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Women’s Hockey Announces Award Winners, Team Captains at Annual Banquet

Pictured: Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey, with the captains for the 2010-11 season: (left to right) Liza Ryabkina, Kate Buesser and Leanna Coskren
Photo courtesy: Melanie Ruzzi

BOSTON – The Harvard women’s hockey team celebrated its success during the 2009-10, handing out its team awards at the Crimson’s annual banquet, held at the Harvard Club of Boston Saturday afternoon.    Harvard, which finished the year ranked seventh in the final national poll, reached the NCAA tournament for the eighth time this season and captured its 13th Beanpot, while posting a 20-8-5 overall record.

After leading the team in goals (16), assists (24) and points (40), junior forward Kate Buesser was named Harvard’s Most Valuable Player.  Buesser, a native of Wolfeboro, N.H., was a nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and was tabbed to the All-ECAC Hockey and All-Ivy League first team.  In addition, Buesser was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Star Team and ranked second in the conference with 32 points (12-20-32) in ECAC Hockey games.

Randi Griffin, a senior forward from Apex, N.C., was presented with the Most Improved Player Award.  A finalist for the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award, Griffin led the Crimson and ranked 10th in the country with seven power-play goals, including five in ECAC Hockey action.  She stood fourth on Harvard with a career-high 21 points, netting a career-best 11 assists. 

Senior goaltender Christina Kessler, who hails from Oakville, Ont., was honored as the recipient of the John Dooley Award for combining sportsmanship, enthusiasm and devotion to hockey.  Kessler concluded her career as the NCAA record holder for career save percentage, stopping 1,863 of 1,979 shots (.9414).  Harvard’s all-time winningest goaltender with 64 victories, Kessler was a nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Award.  She saw action in 15 games, posting a 9-3-3 record with the nation’s fifth best goals-against average (1.39) and fifth highest save percentage (.944).  Kessler, who recorded four shutouts, was tabbed All-Ivy League honorable mention.

In addition, Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Hockey, announced that Buesser, junior defender Leanna Coskren and junior forward Liza Ryabkina will serve as captains of the Crimson during the 2010-11 season. 

Coskren, a nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Award, was tabbed to the All-Ivy League second team and All-ECAC Hockey third team.  A native of Walpole, Mass., Coskren amassed a career-high with 19 points, scoring eight goals and dishing out 11 assists.  She ranked 17th among the nation’s defenders in points per game and helped Harvard stand fifth in scoring defense.

Ryabkina, who hails from Kharkiv, Ukraine, stood second on the Crimson with 15 goals in only 23 games.  She scored four game-winning goals, which led Harvard and ranked 16th in the country.  A nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Award, Ryabkina netted a career-high four goals in Harvard’s 5-0 win over Boston College in the opening round of the Beanpot Feb. 2.  Ryabkina also found the back of the net with the game-winner in the Crimson’s 1-0 victory against Northeastern in the Beanpot final Feb. 9, as she was named the Beanpot Most Valuable Player.