The Harvard women's hockey team would like to think that all's well that stairs well.
At least that what they'd like to think when it comes down to the biggest Ivy League weekend of thew year.
You can call in the bus factor, you can call it home court advantage, but it's tempting simply to say that the Cantabs looked awfully good last night as they outskated Yale, 4-2 before 100 at Bright Center.
Certainly, it was a nice touch of revenge, considering that the Elis Knocked off the Crimson, 3-2, in both squads season opener.
Last time out we were really flat because we were just off the bus-it's like night and day, the difference between the first game and today," said Harvard Tri-Captain Dinny Starr.
The icewomen are now 7-5 overall, but the record that really counts is a 4-2 Ivy mark, good enough for second place.
And guess who's coming to town tomorrow afternoon--none other than first place Brown, sporting a 5-1 league record.
"This was a good all-around team effort," noted freshman standout Julie Sasner. "It's great to get the momentum going for tomorrow."
The Cantabs will need all the momentum they can get, because although they slipped past the Bruins, 6-4 in November, the stakes have risen since that point in the season.
"Women's ice hockey is a very competitive, fast, physical game," said Harvard Coach John Dooley. Bodies were sprawling all over the ice last night at Bright Arena, and as the Ivy League rivalries heat up, so does that element of competition.
The Elis came to Cambridge determined to prove that their earlier win over the Crimson was no fluke, and they broke open the scoring early.
Just one second after the clock ran out on a Starr tripping penalty midway through the first period, Yale left wing Lisa Uribe worked a pass from her center, Maria Dennis, past Harvard goalie Tracy Kimmel to put her squad up, 1-0.
Less than a minute later, however, the Crimson responded, with Genie Simmons lining a solid shot into the right side of the net.
And then 14:50 into the game, Sasner skatcd down the left side of the ice, swcrved past a few defenders, and drove the puck past Yale goalie Kathy Brady.
A major factor in the pacing of the contest was the Crimson's ability to curtail the skating of Dennis, the Ivy's third-leading scorer.
"I think one bright spot out there was Dinny Starr and Karen Carney, who had the extra assignment of watching Dennis," said Dooley. "They did a super job of it."
Ward Netches One
Liz Ward notched one for the Crimson at the end of the second period. When Brady had trouble handling a shot from Sasner, the senior center was there to drive the puck home.
Dennis knocked one in unassisted at the beginning of the final stanza, but Kelly Landry was quick to boost the Cantabs back up to a two-goal margin as she slammed in a beauty with about five minutes left on the clock.
"We played awesome," exulted Starr. "We really stuck it to them and it's so great to beat Yale."
Even greater for the Crimson would be to follow up this one with a victory over Brown tonight, and complete a sweep on this crucial Ivy weekend.