Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Led, as usual, by the offensive firepower of Tania Huber, the women's ice hockey team picked up its first victory of the season--and first ever in the Ivy League--last night by dropping Dartmouth, 5-3, at Rupert Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H.
Huber, aided by linemates Sara Fischer and Meg Streeter, finished with four goals on the night, including the game winner less than five minutes into the final period.
First Time the Best
"I'll tell you, it feels just great," Joe Bertagna, coach of the squad, said after the game. "Getting our first win was really important," he added. The victory left the Crimson with a 1-4-1 record overall and a respectable 1-1-1 in the Ivies.
Heading into the final period with a 3-2 lead, the team became "really psyched and emotional--we began to believe in ourselves for the first time all year," Bertagna said.
Apparently bolstered by this newfound confidence, Harvard sealed win number one with Huber's third and fourth tallies of the evening. Both goals came on rink-length dashes as Huber first stuffed a one-hander by Dartmouth netminder Janice Ellis' short side at 4:47 with an assist going to Allison Bell, then rebounded her own shot on an unassisted goal four minutes later. A last-minute Dartmouth goal finished the scoring.
After the Crimson dominated a scoreless opening session outshooting Dartmouth, 14-6, the Big Green grabbed a 1-0 lead 9:38 into period two.
That's when the Crimson offense, dormant until last night, exploded for three goals in less than two minutes.
Huber started the pack rolling at 13:36 when she popped a rebound past Ellis off assists by Fischer and Streeter. The same combination clicked again during a goalmouth scramble at 15:16 to give Harvard a lead it never relinquished. Only fourteen seconds later, Lauren Norton converted a rebound as Alice Hill and Firkins Reed picked up assists on the play for a 3-1 margin before Dartmouth cut it to one at 18:09.
The final result left Bertagna looking forward to the Ivy League Tournament in Providence, when seedings will be determined by previous performance. "We want to be a factor, not just a soft touch for other teams," he said.