Icewomen Falter in Beanpot; B.C. Foils Comeback Try, 2-1
Waiting until the last minute works sometimes. For the women's hockey team, it worked against Dartmouth and Yale--both victims of sudden-death overtime Crimson goals.
Since the new year, however, and, especially against a scrappy squad like Boston College last night, it just hasn't worked.
After spotting B.C. two goals in the second period, Harvard's last stanza comeback attempt fell short yesterday as the icewomen dropped a disappointing 2-1 decision to the Eagles in the opening round of the third annual women's Beanpot at the Boston Arena.
"We played a great third period, but you can't wait until the third period and hope to pull it off," Coach Rita Harder said after the game. "If we could play three good periods of hockey, we could stay with any team."
Maybe if the tournament had voted for standard 20-minute stanzas rather than the abbreviated 18-minute ones, the Crimson could have pulled it off. Down 2-0 when the final period began, the Green line--Firkins Reed, Sue Yunick, and Vicki Palmer--came out flying, beat Eagle netminder Peggy Cameron, and sparked the skaters onto their previously absent aggressive offensive hockey.
A Vicki Palmer rush around the left defenseman that was snubbed by Cameron seemed like deja vu until Megan Berthold kept the puck in the zone and Harvard seemed to be mounting a sustained attack. Co-captain Lauren Norton's drive from the point deflected wide, but Sue Yunick was on the puck to harass the B.C. defender and to push a pass to Palmer.
The sophomore winger came from behind the net and backhanded the disc under Cameron's pads with just 1:51 gone, and Harvard was ready for more. Moments later, a Julie Starr bullet from the blueline with Sara Fischer in front and another Palmer backhand continued the Crimson pressure, but a tripping penalty at 6:58 seemed to give the Eagles just the opportunity they were looking for to turn the momentum around.
Enter persistent forechecker Alex Lightfoot, whose pesty defense drew a B.C. tripping violation 36 seconds later. With the squads four aside, Fischer's aggressive loose puck play precipitated another unnecessary Eagle slashing infraction at 8:24.
But in a half-minute of five-against-three hockey. Harvard could only muster two Starr bullets from outside, both of which Cameron gloved. Credit a big, well disciplined, and finely skilled B.C. defense with denying the icewomen penetration in front despite numerical disadvantage.
Somewhere in the realm of Beanpot emotion, Harvard seemed to lose the intangible edge that had filled the icewomen after the Palmer goal with that "we're-going-to-pull-this-off feeling." The Eagle penalty killing aroused the Chestnut-Hillers just enough to hold on.
With three minutes left, a Norton slapshot brought Cameron to her knees, but the B.C. captain smothered the rebound with Fischer cruising in for the tap-in. Despite pulling the goalie for the last 90 seconds and showering Cameron with 12 third-period drives, for the Crimson, it was too little, too late.
Despite the gallant comeback attempt, the icewomen remained content to play defensive hockey for most of the first two periods. As the Eagles sped up the tempo after the opening minute jitters, the Crimson never made its move, waiting instead for the B.C. offense.
Boston College 2-Harvard 1
at the Boston Arena
1st period: No scoring
2nd period: B.C.-Donna Fischera (Kelly Flynn) 3:56. B.C.-Fischera (Anne Kavanaugh) 5:16.
3rd period: Harvard-Vicki Palmer (Sue Yunick) 1:51.
H 0 0 1-1
BC 0 2 0-2
Saves: Camaron (BC) 5 6 11-22; Tate (H) 6 6 5-17