All factors considered, the Harvard women's hockey team was relieved to get out of Hanover with a 1-1 tie.
The Crimson has only been practicing for three days, and two of its major offensive weapons, Co-Captain Julie Sasner and Brita Lind, are suffering from the flu. With these two first liners limited, non-regulars like Martina Albright were given a chance in the tough contest against Dartmouth.
Fortunately for Harvard, Albright came through with the game-tying goal.
The tie marked the first time in two years that Harvard had not won a league game. Last year, the Crimson went 10-0 in the Ivy League.
The game featured solid goaltending on both sides, with both Harvard goalie Jennifer White (20 saves) and Kelley Coyne (22) making crucial stops.
Dartmouth notched the first goal while short-handed in the third period. Gina Gualtieri, one of last year's top 10 scorers in the Ivy League, took a pass at the point and skated through the Harvard defense, unleashing a backhander that went by White.
The shot was apparently aided by wet spots on the ice left over from the Zamboni run between the second and third periods. The puck slid around in front of the net before settling between the posts.
Harvard had plenty of scoring opportunities in the third period before finally cashing in. On three power plays early in the third period, Sasner and sophomore sensation Char Joslin let loose their fierce shots from the point, but Coyne was equal to the task.
Coyne, a first-team All-Ivy performer last year, turned away slapshot after slapshot as the Crimson increased its pressure.
Finally, with 3:10 left to play in regulation, Harvard scored to force overtime. On a fine passing combination, the puck went from Karen Carney to Co-Captain Johanna Neilson to Albright, who slapped it into the back of the Dartmouth net.
"Martina has been doing really well lately," Harvard assistant coach Bill MacDonald said. "She has improved considerably already this season. We really needed her tonight with Sas and Brita sick and she came through."