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Dianne Hurley must love to play against Brown. Last night at the Bright Center, the leading scorer of the Harvard women's hockey team notched her second hat trick in as many contests against the Bruins, leading the Crimson to a 6-1 triumph.
Left winger Hurley and her linemates, center Firkins Reed and right wing Liz Ward, victimized the Brown defense four times, not by hard shooting--all the goals were scored from within 15 feet--but by constantly out-hustling the Bruins to grab loose pucks and errant passes.
Harvard fell behind in the early going, when Brown blueliner Patty Nawrocki scored off a soft shot from the point, at 7:34. But soon after that Hurley and her linemates went to work. With Bruin co-captain Amy Crafts in the penalty box for holding, Hurley tied the score, converting Reed's pass on a two-on-one break.
The Crimson forged ahead at the 17:07 mark with another two-on-one, with right wing Vicki Palmer's pass setting up Julie Starr for what proved to be the winning rally.
The line of Ward, Reed and Hurley effectively finished off the Bruins right at the start of the second stanza. Straight offthe opening face-off Hurley stole the puck from Brown's Nawrocki, skated in alone on goal, beating Bruin netminder Diana Rathborne at the twelve-second mark. Just 72 seconds later, still on the first shift of the period, Hurley's centering pass set up a goal by Ward which made it 4-1.
Brown had a tough time mounting any sort of counterattack after that disastrous shift. The Crimson defense shut down the Bruins' offense, as the blueliners aggressively cleared the crease in front of goalie Cheryl Tate of both Bruins and pucks. The only threats came from the sticks of Brown co-captains and linemates Pam Bopone and Amy Crafts, but Tate foiled several good chances, including a two-on-one.
A melee in front of Rathborne led to Harvard's fifth goal at 9:38 of the second, when Jennifer White converted a rebound of a shot by her linemate and roommate, Alex Lightfoot. A hitting-from-behind call on Crafts at 19:20 led to the contest's final red light, Hurley's eighth of the season, which brought a hat floating to the ice at the 19:58 mark.
The Crimson kept their lead intact in the final period, allowing the Bruins only three shots on net, to preserve their sixth victory of the year against three losses.
According to Harvard coach John Dooley, the Crimson held a decisive manpower edge over the Bruins. "We had three lines," Dooley said, "they had two. We just wore them down. And in the third period we used four." Several of Brown's players had happened to take semesters off from school at the same time--including Janice Moody, the goalie the Crimson barely beat, 4-3, on December 5.
One very pleased spectator was Rita Harder, coach Dooley's predecessor. Though a Brown alum, she didn't seem to mind the drubbing the Crimson gave her alma mater. "There's good depth on all three lines," she said, adding, "They're playing with a lot more confidence this year, having won more games early in the season."
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