Between the first and second periods and again between third and fourth (yes, fourth) periods, the Harvard and Hobomock women's hockey teams took a break.
But the zamboni didn't resurface the ice. Instead, the two teams took time out to practice their power plays.
To call Monday night's matchup an informal game is an understatement. Harvard's players didn't even wear their regular game jerseys. Instead, they wore practice sweaters in their 4-2 "exhibition" victory over the Hobomock Hawks Monday night at the Bright Hockey Center.
The scrimmage was only on the schedule as a post-winter-break tune-up, something to shake out the Crimson's cobwebs. Harvard had just three days on the ice coming into the Monday's game and needed to prep for a murderous stretch of games before the break for exams.
Thus, Hobomock, a team based out of the Pembrook Rink on the South Shore and composed of high school players and college graduates. (In fact, Harvard is recruiting high school senior Christa Calagione, whose second-period goal knotted the halftime score at two.)
And, oh yes, the game.
Harvard scored twice in the fourth period (which lasted 15 minutes, as opposed to the regulation 20--then again, there is no regulation fourth period) to pull away from the Hawks.
Harvard Coach John Dooley's blue line of sophomore Diana Clark and freshmen Megan Hall and Sara Simmons tallied twice in the victory. Clark scored the eventual game-winning goal with 3:52 gone in the fourth period.
But it was a scrimmage. No big deal, right?
"The blue line came alive! The blue came through!" an exuberent Dooley said after the game. "That was the best they have played all year and for them to play like that after the break....They're young. They're all rookies."
Hobomock Coach Jim Wagner missed several of players who were out with injuries--or simply didn't show up. Only nine players suited up for the Hawks, outdoing even Harvard's paltry 12-woman squad.
Still, Wagner thought the game was his to win. And with players like Princeton grad Sue Morrison and Northeastern alum Kelly Rose, he was probably right.
"Basically, [Harvard] is not a team that will beat us if we play disciplined, position hockey," Wagner said, "but for us, it was a real good skate."
Monday night, however, belonged to the Crimson.
THE NOTEBOOK: Harvard faces Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., tonight--the first of four tough league opponents before exams. The other three games are against Providence at home Tuesday, Cornell on the road next Saturday and RIT the following afternoon.