Before last night's showdown with Brown Harvard women's ice hockey coach John Dooley recalled that his squad slow point had come in a last-minute loss at the hands of the Bruins just three weeks ago.
"It'd be nice if we could return the favor," he said.
And when Crimson forward Laz Ward smacked home the game winner with only a minute left in last night's game at Bright Center. Crimson had done more than just return the favor, it had possibly saved its entire season.
The come from behind 53 win evened Harvard's record at 44 12 3 in the Ivies while Brown dropped to 4 5 (2-2 in the Ivies). More importantly, though it halted a disappointing three game Crimson losing streak and vaulted Harvard back into the race for the Ivy title.
It might still be early in the season, but this was still a must win game for us." Dooley said. "A loss and we're pretty much out of the [Ivy] race, now we're right back in it."
With the victors also came the first signs of why many tabbed Harvard as a top contender for the Ivy title Using an aggressive offense and a polishing defense for the first time all season the icewomen fought back from a 3 2 defeat in the third period.
But in the end it proved to be the Crimson speed which up ended the visitors Ward, who also tied the score at three with just under 10 minutes to play, outskated three Bruins on the game winner.
Both Dooley and Crimson Co-Captain Next attributed the team's speed, as well as its new intensity, to the rearranging of the squad's lines Lightfoot moved to center on the team's second line, which also contains Ward and Jennifer White, Meanwhile, on the icewomen's starting line, Kathy Carroll moved to center, where she is now thanked by Diane Hurley and Vicki Palmer.
"The whole idea was to generate some offence." Dooley said. "By rearranging the lines we figured we could get some more speed and hopefully some more shots on goal."
The plan seemed to work, as Harvard jumped out to a quick 2-1 lead After an early Brown goal, Crimson forward Hurley smacked two pucks into the Brown twines to pace Harvard to the one goal advantage.
On the other end of the ice. Crimson goalie Cheryl Late, who finished the game with 22 saves, made several diving stabs to keep Harvard on top. But several defensive breakdowns late in the second period handed the Bruins the 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
And that set the stage for Ward's third period heroics, which enabled the icewomen to stage their first post-game celebration in over a month.
"We really needed this," Lightfoot said. "We weren't perfect out there, but we got what we really needed, and that's a win."
THE NOTEBOOK: It'll be David vs. Golioth tonight when the Crimson takes on the nation's top team, the University of New Hampshire UNH has lost one game since it started playing hockey eight years ago. Game time is 7:30 P.M at Bright. The squad went on a scoring teat on its recent Christmas trip in Aspen. There, the icewomen posted 10-0, 9-1, and 8-2 wins before dropping a 3-2 game to a local boys all star squad. Crimson defender SUE NEWELL, seen here in action in last night in last night's 5-3 win over Brown, attempts to wrestle the puck away from a Bruin forward. The win, which raises the icewomen's record to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the Ivies, ends a three-game losing streak and keep the Crimson in the race for the Ivy title.