The Harvard women's hockey team travelled North for the weekend. However, its play went South.
In a generally disappointing weekend, the Crimson tied a perennially weak Bowdoin squad, 5-5, Friday night in Brunswick, Me., before semi-redeeming itself by dominating Colby, 3-0, Saturday afternoon in Waterville, Me.
The Crimson (3-2-1) has been having problems motivating itself, which accounted for its two-game winless streak--including its first Ivy loss at the hands of Brown last Wednesday and the draw with listless Bowdoin.
Against Bowdoin, Harvard jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead, only to surrender four second-period Polar Bears goals, three of which were last touched by Harvard skaters. But juniors Bev Stickles and Jen Minkus tallied to knot the score at 4-4 going into the second intermission.
The Crimson saved the most action-packed minute of its error-filled game for the final minute of regulation.
Right wing Ginny Simonds found the net with only 51 seconds remaining, giving the Crimson a slim one-goal lead. Simonds collected the misdirected clearing shot of Bowdoin netminder Suzanne Walker, which had hit the skate of a defender, and the Harvard junior beat Walker for the go-ahead goal.
"It was a good hustle goal," Stickles said.
However, the Harvard lead was short-lived. Only seven seconds later, Bowdoin foward Sarah Russell gathered a loose puck off a faceoff in the Harvard zone and knocked it past senior goalie Gillian D'Souza, evening the contest, 5-5.
"We played down to their level," senior Co-Captain Sue Cullinane said. "Our defense broke down and we let in some bad goals. We beat ourselves."
The #9-#8 Punch
The Crimson's much-needed victory came the following afternoon against Colby, 3-0. Sophomore Kim Landry provided all of the offense, registering her second three-goal effort of the season.
Harvard Coach John Dooley recognized his team's lackluster performances and made some major adjustments in his first and second lines. Superfrosh Joey Alissi remained on the first line as center, and she was joined by junior Lauren Messmore on the right and freshman Emily Buxton on the left.
The second line was composed of Simonds, Landry and junior Jen Minkus, who earned a playmaker in Saturday's win.
"By shuffling the lines around, we got the feeling that it was a whole new game [against Colby]," Stickles said. "And we did skate much better as a team."
Landry netted her first two goals on the same shift in the opening period. The final goal came with just over 10 minutes remaining in the contest, securing the win for Harvard and completing both the hat trick for Landry and the playmaker for Minkus.
The Harvard defense, anchored by Stickles, Cullinane and D'Souza, and complimented by freshmen blueliners Francie Walton and Beth Messmore, had an uneventful game against Colby. It would have been nice if they too had been able to redeem themselves for their weak outing the previous night. Luckily--or unluckily--they will have that opportunity Wednesday night against ECAC powerhouse New Hampshire in Durham, N.H.
Tie, 5-5 in Brunswick, Me. HARVARD 2-2-1-0--5 Bowdoin 0-4-1-0--5
First Period: 1, H, Jen Minkus (Bev Stickles) 7:52; 2, H, Lauren Messmore (Emily Buxton). Penalties--B, Carol Thomas (high-sticking) 14:11; H, Messmore (high-sticking) 16:15.
Second Period: 3, B, Jennifer Ahren (Paige Prescott, Sarah Russell) 1:01; 4, B, Russell (Thomas, Petra Eaton) 5:13; 5, B, Thomas (unassisted) 6:57; 6, B, Russell (Eaton) 8:13; 7, H, Stickles (Buxton), 9:51; 8, H, Minkus (Josey Alissi, Ginny Simmonds) 11:52. Penalties--B, Russell (tripping) 11:57.
Third Period: 9, H, Simmonds), 17:09; 10, B, Russell (Eaton, Thomas), 17:16. Penalties--B, Suzanne Walker, served by Jennifer Hand (tripping), 10:28; H, Minkus (elbowing) 11:51; B, Russell (tripping) 12:06.
Overtime: No scoring. Penalties--H, Minkus (roughing) 4:13.
Saves: H, Lexi Shear 3-4-x-x 7, Gillian D'Souza x-x-5-2--7; B, Walker 9-9-7-2--29.
Crimson, 3-0 in Waterville, Me. HARVARD 2-0-1--3 Colby 0-0-0--0
First Period: 1, H, Kim Landry (Jen Minkus, Ginny Simmonds) 4:37; 2, H, Landry (Minkus) 6:19. Penalties--H, Minkus (high sticking) 14:35.
Second Period: No scoring. Penalties--H, Francie Walton (roughing) 12:37.
Third Period: 3, H, Landry (Minkus) 10:41. Penalties--H, Joey Allissi (tripping) 1:53.