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Women's Beanpot Title Defense Begins Tuesday Against Northeastern

Liza Ryabkina, last year's Beanpot MVP, looks to lead the Crimson to a record-tying 14th tournament title (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

Harvard vs. Quinnipiac Highlights - Feb. 5, 2011

The Particulars

The Harvard women's hockey team begins its Beanpot title defense as it takes on Northeastern at Conte Forum in the opening game of the 2011 tournament. The second game will feature two top-10 teams in Boston University and host Boston College. The second round of the tournament will be held Feb. 15 at Conte Forum. 

Series History
The Harvard-Northeastern series is one of the few that the Crimson trails in as the Huskies hold a significant 33-17-2 edge all-time against Harvard.  The majority of Northeastern's wins came in the early years of the series as Harvard only managed four wins over the Huskies from 1978-98. However, since the 1998-99 season, the Crimson has taken control of the series, winning 13 of 16 matchups, including the last seven meetings. In that seven-game stretch, Harvard has outscored Northeastern, 34-6.

The Huskies also hold a 16-13 series edge over the Crimson in Beanpot action, and have a record 14 tournament titles, one more than Harvard's 13. The Crimson collected its 13th Beanpot trophy last season as it downed Northeastern, 1-0, at Bright Hockey Center on the strength of Liza Ryabkina's fifth goal of the tournament. The win marked the fourth-straight time Harvard had defeated the Huskies in the championship game.   

Last Weekend
The Crimson claimed a split at home, dropping a 3-2 decision to Princeton Friday night and bouncing back with a 3-2 comeback win over Quinnipiac Saturday. With the results, Harvard maintained it's second-place position in ECAC Hockey standings.

The Tigers struck first in Friday's game but a pair of second-period goals from Liza Ryabkina and Alisa Baumgartner gave Harvard a brief 2-1 lead. A second Tiger tally knotted the score at 2-2 and Princeton potted the game-winner 5:45 into the third to snap Harvard's six-game winning streak.

Two goals at the start of the second period by Quinnipiac put the host Crimson in a 2-0 hole to start the third period Saturday. Harvard showed its resilience in one of the best third-period performances of the season, riding a pair of goals from rookie Kalley Armstrong and a third from Josephine Pucci to a thrilling 3-2 comeback win.

Harvard Coach Katey Stone
Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Hockey, is in her 17th season as Harvard's head coach, and she holds a 352-152-29 career  record, the most all-time victories in Division I women's hockey. Stone has led Harvard to all eight of its NCAA tournament appearances and was named the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team in the summer of 2010.   
 
Hold Your Fire
In 69 periods of regulation hockey so far this season, Harvard has only allowed double-digit shots in a given period 16 times (23 percent). Against Yale (Oct. 29), Harvard limited the Bulldogs to 13 shots in the game, including just three in the second period. Brown managed 15 total shots and fired just two on net in the second stanza Oct. 30. Harvard held Colgate to just two shots in the third period in a 3-1 win and also held Quinnipiac to just two shots in the third period of a 4-1 loss. The Crimson was outshot for the second time this season Nov. 20 at Dartmouth but came away from Hanover, N.H., with a 3-2 victory.

Against New Hampshire, Harvard allowed just 14 shots on net, including three in the second period. The Crimson did its best job of shot-blocking against Union Jan. 7, allowing just 10 shots on goal for the game, including just two in the final period. When Harvard faced the Dutchwomen Jan. 22, it again allowed just 10 shots in the game, including just one in the first period of play.    

Harvard has allowed just one opponent to amass more than 30 shots in a game this season as Quinnipiac racked up 32 shots Feb. 5 when the Crimson totaled 44. Harvard is averaging 32.0 shots per game to its opponents' 21.0 and is outshooting its opponents 735-483 through 23 games. Harvard recorded its highest shot total of the season against Brown Jan. 28, firing 54 shots on goal. Harvard has eclipsed the 40-shot mark five times this season.

About Northeastern
In and out of the top-10 all season, the Huskies have put together a solid 2010-11 campaign in an effort to capture their first NCAA tournament bid. Northeastern had a strong start to its season as it dropped just one of its first nine contests. January has been a more challenging month for the Huskies as they dropped a pair of games to local rival Boston College within a two-week stretch. In their last game, the Huskies skated to a 2-2 tie with Connecticut as both teams netted goals in the third period of play.

Just Killing It
Despite having a tough go of it on the penalty kill in the first half of the season, the Crimson has turned it on as of late. In its past 11 games, Harvard has allowed just six power-play tallies and killed 44 of 51 (86.3 percent) penalties. The Crimson killed all six penalties against Rensselaer Jan. 8 and followed with a 4-for-4 performance against St. Lawrence Jan. 14. Harvard was also a perfect 5-for-5 against Brown Jan. 28 and was penalty-free for the first time this season against Union Jan. 22.  

Two Down But Not Out
With an improving penalty kill, the Crimson has shown its mettle by killing six 5-on-3 opportunities since the New Year. Harvard stopped RPI on a two-skater advantage in a 2-1 loss Jan. 8 and then killed another two-skater advantage in its next game, a 2-1 win over St. Lawrence. The Crimson kept Rensselaer scoreless on two seperate 5-on-3 scenarios in a 2-1 win at Bright Jan. 21. Harvard also killed a pair of 5-on-3 situations against Quinnipiac Feb. 5, enabling a 3-2 comeback win. Harvard has not allowed a 5-on-3 goal all season.

Give Me an "O"
The Crimson has had its best results this season when it scores more than two goals. Harvard has scored four or more goals six times this season and has captured wins in all six games. The Crimson is 5-1-1 in games it scores three goals, its only loss coming to No. 4/5 Boston University in a 5-3 final.

Block You Like a Hurricane
A big reason that Harvard has been so successful in limiting opponents' shots on goal has been the team's penchant for blocking shots. Heading into the weekend, Harvard has out-blocked its opponents 348-246. In 23 games played this season, the Crimson has registered more blocked shots than its opponent in a game 16 times. Harvard has also topped the 20-block barrier five times this season with the most blocked shots in a game coming in the season opener against Yale where 33 shots never made it to the goalie.

Four Pack
The Crimson scored four or more goals in a three-game stretch from Jan. 22-29. Harvard blanked Union and Brown by identical 4-0 scores and downed Yale, 5-3. The last time Harvard put together a streak of three, four-goal games was Feb. 2-6, 2010, which was kicked off with a 5-0 win over B.C. in the opening round of the Beanpot.

Getting It Done on the Road
With the weekend sweep of Brown and Yale Jan. 28-29, the Crimson recorded it's first road weekend sweep since Nov. 20-21, 2009, when it also topped Yale and Brown in their home rinks. Harvard also upped its season road record to .500 for the first time in two months, with a 6-6-1 mark away from home this season.  

Timing is Everything
January was a month to remember for the Crimson. After posting sub-.500 records in November and December, Harvard recorded its best January record since the 2007-08 season, posting a 7-1-0 mark.

Saturdays have also been favorable for the Crimson this season as Harvard has a 7-1-1 record in Saturday games and a 8-3-1 record in afternoon contests.

Getting Involved
Through 23 games this season, all six freshmen have registered at least one point. Marissa Gedman has tallied eight points (3-5-8) on the season and is tied for the rookie team lead with Lyndsey Fry (5-3-8). Kalley Armstrong has seven points (4-3-7), including a two-goal game against Quinnipiac Feb. 5. Elizabeth  Parker picked up her first goal of her career against Dartmouth Nov. 19 and Gina McDonald tallied her first collegiate point with an assist against Brown Oct. 30 and added her first goal against Union Jan. 22. Jackie Young earned her first collegiate point against Clarkson with an assist on Gedman's power-play goal in the second period. Lauren Joarnt has seen action in four games this season and currently holds a save percentage of .852 and a 3.04 goals-against average.

It's All Over
Harvard is 120-2-6 (.960) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods. The Crimson is 9-0-0 this season in such situations.     

First Things First
So far this season, Harvard is 9-1-0 when scoring first and 4-7-2 when conceding the first goal.  The Crimson was 17-2-2 when scoring first and 3-6-3 when the opponent lit the lamp first last season.

Bright Spot
Harvard is 7-2-1 at Bright so far this season.  The Crimson owned a 14-4-3 record at Bright Hockey Center in 2009-10, and posted a 6-4-2 mark on the road.  Since Harvard hosted the Beanpot in 2009-10, the Crimson played no neutral-site games.