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The Harvard woman's ice hockey team (1-0-0) romped to a 6-0 victory over Yale Sunday in its season and Ivy opener. Thankfully for the Elis, goaltender Maureen Magauran kept the Crimson from running up the score, recording an impressive 46 saves on the afternoon.
The Crimson combined nice individual performances with solid passing, both breaking out of its zone and controlling play in the offensive end. Harvard also showcased a balanced attack, with each of its three lines putting the puck between the pipes.
Sophomore Joey Alissi began Harvard's scoring at 10:40 of the first period. Alissi gathered a pass from senior Sandra Whyte on the left side, cut across the front of the net and deftly flicked a back-hander past Magauran, giving Harvard a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, Whyte fed Alissi for an almost identical play to put Harvard ahead 2-0. The line would click yet again in the third period as Whyte waltzed around a defender and beat the netminder with a backhand.
"Their goalie is absolutely incredible," Harvard Coach John Dooley said. "But our line of Whyte, Alissi, and Ginny Simmonds is as good as any in woman's ice hockey."
Harvard had been eager to test a few new faces in its opener and defenders Winkie Mleczko and Diana Clark, and forward Sarah Simmons received particularly good reviews.
"Anytime you open a season you make a lot of mistakes, but with more experience you cut down," Dooley said. "It was a real plus to give the freshman some experience and a nice suprise to have two goals from Sarah [Simmons]."
Simmons flipped the puck past a wall of players and into the net at 8:24 of the second period for a 3-0 Harvard advantage and her first collegiate goal. Simmons' second goal was a redirection of a Bev Stickles's shot from the point and handed the Crimson its 6-0 lead.
Harvard's second line of Kim Landry-Jen Minkus-Beth Messmore combined for several nice rushes, with Messmore notching Harvard's fifth goal by deflecting a Mleczko shot between Magauran's pads.
"The second line showed that they are going to be a major factor for our team," Dooley said.
Overall, Harvard's victory was an encouraging tune-up for today's contest against Providence in Rhode Island.
"Our passing has come around and that's what is most important at this stage of the game," Alissi said. "Also, our defense is playing well, we've been deflecting their shots for goals."
Though Providence is usually among the top teams in the east, Harvard can come out on top today, if the Crimson offense shines the way it did against the Elis.
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