Want to know what a women's ice hockey game against Providence is like?
Listen to Harvard Coach John Dooley:
"Kind of like it would be if the Harvard football team were to face Miami."
Well it wasn't that bad, but it was pretty close.
The Friars completely dominated the Crimson, sending the team away from Schneider Arena with a disappointing but expected 6-0 loss Sunday night.
On paper, this one was a snoozer.
Providence outshot the Crimson 42-10 in the game, including a 17-4 advantage in the first period.
The only two penalties of the game were committed by the Crimson, one by Harvard Co-Captain Joey Alissi, the other by defender Holly Leitzes.
And the first Providence line, centered by 1992 Olympian Cammi Granato (brother of NHL center Tony Granato) and alluded to by Alissi as possessing "world-class talent," tallied an amazing 11 points by itself.
Yet for a team as young as the Crimson squad--with seven freshmen on the roster--there were many positives to be gleaned from the lopsided result.
"You don't improve by playing weak teams," Dooley said. "You build on experiences like these to become better hockey players, so that when crunch time comes in February, you are able to play a much more solid game."
Most of his players, especially the freshmen, took that lesson to heart.
Good Penalty Killing
On the more tangible side, the special team's play was solid--killing off both of the man-down situations it faced. Defender Francie Walton singlehandedly broke up several two-on-one Friar rushes towards the Crimson goal.
And one of Harvard's biggest worries failed to materialize. With a roster containing only 13 skaters, team endurance was a legitimate preseason question.
"Fatigue worked to our advantage, having skated so much more in practice to try and overcome the problem," senior Kim Landry said.
But against a powerhouse like Providence, skating endurance wasn't enough to give Harvard a win. The Friar offense was just too intense.
"Too often, we were so worried about defensive coverage that we would sacrifice a lot of our offensive potential," Alissi said.
Tonight, the Crimson will have a chance to iron out some of its offensive kinks in its scrimmage against Assabet, a Massachusetts all-select squad primarily consisting of high-school level talent.