Pictured: Co-captain Cori Bassett and the No. 9 Crimson
compete for the first time this season Saturday, as the team hosts
McGill for an exhibition.
Photo courtesy: David Silverman Photography
Harvard Season Preview
Harvard skates for the first time in 2009-10, hosting an exhibition game against McGill, in the Crimson’s final tuneup before the start of the regular season. Saturday's game marks the first of at least 21 times that Harvard will compete on home ice this season.
These two teams also met for an exhibition last season, with the Crimson emerging with a 3-2 victory at Bright Hockey Center Oct. 25, 2008. In that contest, Jenny Brine ’09 tallied a power-play goal, while goaltender Christina Kessler stopped all five shots she faced.
Harvard’s two captains for the 2009-10 campaign are senior defensemen Cori Bassett and Kathryn Farni.
Harvard, which finished 19-10-3 and successfully defended its ECAC Hockey regular season and Ivy League titles last year, takes to the ice ranked ninth nationally in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 10th in the USCHO.com rankings. The ECAC Hockey coaches picked Harvard to finish second in the in preseason conference poll and voted senior goaltender Christina Kessler to the preseason all-league team for the second consecutive season.
Returning Statistical Leaders
With five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in 2008-09, junior Katharine Chute is Harvard’s returning scoring leader. Junior Liza Ryabkina (nine goals, six assists), senior Cori Bassett (six goals, eight assists), senior Anna McDonald (two goals, nine assists) and junior Kate Busser (six goals, four assists) also reached double digits in scoring a year ago.
Between the pipes, Harvard returns All-America goaltender Christina Kessler, who was named to the All-Ivy League first team and All-ECAC Hockey second team last season. She ranked third in the nation with a 1.59 goals-against average and ranked seventh with a .933 save percentage (599 of 642). She posted a 17-8-2 overall record, giving her a 55-14-2 mark for her career, placing her second in victories in school history.
Scouting the Martlets
McGill had won three straight contests entering Friday’s game at Dartmouth. The Martlets topped Vermont, 2-1, in overtime Oct. 4, and recorded shutout victories against Concordia, 5-0, Oct. 9, and Ottawa, 6-0, Oct. 17. McGill played ECAC Hockey opponent St. Lawrence Oct. 3, losing by a score of 2-1 to the Saints in Canton, N.Y. The Martlets will conclude their United State at Yale Sunday afternoon.
The Crimson opens the regular season with a trip to Colgate Friday, Oct. 30.