The Crimson look to remain near the top of the ECAC standings as it squares off with two more conference foes this weekend. (Gil Talbot)
The No. 8/8 Harvard women's hockey team hits the road for the second time in as many weeks as the Crimson returns to the Empire State to square off with St. Lawrence and Clarkson. After splitting games with Rensselaer and Union, Harvard (3-1-0, 3-1-0 ECAC) will take on the Saints (4-6-0, 3-1-0 ECAC) at 7 p.m. on Friday before paying a visit to the Golden Knights (7-2-2, 2-2-1 ECAC) at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
• Last weekend, Harvard suffered its first setback of the young season, dropping a tough, 2-1, decision at Rensselaer, before turning around to blank Union, 3-0, a day later.
• With six points in the ECAC standings, Harvard sits in second place along with St. Lawrence at 3-1-0 in league play. The two squads are just behind Cornell, which owns a 3-0-1 record.
• Miye D'Oench found the back of the net twice for the Crimson in its win over Union on Saturday, becoming the third Harvard skater to record two goals in the first four games. Dylanne Crugnale (3-0-3) scored twice in the season opener versus Quinnipiac, and Hillary Crowe tallied two the next day against Ivy League foe Princeton.
• Sophomore goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer secured her second shutout of the season on Saturday, shutting down the Dutchwomen on the road. In four games, It was the seventh no-no of her career.
Reading the Saints
St. Lawrence, a team that has the ability to spread the puck around in the offensive zone, comes into the weekend on a two-game win streak, and 3-1 in its last four. The Saints posted dominating wins over Yale, 4-1, and Brown, 5-1, at Appleton Arena last weekend, after knocking off Colgate, 3-0, and competeing with Cornell in a 6-4 loss the weekend prior.
The Saints are led on the attack by a slew of skaters, but Rylee Smith (4-6-10), Mel Desrochers (4-6-10) and Dayle Wilkinson (2-8-10) all have 10 points each to lead the squad. Brooke Webster's four tallies, and Alex Moore's three scores, round out the top five threats for St. Lawrence.
In net, the Saints count on a platoon of goaltenders in Carmen MacDonald and Giulia Mazzocchi. In her five starts, Macdonald has led the Saints to a 4-1 record, racking up 117 saves, while allowing 10 goals. For her part, Mazzocchi is 0-5, but has faced considerably more shots, posting 143 saves to 16 goals allowed.
The Series with St. Lawrence
Harvard holds a distinct 35-12-6 series record over St. Lawrence since the two first met during the 1983-84 season. The Crimson is 3-1-1 against the Saints over the last five contests, including a 3-2 victory and a 2-2 tie last season.
At the Golden Knights' Round Table
Sitting at 7-2-2 this season, No. 6/6 Clarkson is coming off 1-1 weekend, fighting to a tie with Brown on Friday, 1-1, before romping Yale, 7-0, on Saturday in Cheel Arena. The Knights started the season quickly, before hitting a 1-2-2 spell in the slate against Mercyhurst, Cornell and Brown.
Clarkson boasts a formidable offense, having scored 41 goals this season, to the tune of nearly four per contest. Four Golden Knights have at least 14 points, starting with Jamie Lee Rattray (7-9-16). Erin Ambrose (7-7-14), Carly Mercer (5-9-14) and Brittany Styner (3-11-14) follow suit in the high-flying attack. In total, 13 Knights have found the back of the net for Clarkson this season.
Between the pipes, Erica Howe leads the charge, playing all but a period for Clarkson. Howe is 7-2-2 with 207 saves (nearly 19 per game) and just 14 goals allowed for a 1.29 GAA. Three of her seven victories have been shutouts this season, leading the ECAC.
The Series with Clarkson
Harvard and Clarkson will meet for the 27th time on Saturday, and the Crimson hold on to a 17-7-2 advantage heading into the contest. Harvard took the first four, and seven of the first nine of 11 meetings.
Last season, the Knights took a pair of regular season games, 3-1, but the Crimson stole a 4-2 victory in the ECAC semifinals, thanks to three points from Mary Parker and 26 saves from Maschmeyer.
Especially Good Teams
Harvard's special teams has continued to be lights-out to start the new campaign. Even though the Crimson has failed to convert its last four power plays, its five goals with the advantage leads the country (35-percent). Conversely, Harvard remains perfect on the penalty kill this season, fighting off 18-of-18 chances while down a skater, the only team in the country to not allow a power play goal.
In the grand scheme of special teams, Harvard is still the nation's best in both categories with a combined mark of 71.9-percent -- the next best program is Minnesota at 60.8-percent. Only Dartmouth (95.2-percent) is closest on the kill, while Minnesota sits in second behind the Crimson with 34.2-percent with the advantage.
Individually, both Sarah Edney and Hillary Crowe have tallied a pair of power play goals for the Crimson, tied for third in the ECAC.
Sophomore netminder Emerance Maschmeyer has proven to be a force between the pipes for the Crimson this season. The Bruderheim, Alberta, native has already racked up two shutouts in the first four contests, one each at home and on the road.
Of her 94 saves on the year (23.5 per game), Maschmeyer has 62 in the pair of shutouts. She not only leads the conference, but also tops the national rankings with her 1.00 goals allowed per game and .959 save percentage so far this season.