The Harvard women's hockey team knows when to go on a hot streak. With a 6-1 demolition of Yale Saturday afternoon at Bright to its credit, the squad is riding a five-game winning streak going into this week's Beanpot tournament.
But despite their 11-5 record, the icewomen will have their hands full in the opening game tonight at 6:15. They will face off at B.U.'s Walter Brown Arena against the pretourney favorite, Northeastern.
In their last meeting, two months ago, the Huskies outshot and outmuscled the Crimson in a 5-1 rout. Northeastern's top forward line of Patti Storey, Shelley Spencer and Carol Latorre scored three times against the usually stingy Harvard defense, and B.U. netminder Kathy Scanlon stopped 20 Crimson shots in that game.
But Harvard coach John Dooley expects a less one-sided contest in today's rematch with the team which has been ranked third in the East for much of the season. "We're a totally different team from when we played Northeastern last time. It'll be a much different game."
He can certainly point to a lot of improvement by his squad, especially during its post exam undefeated streak. And Saturday's annihilation of the Elis typified the Crimson's recent successes.
The Harvard offense, short on hard-shooting forwards, has lately turned to victimizing opposing goalies with textbook-style, centering pass to deflection goals. Liz Ward opened the scoring against Yale on Saturday on such a play, setting up in front of the net and tipping in a centering pass from linemate Vicki Palmer, 5:24 into the first period.
Less than two minutes later, Jennifer White made it 2-0, skating through a befuddled Yale defense and converting a pass from left wing Sue Yunick. As the game wore on the Bulldogs became increasingly shaky in their own end. Just 1:03 into the second stanza, an Eli blueliner coughed up the puck to Ward, who skated in alone on net and made it a 3-0 game.
These goals only touched the iceberg because when you're good you get lucky: Yale goalie Betsy Mason fumbled the puck in the crease, giving Firkins Reed a freebie at 3:36. After Yale broke their goose-egg with a power-play goal by Betsy Bradley at 5:32, the Crimson retaliated late in the period on a goal by Palmer. Right wing White finished off the scoring with her second of the game, intercepting at 14:55 of the third period.
The shots-on-goal totals reflected the Crimson's domination of the Yalies: Harvard 36, Yale, As coach Dooley noted afterward. "We were able to control the pace of the game completely."