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No. 4 Women's Hockey Travels to No. 6 Clarkson for ECAC Hockey Semis

Pictured: Laura Bellamy owns a 10-3-2 record in net this season.
Photo courtesy: Kevin Burns Photography


Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Live Statistics (at Clarkson)
Live Video (with subscription at Clarkson)
ECAC Hockey Championship Home Page
NCAA Women's Hockey Selection Show Information

The Particulars
The fourth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team, which is unbeaten in its last five games, travels to No. 6 Clarkson for the ECAC Hockey semifinals. The winner will meet either No. 8 Cornell or Rensselaer in the final of the ECAC Hockey championship game at the site of the highest remaining seed.

The championship game will be held Sunday. The time has not yet been announced. Harvard has won the ECAC Hockey tournament five times, with the most recent coming in 2008.

ECAC Hockey Playoff Picture
The Crimson is the third seed in the ECAC Hockey Championship, while Clarkson is the No. 2 seed, Cornell is the top seed and Rensselaer is the fifth seed.

Follow From Home

GoCrimson.com will provide live statistics for this weekend’s games, all home games and most road contests this season. ClarksonAthletics.com will provide a video stream for a subscription for Friday’s semifinal game.

Series History Against Opponents
Harvard and Clarkson have met 18 times, with Harvard holding a 13-4-1 lead in the series. The Golden Knights are 1-0-1 against Harvard this season.

In nine previous meetings, the Crimson owns a 5-3-1 advantage in the all-time series against Renssealer, but the Engineers have won the last three meetings between the schools.

Harvard and Cornell have played 71 times, with the Crimson boasting a 50-18-3 advantage. Harvard stands at 0-1-1 against the Big Red this year.

Last Time Out
Harvard earned a two-game sweep against Princeton in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals Feb. 26-27. Liza Ryabkina netted three goals in the series, while Harvard outscored the Tigers, 9-2, in the two contests. In net, Laura Bellamy recorded 31 saves, while allowing only two goals for a .939 save percentage.

Legendary: Head Coach Katey Stone
Katey Stone is in her 16th season as the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey, and she brings a 339-142-27 (.693) record into Friday’s game. With Harvard’s 5-1 win over Princeton Feb. 26, Stone is now the all-time Division I record for victories, as she moved ahead of Laura Halldorson (337 wins), who coached at Minnesota and Colby.

Stone has led Harvard to all seven of its NCAA tournament appearances and has guided the Crimson to 10 Beanpot titles, as well as six ECAC Hockey regular-season titles, five ECAC Hockey tournament appearances and five Ivy League championships.

They’re Honored
Forward Kate Buesser was tabbed to the All-ECAC Hockey first team, while defender Leanna Coskren was named to the All-ECAC Hockey third team. Freshman Jillian Dempsey was selected to the All-ECAC Hockey Rookie team. Additionally, Randi Griffin was a nominee for ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year. Among Ivy League award winners, Buesser earned first-team honors, while Coskren and Dempsey were named to the second team and defender Cori Bassett and goaltender Christina Kessler garnered All-Ivy League honorable mention.

Hot Streak
Harvard has won 10 of its last 12 games and is 10-1-1 in its last 12 contests.

To Be The Best ...
With its 3-3 tie against No. 6 Clarkson Feb. 20, the Crimson stands at 5-2-4 against ranked foes this year. Harvard was 2-6-1 against top 10 opponents last season.

What A Finish
In her final regular season game, Randi Griffin recorded the first hat trick of her career, netting three straight goals within 10:07 of each other in the second period in the 3-3 tie at Clarkson Feb. 20. A day earlier, Griffin scored on a penalty shot at St. Lawrence Feb. 19 and was honored as ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for her effort.

Bright Spot
In 20 home games this season, Harvard owns a 14-3-3 record on home ice, and is 6-3-2 in road contests. The Crimson was 9-4-2 at Bright Hockey Center last season, while posting a 9-5-1 mark on the road.

Harvard Against The Ivy League
The Crimson owns a 6-2-2 against opponents from the Ancient Eight this season. In its last eight games against Ivy League teams, Harvard is 6-0-2, most recently defeating Yale, 4-3, Feb. 6. The Crimson finished the season second in the Ancient Eight after winning the conference crown in each of the last two seasons.

License to Kill
The Crimson boasts the nation’s sixth-best penalty kill unit, stopping 114 of 127 opponent power plays (.898). The Crimson also has a shorthanded goal to its credit this season, coming off the stick of Jillian Dempsey in a 4-0 win over Union Jan. 22.

Clean Sheets
With its 1-0 win over Northeastern in the Beanpot final Feb. 9, Harvard now has recorded seven shutouts this season. Laura Bellamy has earned three clean sheets, as she also shut down Union Jan. 22 and Boston College Feb. 2. Six of the Crimson’s seven shutouts have come at Bright Hockey Center. Senior Christina Kessler has recorded 25 shutouts during her career at Harvard, a program record.

First Thing’s First
Harvard is 17-2-2 when netting the game’s first goal and 3-4-3 when the opposition scores first. The Crimson was 18-0-2 when scoring first and 1-10-1 when the opponent lit the lamp first last season.

Crimson Leading The League
Kate Buesser, who was twice named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week this season,was second in ECAC Hockey with 32 points in conference games and was second in assists with 20. Buesser was also fifth with 12 goals in ECAC Hockey contests. Rookie Jillian Dempsey (10-11-21) ranked tied for eighth in conference points among all players and second among freshmen in the league.

Defender Leanna Coskren was tied for first with 11 power-play points (4-7-11),was tied for seventh with four power-play goals and stood tied for third with three game-winning tallies to her credit. Coskren was fourth among defenders with 16 points (6-10-16). Cori Bassett stood third in defender scoring with 17 points on four goals and 13 assists. She was also tied for sixth among all skaters with 13 assists.

Tip Of The Caps
Liza Ryabkina and Randi Griffin have each recorded a hat trick this season, both counting as natural hat tricks. Ryabkina netted four goals, including three in the third period, against Boston College in the Beanpot semifinal Feb. 2. Griffin lit the lamp three times in the second period at Clarkson Feb. 20.

The World’s Best
Five former Harvard standouts competed for their countries at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Two-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner Jennifer Botterill ’02-03 and Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-09, who was the recipient of the trophy in 2008, captured the gold medal with Team Canada. Angela Ruggiero ’02-04, who took home the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2004, Julie Chu ’06-07, winner of the trophy in 2007, and Caitlin Cahow ’07-08 claimed the silver medal while skating for Team USA.

Overall, Harvard has had nine current and former women’s hockey players represent their countries in the Olympics since 1998.

When The Game Is On The Line
Nine different Harvard players have scored a game-winning goal this season -- Kaitlin Spurling, Liza Ryabkina, Jillian Dempsey, Leanna Coskren, Anna McDonald, Cori Bassett, Kathryn Farni, Kate Buesser and Randi Griffin. Ryabkina, Spurling and Griffin have a team-best four game winners to their credit, while Coskren has notched three to lead Harvard blue liners.

Scoring In A Bunch
As a team, Harvard ranked second in ECAC Hockey with 3.14 goals per game, having scored 69 tallies in 22 conference games. The Crimson averaged 3.60 goals per contest in Ivy League games, good for first in the Ancient Eight.

A Balanced Attack
The Crimson has had 14 different players score at least one goal this year, as the team has netted a total of 90 goals. Sixteen players have at least one point to their credit. Harvard had 15 different players light the lamp last season, scoring a total of 95 goals.

Storied Program
With its 3-0 victory over St. Lawrence Nov. 7, Harvard earned the 500th victory in program history. The Crimson owns a 518-293-43 (.632) record over its storied 31-year history.

Spreading The Puck Around
The Crimson has 11 players who have reached double digits in points: Kate Buesser (38 points), Jillian Dempsey (26), Liza Ryabkina (21), Randi Griffn (20), Leanna Coskren (18), Cori Bassett (18), Anna McDonald (16), Kathryn Farni (15), Kaitlin Spurling (12), Josephine Pucci (10) and Katharine Chute (10).

Just Win, Christina!
Senior goaltender Christina Kessler is 64-16-6 (.779) in her career in net, placing her first on Harvard’s all-time goalie wins, as she passed Ali Boe ’06 with a 5-1 victory against Colgate Jan. 16. Kessler currently holds the NCAA career record with a .9413 save percentage, as she has stopped 1,863 of 1,979 shots faced during her career. Jessie Vetter (Wisconsin 2006-09) owned a .941 save percentage to set the record (2,175 of 2,312, .9407).

Beanpot Returns To Cambridge
The Crimson scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over No. 9 Northeastern at Bright Hockey Center Feb. 9, as Harvard captured its 13th Beanpot title. Liza Ryabkina netted the game-winner, giving her five goals for the tournament and was named unanimously as the Beanpot MVP. In net, Laura Bellamy recorded her second straight tournament shutout, making 27 saves. For her effort, Bellamy took home the Bertagna Award, given to the Beanpot’s top goaltender.

It’s All Over
Harvard is 111-2-6 (.958) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods. The Crimson is 17-1-2 (.900) in this category this season. Harvard’s lone loss came at Rensselaer Feb. 12, as the Crimson fell, 3-2, in overtime after holding a 2-0 lead in the third period. The Crimson led, 1-0, through two periods of play.

Stopping The Puck
Since stepping into the starting role, goaltender Laura Bellamy stands fourth in the country with a 1.32 goals-against average, while boasting the nation’s seventh-best save percentage (301 of 321, .938). She owns a 10-3-2 record good for a winning percentage of .733, the sixth highest mark in the country. Christina Kessler ranks fifth with a save percentage of .944 (351 of 372) and stands seventh with a 1.39 goals-against average.

Kylie Stephens earned her first start of the season Feb. 13, picking up the victory in Harvard’s 2-1 win at Union. Stephens made 13 saves and has a 2.65 goals-against average on the season.

Hall of Fame Inductee
Former Harvard standout Tammy Shewchuk ’00-01 was inducted into the Women’s Beanpot Hall of Fame during a ceremony between the consolation and championship games at Bright Hockey Center Feb. 9. Shewchuk is second all-time in Women’s Beanpot history with 25 points in eight games, having scored nine goals and handed out 16 assists. She helped Harvard win three Beanpots in 1999, 2000 and ’01. Other Crimson Beanpot Hall of Fame Inductees include Jennifer Botterill ’02-03 (2008) and Cheryl Tate ’82 (2009).

Welcome To The Show
Harvard freshmen have had the scoring touch this season, led by Jillian Dempsey who is second on the team with 11 goals, 15 assists and 26 points. Kaitlin Spurling (9-3-12) and Josephine Pucci (4-8-12) have also been scoring threats. Spurling is also tied for first on the team with four game-winning goals.

Hot Hand
Liza Ryabkina established a new career high, scoring four goals, including three in the third period alone, in Harvard’s 5-0 win over Boston College in the semifinal round of the Beanpot Feb. 2. Ryabkina, who also had the game winner in the Beanpot final Feb. 9, notched two power-play tallies and scored two even strength goals. Her four goals mark the most for a Harvard player since Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-09 lit the lamp four times in a 5-2 win at Cornell Feb. 13, 2009. Ryabkina also scored three goals during the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series.

A Stone Wall
The Crimson earned back-to-back shutouts against Minnesota Dec. 4-5, marking the first time that the Golden Gophers were held scoreless since Feb. 2, 2007. The Crimson had not recorded consecutive shutouts since holding Cornell without a goal during the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals Feb. 27-28, 2009.

Red Lights
Harvard ranks second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 1.45 goals per game. The Crimson stands fourth in scoring margin (+1.45), sixth on the penalty kill (114 of 127, .898), 10th in scoring offense (2.90 goals per game) and 11th on the power play (24 of 133, .180).

Crimson Among The Nation’s Best
With 0.74 assists per game, Kate Buesser ranks 13th in the nation in this category. Buesser also stands 18th with 1.23 points per contest. Liza Ryabkina, Randi Griffin and Kaitlin Spurling all have four game-winning goals, tying them for 15th, while at the blue line, Cori Bassett and Coskren are averaging 0.58 points per game, placing them tied for 18th. Among all of the country’s rookies, Jillian Dempsey stands 10th with 0.84 points per contest. Randi Griffin is tied for 16th with six power-play goals to her credit.

Solid Start
In 15 career starts, Laura Bellamy owns an 10-3-2 record with three shutouts. She has won nine of her last 10 games in net, including the Beanpot championship Feb. 9, and stopped a career-high 37 shots in 4-1 win at Dartmouth Jan. 29.