February 7, 2009

Harvard Deals Bears 4-0 Setback

Feb. 7, 2009

Box Score

Cambridge, MA - The women's hockey team was dealt a severe blow to its playoff hopes on Saturday afternoon, falling to Harvard 4-0 at Bright Arena. Though senior goalie Nicole Stock (Buffalo Grove, IL) played well, recording 41 saves, the offense was shut out for the second consecutive game, and the Crimson were able to keep consistent pressure on net for much of the contest. With the loss, Brown drops to 5-17-1 overall, and 4-12-0 in league play, while Harvard improves to 13-7-3 on the year, and 12-4-2 in ECAC Hockey.

The first period started out well for the Bears, as they hung with the favored Crimson for most of the opening 20 minutes. Harvard had its first good shot on goal on a breakaway just five minutes into the frame, but Stock made a point-blank save to keep the shutout early. That was soon followed by an opportunity for the Bears, when junior Kath Surbey (Calgary, AB) blocked a Harvard shot, controlled the puck, and had a breakaway chance of her own, which was similarly stopped by the Crimson. There was further drama near the midway point, when Brown was called for two penalties in quick succession, giving Harvard a five on three chance. However, the penalty kill was running on all cylinders for Bruno, and the Crimson were unable to make anything of it.

Harvard finally broke through with five minutes remaining though, as they worked a two-on-one perfectly, knocking the puck into the upper left corner for a 1-0 lead. The Crimson then followed that up with another quick goal, putting in the second score of the game with only 17 seconds left in the opener. Though the shot was initially deflected by a Brown defenseman, it trickled just over Stock's outstretched hand for a 2-0 lead after the first.

The second period was more of the same, as Harvard knocked in a power play goal just over seven minutes into the frame for a 3-0 lead. The Bears had their best shot near the midway point, when junior Sasha Van Muyen (Orillia, ON) came open in front of the net, but her shot was saved by Harvard, keeping the shutout alive through 40 minutes. Only a minute later, the Crimson found the net again, as Sarah Vaillancourt picked up her second goal and fourth overall point of the game, giving Harvard a 4-0 advantage.

Though the final period marked an improvement for Brown, as the team was able to hold Harvard off the board, the offense was also unable to generate a comeback for the Bears. With the game in hand, both teams played a relatively conservative third, and Harvard held on for a 4-0 final win. The shutout was the second in a row for Brown, and the fourth in the last six games.

The Bears will be back in action on Friday, February 13, when they return home to take on Union at 7 p.m.