Cambridge, Mass. – The Brown women's ice hockey team faced a tough challenge on Friday night at the Bright Hockey Center, taking on the nationally ranked, and No. 2 team in the ECAC, Harvard Crimson. No. 8 Harvard (19-8-1, 16-4-1) scored first in the initial period and used a three goal second to skate past the Bears (8-13-7, 5-12-4), 5-1. Brown's score came from junior Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic), who made it a 4-1 game early in the third.
Despite the loss, the Bears still control their own destiny into the playoffs as RPI also fell to Princeton, 2-1. Brown is currently tied for the final playoff spot with RPI, but owns the tiebreaker over the Engineers.
Junior goalie Katie Jamieson (Waterloo, Ontario) made 28 saves in the game, but the Harvard offense proved to be too much.
The Crimson came out strong on the offensive attack, actually getting a puck past Jamison just 20 seconds in, but freshman defender Lauren Vella (Staten Island, N.Y.) was there defensively to stop the puck just inches in front of the goal line, saving a sure goal for Harvard.
The Bears were able to play the Crimson tough through the first 10 minutes of the game, but at the 12:41 mark, freshman defender Sarah Edney was able to rifle one past Jamison for a 1-0 Harvard lead.
Brown defense was able to close out the first with the 1-0 deficit, and despite being out-shot 7-3 in the first 10 minutes of the second, Harvard was unable to add to their lead.
The Harvard answer came just 25 seconds past the mid-way mark of the second stanza as junior Jillian Dempsey made a pretty move with puck and beat Jamison for a 2-0 Crimson lead.
The two goal advantage did not last long as just 2:43 later, Edney tallied her second goal of the night to put Harvard in front, 3-0.
The Crimson made it a three-goal period as a late tripping call on the Bears set up Harvard for the power play score. Junior forward Kaitlin Spurling tallied her ninth goal of the season at 18:21.
Despite being out-shot 21-10 in the first two periods, the Bears continued to fight and got a break with an interference penalty called on the Crimson at 2:13 in the third. 46 seconds into the extra skater advantage, freshman Brittany Moorehead (Clinton, N.Y.) and sophomore Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) combined to set up Polenska, who went top shelf on the glove side for her sixth goal of the season.
The Bears nearly cut the lead in half with just under seven minutes remaining when senior co-captain Katelyn Landry's (Belmont, Mass.) shot got past the Harvard netminder, but found just enough iron to send the puck out, not in.
It was the Crimson who would find the next goal however as sophomore Lyndsey Fry netted her 15th score of the year and seal a 5-1 Harvard win.
Brown is back in action tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, February 18, at 4 p.m., in the final game of the regular season at Dartmouth.