CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.--One statistic curtly sums up the seven most recent games in the No. 4 Harvard women's hockey team's series with Boston College--63 to 5. That is the cumulative score by which the Crimson has destroyed the Eagles over the past three seasons.
It didn't always used to be this easy. Just five years ago, B.C. took Northeastern to overtime in the Beanpot final, and the Eagles beat the Crimson 7-2 in 1996, but the two programs have taken off in strikingly opposite directions since then. The Eagles are dead last in the ECAC, and a first-ever Beanpot title seems as distant as ever for them.
"B.C.'s got some talented kids, but it's certainly not going to happen overnight," Harvard Coach Katey Stone said. "They're going to have to be patient and not get discouraged, and every once in a while you might see some of that and that's where the drop-off comes from. But B.C.'s definitely headed in the right direction."
Harvard helped B.C. off to an auspicious start by putting itself down a player with a bench protocol infraction. But the aggressive Crimson forecheck kept the Eagles in their own end for nearly the entire two minutes, making the early mishap irrelevant.
"You have to approach every game the same way," Harvard co-captain Jennifer Botterill said. "That's definitely our focus to set the pace and stick to our game plan."
B.C. did hold Harvard scoreless for the first 9:18, a significant improvement over the Crimson's 13-1win in November when Harvard tallied just 1:35 into the first.
One big difference between last night's game and the November matchup was the distribution of scoring. While the goals were split fairly between Harvard's three lines in November, all but the top line were shut out this time around.
"Did everything we did go as crisply and cleanly as we would have liked? No," Stone said. "But a win's a win and it puts us in the position we need to be in for next week."
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