No. 3 Cornell, Colgate On Tap for No. 9 Women's Hockey
Harvard is 3-0-0 in its last three home contests (Gil Talbot).
Highlights: Harvard vs. Union Jan. 13, 2012
Highlights: Harvard vs. Rensselaer Jan. 14, 2012
Complete Game Notes (pdf)
The Crimson caps its four-game homestand with a key conference weekend, welcoming Ivy League rival No. 3 Cornell and Colgate to Bright Hockey Center. Harvard has won its last three home contests.
Against Cornell, one of Harvard's longest-tenured rivals, the Crimson holds the lead in the all-time series with a 50-22-3 mark. The Big Red has been tallying up marks in the win column in recent history, however, as the Crimson is winless against Cornell in its last six games, dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Earlier this season in Ithaca, N.Y., the Crimson put on a gutsy display, knotting the score late in the game, before two quick scores powered Cornell to a 5-3 victory. Down 2-0 in the first period, Sarah Edney got the Crimson on the board and helped the team close the first frame down by just one goal. Another Cornell marker just past the halfway point of the second stretched the lead back to two, but fellow rookie Hillary Crowe closed the gap once again with the final goal of the second stanza. Kaitlin Spurling evened the score at 12:37 of the third, but quick strikes from Jillian Saulnier and Emily Fulton capped the 5-3 final in front of a raucous Big Red crowd.
The Crimson has had the Raiders' number in the all-time series, as Harvard has captured 19 wins in the 22 games between the two teams for a 19-1-2 overall mark. Colgate's lone win in the series game during the 2006-07 season, and Harvard has won the last six meetings between the squads.
Harvard scored early and scored late in its first game against the Raiders this season, collecting its first shutout victory of the season in a 2-0 win in Hamilton, N.Y. Elizabeth Parker netted a goal just 42 seconds into the game and Lyndsey Fry put home an empty-net insurance goal with under a minute to go in the game to seal the victory. Laura Bellamy stopped all 20 shots she faced in the contest .
Last Time Out
In its first home league weekend since the middle of November, Harvard earned four valuable league points with wins over Union and Rensselaer.
The Dutchwomen proved to be a much more stingy opponent then their record would have suggested, but Harvard was able to figure out a hot goaltender twice, skating to a 2-0 win Friday night. Despite Harvard's 12-6 shots advantage in the frame, the first period went by scoreless. It wasn't until 16:54 of the second that Elizabeth Parker put the Crimson up for good with a redirect goal. In her first game of the 2011-12 season, senior captain Alisa Baumgartner provided the insurance with a blast from distance that snuck through the Union goalie's five hole with seven minutes to play in the game. Laura Bellamy needed just 15 saves to notch her second clean sheet this season.
Harvard's mettle was tested the following afternoon against Rensselaer, as the Engineers took advantage of an early power play and added a pair of scores in the second to take a commanding 3-0 lead midway through the contest. Jillian Dempsey started the Crimson comeback with her 11th goal of the season at 16:31, and Gina McDonald struck just over a minute later on the power play to close the gap to one. Kalley Armstrong evened the score at 3-3 early in the third period and McDonald netted two more goals to complete the comeback and hat trick and cap Harvard's five unanswered goals in a 5-3 win.
With a trio of goals in the 5-3 win over Rensselaer, Gina McDonald logged the first hat trick of the season for the Crimson. Harvard's last hat trick came courtesy of Kate Buesser '11, who tallied three scores in an 8-3 pounding of St. Lawrence in the 2011 ECAC Hockey quarterfinals, pushing the Crimson in to the semifinal round. Five Harvard players had scored multiple goals in a game this season prior to McDonald's performance against RPI.
After one of her best weekend showings of her young career, Hillary Crowe was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week for Jan. 17. Against Union, Crowe assisted Elizabeth Parker on the eventual game-winning goal, giving her six helpers on the season. The following afternoon, Crowe set a career-high for points, dishing out three assists in a 5-3 comeback win, including a helper on the game-winning goal by Gina McDonald. Crowe currently holds the rookie team lead for points with 12 (3g, 9a) and brings a three-game point-scoring streak into the Cornell matchup.
A Very Welcome Addition
Freshman defender Sarah Edney was back on the ice for Harvard last weekend, after opening 2012 with the Canadian U-22 development team at the 2012 MECO Cup in Germany. She notched an assist against Union and a pair of helpers against RPI to help Harvard sweep the weekend series. She holds the longest active point streak on the team at six games.
Edney helped Canada earn a bronze medal at the MECO Cup, finishing the tournament with one point, scoring a goal in a 6-0 rout of Switzerland in the first round. Edney was one of just two ECAC Hockey defenders named to the team for the MECO Cup.
Owning The Empire
A number of teams from the state of New York dot the Harvard schedule year in and year out, and so far this season, Harvard has fared well against Empire State squads. The Crimson kicked off the season with three straight wins against St. Lawrence, Clarkson and Colgate, before suffering its lone loss to a New York team in a 5-3 defeat at Cornell. The Crimson bounced back with two more wins over the Saints and Golden Knights, to push its record to 5-1 in games against New York teams. Last weekend's pair of victories pushes Harvard's record to 7-1 this season against New York squads. In the seven wins, Harvard has outscored its opponents, 26-7.
A Comeback of Notable Proportions
Harvard's 5-3 comeback victory over Rensselaer marked the first time since Nov. 16, 2004 the Crimson has come back to win from a three-goal deficit. The last time it happened, Brown scored three times within the first 8:52 of the contest, but Harvard found three of its own quickly after to close the first period in a 3-3 tie. In fact, the Crimson scored seven straight times to close the game with a 7-3 win in Providence. Harvard scored five unanswered goals in its comeback win over RPI Saturday.
With the 2-0 blanking of Union last weekend, Laura Bellamy has two shutouts this season and has upped her career shutout total to nine. She made 20 saves in her first clean sheet against Colgate and just 15 stops in the 2-0 blanking of the Dutchwomen. In both games, sophomore Elizabeth Parker scored the game-winning goal for the Crimson.
Elizabeth Parker has five points on the season, all of which have come on goals. The Crimson is 5-0-0 this season in games where Parker scores. In fact, Harvard has never lost a game in which Parker scores a goal, posting a 7-0-1 record in eight such contests, dating back to her rookie season.
A Note About Ties
The 3-3 draw with Quinnipiac Jan. 7 was Harvard's first tie of the season. Dating back to Jan. 2010, six of Harvard's last eight ties have been by a 3-3 score. Three of Harvard's four ties last season were 3-3 games, including a Beanpot first-round game against Northeastern, where Harvard advanced thanks to a shootout victory.
Right Out Of The Break
The Crimson proved it was able to carry the momentum it gained before winter break into the 2012 portion of the schedule. The 8-1 pounding of Connecticut represents the biggest win for Harvard in its first game after winter recess since a 9-0 drubbing of Wayne State Jan. 4, 2003. This year also represents the first time since the 2005-06 season Harvard was able to win its last game before break and first game returning from it.
Strong in the Second
The second period has been Harvard's best in terms of goal production this season. Twenty-three of Harvard's 58 team goals have come in the middle stanza, making it the Crimson's most productive period. Harvard has allowed only 11 goals in the first and third frames, also a team-best mark.
Rookie defenseman Sarah Edney is second on the Crimson in shooting percentage at 18.8 percent. She has scored three goals this season while taking just 16 shots. Alisa Baumgartner is the team leader at 33.3, with one goal on just three shots.
After holding an opponent to fewer than 20 shots in a game just three times this season heading into last weekend, the Crimson held both the Dutchwomen and the Engineers below that threshold in the weekend sweep. Harvard's 15 shots allowed against Union marked a season-best and the 18 allowed against RPI tied a previous season-low total. On the season, Harvard is outshooting its opponents, 496-415.
Spreading The Wealth
Thanks to Alisa Baumgartner's goal against Union in her first game back from injury, every Harvard position player on the 2011-12 roster has registered a point. Twelve different players have scored goals this season, while assists have been recorded by 14 players. It marks the first time since the 2004-05 season that every position player on the roster has registered a point.
All four freshmen position players have made an impact this season. Through 17 games, all four rookies have logged points. Hillary Crowe leads all members of the class of 2015 with 3-9-12 points, and is follwed by Samantha Reber (Edina, Minn.) and Sarah Edney with 3-6-9 points each. Michelle Picard (Taunton, Mass.) has collected four assists so far this season.