Fifth-ranked Women's Hockey Looks for Ivy Title, ECAC Success at Yale, Brown
The Harvard women's hockey team looks to potentially claim its 12th Ivy League title, second in as many years. (Elan Kawesch).
The Opening Faceoff
Just two regular season games remain for the No. 5/5 Harvard women's hockey team, as the Crimson looks to potentially claim both an Ivy League title and an ECAC regular season championship. Harvard (20-4-3, 15-3-2 ECAC) visits Yale (8-13-6, 6-8-6 ECAC) and Brown (4-18-5, 4-16-0 ECAC) during a crucial conference weekend before the ECAC quarterfinals.
The First Line
- Harvard looks to avenge a mid-season loss to Yale when the Crimson make the trip down to New Haven. The Bulldogs took the first meeting this season, 2-0, marking the first time Harvard was shutout in Bright-Landry since 2009.
- Last time out, Harvard split the weekend with then-No. 5/5 Clarkson, falling to the Knights, 2-1, and St. Lawrence, downing the Saints 5-2 on Senior Day. Both Mary Parker (2g, 1a) and Samantha Reber (1g, 2a) lit it up offensively for the Crimson on the 1-1-0 weekend. In the meantime, Miye D'Oench added her team-best 29th point with a helper on Saturday (15-14-29), while Hillary Crowe tallied her 13th goal on the same day.
- Regardless of the outcome of the next two games, the Crimson has been tabbed to host the ECAC Quarterfinals for the 16th year in a row (every season since 1998-99). Should Harvard claim the No. 1 seed (needing two wins and a loss or tie from Cornell), the Crimson will host the ECAC Championships as the top-seed for the fifth time in the last seven years.
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 needs wins over Yale and Brown to claim at least a share of the Ivy League title. It would be the 2nd in a row for #HH.
- .@HarvardWHockey alums @juliechu13 @josephinepucci @shellfish20 & @fry_X_cycle will bring home a silver medal from the #Olympics. #HarvardInSochi
- Junior @lilrebes108 tallied 5 points last week on two goals (both GWG) and three assists for the Crimson.
Crimson, White and Blue Earns Silver
After one of the more electrifying gold medal games the Olympics can offer, the Harvard contingent on the United States Olympic Women's Hockey team – made up of the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey Katey Stone, alumna Julie Chu '06-07 and current skaters Lyndsey Fry, Michelle Picard and Josephine Pucci – will bring home the silver medal from the 2014 Games.
In the process, not only did Stone become the first female to be named the head coach a U.S. Olympic Hockey team, but she also became the first female to lead the Americans to a medal on the ice.
Ivy on the Line
If Harvard grabs two wins on the weekend, the Crimson will repeat as at least co-Ivy League champions this year. Right now, Cornell (7-1-1 in League play) holds sole possession of first, but the Big Red must get by Princeton on Saturday to potentially share the title with Harvard. The Crimson is in search of its 12th Ivy League crown, fourth in seven years.
Out in Front
The Crimson has continued to make a statement in the opening period this season, and it's led to some great success. In 27 games, Harvard has scored 25 first-period goals, jumping out to the game's first lead 18 times. The Crimson is unbeaten – an impressive 16-0-2 – when scoring first this year and also is unblemished when leading after the first (14-0-2). Conversely, Harvard has only yielded nine goals in the opening frame, but is just 4-4-1 when the opposition scores first.
Still Killing It
Even though Harvard has given up four power play goals in the last six games, the Crimson still owns the nation's best penalty kill unit. Together, the defense has halted 111-of-117 opponents' power play opportunities (94.9-percent), better than any other program. To its credit, the Crimson has also knocked in three shorthanded goals.
After going a perfect 2-for-2 against St. Lawrence, Harvard owns the 16th-best power play, sniping in 14 goals (15.9-percent) in 88 chances – the second-fewest chances in the nation. The Crimson, which does most of its offensive work during 5-on-5 play, is one of just five teams to not allow a shorthanded goal this season.
A Look at the Bulldogs
At 8-13-6, 6-8-6 in ECAC play, has already secured a birth in the conference tournament, thanks to a rally past Princeton on the road. Since the Bulldogs' win in Cambridge on Jan. 11, they have gone 2-3-4 against ECAC opponents, including ties against Clarkson and Quinnipiac.
Offensively, Yale will see the return of its Olympian, freshman Phoebe Staenz, who just won a bronze medal with Switzerland on Thursday. Staenz has appeared in 17 games, accruing a team-best 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists. She is followed by sophomore Janelle Ferrara (5-16-21) and Jamie Haddad (9-9-18) as far as Bulldog scoring threats go.
Between the pipes, Jamie Leonoff has earned an 8-13-6 record in 25 starts.The junior has allowed 73 goals this season (2.83 GAA), but has made 849 stops (.921 save percentage) to keep the Bulldogs in contests throughout the year.
The Series with Yale
Yale upset the Crimson in the middle of January with a 2-0 win in Bright-Landry. Leonoff made 29 saves against Harvard, while Jackie Raines and Kate Martini lit the lamp for the Bulldogs. Prior to catching Harvard off guard this season, Yale had not been on the winning side of the rivalry on ice since 2006.
Scouting the Bears
Brown enters the weekend having gone 4-18-5 overall and 3-14-3 in the ECAC. Before the Bears dropped their last two contests, 3-0 to Princeton and 5-0 to Quinnipiac, Brown defeated Rensselaer, 3-0, and Union, 2-1, for its first set of wins back-to-back this season.
A pair of juniors hold down the fort for the Bears' scoring attack in Sarah Robson and Janice Yang. Robson leads all scorers with 14 points (5-9-14), while Yang owns a team-best seven goals, to go along with five assists and 12 points. Senior Jessica Hoyle also can find the back of the net for the Bears, having tallied six goals this season, earning a total of 10 points.
Shouldering the load in goal for Brown is senior Aubree Moore. Moore has yielded 67 goals thus far (2.60 GAA), while turning aside 827 shots (.925 save percentage) to earn four wins in her senior campaign.
The Series with Brown
The Crimson and Bears met earlier this season on Jan. 10, a game in which Harvard came away with a 3-0 win. Emerance Maschmeyer was lightly tested, stopping all 17 shots to come her way, while the Crimson fired 33 shots on target. D'Oench notched a power play goal in the first to open things up, followed by a Dylanne Crugnale score later in the period. The Bears withstood the Crimson attack through the second, but Gina McDonald made it a 3-0 game with just five minutes left in the third to give Harvard the Ivy League victory.