Get out the muzzles.
Yesterday, the Harvard women's hockey team kicked off the season by taming the Lady Bulldogs of the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the the opening game of the first round of the All-American Women's Ice Hockey Invitational Tournament at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn., 6-1.
Harvard plays St. Cloud State University today at 10 a.m. in the second round for a berth in tomorrow's championship game.
The Crimson controlled the game from the start, taking a 3-1 lead after the first period. It added another in the second and two more in the third to cap the scoring.
Captain Joey Alissi was the offensive star with a hat trick and two assists for five points. Sophomore forward Stacey Kellogg scored two goals, and junior defender Diana Clark added one of her own. Freshman A.J. Mleczko was Harvard's playmaker, setting up five of the Crimson's six goals.
Erin Villiotte stoned the Lady Bulldogs in goal, turning away 18 shots for the win.
"The more [the team] plays, the better it gets," Dooley said. "We're very optimistic. This is our first time here. Minnesota-Duluth was a scrappy team. Villiotte made good with her 18 saves. They were all testers. We have eight freshmen on the team, and everybody played."
The All-American Tournament is the first national women's hockey tournament in a rapidly growing sport. This year, it is also hosting three of Harvard's ECAC Division I rivals: Brown, Dartmouth and Yale.
Today's opponent, the St. Cloud Huskies, finished fourth in the B Division of the Minnesota Women's Hockey Association (MWHA) last year with a 12-5-3 regular season record and a 1-2 playoff mark.
"This is a fantastic tournament," Dooley said. "Brown and Dartmouth are here, and there are also excellent amateur teams."
After suffering through a season in which the Crimson only had 12 players it could suit up for games, Dooley has eight new freshmen--including the highly-praised Mleczko--on a squad that nearly upset several Division I powers last season.
Harvard is looking to regain the form which has brought it three lvy league titles and four Ivy tournament championships.
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