The Harvard women's hockey team bowed under a Brown barrage last night at Bright Arena, losing for the first time in three games, 3-0.
But it was a Brown person--not a Brown team--that halted the Crimson's two game winning streak.
Providence center Lisa Brown, that is.
The sophomore skating sensation equaled the output of the Ancient Eight Pandas--who tripped Harvard, 3-2, earlier in the season--in the first 11 minutes of last night's contest.
Her first period hat trick silenced the 50 spectators who packed the frigid Arena while giving the Lady Friars (4-1-1) a lead that would neither grow--thanks to a tough Cantab defense--nor shrink.
"[Brown] is one of the finest women's hockey players I have ever seen," Crimson Coach John Dooley said. "She can do it all."
Harvard (3-3) couldn't muster an effective attack until late in the second stanza--save fruitless breakaways by Co-Captain Julie Sasner and forward Lisi Bailliere. And even then, the Cantabs could not score.
But the lack of offensive output only magnified the Crimson's defensive effort.
"They have more depth," Sasner said. "They have the big guns. So we're really happy with the way we played."
Harvard's defense--led by goalie Jennifer White's 30 saves--shut down the Friar offense after Brown's rampage.
White must have longed for the return of Monday Night Hockey, an untelevised and sparsely attended event that began and ended with the Crimson's 11-0 thrashing of Boston College December 2. In that contest, White had to stop only one shot.
But while it was Black Tuesday yesterday for White and her teammates, Harvard taught the black-robbed Lady Friars a thing or two about aggressive--often overly aggressive--hockey: Crimson defender Christine Burns put several Providence forwards against the boards.
Bailliere--apparently thinking that 15 saves was not enough of a night's work for Friar goalie Kathy Carney--bulled into the off-balanced netminder during a power play and carried her to the glass. While the flailing goalkeeper tumbled to the ice, Bailliere skated after the puck.
Although the Crimson's fearsome play was exciting, Brown's powerful skating and three tallies were the highlights of last night's contest.
Her third score--a tip-in of a Michelle Ricci blast at 11:28--was especially impressive.
"That was a major league goal," Sasner said.
Harvard won't see the likes of Brown again until it travels to Providence, R.I., in February to face well, Brown and its stupendous forward Mardie Corcoran.
But the Crimson will get another test from a polished New Hampshire squad tomorrow.