Women's Ivy League hockey had always been a one-school show.
But in a year of newfound parity, Harvard, riding high in a tie for first place, hoped to be the team to capitalize on the Ivy free-for-all and replace three-time defending champ Princeton at the top of the heap.
Saturday, the Crimson learned that what parity gives, parity can just as easily take away.
The Tigers, 10-0 in the Ivies last season, but mired in the crowd and hovering around .500 all this year, administered the shock treatment, dealing Harvard a 2-0 blow.
"We're not out of it yet," said Crimson Coach John Dooley, who is still looking for his first title. "It's still wide open--anything can happen because we're all so very even."
Just look at the current standings--Brown (6-2) holds on to a slim one-game lead over both Harvard (5-3) and Princeton (4-2).
Then look at the games that these three squads have played against each other--the Bruins have twice beaten the Tigers, who have split the season series against the Cantabs, who have knocked off the Bruins not once, but twice.
The women's Ivy League hockey race resembles nothing so much as a three-way civil war with vague and constantly shifting alliances.
And no clear-cut winners--at least not yet.
Harvard and Brown, each have two league, games remaining on the schedule, with the Crimson travelling to Cornell and Dartmouth, and the Bruins trekking to Ithaca and hosting Princeton.
The Tigers also have two dates with the Big Green and one with the Big Red left before they conclude their Ivy tour.
As Yogi Berra would say, it's never over 'til it's over.
"A few inches either way, and we could have come out of there with a win," lamented Dooley after Saturday's loss.
Which must have been just what Princeton though in November, when it dropped a 4-3 squeaker at Bright Center.
"Being on your home rink gives you about a one goal advantage," Dooley noted.