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A contest between the Harvard women’s hockey team and Boston University’s club team is one of those moments in college sports when the final score doesn’t matter.
That’s because it was inevitable that the No. 1 Crimson (17-1, 5-0 Ivy) would defeat the Terriers, who aren’t even varsity sponsored right now. With their top scorers sparingly on the ice—and rarely shooting the puck—Harvard defeated BU 7-0 last night at the Bright Center.
With the win the Harvard women’s hockey team earns the right to defend the Beanpot title as “Best in Boston” for the fifth straight year. Harvard will play Boston College, whom the Crimson beat 17-2 last Tuesday, next Tuesday.
Freshman Jaclyn Pitushka led all scorers with two goals and an assist. Pitushka’s first goal came late in the first period. After cutting left across BU goaltender Amy Levine’s glove side, Pitushka received a crisp pass from sophomore Sarah Holbrook in the left corner and scored a backhand goal at 11:34.
The goal broke up the doldrums of Harvard passing back and forth in Boston’s zone. Rather than take shots at will, the Crimson worked on the finer points of offense with all the players on its roster.
“In this situation, we weren’t trying to run up the score,” Pitushka said. “We wanted to work on other things, especially getting everyone very involved in each play.”
Pitushka struck again midway though the second period while on a 2-on-1 break with sophomore winger Kat Sweet. Sweet fed a cutting Pitushka, who slapped home her second goal of the night at 8:11 to bring the score to 5-0.
Twelve seconds later, Holbrook scored off a pass from Pitushka, not even allowing the rink announcer enough time to broadcast the previous goal.
While the opponent was no competition for Harvard, Coach Katey Stone was pleased with the opportunity to give her less experienced players more ice time.
“Obviously, your goaltender doesn’t get the work you’d like her to get,” Stone said. “But the most satisfying thing for me is to see the kids who don’t get out there as much go out and do the things you want them to do.”
In a light night of work, freshman netminder Ali Boe made four saves for the Crimson. Levine made 11 stops in two periods, while teammate Jennifer Whitten made one save in the final frame of action for the Terriers in defeat.
Now all eyes are set for this Friday night’s battle between Harvard and Ivy rival No. 4 Dartmouth. The Crimson beat a depleted Big Green lineup 9-2 in early November, but Dartmouth has posted vastly better results since then. Dartmouth is the top ranked opponent Harvard will play for the rest of the regular season.
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