HANOVER, N.H.--It almost seemed as if the Harvard wowen's hockey team had forgotten how to lose. The Crimson brought an eight-game winning streak to this weekend's Ivy Championships at Dartmouth and lengthened it to nine with a narrow 4-3 win over Cornell on Saturday. But Princeton snapped the icewomen's streak yesterday afternoon, taking the Ivy title, 6-2.
The Crimson brought a 5-2 Ivy League record to the tourney and, after enjoying a first-round bye, faced a surprisingly tough Big Red squad, Cornell captain Diane Dillon gave her team one-goal leads in each period. But goals by Diane Hurley in the first period, Cathy Carroll in the second and Sue Newell in the third kept the Crimson even.
Cornell played with unusual disadvantage, as its only goal-tender, Sarah Mott, was injured in a first-round game Friday, and the Big Red put the team manager, Diane Gregoire, in the nets. But the Ithacans worked hard to protect their new goalie and Gregoire more than held her own, stopping 31 shots.
However, Harvard netminder Cheryl Tate's superiority showed through after the scoreless overtime, when the game was decided by a shootout. Four of five Crimson forwards best Gregoire on penalty shots, while late stopped three of Cornell's attempts.
Tate, however, suffered a knee injury in the shootout and played hurt in the final against the Tigers (who had disposed of Dartmouth, 8-0, in the other semifinal). Princeton's Eliot Ammidon passed Tate on the game's first shot, a wrister from the faceoff circle 14 seconds into the contest.
In the Hole
The Crimson railed, and at the 6:27 mark, Diane Hurley knocked the puck in just before Tiger netminder Becky Potter could cover it with her glove. And Harvard forged ahead at 12:48, when Liz Ward slammed home a perfect centering pass from Hurley.
But in the last four minutes of the period, the Tigers took the lead for good, on goals by Anne-Marie Belli and Kelly O'Dell. And from then on, the New Jerseyans gradually took control of the game. Princeton's top line of Ammidon, O'Dell, and Laura Hallbornon, gave the Crimson defense constant problems, while the trio of Hurley, Ward and Vicki Palmer provided Harvard's only solid offensive pressure.
The Tigers effectively stopped the fast-skating, sharp-passing Crimson attack, but not by slowing down Harvard's game with physical, close-checking tactics. Instead, they simply played the same hard-skating style as Harvard--only better.
After the teams played a scoreless second period, Princeton broke the game open in the final stanza. Syrena Carlbom scored a power-play goal at 4:14 and O'Dell added two in the last three minutes for a hat trick.
Despite the loss, the Crimson finished with 15-6 on the year, a vast improvement over last year's record of 7-12 and the team's last-place finish in the Ivy tournament. "I would be more than happy," said Harvard Coach John Dooley after the game, "if we could ever duplicate a season like this one."
The icewomen will wind down this week with final practices and a scrimmage versus MIT.
NOTEBOOK: The tourney was the last of its kind in the Ivies; starting next year the league champs will be picked by regular season records. Princeton's O'Dell was chosen a tournament MVP with five goals and four assists in two games.