The Harvard women's hockey team looks for more ECAC points with visits to Colgate and Cornell this weekend. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Pierce)
The No. 5/6 Harvard women's hockey team is ready for an ECAC road trip to central New York this weekend in hopes of making a climb back up the conference standings. The Crimson (12-2-2, 8-2-1 ECAC) will travel to Colgate (5-15-2, 2-8-0 ECAC) on Friday before heading to Ithaca on Saturday to square off with No. 3 Cornell (13-1-3, 8-0-2 ECAC).
The First Line
- The Crimson is coming off its first loss at home this season after splitting the weekend with Brown and Yale. Harvard trumped Brown, 3-0, as senior Gina McDonald grabbed two points (1g, 1a) and Emerance Maschmeyer padded away all 17 shots that ventured in her direction for her fifth shutout of the season. But on Saturday, Harvard fell to Yale, 2-0, dropping the Crimson to second in the ECAC standings with an 8-2-1 league mark.
- Harvard continues to own the best penalty kill in the land, fending off 77-of-79 power plays, an NCAA-best 97.5-percent.
- This weekend features yet another Ivy League opponent for the Crimson in a tough No. 3 Cornell squad. The Big Red has not lost in conference play, and the last time the two sides met, they skated to a 3-3 tie in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Nov. 15.
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 will play its sixth ranked opponent this weekend in No. 3 Cornell. The Crimson is 3-0-2 against ranked foes this year.
- Saturday's game will be the 81st time @HarvardWHockey's and Cornell have met on the ice. The Crimson leads, 51-25-4 in the series.
- .@HarvardWHockey's @shellfish20 @josephinepucci @fry_X_cycle & @juliechu13 have been named to #TeamUSA. #Sochi2014
Out of Harvard's 44 goals this season, 26 have been tallied by either freshmen or sophomores, led by the Crimson's leading scorer Miye D'Oench (8-5-13). Sophomore Dylanne Crugnale (6-5-11) and freshman Sydney Daniels (6-1-7) are second on the squad in finding the back of the net for Harvard. Between the pipes, second-year goaltender Maschmeyer and newcomer Brianna Laing bring more highlights to the young Crimson, each combining for 444 saves (.965 percent) to just 16 goals allowed (0.99 GAA). Seven of the 12 wins this season have come by way of a shutout, a testament to both netminders' abilities.
Crimson, White and Blue
Though Harvard is enjoying a successful season on the ice itself, the Crimson also is enjoying the successes of five members of the Harvard Hockey family, who will travel to Sochi in February. Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey, is the head coach for the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team and will take with her four skaters with Harvard ties. Current members Lyndsey Fry, Michelle Picard and Josephine Pucci and prominent alumna Julie Chu '07 were chosen as members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic team.
E-Special-ly Good Teams
Along with the Crimson's No. 1 penalty kill in the country, its 15th-ranked power play (10-of-60) gives Harvard the best combined special teams in the nation at 62.6 percent. The next best is Saturday's opponent, Cornell, with a 59.4-percent combined special teams.
A Look at the Raiders
After the first meeting this season between Colgate and Harvard, the Raiders are 2-4-2 in their last eight contests, including wins over Brown and Penn State. Colgate dropped a pair to Syracuse and was forced into two 2-2 ties against Vermont over that stretch.
Miriam Drubel and Taylor Volpe continue to lead the push offensively for Colgate, combining for 24 points. Drubel (6-8-14) and Volpe (6-4-10) lead a Raider attack that averages 26.7 shots and 1.5 goals per outing. Junior Taylor Craig also lends a helping hand to the offense with her seven points (4-3-7).
The Raiders use a platoon of netminders in Brittney Brooks, Susan Allen and Ashlynne Rando. Brooks heads up the trio with 10 starts, collecting 247 saves to 23 goals allowed for a 3-6-1 overall record.
The Series with Colgate
The Crimson leads the overall series with Colgate, 23-1-2, after Harvard downed the Raiders, 2-0, behind a trio of freshmen top-performers. In her first-ever start in net, Brianna Laing recorded a 21-save shutout, while fellow classmates Sydney Daniels and Natasha Rachlin each picked up a goal in the victory in Cambridge.
Scouting the Big Red
As the No. 3 team in the country, Cornell has just one defeat on its ledger this season, a 4-1 loss to then-No. 7 Boston College on Nov. 30. Boasting one of the most potent offenses in the land, Cornell is led by two of the nation's top point grabbers in Jillian Saulneir (15-14-29) and Emily Fulton (11-17-28). Jessica Campbell has 25 points this season (9-16-25), while Hayleigh Cudmore owns 18 (5-13-18) to round out the top four Big Red scorers for an attack that averages 4.1 goals per game.
Senior Lauren Slebodnick continues to prove herself one of the tougher goaltenders to face in the ECAC, piling up 323 saves (.915) to 30 goals allowed (2.18 GAA) in 15 starts for the Big Red. She owns an 11-0-3 mark this season for Cornell.
The Series with Cornell
After the Nov. 15 meeting between Cornell and Harvard, the Crimson owns a 51-25-4 mark against the Big Red. The two sides grinded out a brutal 3-3 tie in mid-November after Harvard scored the game's first two goals in the opening stanza. The Big Red scored three times in the final period to force overtime, where both teams skated to a stalemate.
This season, Harvard has one of the top point differentials in the nation, averaging nearly a 3-1 win over opponents this season, but the last three meetings on the docket have been different cases. On Dec. 7, the Crimson battled to a 1-1 stalemate against No. 6 BC, thanks to Emerance Maschmeyer's career-high 51 saves. To open up the 2014 portion of the season, Harvard dueled to the end with Northeastern, coming out victorious by a 3-2 margin. Most recently, the Crimson rallied back from 1-0 down late in the third at UConn to beat the Huskies, 2-1, for its third-straight nail-biter. Overall, the Crimson is 3-1-2 in games decided by one goal or fewer this year.