The Harvard women's hockey team is heading North this weekend. We're talking Santa Claus North. Jingling-bell-reindeer North. Flyingsleigh North.
Harvard faces Colby today and Bowdoin tomorrow, and though Maine isn't the North Pole, the Crimson certainly hopes the jolly old fat man hasn't forgot about it. Two wins would fit oh so nicely in the Crimson's holiday stocking.
Harvard (2-4-0 overall, 1-2-0 ECAC) began this season against stiff competition and, as a result, has suffered some tough losses.
Still fresh in the team's mind is the Crimson's 3-1 defeat Wednesday at the hands of Brown, the best team in the ECAC.
But both players and coaches believe that this road trip promises just the sort of holiday cheer the Crimson needs.
"I expect two wins," said a confident Harvard Coach John Dooley. "We're maturing every day. Every night we're a better team."
Dooley said Harvard's difficult schedule puts the team at an advantage.
"We've played the iron of both countries [Canada and the U.S.]," said Dooley. "All the difficulties we've had should pay dividends and help us against teams we can play with."
Both the Colby and Bowdoin, on the other hand, have not seen much action yet this season. Colby (0-1-0, 0-1-0) lost its only game to Cornell, 1-0, and Bowdoin hasn't competed at all.
But Dooley said that the Crimson will not take either of the teams lightly.
"We're not going to overlook anyone," Dooley said.
Harvard must concentrate on its offensive production--or more correctly, its lack of offensive production.
"We've got to break out on the scoring end," Harvard Assistant Coach Bill MacDonald said. "We can't seem to get the puck behind the netminder, and we have to develop some rhythm on the offensive end."
This season, the Crimson has fallen victim to inexperience. With seven freshman now playing for Harvard, the squad needs someone to step up and help Co-Captain Joey Alissi score. "We don't have too many natural scorers, but I think we're going to see some people surface this weekend," Dooley said.
If no one does surface, the Crimson could sink fast. Colby boasts freshman goalie Jennifer Dursi, who was named ECAC Rookie of the Week for her 27-save performance against Cornell. Bowdoin also has found success in its rookies, and Dooley said the Crimson will have to watch the young Polar Bears.
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