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This weekend students from Harvard and the hundreds of other colleges in New England migrate north and converge on Hanover, N.H., for the Big Green's pride and joy, the annual Dartmouth Winter Carnival. The women's hockey team beat the crowds and the Big Green, 2-0, last night in Hanover for its fourth consecutive Ivy League victory.
The shutout, the Crimson's second of the season and its fourth triumph in the last five outings, boosts the icewomen's season ledger to 6-8 overall and 4-3 in the Ivies. Freshman sensation Cheryl Tate made ice sculptures of the Dartmouth forwards (frozen with their mouths open in awe), steering aside 22 Big Green drives en route to her first shutout ever.
Harvard's strong defensive play and aggressive backchecking stalled the Dartmouth attack all night, but particularly in the first period when the home team managed only two shots on goal. Besides a couple tricky stuff attempts, the Big Green offense only really tested Tate once.
Midway into the second stanza, Dartmouth's leading scorer, Claudia Sarnoff, found herself alone in front after a centering pass from a pileup in the corner. But Tate came out to cut off the angle with surveyor's accuracy, forcing Sarnoff's bullet to bounce wide off the right post.
Eager to show that its 2-1 overtime victory over Dartmouth three weeks ago was no fluke, the Crimson offense came out storming and quickly dampened the festive mood of the Rupert Thompson Arena. Just four minutes after the opening faceoff, career scoring leader Sara Fischer flipped a rebound by netminder Janice Ellis for her seventh goal of the season to give Harvard an early 1-0 lead.
Yardling leading scorer Diane Hurley, who returned to the ice after a sprained knee kept her out of action this week, set up the tally with a deft backhand pass to Alex Lightfoot from a scramble along the boards. Lightfoot, who picked up her sixth assist of the season, unleashed a drive which Ellis, last year's All-Ivy goaltender, knocked onto the stick of the perfectly positioned Fischer.
Continuing its harassing forechecking and constant pressure in the Dartmouth zone, the Crimson struck again just moments later. Picking the puck out of a scuffle in front of the net, co-captain Firkins Reed slipped the disc into the twines for the only insurance goal Harvard needed.
"There was a big mess in front; they panicked and tried to fall on the puck. I just got it out and shot," said the junior center, adding. "The goalie thought it was under the pileup, but it was behind her." THE NOTEBOOK: The icewomen return to the Bright Center to host Wesleyan Saturday afternoon at 12:30, in a tuneup for Tuesday night's contest against B.C. in the opening round of the third annual Women's Beanpot at the Boston Arena. Coach Harder hopes to videotape Saturday's game in an effort to iron out some of the squad's rough spots.
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