No. 10 Women's Hockey Takes on Clarkson, St. Lawrence in Final Road Weekend

No. 10 Women's Hockey Takes on Clarkson, St. Lawrence in Final Road Weekend

Kate Buesser started Harvard's comeback in the Beanpot semifinal against Northeastern (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

The Particulars

After a thrilling shootout victory over local rival Northeastern in the Beanpot semifinals, Harvard gets back to its conference schedule with games at Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Crimson is 7-1 in its last eight ECAC contests.   
Series History
Despite three wins for Clarkson in the last four meetings, Harvard maintains a 14-5-1 lead in the all-time series, dating back to the 2004-05 season. Harvard won six of the first seven meetings between the two teams, recording four shutouts in that stretch. Last season, Clarkson didn't drop a game to Harvard, winning, 2-1, in the first meeting and skating to a 3-3 tie in the second. The Golden Knights then ended Harvard's 2009-10 ECAC tournament run, handing the Crimson a 3-2 loss in the semifinal round. Harvard avanged that loss in the teams' first matchup this season, taking down the Golden Knights, 3-2, at Bright Hockey Center Jan. 15.  

While St. Lawrence has proved to be a tough opponent for the Crimson through the years, Harvard holds the edge in the all-time series with a 29-11-5 mark. Harvard has been the dominant team as of late, picking up seven wins in the last eight match-ups between the two teams. Last season, Harvard blanked St. Lawrence, 3-0, at Bright in November and tallied two third-period goals to sink the Saints, 2-1, in Canton, N.Y., in February. In this season's first matchup, Josephine Pucci and Ashley Wheeler netted third-period goals to help Harvard past the Saints, 2-1, Jan. 14.

A Beanpot Barnburner
In its last contest, the Crimson rallied from a 3-0 second-period deficit to tie Northeastern at the end of regulation and earn a 2-1 shootout victory in the semifinal round of the 2011 Beanpot, hosted by Boston College. Kate Buesser started the scoring for Harvard with a power-play tally in the second and Ashley Wheeler and Marissa Gedman scored with less than five minutes to play to force a 3-3 tie in regulation.

Jillian Dempsey scored on Harvard's first attempt in the shootout and Josephine Pucci pushed the shootout score to 2-1 on the Crimson's fourth attempt. With two saves already to her credit in the shootout, Laura Bellamy stuffed Northeastern's final attempt, propelling Harvard into the Beanpot final against host Boston College.  

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 its second-place position in the 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 352-152-30 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 head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team in the summer of 2010.    

Hold Your Fire
In 72 periods of regulation hockey so far this season, Harvard has only allowed double-digit shots in a given period 17 times (24 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. In the Beanpot semifinal against Northeastern, the Crimson matched its period-low, conceding just one shot in the second stanza of an eventual shootout victory.     

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 32.1 shots per game to its opponents' 20.9 and is outshooting its opponents 770-501 through 24 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 Clarkson
While the Golden Knights had a tough time getting going this season, the team has come on strong as of late, entering the Harvard matchup on a six-game unbeaten streak. Clarkson recorded a pair of 3-2 road wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac Jan. 28-29 and nearly knocked off ECAC front-runner Cornell last weekend, skating to a 3-3 tie with the Big Red. The Golden Knights have actually tied their last two games as they played to a 2-2 tie against Colgate in their last game.

About St. Lawrence
It has been a season of highs and lows for the Saints in 2010-11, with a number of marquee wins throughout the season. St. Lawrence rebounded from a rocky start to down No. 6 Boston College Nov. 12 and also picked up a 6-2 win over No. 3 Mercyhurst Dec. 10. The Saints enter the weekend with just one win in their last four games, having dropped decisions to Princeton, Quinnipiac and Cornell in that stretch. The Saints face off against Dartmouth Friday before taking on the Crimson Saturday.

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 5-1-2 in games it scores three goals, its only loss coming to No. 4/5 Boston University in a 5-3 final.

Comeback Kids
While Harvard has been a bit slow to start in its last two outings, the team has shown its resilience, collecting consecutive come-from-behind victories. Against Quinnipiac Feb. 5, Harvard entered the third period down, 2-0, only to tally three goals in an eight-minute span to capture a 3-2 victory at home. Against Northeastern in the Beanpot semifinal, Harvard was staring a 3-0 second-period deficit in the face before putting three pucks in the net, two coming with under five minutes to play in regulation. The Crimson went on to win the shootout, 2-1, to advance to the Beanpot 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 352-251. In 24 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 8-3-2 record in afternoon contests.
Rank And File
Harvard began the 2010-11 regular season schedule ranked in both national polls. The Crimson was ranked in the first seven national polls of the season, climbing as high as No. 7 in the Oct. 4 polls. Harvard worked its way back into the national polls Feb. 1, claiming the No. 10 ranking in the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.

Getting Involved
Through 24 games this season, all six freshmen have registered at least one point. Marissa
Gedman leads all rookies with 10 points (4-6-10) on the season while Lyndsey Fry (5-3-8) has picked up eight points this year. Kalley Armstrong has seven points (4-3-7), including a two-goal game against Quinnipiac Feb. 5. Elizabeth  Parker picked up the 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.