No. 6 Women's Hockey Welcomes Brown, Yale to Bright; Honors Seniors Saturday

No. 6 Women's Hockey Welcomes Brown, Yale to Bright; Honors Seniors Saturday

Pictured: The Harvard class of 2010 has helped Harvard reach the NCAA tournament twice.
Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography

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ECAC Hockey Standings
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Crimson in the Olympics: Five Alumnae to Skate in Vancouver

Ryabkina Scores Four Goals in Beanpot Semifinal Win over Boston College

The Particulars

The sixth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team will close out the home portion of its ECAC Hockey regular-season schedule, as the Crimson welcomes conference rivals Brown and Yale to Bright Hockey Center. Harvard enters the weekend in third place in ECAC Hockey with 20 points and a 9-5-2 record and in second in the Ivy League, just two points behind Cornell.

Follow From Home will provide live statistics for this week’s games, all home games and most road contests this season. Live audio and video is available for both games with a subscription on Glenn Conway and Matt Sawyer will provide the call on

Series History
Harvard and Brown have met 70 times with the Crimson enjoying a 35-30-5 edge in the series. Harvard has won the last eight games between the schools and is unbeaten in the last 18 contests between the Ivy League rivals (16-0-2).

Harvard and Yale have played 68 times, with the Crimson holding a sizable, 58-8-2, record in those contests. Harvard has claimed wins in the last nine games against the Bulldogs, dating back to 2006.

Last Time Out
Liza Ryabkina netted four goals, while Laura Bellamy stopped all 15 shots she faced to earn the shutout in a 5-0 win over Boston College. Kate Buesser, Kelsey Romatoski and Anna McDonald chipped in with two assists apiece, while Josephine Pucci netted the other Harvard goal. The Crimson will face Northeastern, who defeated Boston University, 2-0, in a shootout, in the Beanpot championship

Hall of Fame Inductee
Former Harvard standout Tammy Shewchuk ’00-01 will be inducted into the Women’s Beanpot Hall of Fame during a ceremony between the consolation and championship games at Bright Hockey Center Feb. 9. Shewchuk is second all-time in Women’s Beanpot history with 25 points in eight games, having scored nine goals and handed out 16 assists. She helped Harvard win three Beanpots in 1999, 2001 and ’01. Other Crimson Beanpot Hall of Fame Inductees include Jennifer Botterill ’02-03 (2008) and Cheryl Tate ’82 (2009).

Harvard Against The Ivy League
The Crimson owns a 4-2-2 against opponents from the Ancient Eight this season. In its last six games against Ivy League teams, Harvard is 4-0-2, most recently defeating Dartmouth, 4-1, in Hanover, N.H. Jan. 29. The Crimson is two points behind Cornell (5-0-2) and one point ahead of Princeton (4-2-1) in the race.

Where’s Your Beanpot?
Following its 5-0 win over Boston College in the semifinal round of the 32nd Annual Women’s Beanpot, hosted by Harvard at Bright Hockey Center, the Crimson will prepare to face Northeastern in the championship game Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. The Huskies earned a 4-4 tie against Boston University, but advanced to the championship with a 2-0 win in the shootout. Northeastern has won the most Women’s Beanpots (14), while Harvard has claimed 12, the second most of any school.

Hot Hand
Liza Ryabkina established a new career high, scoring four goals, including three in the third period alone, in Harvard’s 5-0 win over Boston College in the semifinal round of the Beanpot Tuesday evening. Ryabkina notched two power-play tallies and scored two even strength goals. Her four goals mark the most for a Harvard player since Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-09 lit the lamp four times in a 5-2 win at Cornell Feb. 13, 2009.

Senior Day
At the conclusion of Saturday’s game against Yale, Harvard will honor its five seniors: Cori Bassett, Kathryn Farni, Randi Griffin, Christina Kessler and Anna McDonald.These players have helped the Crimson win two ECAC Hockey regular-season titles, one ECAC Hockey tournament, two Ivy League championships and one Beanpot. In addition, Harvard has reached the NCAA tournament twice during their careers and advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2008.

Down The Stretch
With six conference games remaining entering the weekend, Harvard sits in a third-place tie in ECAC Hockey with a 9-5-2 record and 20 points. Princeton and Rensselaer also had earned 20 points and the teams sat behind Clarkson (27 points) and Cornell (23 points) in the standings.

Clean Sheets
With its 5-0 win over Boston College Feb. 2, Harvard now has recorded six shutouts this season. Laura Bellamy has earned two clean sheets, shutting down Union Jan. 22 and Boston College. Five of the Crimson’s six shutouts have come at Bright Hockey Center. Senior Christina Kessler has recorded 25 shutouts during her career at Harvard, a program record.

Harvard Head 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 332-141-26 (.691) 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 and has guided the Crimson to nine Beanpot titles. Stone is also the active leader in victories among Division I women’s hockey coaches.

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

License to Kill
The Crimson boasts the nation’s fifth-best penalty kill unit, stopping 80 of 89 opponent power plays (.894). Harvard has killed the last 13 power plays by opponents, dating back to Jan. 23. The Crimson also has a shorthanded goal to its credit this season, coming off the stick of Jillian Dempsey in a 4-0 win over Union Jan. 22.

Crimson Leading The League
Kate Buesser has an ECAC Hockey-best 25 points in league games and also stands first in assists with 16. Rookie Jillian Dempsey (8-10-18) ranks fourth in conference points among all players and first among freshmen in the league. Defender Leanna Coskren is fifth with five power-play points in ECAC Hockey contests. Coskren is also tied for first with three game-winning goals during conference action. Cori Bassett, meanwhile, stands third in defender scoring with 12 points on four goals and eight assists. Coskren ranks fourth among defenders with 11 points (4-7-11).

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. Overall, Harvard has had nine current and former women’s hockey players represent their countries in the Olympics since 1996.

When The Game Is On The Line
Nine different Harvard players have scored a game-winning goal this season -- Kaitlin Spurling, Liza Ryabkina, Jillian Dempsey, Leanna Coskren, Anna McDonald, Cori Bassett, Kathryn Farni, Kate Buesser and Randi Griffin. Coskren leads the team and ECAC Hockey with three game-winning tallies, while Ryabkina has notched two this season.

Scoring In A Bunch
As a team, Harvard ranks second in ECAC Hockey with 3.25 goals per game, having scored a league-best 52 tallies in 16 conference games entering the week.

A Balanced Attack
The Crimson has had 14 different players score at least one goal this year, as the team has netted a total of 63 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.

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 11-1-2 when netting the game’s first goal and 2-4-2 when the opposition scores first.

It’s All Over
Harvard is 105-1-5 (.968) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods. The Crimson is 11-0-1 (.958) in this category this season.

Spreading The Puck Around
The Crimson has nine players who have reached double digits in points: Kate Buesser (28), Jillian Dempsey (20), Liza Ryabkina (15), Cori Bassett (13), Anna McDonald (12), Leanna Coskren (12), Kathryn Farni (11), Katharine Chute (10) and Randi Griffin (10).

Just Win, Christina!
Senior goaltender Christina Kessler is 64-16-6 (.779) in her career in net, placing her first on Harvard’s all-time goalie wins, as she passed Ali Boe ’06 with a 5-1 victory against Colgate Jan. 16. Kessler currently holds the NCAA career record with a .9413 save percentage, as she has stopped 1,863 of 1,979 shots faced during her career. Jessie Vetter (Wisconsin 2006-09) owned a .941 save percentage to set the record (2,175 of 2,312, .9407).

Welcome To The Show
Harvard freshmen have had the scoring touch this season, led by Jillian Dempsey who is tied for the team lead with eight goals and is second with 12 assists and 20 points. Josephine Pucci (3-6-9) and Kaitlin Spurling (5-3-8) 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 511-292-42 (.630)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 Gophers 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 over No. 9 Providence Jan. 29, the Crimson stands at 4-2-3 against ranked foes this year. Harvard was 2-6-1 against top 10 opponents last season.

Bright Spot
The Crimson was 9-4-2 at Bright Hockey Center last season, while posting a 9-5-1 mark on the road. In 15 games this season, Harvard owns a 9-3-3 record on home ice, and is 4-2-1 in road contests.

Hot Streak
Entering Friday’s game against Brown, Harvard has won three straight games and is 3-1-1 in its last five games.

Red Lights
Harvard ranks second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 1.41 goals per game. The Crimson also ranks fourth in scoring margin (+1.45), fifth on the penalty kill (80 of 89, .899), 10th in scoring offense, 20th on the power play (15 of 106, .142) and 23rd in combined special teams (95 of 195, .487).

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

Solid Start
In seven career starts, Laura Bellamy owns a 4-2-1 record with one shutout. She has stopped 132 of 141 shots faced for a .936 save percentage. She also sports an impressive 1.25 goals-against average and has won her last three games in net, stopping a career-high 37 shots in 4-1 win at Dartmouth Jan. 29.

Road Warriors
The Crimson has played six road games this season, going 3-2-1. Harvard has four road games left in the regular season, beginning with the contest at Rensselaer Feb. 12.