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Women's Hockey Returns to League Action at Union, Rensselaer

Full Game Notes (.pdf)

The Particulars

In its first action back from winter break, the Crimson returns to ECAC Hockey play with road games against Union and Rensselaer. Harvard  is coming off a stretch of five non-league games, four against nationally-ranked opponents, where it collected a hard-earned road win at New Hampshire Dec. 9.  

Series History
In 14 all-time matchups, Harvard has never lost to Union, collecting wins in every meeting starting in 2003-04. The Crimson has outscored the Dutchwomen 93-3 in the all-time series and has recorded 11 shutouts. Last season, Harvard blanked Union, 4-0, at Bright Hockey Center and edged the Dutchwomen, 2-1, in Schenectady in the closest game ever between the two teams.

The Harvard-Rensselaer series is relatively young, with the Crimson holding a 5-3-1 series edge over the Engineers. The teams first played during the 2006-07 season and Harvard went 5-0-1 in the first six meetings. The past three meetings have gone to RPI and two of those games were decided in overtime. Last year, the Engineers skated to a 4-2 win at Bright and then edged the Crimson, 3-2 in overtime, in Troy.

Last Time Out
Despite coming back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 2-2, Harvard could not stop Boston University from exploding for two quick goals within 30 seconds of each other and dropped a 5-3 decision to the Terriers Dec. 10 at Bright Hockey Center.

Down 2-1, the Crimson quickly tied the game 2:24 into the third period on Liza Ryabkina's (Kharkiv, Ukraine) second goal of the night.  Ryabkina unleashed a heavy one-timer off a Leanna Coskren (Walpole, Mass.) shot for the equalizer, Ryabkina's sixth of the season.  Josephine Pucci (Pearl River, N.Y.) also assisted on the score.

With 00.3 showing on the clock, Katharine Chute (Wayzata, Minn.) put an extra goal on the board for the Crimson, assisted by Whitney Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.) and Alisa Baumgartner (West Vancouver, B.C.), to bring the final score to 5-3.  Harvard held a 13-7 shot advantage in the final stanza.

Keep 'Em Coming
The game against Boston University marked Harvard's sixth against a ranked opponent in its last seven contests. The Crimson is 2-5 in its seven games against ranked foes this season, collecting a pair of wins in a home-and-home series with No. 9 Dartmouth. The Crimson fell to No. 7 Minnesota twice Nov. 26-28, dropped a 3-0 decision at then-No. 2 Cornell Nov. 5 and lost, 6-2, to Boston College. In its last time out, Harvard dropped a 5-3 decision to then No. 4/5 Boston University.  

Harvard Coach Katey Stone
Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Hockey, is in her 17th season as Harvard's head coach, and she holds a 344-150-29 career  record, the most all-time victories in Division I women's hockey. Stone has led Harvard to all eight of its NCAA tournament appearances and was named the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team in the summer of 2010.    

Third Period's The Charm
Harvard has played some of its best hockey in the third periods of games so far this season. While opponents have the scoring edge in the first and second periods, the Crimson is outscoring its foes 14-11 in the third stanza. Harvard has also held its opponents to the fewest number of shots, allowing just 75 pucks on net in the third period this year.
 
Hold Your Fire
In 39 periods of regulation hockey so far this season, Harvard has only allowed double-digit shots 10 times in a given period. Against Yale, Harvard limited the Bulldogs to 13 shots in the game including just three in the second period. Brown managed 15 total shots and fired just two on net in the second stanza. Harvard held Colgate to just two shots in the third period in a 3-1 win and also held Quinnipiac to just two shots in the third period of a 4-1 loss. The Crimson was outshot for the second time this season Nov. 20 at Dartmouth, but came away from Hanover, N.H., with a 3-2 victory. Against UNH, Harvard allowed just 14 shots on net, including three in the second period.  

Harvard has yet to allow more than 30 shots to an opposing team in a game this season. The Crimson is averaging 30.1 shots per game to its opponents' 21.8 and is outshooting its opponents 391-283 through 13 games.

About Union
While the Dutchwomen are enduring another trying season, the team has played a number of its opponents close. Union comes into the Harvard game with an overall record of 1-16-3 and still in search of its first conference victory at 0-6-2 in league play. Eight of Union's 16 losses have been by just one goal and the Dutchwomen defense has allowed four or more goals in a game on five occasions. The Dutchwomen opened the 2011 portion of their schedule against Vermont, dropping a pair of contests to the Catamounts by 2-1 and 3-1 scores. Union faces Dartmouth the day after facing the Crimson.  

About Rensselaer
RPI enters the weekend just one point behind Harvard in the ECAC Hockey standings, boasting a 4-3-1 conference record to go along with a 6-7-6 overall mark. RPI heads into the weekend on a six-game unbeaten streak, skating to ties in four of the contests. The Engineers also earned wins against Union (4-1) and Syracuse (2-1) during that stretch. RPI faces Dartmouth Jan. 7 in its first action since a Dec. 4 tie with Union, before squaring off against the Crimson.    

Familiar Faces
The coaching staff at Union features a trio of former Harvard women's hockey players. Claudia Asano '99 is in her fourth season as head coach of Dutchwomen after serving five seasons as an assistant with Harvard. Ali Boe '06 is also in her fourth season as an assistant with the program and 2007 Patty Kazmaier Award winner Julie Chu '06-07 is in her first year behind the Union bench.

New Faces
Seven freshmen are donning the crimson, black and white this season. The class of 2014 is comprised of goaltender Lauren Joarnt (White Bear Lake, Minn.), Kalley Armstrong (Maple, Ont.), Lyndsey Fry (Chandler, Ariz.), Marissa Gedman (Framingham, Mass.), Gina McDonald (New Brighton, Minn.), Elizabeth Parker (Acton, Mass.) and Jackie Young (Medford, Mass.).

Rank And File
Harvard began the 2010-11 regular season schedule ranked in both national polls. The Crimson was ranked in the first seven national polls of the season, climbing as high as No. 7 in the Oct. 4 polls.      

Getting Involved
Through 13 games this season, five of the six freshmen that have seen game action have registered at least one point. Marissa Gedman leads all rookies,  with six points (1-5-6) on the season, while Lyndsey Fry (2-2-4) has four points in just seven games. Elizabeth  Parker picked up her first goal of her career against Dartmouth Nov. 19 and Gina McDonald tallied her first collegiate point with an assist against Brown Oct. 30. Jackie Young nearly picked up her first point against Colgate, hitting the pipe with a slapshot from the blueline, is tied for the team lead with a +3 rating heading into the Union matchup. Lauren Joarnt has seen action in four games this season and currently holds a .852 save percentage and 3.04 GAA.

It's All Over
Harvard is 114-2-6 (.958) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods.

Next Up For the Crimson
Harvard opens up a four-game homestand Jan. 14-15 when it welcomes St. Lawrence and Clarkson to Bright Hockey Center.