No. 6 Harvard Set to Skate Against No. 10 Cornell, Colgate in Home Weekend at Bright

No. 6 Harvard Set to Skate Against No. 10 Cornell, Colgate in Home Weekend at Bright

Photo courtesy of Kevin Burns Photography.

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The Particulars
At the midway point of the regular season, the sixth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team hosts No. 10 Cornell and Colgate in key home games at Bright Hockey Center. The Crimson currently stands sixth in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 6-4-1 conference record and 13 points and is third in the Ivy League with a a 3-2-1 mark. Cornell, meanwhile is fourth in ECAC Hockey at 7-1-2 and 16 points and stands first in the Ivy League at 4-0-1. Colgate is ninth in ECAC Hockey at 2-5-3.

Follow From Home will provide live statistics for this weekend’s games, all home games and most road contests this season. Live audio and video for this weekend’s games will be available at As always, Matt Sawyer and Glenn Conway will have the call.

Series History
Harvard and Cornell have met 70 times on the ice, with the Crimson owning a 50-18-2 lead in the series, which dates back to 1981-82. The Crimson has won 10 of the last 11 games between the schools, but the Big Red earned a 4-3 victory this season, back on Oct. 31.

Harvard has won 15 of the 18 games against Colgate (15-1-2) and is unbeaten in the last five games against the Raiders (4-0-1).

Earlier This Season vs. Cornell
The Big Red netted two goals in the third period, including the game-winning tally with 3:03 remaining, to knock off the Crimson, 4-3, at Lynah Rink on Oct. 31. Katharine Chute, Anna McDonald and Jillian Dempsey supplied the offense for Harvard with a goal apiece, while Christina Kessler made 22 saves in a losing effort.

Earlier This Season vs. Colgate
On Oct. 30, Harvard opened its 32nd season of women’s hockey by topping the Raiders, 2-1, in a road game. After falling behind, 1-0, Leanna Coskren and Anna McDonald each found the back of the net in the second period, which gave the Crimson a lead it would not relinquish. Christina Kessler turned aside 29 shots in the game, and held Colgate scoreless on five power plays.

Last Time Out
Laura Bellamy made eight saves in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Quinnipiac. A day earlier, Bellamy recorded a career-high 13 stops, while Kelsey Romatoski scored her first career goal in a 3-3 tie at Princeton. Anna McDonald and Jillian Dempsey also netted Harvard goals.

Just Win, Christina!
Senior goaltender Christina Kessler is 63-16-5 (.780) in her career in net, placing her tied for first on Harvard’s all-time goalie wins list with Ali Boe ’06. Kessler currently owns the NCAA career record with a .942 save percentage, as she has stopped 1,815 of 1,926 shots faced during her career. Jessie Vetter (Wisconsin 2006-09) owned a .941 save percentage to set the record.

Trophy Case
Christina Kessler made 15 saves for the shutout in Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team’s 9-0 victory over Switzerland in the gold-medal game of the 2010 MLP Cup, held in Ravensburg, Germany Jan. 4-9.

Solid Start
Freshman Laura Bellamy started both games in net last weekend, making 21 saves and allowing only four goals (.840). Bellamy recorded a career-high 13 saves in a 3-3 tie at Princeton and surrendered only one goal, while stopping eight shots at Quinnipiac.

The World’s Best
A trio of former Harvard standout skaters have been named to the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Team, which will compete at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Angela Ruggiero ’02-04, the Patty Kazmaier recipient in 2004, Julie Chu ’06-07, the winner of the Patty Kazmaier trophy in 2007, and former All-American Caitlin Cahow ’07-08 were named to the American team. On Team Canada, Harvard will be represented by two-time Patty Kazmaier Award winner Jennifer Botterill ’02-03, and Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-09, who was named the top women’s college hockey player in 2008.

Around The Ivy League
The Crimson is unbeaten in four straight games against Ivy League opponents (3-0-1) after tying Princeton Jan. 8. The Crimson stands at 3-2-1 against Ancient Eight opponents, good for third place in the conference standings. Cornell remains in first with a 4-0-1 Ivy League conference record.

When The Game Is On The Line
Seven different Harvard players have scored a game-winning goal this season -- Kaitlin Spurling, Liza Ryabkina, Jillian Dempsey, Leanna Coskren, Anna McDonald, Cori Bassett and Kathryn Farni.

Where’s Your Beanpot?

Harvard will host the 2010 Beanpot at Bright Hockey Center. The first round, featuring the Crimson vs. Boston College and Boston University vs. Northeastern will take place Feb. 2, while the second round will be held Feb. 9. Harvard has won 12 Beanpots, while Northeastern has the lead with 14. Boston College has three titles, and Boston University has won three of the tournaments, which began in 1979.

A Balanced Attack
The Crimson has had 13 different players score at least one goal this year, as the team has netted a total of 37 goals. Sixteen players have at least one point to their credit and Harvard had 15 different players light the lamp last season as well, scoring a total of 95 goals.

License to Kill

The Crimson boasts the nation’s sixth-best penalty kill unit, stopping 55 of 61 opponent power plays (.902).

Shining All-Stars
Seniors Cori Bassett and Anna McDonald and junior Kate Buesser each earned a spot on the ECAC Hockey All-Star Team, which faced the U.S. Women’s Hockey National Team in an exhibition game Jan. 3. McDonald scored a goal, while Bassett and Buesser each had an assist.

Harvard Coach Katey Stone

Katey Stone is in her 16th season as the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey, and she brings a 327-140-25 record into Friday’s game. Stone, who ranks second all-time in Division I victories, has led Harvard to all seven of its NCAA tournament appearances. Stone is also the active leader in victories among Division I women’s hockey coaches.

Stone is currently 10 wins shy of tying the all-time Division I record, held by Laura Halldorson (337 victories).

First Thing’s First

The Crimson was 18-0-2 when scoring first and 1-10-1 when the opponent lit the lamp first last season. So far in 2009-10, Harvard is 6-1-1 when netting the game’s first goal and 2-3-2 when the opposition scores first.

It’s All Over

Harvard is 100-1-4 since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods.

Welcome To The Show
Harvard freshmen have had the scoring touch this season, led by Jillian Dempsey who leads the team with seven goals and is second with six assists and 13 points. Kaitlin Spurling (4-3-7), Josephine Pucci (2-5-7) have also been scoring threats.

Storied Program
With its 3-0 victory over St. Lawrence Nov. 7, Harvard earned the 500th victory in program history. The Crimson owns a 506-291-41 (.628)record over its storied 31-year history.

A Stone Wall
The Crimson earned back-to-back shutouts against Minnesota Dec. 4-5, marking the first time that the Golden Gopher were held scoreless since Feb. 2, 2007. The Crimson had not recorded consecutive shutouts since holding Cornell without a goal during the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals Feb. 27-28, 2009.

To Be The Best ...
With its 2-1 win against No. 10 Connecticut Dec. 8, the Crimson stands at 3-2-2 against ranked foes this year. Harvard was 2-6-1 against top 10 opponents last season.

Bright Spot
The Crimson was 9-4-2 record at Bright Hockey Center last season, while posting a 9-5-1 mark on the road. In eight games this season, Harvard owns a 5-2-2 record on home ice, but is 3-2-1 in road contests.

Red Lights
This season, Harvard ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense (1.33 goals allowed per game), sixth on the penalty kill (55 of 61, .902), seventh in scoring margin (+1.13), 20th in scoring offense (2.47 goals scored per game), 23rd in combined special teams (64 of 132, .485) and 24th in power-play efficiency (9 of 71, .127).

Rank And File
Harvard is ranked sixth in the latest national poll and sixth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll.

On The Road
The Crimson has played six road games this season, going 3-2-1. Harvard has five road games left in the reguar season, beginning with the contest at Dartmouth Jan. 29.

Crimson Among The Nation’s Best
With 0.87 points per game, Jillian Dempsey ranks fifth among the nation’s rookies in scoring. At the blue line, Josephine Pucci is tied for 21st among defenders with 0.54 points per game. Among all players, Kate Buesser stands 16th with 0.73 assists per contest and 26th with 1.13 points per game.

Stopping The Puck
Christina Kessler ranks third in the nation with a save percentage of .950 (303 of 319) and stands third with a 1.23 goals-against average. Kessler is also ninth in the nation with a winning percentage of .692 (8-3-2).