No. 5 Women's Hockey, Northeastern to Play for Beanpot Title Tuesday Evening at Bright

No. 5 Women's Hockey, Northeastern to Play for Beanpot Title Tuesday Evening at Bright

Pictured: Liza Ryabkina (right) scored four goals in the Beanpot semifinal round against Boston College.
Photo courtesy: Kevin Burns Photography

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The Particulars
The fifth-ranked Harvard women’s hockey team will host No. 9 Northeastern in the 32nd Annual Women’s Beanpot championship game. The Crimson, which will be closing out the home portion of its regular season schedule against the Huskies, has won five straight games.

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 Beanpot games with a subscription on WHRB’s Brendan Roche and Raafi Alidina will handle the broadcast of Harvard’s Beanpot game, while Bryan Dunmire and Charlie Hobbs will call the Boston University vs. Boston College Beanpot contest.

Beanpot History Lesson
Last week, the Crimson defeated Boston College, 5-0, in the semifinal round of the Beanpot. Liza Ryabkina netted four goals, including three in the third period, while Laura Bellamy earned the shutout, stopping all 15 shots she faced. 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. The Crimson last won the Beanpot in 2008, while the Huskies have not claimed the crown since 1998.

Series History
Harvard and Northeastern have met 51 times, with the Huskies owning a 33-16-2 record. The Crimson has won the last six meetings with the schools dating back to 2002. In the last meeting, Harvard topped Northeastern, 3-1, in the opening round of the 2008 Beanpot. Jenny Brine ’09 scored twice, and Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-09 added a goal, while Christina Kessler recorded 18 saves to earn the win. Harvard went on to win the Beanpot that season, defeating Boston University, 3-1, in the title game, hosted at BU’s Walter Brown Arena.

Last Time Out
Harvard completed a two-game sweep of Ivy League and ECAC Hockey rivals Brown and Yale, by holding off the Bulldogs, 4-3, Saturday at Bright Hockey Center. For the second straight game, four different Harvard players found the back of the net, as the Crimson netted three power-play goals in Harvard’s fifth straight victory. Laura Bellamy continued her dominant play between the pipes, stopping 15 of 16 shots she faced. Harvard opened last weekend by defeating Brown, 4-1, and finished the Ivy League portion of its schedule with a 6-2-2 mark.

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 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 334-141-26 (.693) record into Tuesday’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 three wins shy of tying the all-time Division I record, held by Laura Halldorson (337 victories).

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, who also added an assist in Harvard’s 4-3 win over Yale Saturday, 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.

Down The Stretch
With four conference games remaining entering the weekend, Harvard sits in third place in ECAC Hockey with a 11-5-2 record and 24 points. The Crimson stands one points ahead of St. Lawrence (23 points) and two points in front of both Quinnipiac and Rensselaer (22 points). Harvard only trails Clarkson (29 points) and Cornell (26 points) for first in the conference.

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.

License to Kill
The Crimson boasts the nation’s seventh-best penalty kill unit, stopping 87 of 97 opponent power plays (.897). 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 is tied for an ECAC Hockey-best 28 points in league games and also stands first in assists with 18. Buesser is also tied for fourth with 10 goals in ECAC Hockey contests. Rookie Jillian Dempsey (9-11-20) ranks fourth in conference points among all players and first among freshmen in the league. Defender Leanna Coskren is tied for fourth with eight power-play points (4-4-8) in ECAC Hockey contests. Coskren is also tied for first with three game-winning goals and tied for third with three power-play goals to her credit. during Cori Bassett, meanwhile, stands third in defender scoring with 15 points on four goals and 11 assists. Coskren ranks fourth among defenders with 11 points (6-7-13).

Buesser is also the Ivy League leader with 16 points (5-11-16) in Ancient Eight games, while Bassett is tied for first among defenders with nine points (2-7-9). Dempsey has been the league’s most prolific freshman, leading the way with 12 points (6-6-12).

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, Ryabkina and Spurling lead the team and ECAC Hockey with three game-winning tallies apiece.

Scoring In A Bunch
As a team, Harvard ranks second in ECAC Hockey with 3.33 goals per game, having scored a league-best 60 tallies in 18 conference games entering the week. The Crimson is averaging 3.60 goals per contest in Ivy League games, good for first in the Ancient Eight.

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 71 goals. Sixteen players have at least one point to their credit. Harvard had 15 different players light the lamp last season, 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 13-1-2 when netting the game’s first goal and 2-4-2 when the opposition scores first.

It’s All Over
Harvard is 107-1-5 (.969) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods. The Crimson is 13-0-1 (.964) in this category this season.

Spreading The Puck Around
The Crimson has 11 players who have reached double digits in points: Kate Buesser (31 points), Jillian Dempsey (22), Liza Ryabkina (16), Cori Bassett (16), Leanna Coskren (14), Kathryn Farni (13), Anna McDonald (12), Randi Griffin (12), Kaitlin Spurling (10), Katharine Chute (10) and Josephine Pucci (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).

Harvard Against The Ivy League
The Crimson owns a 6-2-2 against opponents from the Ancient Eight this season. In its last eight games against Ivy League teams, Harvard is 6-0-2, most recently defeating Yale, 4-3, Feb. 6 The Crimson is tied with Yale for first place in the Ivy League with 14 points. Cornell has two games remaining against Brown and Yale. If the Big Red drops both games, Harvard will earn a share of the Ivy League title.

Welcome To The Show
Harvard freshmen have had the scoring touch this season, led by Jillian Dempsey who is second on the team with nine goals, 13 assists and 22 points. Josephine Pucci (4-6-10) and Kaitlin Spurling (7-3-10) have also been scoring threats. Spurling is also tied for the leam lead with three game-winning goals.

Storied Program
With its 3-0 victory over St. Lawrence Nov. 7, Harvard earned the 500th victory in program history. The Crimson owns a 513-292-42 (.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 17 games this season, Harvard owns a 11-3-3 record on home ice, and is 4-2-1 in road contests.

Hot Streak
Entering Tuesday’s game against Northeastern, Harvard has won five straight games and is 5-1-1 in its last seven games.

Red Lights
Harvard ranks second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 1.46 goals per game. The Crimson also ranks fourth in scoring margin (+1.50), seventh on the penalty kill (87 of 97, .897), ninth in scoring offense (2.96 goals scored per game), 12th in combined special teams (106 of 211, .502) and 15th on the power play (19 of 114, .167).

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

Solid Start
In nine career starts, Laura Bellamy owns a 6-2-1 record with one shutout. She has stopped 169 of 180 shots faced for a .939 save percentage. She also sports an impressive 1.21 goals-against average and has won her last five games in net, stopping a career-high 37 shots in 4-1 win at Dartmouth Jan. 29.