Junior Captain Marissa Gedman and the Crimson welcome Boston University for a 7 p.m. showdown in Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Friday. (Gil Talbot)
The Harvard women's hockey team (6-1-1, 6-1-1 ECAC) will see its first nonconference action of the 2013-14 season as it welcomes Boston University to the Bright-Landry Hockey Center for a 7 p.m. showdown on Friday. The No. 5/6 Crimson and No. 9/9 Terriers are set to meet for the 32nd time in the series history, which dates back to 1978-79.
The Top Line
- Harvard is riding a five-game unbeaten streak after a 1-0-1 weekend at home. The Crimson skated to a gritty 3-3 tie against No. 3 Cornell on Friday, before blanking Colgate, 2-0, on Saturday behind Brianna Laing's first career start and shutout. The Crimson was supported by a pair of scores on the weekend from freshman Sydney Daniels and three points from sophomore Miye D'Oench.
- Harvard still remains a point behind Ivy League rival Cornell in the ECAC standings, which will go unchanged after this weekend as the Crimson is set for its nonconference showdown with BU, while the Big Red will take the weekend off.
- The Crimson is in the midst of a six game homestand that runs into the New Year. After hosting the Terriers Friday, the only three contests slated in December are home tussles with Dartmouth (Dec. 1), New Hampshire (Dec. 6) and Boston College (Dec. 7).
Follow @HarvardCrimson, the official Twitter handle of Harvard Athletics, for all the latest news and notes on your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams. Fans also are encouraged to follow @HarvardWHockey for all things Harvard women's hockey. Use the hashtag #GoCrimson to see what fans are saying about Crimson athletics.
- . @HarvardWHockey has not allowed a single goal on a Saturday. #HH is 4-0, outscoring opponents, 11-0. #GoCrimson
- Three Crimson skaters lead @HarvardWHockey in scoring so far this season: @Me_yay_doench (3-4-7), @S_edZz (3-4-7) and @lilrebes108 (2-5-7)
- .@HarvardWHockey has won @harvardcoop Athlete of the Week two weeks in a row with @Emerance_M and Brianna Laing securing the honor.
Home Sweet Home
The Crimson is historically good at home – suffering only one loss (13-1-1) in Bright Hockey Center in 2012-13 – and looks to continue its winning ways this season. Since 2000-01, Harvard is an impressive 148-36-16 (.742) in Cambridge, and is 38-9-3 (.771) since 2010-11. The Crimson has gone undefeated at home twice since 2000, sporting a 17-0-0 mark in 2007-08 and a 16-0-0 mark in 2002-03.
Currently 3-0-1 this year in the comforts of home, including a win over No. 8 Quinnipiac and a tie against No. 3 Cornell, Harvard is in the midst of a six-game homestand in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center before the Crimson takes to the outdoors to face Northeastern at Fenway Park on Jan. 2. The next true away contest for Harvard will be Jan. 7 when the Crimson trek to Storrs, Conn., to take on UConn for a midweek showdown.
Gauging the Terriers
No. 9/9 Boston University makes the short trip to Bright-Landry with a 10-2-1 overall mark, going a perfect 6-0-0 in Hockey East play. After opening the year with a pair of overtime contests, a 2-2 tie at Rensselaer and a 3-2 win at Union, the Terriers split a two-game series with Robert Morris before starting an eight-game win streak with a 2-1 victory over Yale at home. BU grabbed wins over Northeastern, New Hampshire, Vermont, UConn, Maine and St. Cloud St., before suffering a 5-0 setback against Wisconsin last week in Vail, Colo. BU is 5-0 in Walter Brown Arena, and holds a 4-1-1 mark away from home.
Five Terriers have double-digit points so far this season for the nation's ninth-best scoring offense, with Louise Warren (8-5-13) and Sarah Lefort (7-6-13) leading the charge with 13 apiece. Freshman Maddie Elia (3-8-11), who was recently named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week after a six-point weekend, rounds out the top-3 threats for the Terriers on the attack.
In net, a pair of goalies has seen time for BU, but Kerrin Sperry is the Terrier stalwart, starting 11 of 13 games. She's accumulated 285 saves, while allowing just 16 pucks past her for a 9-1-1 record. Sperry was named as the Hockey East's Goaltender of the month after her October campaign.
The Series with Boston University
Meeting for the 32nd time since 1978, Harvard and Boston University have had plenty of history. The Crimson holds a distinct 22-9-0 record all-time over the Terriers, but BU is 3-1 over the last four contests. From 1982-2009, Harvard won 20 in a row, outscoring its foe down the street, 144-18, including 12 shutouts.
Last season, the two squads saw each other twice for the first time in 26 years. BU took the regular season meeting, 2-1, in Walter Brown Arena, but Harvard exacted revenge by way of a 3-0 win in the Beanpot at Matthews Arena.
Partners in Crime
Sophomore Emerance Maschmeyer has made waves in net for the Crimson this season, finding herself sitting in the top-5 nationally in just about every goaltending category, including save percentage (No. 1 with .953) and goals against average (No. 4 with 1.27 per game). But behind her waits Brianna Laing, who recently denied 21 shots en route to a 2-0 shutout victory in her collegiate debut against Colgate on Saturday. Maschmeyer and Laing have now kept four opponents off the board this season, giving Harvard the second-most shutouts in the country as a team.
Killing them Softly
Harvard is a near-perfect 41-for-42 (97.6-percent) on the penalty kill this season, the best team in the nation by far. Opponents are averaging five power play opportunities per game this season, but are generally stifled from the get-go.
The Crimson defense has been stellar this season, playing its part to allow just nine goals in eight games. Behind captain Marissa Gedman (15) and junior classmate Sarah Edney (14), the defense has totaled 91 blocks so far. Briana Mastel has added 16 to lead the statistical category that often gets overlooked.
On a team that boasts 16 eligible skaters and two goalies, Harvard must rely on every single player in every single game. The freshman class has certainly stepped up to the calling in a bevy of ways. Four first-year players have recorded at least a point this season, led by Sydney Daniels and her three tallies. Natasha Rachlin recently recorded her first career goal, a game winner against Colgate, while Briana Mastel (0-2-2) and Robyn White (0-1-1) have also found places in the scorers' ledger. Forward Hannah Zarzecki and defenseman Abigail Frazer also have seen time in every contest in their freshmen campaigns, filling in when it comes to the much-needed depth. Brianna Laing recently proved her mettle in the net for Harvard, grabbing the win over Colgate in her 21-save shutout debut.
Quick Start Crimson
The Crimson has been nothing short of tremendous to start any given game this season. Harvard is outscoring the opposition, 10-1, in the opening period, and 9-2 in the second. The Crimson is 6-0-1 when holding a lead after one period this season and 6-0-1 when notching the game's first score.
Making 'Em Count
In eight games to start the 2013-14 season, Harvard has outshot its opponents just twice – at Rensselaer on Nov. 1 and at Union on Nov. 2. The Crimson has been outshot to the tune of 214-186 in total, yet has scored 22 goals to opponents nine, giving Harvard (.118) a clear advantage over its opponents (.042) when it comes to converting those shots.