Zamboni woes mean Gophers must wait extra day to defeat Harvard

Monica Wright

An already bizarre season got a little stranger for the Minnesota women’s hockey team this weekend when they traveled east to take on Brown and Harvard.
Let’s check the facts:
First, the defending national champions are defeated by unranked rival Ohio State.
Then, defending WCHA champion Minnesota-Duluth is toppled by yet another unranked team, Wisconsin.
And Sunday, 90 minutes before the Gophers were set to take on fifth-ranked Harvard, the Bright Hockey Center’s zamboni caught fire while resurfacing the ice. A second zamboni was sent to take over, but that machine belched smoke and oozed antifreeze just moments after cruising on to the ice.
Rink workers scrambled to nearby arenas — including senior Courtney Kennedy’s prep-school alma mater Buckingham — Brown and Nichols — but no zambonis were available and the game was postponed until Monday.
After losing 3-2 in overtime to fourth-ranked Brown on Saturday, the zamboni god was on Minnesota’s side, giving them an extra day to recuperate.
The rejuvenated Gophers returned to the newly resurfaced rink and beat the Crimson by a dangerously close score of 3-2.
Harvard took an early lead over Minnesota when Angie Francisco popped in a power play goal in the first period. Senior and last season’s leading goal scorer Nadine Muzerall answered with a power play goal of her own just two minutes into the second period.
Though the Crimson were working with just eleven skaters, Vanessa Bazzocchi found the energy to slide a puck past senior goaltender Erica Killwald to tie up the game at the beginning of the third period.
Things were looking remarkably like Minnesota’s loss earlier in the weekend until sophomore Ronda Curtin buried Muzerall’s rebound just three minutes after Bazzocchi’s goal for the game-winner.
Minnesota outshot their opponent for the fourth game in a row, outgunning the Crimson 41-35.
The Gophers return to action this Friday when they take on defending WCHA champions Minnesota-Duluth at 7:05 at Mariucci arena. The series is a rematch of last season’s WCHA championship game.