The Harvard women's hockey team returns to Bright-Landry Hockey Center for a pair of ECAC rematches this weekend. (Elan Kawesch)
The Opening Faceoff
After a Central New York sweep last weekend, the No. 5 Harvard women's hockey team is set to return to the comforts of Bright-Landry Hockey Center this weekend in hopes of maintaining its first-place position in the conference standings. The Crimson (14-2-2, 10-2-1 ECAC) will host a pair of ECAC opponents when Union (8-15-1, 3-9-0 ECAC) visits Cambridge on Friday, before Rensselaer (10-11-2, 6-5-1 ECAC) pays visit on Saturday.
The First Line
- The Crimson earned four conference points and took hold of the top-spot in the ECAC with a sweep of Colgate and Cornell on the road. After falling behind, 4-2, at Colgate on Saturday, the Crimson stormed back, scoring three goals in a span of three minutes in the final frame to take down the Raiders, capped off by Hillary Crowe's game-winner, the second score for her on the evening.
- The next night, Harvard took over Lynah Rink, strongholding the Cornell Big Red in front of a crowd of 2,026. After Miye D'Oench's tally in the first period, the Big Red tied things up at 1-1 just before the first horn. Following a scoreless six minutes into the second frame, junior captain Marissa Gedman broke the silence again, netting her third goal of the season to give Harvard a crucial 2-1 lead. After Cornell took a timeout with less than a minute remaining to pull goalie Lauren Slebodnick, Mary Parker capitalized on the empty net opportunity, flinging one into the net from the neutral zone to give the Crimson its final 3-1 score and first win at Cornell since 2008-09.
- Sophomore forward Miye D'Oench earned ECAC Player of the Week honors on Jan. 21, thanks to a four-point weekend (2g, 2a) for the Crimson against Colgate and No. 3 Cornell. D'Oench joins standout netminder and classmate Emerance Maschmeyer as the two Crimson to pull in conference accolades this season.
- Harvard looks to avenge an early-season loss to the Engineers on Saturday. The Crimson fell at RPI, 2-1, on Nov. 1, one of just two losses on the year for Harvard.
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 squared off with six ranked opponents this year and has gone 4-0-2 against those top-10 teams.
- .@HarvardWHockey's @Me_yay_doench leads the Crimson in both goals scored (10), total points (17), and game-winning goals (2).
- .@HarvardWHockey's @shellfish20 @josephinepucci @fry_X_cycle & @juliechu13 have been named to #TeamUSA. #Sochi2014
Ivy League Digital Network
All of Harvard's home games will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch contests 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.
Skate with the Crimson!
Harvard fans will have the opportunity to skate with the women's hockey team 10 minutes following the game against RPI on Saturday. Those interested should bring skates and helmets to the game, but sticks and pucks will not be allowed.
Out of Harvard's 52 goals this season, 30 have been tallied by either freshmen or sophomores, led by the Crimson's leading scorer Miye D'Oench (10-7-17). Sophomore Mary Parker (7-7-14) is second on the team in goals scored, while classmate Dylanne Crugnale (6-5-11) and freshman Sydney Daniels (6-1-7) are both third 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 499 saves (.960 percent) to just 21 goals allowed (1.16 GAA). Seven of the 14 wins this season have come by way of a shutout, a testament to both netminders' abilities.
The youth certainly has some leaders to look up to, however, with experienced junior and senior classes. Hillary Crowe is second on the Crimson with seven goals scored, while classmate Sami Reber (3-13-16) leads Harvard with helpers and is second in total points scored.
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 (81-of-83 chances, 97.6-percent), its 18th-ranked power play (10-of-66) gives Harvard the best combined special teams in the nation at 61.1-percent. The next best is last Saturday's opponent, Cornell, with its 58.9-percent combined special teams.
Setting the D'Oench Mark High
Miye D'Oench has been on a roll for the Crimson so far during her second season in Cambridge. The New York, N.Y., native recently garnered ECAC Player of the Week accolades for her performance over the weekend, but she has been solid all year.
D'Oench has racked up at least two points four times this season, most recently with her season-high three point effort at Colgate (1g, 2a). She leads the team in a bevy of categories, including total points (17), goals (10), game-winning goals (tied with 2), shots (tied with 55) and unassisted goals (3). Not just an offensive threat, D'Oench has sacrificed herself for 13 blocks this season in the defensive zone.
A Look at the Dutchwomen
Union, 4-9-1 since its meeting with Harvard in the first week of November, is currently riding a 0-3-0 streak coming into this weekend. The Dutchwomen are averaging 1.8 goals per game, while yielding 3.0 per contest on the other end.
Six Dutchwomen have at least 12 points on the season, led by senior Maddy Norton's 16 (2-14-16). Kathryn Tomaselli leads the goal-scoring charge for Union, racking up 10 goals to her name (10-3-13), while Stefanie Thomson is second in both points and goals scored (8-7-15) this season.
Between the pipes for Union stands Shenae Lundberg, a junior goaltender who has earned a pair of ECAC Goaltender of the Week honors this season and was heralded as the conference's best goalie in the month of December. In 23 starts, Lundberg has compiled a .900 save percentage (529 saves) and a 2.88 GAA, letting through 59 goals to earn an 8-15-0 record.
The Series with Union
The Crimson leads the overall series with Union, 21-0-0, after Harvard downed the Dutchwomen, 3-0 on Nov. 2 this year. Miye D'Oench grabbed a pair of goals in the Crimson's win in Schenectady, while junior Marissa Gedman netted the game winner at the 2:45 mark in the first period. In net, Maschmeyer stopped all 18 shots to come her way for the first shutout of the season.
Scouting the Engineers
Rensselaer visits Cambridge with a four-game unbeaten streak, including a 3-2 win over Quinnipiac, a 4-4 tie with Princeton and a pair of wins over Union, 4-1 and 3-0. Since its Nov. 1 meeting with Harvard, RPI holds a 7-6-1 record during that span.
Seven Engineers have conjured up 11 points or more this season, including team leader senior Jordan Smelker, who has 15 points (4-11-15). Sophomore Lauren Wash owns a team-high 11 goals to her name (11-3-14), while classmate Alexa Gruschow (6-7-13) and junior Taylor Mahoney (6-7-13) are tied for second when it comes to finding the back of the net for RPI. Together, the Engineers like to keep things close; they are averaging 2.3 goals per game, while opponents score 2.1 goals on average.
Stopping many of the shots in net is junior Kelly O'Brien, who has 441 saves (.917) to 40 goals allowed (1.99 GAA). With O'Brien between the pipes, RPI has accumulated a 10-9-1 record over her 21 starts, including three shutouts.
The Series with Rensselaer
After the Nov. 1 loss to the Engineers, the Crimson now owns a 10-5-1 record against RPI. It was the first loss to one of its newer opponents in five meetings dating back to the 2010-11 season. Taking a 2-1 victory in Troy, N.Y., RPI handed Harvard its first defeat of the season in its first road game of the year. Harvard doubled RPI in shots, 30-15, but the Engineers capitalized, sneaking a pair of goals past Maschmeyer, who padded away a season-low 13 shots. Sophomore Dylanne Crugnale potted the Crimson's lone tally in the loss, her third goal in three games up to that point.
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 few 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, before the Crimson rallied back from 1-0 down late in the third at UConn to beat the Huskies, 2-1, on Jan. 7.
Since then, Harvard used a three-goal third period to overcome a 4-2 deficit and rally past Colgate, 5-4, before knocking off No. 3 Cornell, 3-1. The third goal in Ithaca, however, was an empty-netter scored by Mary Parker with just six seconds left in the contest. Overall, the Crimson is 5-1-2 in games decided by one goal or fewer this year.