Capital District Duo Set to Face Women's Hockey
Kelsey Romatoski leads the team with a +6 rating this season (Gil Talbot).
Complete Game Notes (.pdf)
Coming off back-to-back ECAC wins, the Harvard women's hockey team looks to continue its solid play as it hosts Rensselaer and Union this weekend. The Engingeers and Dutchwomen kicked off the 2011 portion of the Harvard schedule and make their first trip to Cambridge this season.
Harvard is also set to welcome back a number of former skaters during its alumnae weekend and Olympian celebration this weekend. Eight former Olympians will be in attendance for this weekend's games. They will be honored on the ice during the Union game and will be signing autographs following the game against the Dutchwomen.
Follow From Home
Harvard will provide live statistics for this week's games, all home games and most road contests this season. Video and live stats links can be found on the women's hockey schedule on GoCrimson.com
The Harvard-Rensselaer series is relatively young, with the Crimson holding a slim 5-4-1 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 four 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, N.Y. Earlier this season, the Engineers erased an early one-goal deficit to sneak by the Crimson, 2-1, on the strength of goals in the second and third stanzas.
In 15 all-time matchups, Harvard has never lost to Union, collecting wins in every meeting starting in 2003-04. The Crimson has outscored the Dutchwomen 98-3 in the all-time series and has recorded 12 shutouts. Last season, Harvard blanked Union, 4-0, at Bright Hockey Center and edged the Dutchwomen, 2-1, in Schenectady, N.Y., in the closest game ever between the two teams. This season saw more of the same out of the Harvard-Union game as the Crimson erupted for five goals in the final two periods to collect its first shutout of the season, 5-0.
In just it's second weekend sweep of the 2010-11 season, Harvard captured a pair of one-goal victories, downing St. Lawrence, 2-1, Friday and Clarkson, 3-2, Saturday.
Two periods went by Friday night and neither team was able to find the back of the net. However, any question of a scoreless draw was quickly erased in the third period as Josephine Pucci (Pearl River, N.Y.) blasted home the games first goal just 45 seconds in to give the hosts the lead. Just over two minutes later, Ashley Wheeler (Concord, Mass.) stretched the lead to two with her second goal of the season. The Saints managed to get one back just past the five minute mark, but solid defending down the stretch allowed Harvard to cling to the 2-1 final. Goalie Laura Bellamy (Duluth, Minn.) made 18 saves in the win.
A balanced scoring attack helped Harvard to its second win of the weekend against Clarkson and rookie Lyndsey Fry (Chandler, Ariz.) got Harvard on the board at 6:38 of the first period. Classmate Marissa Gedman (Framingham, Mass.) scored on a power-play just past the halfway point of the second period for a 2-0 lead after two frames. The Golden Knights managed a goal early in the third but Harvard responded as Kate Buesser (Wolfeboro, N.H.) notched Harvard's third score for a 3-1 lead. A late Clarkson tally brought the score to 3-2 but that is where it would stay as Bellamy's 14 saves earned her another win in goal.
Third Period's The Charm
Harvard has played some of its best hockey in the third period of games so far this season. While opponents have the scoring edge in the first period and are even with Harvard in the second period, the Crimson is outscoring its foes 19-15 in the third stanza. Harvard has also held its opponents to the fewest number of shots, allowing just 95 pucks on net in the third period this year.
Hold Your Fire
In 51 periods of regulation hockey so far this season, Harvard has only allowed double-digit shots 11 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. The Crimson did its best job of shot-blocking against Union Jan. 7, allowing just 10 shots on goal for the game, including just two in the final period.
Harvard has yet to allow more than 30 shots to an opposing team in a game this season. The Crimson is averaging 30.6 shots per game to its opponents' 20.5 and is outshooting its opponents 520-349 through 17 games.
After a tough start to the 2010-11 season, the Engineers have found their stride as of late and enter the Harvard game tied for fourth in the ECAC standings, just one point behind the Crimson. After taking down Dartmouth and Harvard Jan. 7 and 8 at its home rink, Rensselaer absorbed a 6-1 loss to No. 2 Cornell last Friday and rebounded with a 5-4 win over Colgate the following day. The Jan. 21 showdown marks the first time the Engineers will play on the road in five games, with their last road contest being a 4-1 win over Union Dec. 3.
The trying season continues for the Dutchwomen as they start the weekend still in search of their first league win. Union's lone win of the season came Oct. 15 against Sacred Heart and it has also registered ties against Brown, RPI and Maine. Last weekend, the Dutchwomen put forth a pair of strong showings, falling to Colgate, 1-0, and dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 2 Cornell. Union will face off against Dartmouth Friday before coming to Cambridge Saturday.
Just Killing It
Despite having a tough go of it on the penalty kill in the first half of the season, the Crimson has turned it on as of late. In its past seven games, Harvard has allowed just two power-play tallies and killed 22 of 24 (91.7%) penalties during that stretch. The Crimson killed all six penalties against RPI Jan. 8 and followed with a 4-for-4 performance against St. Lawrence Jan. 14. In both games, Harvard killed off a 5-on-3 opportunity.
Give Me an "O"
The Crimson has had its best results this season when it scores more than two goals. Harvard has scored four or more goals three times this season and has captured wins in all three games. The Crimson is 4-1-1 in games it scores three goals, its only loss coming to No. 4/5 Boston University in a 5-3 final.
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 the 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.
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, Marissa Gedman, Gina McDonald (New Brighton, Minn.), Elizabeth Parker (Acton, Mass.) and Jackie Young (Medford, Mass.).
Through 17 games this season, all six freshmen have registered at least one point. Marissa Gedman has tallied seven points (2-5-7) on the season and is tied for the rookie team lead with Lyndsey Fry (4-3-7), both registering a point last weekend against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. 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 earned her first collegiate point against Clarkson with an assist on Gedman's power-play goal in the second period. 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 116-2-6 (.958) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods. The Crimson is 5-0-0 this season in such situations.