was pretty big to get that first one, we struggled little bit against Quinnipiac the last two times we played them (two 2-1 wins this season), definitely getting ahead early was very big for our team, certainly,” Laing said.
Coach Katey Stone said Laing has been a key contributor as a freshman this season, with 10 goals and 15 assists.
?She?s been terrific, she gets better and better every week and that?s what we?ve asked of her and our other freshmen,” Stone said. “She is in a very big position for us, lining up at center for us, and she?s played a lot of strong defense for us, too.”
The game was closer than the final score indicated, as the Bobcats outshot the home team, 23-20, and junior goalie Emerance Maschmeyer turned away every bid.
Maschmeyer said her strong play is helped by the pressure put on by Lexie?s sister, Brianna Laing, and Molly Tissenbaum, both sophomore goalies for Harvard.
?I love having two other goalies that push me at every practice, make me be my
best,” Maschmeyer said. “Whether it?s me, Brianna or Molly, whoever we have in net they will do the job for us, it?s awesome to have three good goalies on our team.”
Brianna Laing went 8-1-0 this season, with a 1.50 goals against average, and recorded her fifth career shutout in a win over Princeton on Dec. 5.
?We have battles against each other every practice to push each other,” Brianna said.
The Frozen Four will feature the top four teams in the country: BC, Minnesota, Harvard and Wisconsin. Top-ranked Minnesota (32-3-4) will face No. 4 Wisconsin (29-6-4) in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday night in Minneapolis, followed by BC-Harvard. The winners will play for the national championship next Sunday at 4 p.m.
Freshman goalie Katie Burt of Lynn had 20 saves as BC stopped Clarkson, 5-1, Saturday in a quarterfinal at the Eagles’ Kelley Rink. Burt, who jumped straight from the Buckingham Browne & Nichols’ net to BC’s, has a 30-2-2 record heading to Minneapolis.
Friday?s BC-Harvard game will be a rematch of the Beanpot final, when the Crimson upset the Eagles, 3-2, on Feb. 10. The Laing sisters, who starred at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham before Harvard, said they are excited for the opportunity to take on BC again.
?We are definitely pumped up to go to Minnesota and pumped up to play BC,” Lexie said. “Every time we play BC it?s a good game, we always try to give them our best.”
?I know Emerance is going to do a great job against BC, and I?ll be on the bench cheering for her and the team as hard as I can,” Brianna said. “It?s going to be a great game, we?re all excited to get to play BC again.”
Scot Cooper can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @bscooper60.

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