BOSTON--In a cross-town battle that had implications for the national picture as well as for next month's Beanpot, the No. 2 Harvard women's hockey team jumped all over No. 1 Northeastern in the first period and hung on for a 5-3 victory over the Huskies yesterday at Matthews Arena.
"This was an important game between the two teams that have been ranked No. 1 this year," said junior winger Tammy Shewchuk, who had a hand in all five goals. "Chances are that we'll face them again in the Beanpot, and today we really wanted to show them we've earned what we have."
With the win, Harvard (11-2-2, 9-2-2 ECAC) should move past Northeastern and claim the top spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online national rankings when the poll is released later today.
Harvard also has sole possession of first place in the conference, despite a 1-1 tie at No. 8 Providence on Saturday.
Harvard has a two-point lead over Northeastern (13-3-2, 8-2-2) and a three-point lead over No. 4 Brown, the Crimson's travel partner, which tied at both Northeastern and Providence last weekend.
After converting only one of 46 shots against the Friars, the top forward line of Shewchuk, sophomore center Jen Botterill and junior winger Angie Francisco--three of the ECAC's top six scorers--lit up the Huskies.
The trio combined for 12 points against the two best defenses in the conference. Northeastern and Providence allow just 1.17 and 1.31 goals per game, respectively.
"The first line has to work well together, otherwise we have to make adjustments," Harvard Coach Katey Stone said. "It doesn't make sense to have three really great players on a life if they are not producing. So I told them to share the puck and good things would happen, and that's what they did today."
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