MIDDLETOWN, Conn.--Overcoming a snowy Mass Pike, quickly melting ice surface and a hot goalie, the Crimson icewomen edged out a weak Wesleyan squad, 2-1, here last Saturday.
Under normal conditions, Harvard might have swamped the Cardinals--now 2-8--who got off a mere seven shots on goal, to the Crimson's 42. But poor ice conditions combined with the icewomen's lackadaisical skating made for a slowlackadaisical skating made for a slowpaced game and a narrow decision.
One for you and...
The teams went into the final stanza with the score knotted at one apiece. Harvard freshman sensation Alex Lightfoot notched the gamewinner on an assist by junior winger Sara Fischer with a little more than half the period gone. Wesleyan threatened late but the icewomen retained their tenuous lead.
Water dumped on the ice after the intermission Zamboni sweeps made third-period play resemble a slow-motion videotape. Even at game's start, the ice had been soft and slow because of heavy use earlier in the day.
With coach Rita Harder routinely substituting her third line instead of her usual tactics--alternating the first two--the Cardinals tallied the first goal in period one on a breakaway attempt that caught Harvard netminder Katie Williams off guard.
The rest of the Crimson found itself unprepared for another trend: a persistent disinclination on the part of the referees to call any penalties. Only two players sat in the box during the game.
Down 1-0, Harvard finally retaliated midway through period two. After wrestling the puck from a swarm of Cardinal defensemen, freshman Vicki Palmer passed it to winger Sue Yunick who flicked a shot past Wesleyan goaltender Melissa Hewey.
It was slightly ironic that Harvard should move to 3-9 with a victory untypical of its usually smooth--if losing--style.
"The ice slowed us down a bit, but I don't think we played our best," co-captain Lauren Norton said later. "We were a little lazy," she added.
NOTEBOOK: The Crimson meets Dartmouth tonight in Hanover, N.H. for its last regular season game...The Second Annual Women's Beanpot begins this Saturday at Bright with the heavily-favored Northeastern meeting Boston College at 11:00 a.m...Harvard faces off against Boston University later that day.