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Women's Hockey Welcomes McGill for 2013-14 Tune-up

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the eighth consecutive year, the Harvard women's hockey team is set to welcome McGill University to Bright Hockey Center for an exhibition showdown. Puck drop between the two squads is slated for 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Crimson aims to make final adjustments against the Martlets before making the 2013-14 season official with visits from Quinnipiac and Princeton on Oct. 25 and 26, respectively.

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Saturday's contest, along with seven other home games this season, will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network for fans who are unable to attend. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all home Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription. 

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Rapid Rewind
After enjoying a 24-7-3 season in 2012-13 – its best performance since finishing with a 32-2 mark six years ago – Harvard returns to the ice looking for another successful campaign as a new season gets underway. The Crimson finished last year strong by reaching the program's ninth NCAA Tournament, but the squad ultimately fell to crosstown foe Boston College in the quarterfinals, 3-1.

Guess Who's Back?
A fair amount of change has transpired for Harvard during the offseason, but the faces that return will be key in the search for continued success. Though the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey, Katey Stone, is absent from the team for this season, along with Lyndsey Fry, Michelle Picard and Josephine Pucci as they will don the Red, White and Blue in Sochi this winter, the Crimson is kept on a seamless track as Maura Crowell has assumed the Interim Head Coach position. With a vacant assistant coach spot open, former Harvard standout Laura Bellamy joins Crowell and second-year assistant coach Hayley Moore on the bench for some welcomed familiarity.

On the ice, the Crimson returns 11 skaters, most notably junior captain Marissa Gedman, who ventures back from a season-ending injury suffered prior to last season. Gedman will lead the charge for the 11 upperclassmen and seven newcomers in the Olympic year, which taxes rosters throughout the country, but few more so than Harvard's. Even after seeing three of its top five point earners depart, expectations remain high for the Crimson as forwards Samantha Reber (5-19-24) and Mary Parker (12-12-24), along with blueliner Sarah Edney (3-18-21), all return to the ice.

Junior Hillary Crowe and sophomore Miye D'Oench also will play important rolls on the Crimson attack as returners. Crowe was instrumental last season with her 19 points (8-11-19), as was D'Oench, who tallied 13 points (10-3-13) in her collegiate debut for Harvard.

Emerance Maschmeyer looks to take the lion's share of the minutes in the net for Harvard after starting 20 games her freshman season. Maschmeyer earned an impressive 12-6-2 record, turning away 400 shots to just 28 goals allowed, earning her ECAC All-Rookie team and Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.  

Get to Know the New
With seven newcomers, Harvard's freshman class is the largest on the roster (compared to just two seniors, four juniors and five sophomores). While all newcomers will certainly shoulder their share of responsibilities, the Crimson will look to forward Sydney Daniels and defender Briana Mastel for immediate contributions at their respective positions. Netminder Brianna Laing also will compete for time with Maschmeyer as well, creating an intimidating platoon of puck stoppers. A trio of defenders in Natasha Rachlin, Robyn White and Abigail Frazer, along with forward Hannah Zarzecki, rounds out the talented group of new Crimson.

History Lesson
Harvard is set to enter its 36th season as a varsity program, and a successful one at that. After making it to the ECAC Championship and the NCAA Tournament in 2012-13, the Crimson has racked up a 585-322-51 (.637) record, an average of 16 wins per year. The last time Harvard suffered more losses than wins was 16 years ago, coincidentally one season before the Crimson claimed the national title in 1999, a testament to the program Stone and her coaches have built over the years. Aside from its national championship, Harvard has claimed a spot in nine NCAA Tournaments and five Frozen Fours, while bringing home six ECAC Tournament championships, 11 Ivy League titles and 13 Beanpots. Twenty-two Crimson skaters have earned All-America status since 1998-99.