|Harvard at No. 4/4 Colgate
Feb. 23, 24 and 25 (if necessary)
6 p.m. | 3 p.m. | 3 p.m.
Class of 1965 Arena
Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Harvard leads, 29-6-3
Feb. 3, 2018 (L, 4-0)
Harvard | Colgate
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard Crimson makes its way to the ECAC Playoffs for the 27th time in program history this weekend at Colgate University. The quarterfinals run on a best of three games format, with matchups scheduled for Friday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., and if necessary, Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. All games will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network.
Harvard has won the ECAC Tournament six times, and has advanced to the championship game an additional three times. The Crimson is 47-22-0 all-time in post season play.
Harvard has faced Colgate just once in postseason, taking the Raiders to game three in the 2016 quarterfinals. Colgate opened the series with A 4-1 win before Harvard earned a 4-1 win of its own. In the deciding game, the Raiders tallied the golden goal for a 3-2 overtime win and a spot in the semifinal game.
Harvard has earned more ECAC All-Tournament Team award winners (29) and ECAC Tournament Most Outstanding Players (7) than any other school. Harvard also has won more ECAC Tournament titles than any other school (6).
Harvard is 0-1-1 at Class of 1965 Arena and 14-4-2 on Colgate's campus.
Beth Larcom has set her current and previous career high in saves against Colgate. She turned away 41 shots in her collegiate debut at Colgate last season and denied 44 shots from the Raiders this season at Bright-Landry.
Becca Gilmore leads the team in points (32). She is the first 30+ point scorer since the 2015-16 season and has scored the most points by a freshman since Sarah Vaillancourt during her rookie campaign in 2004-05.
In the last five games, Harvard's second line is responsible for 23 of 40 of the Crimson's points. The trio has scored 11 of 15 goals, including four consecutive game-winners.
Harvard in the Playoffs
Harvard has enjoyed many years of success competing in the ECAC playoffs. The Crimson has earned more tournament titles (6), all-tournament team selections (29) and most outstanding player honorees (7) than any other school.
Since the beginning of the best-of-three format for quarterfinals in 2002, Harvard has hosted and advanced to semifinals 14 times. Of those 14 series, 12 were two-game sweeps. Harvard's quarterfinal series at Colgate in 2016 was just the fourth time in program history, first since 1998, that the Crimson traveled for ECAC quarterfinals.
Post Season Against the Raiders
Since Colgate joined the ECAC in 2001, the Crimson have faced the Raiders just once in post season play. In 2016, Harvard drew Colgate for the quarterfinals and closed out the old rink on the Hamilton campus.
In the 2016 series, Colgate won the first contest 4-1, before Harvard came back the next day for a 4-1 win of its own. That win would be the last time the Crimson took down a ranked opponent until last weekend at No. 8/8 St. Lawrence. Colgate was ranked No. 9/9 at the time. In the third and deciding game, Harvard ended the first period with a 2-1 lead but Colgate would tie the game 2-2 early in the third. As the overtime period was about to expire, current Raider Shae Labbe scored the golden goal to send Colgate to the semifinals.
New Year, New Game
Since the turn of the new year, Harvard's offense has become much more potent heading towards the post season.
Becca Gilmore has scored 11 of her 14 goals since the beginning of the new year, and seven of the 14 have come in February.
Emma Buckles has also seen a sharp increase in production since the beginning of 2018. All three of her goals and seven assists that make up 10 of her 12 career points have come since the 2018 opener.
Second Line Score
Harvard's second line has become a force to be reckoned with. Brooke Jovanovich, Becca Gilmore and Kat Hughes have raked in 55 points on 24 goals and 31 assists in just 20 games played together.
Late in the season, Hughes and Gilmore combined for four-straight game winners to help Harvard clinch a playoff berth and secure the longest win streak of the season. Line mate Brooke Jovanovich assisted on two of those goals.
Not only can each individual on the line score, but the trio works well together. Of the 36 total goals scored by all three line members, 23 have been assisted by one or more of the other members (.639). Nine of both Becca Gilmore's and Kat Hughes' goals have been assisted by each other or Jovanovich or both, accounting for more than 64 percent of their tallies. Slightly below, five of Brooke Jovanovich's eight goals (.625) have been assisted by Gilmore, Hughes or both.
The trio is also responsible for nine of 13 game winning goals during the 2017-18 campaign.
Julia Vandyk remains Colgate's go to goalie and will likely start between the pipes this weekend. In two outings against the Crimson, Vandyk has posted a 1.00 goals against average and a .959 save percentage, turning away 47 shots.
This season, Shelby Perry leads the Raiders in scoring against Harvard. Perry has totaled two goals and two assists in two contests. Despite the four points against the Crimson, Perry has been quiet on the scoresheet as of late, only notching two points in the five games since Harvard last faced Colgate on Feb. 3. Harvard is likely to turn its attention to Jessie Eldridge, who has scored three points against the Crimson this season, but has put up a team-high 15 shots. Eldridge has gotten hot in the last few games as well, tallying at least a point in five of the last six games, including a three-point effort in the regular season finale against Union.
One note on Harvard's side is its penalty kill. Harvard has killed off all nine Colgate opportunities in two games this season. Recently, Harvard's penalty kill has been playing its best all season, so will be even tougher to crack than earlier in the year.
Harvard will likely need to figure out how to control the amount of offensive production from the Raiders. This season, Harvard has held its opponents to an average of 29 shots on goal per game, while the Raiders are now averaging 35.3 shots on net per game, the highest it's been all season. In the two previous contests, Colgate managed to get off 38 and 48 shots respectively so it is a stat the Crimson should be expecting.
Race to Four
This season, the four-goal threshold has been a good predictor of Harvard's success. When the Crimson scores four goals or more, it is unbeaten at 8-0-0. The sword goes the other way, leaving the Crimson at 0-4-0 when allowing four or more goals.
In addition to the four-goal mark, Harvard is 5-0-1 when leading after the first period, 8-0-1 when leading after the second period and 8-1-1 when getting on the scoreboard first.
Line 'Em Up
This season, head coach Katey Stone has fielded 19 different forward lines and 15 different defensive pairs. At the end of last season, Stone had put together 20 forward line combinations and 12 defensive pairings.
Brooke Jovanovich, Becca Gilmore and Kat Hughes, who have been holding down the second line, are a force to be reckoned with. In 20 games together, the trio has racked up 55 points on 24 goals and 31 assists.
Defensively, Chelsea Ziadie and Ali Peper have been inseparable at 14 games together. The duo has put up seven assists when paired together and are likely drawing on chemistry from last season when they played eight games together.
Becca Gilmore and Kat Hughes each recently put together career high four game point streaks in the final contests of the season. Gilmore scored in four of the last five games, collecting 11 points in the span on seven goals and four assists. Gilmore had put together three other streaks during the 2017-18 campaign prior to the end of the season swing. Hughes packed more punch with her streak, scoring seven points on three goals and four assists, however two of those goals were game-winners that launched Harvard into a playoff spot.
As a team, the Crimson has more than doubled total from the 2016-17 season. While last year's campaign was not a reflection of Harvard Hockey's storied history, the resilience and ability to bounce back at this level is a rarity during Katey Stone's tenure. Only two other times in the entire program history has the Crimson doubled its win total from the season before, between 1980-81 through 1981-82 when the team improved from 7-12-0 to 15-6-0 and between 1997-98 and 1998-99 when the team fired on all cylinders to turn a 14-16-0 recorded into a program best 33-1-0 record. This season, the Crimson has morphed a 5-19-5 overall record into a 13-14-2 mark, while in conference, its transformed a 5-13-4 finish into a 10-10-2 finish.