Women's Hockey Welcomes St. Lawrence to Cambridge for ECAC Quarterfinal Showdown

Women's Hockey Welcomes St. Lawrence to Cambridge for ECAC Quarterfinal Showdown

Harvard is the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Tournament and will host St. Lawrence, the No. 7 seed, in the Quarterfinal round (Kevin Burns).

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

ECAC Quarterfinals Preview with Leanna Coskren

The Particulars

After sealing the No. 2 seed in the ECAC hockey regular season standings, the Crimson welcomes St. Lawrence to Bright Hockey Center for an ECAC quarterfinal series. This is only the second time the Crimson has squared off against the Saints in the quarterfinals.

Series History
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 30-11-5 mark. Harvard has been the dominantteam as of late, picking up eight wins in the last nine match-ups between the two teams. 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.The last time the two teams met, Feb. 12, Harvard bounced back from a 2-1 second-period deficit to force the game into overtime tied at 2-2. After withstanding a St. Lawrence barrage at the start of the extra frame, Jillian Dempsey snuck home the game-winner with just seven seconds left on the clock to give Harvard a 3-2 win and the season series sweep.

The Crimson and Saints have faced each other six times in the history of the ECAC tournament with Harvard holding a 5-1 record in those games. The last time the two teams met was in 2008 where the Crimson skated to a 3-2 overtime victory in the championship game to clinch its most recent title. St. Lawrence's lone win in the series came a year before that as it knocked off Harvard, 4-3, in the 2007 semifinals.    

Last Weekend
In the final regular season weekend of 2010-11, Harvard posted a 1-1 record, blanking Colgate, 7-0, Friday and narrowly falling to No. 2 Cornell, 4-3, Saturday.

Harvard had little trouble finding the back of the net against the Raiders, riding four first-period goals to victory. Leanna Coskren had a pair of tallies and an assist in the game while Jillian Dempsey registered a career-high four assists in the win. Josephine Pucci also netted Harvard's third short-handed goal of the season and Laura Bellamy made 16 saves for her fourth shutout of the season.

The Crimson dug itself a fast hole Saturday, conceding three first-period goals to the second-ranked Big Red. Harvard came out firing in the second period, however, and closed the gap to one at the end of two on goals by Josephine Pucci and Kate Buesser. Cornell scored early in the third to make it 4-2 and even though Jillian Dempsey capitalized on a power-play to make it 4-3, the Crimson was unable to find the equalizer as Cornell escaped with a 4-3 win.  

Harvard ECAC History
The Crimson holds an all-time record of 31-15 in ECAC tournament action, dating back to 1987. Harvard didn't win its first ECAC playoff game until 1999, a 3-2 win over Cornell at Bright Hockey Center. The Crimson went on to capture the tournament title that year, the first of five. Bright has hosted an ECAC quarterfinal series every year since 2002 and the Crimson has emerged victorious in every one of those series.

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 354-154-31 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.  

As The Two-Seed
With the 7-0 win over Colgate Friday, the Crimson locked up the No. 2 seed for the ECAC tournament. It is just the third time in team history that Harvard has finished second in the ECAC regular season standings, and the first time since 2001. Harvard advanced to the title game in 2001 as the second-seed, falling to Dartmouth, 3-1, in the final. The Crimson advanced to the semifinals as the two-seed the year before that, dropping a 3-2 overtime thriller to the Big Green at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, R.I.

Special Special Teams
The last week of the regular season saw some inspired performances by the Harvard penalty kill and power play units. Against Boston College in the Beanpot final, Harvard needed just two kills to silence the Eagles' power-play. In the 7-0 pouding of Colgate, Harvard notched a season-high three power-play goals on seven attempts, erased six penalties and tallied its third short-handed goal of the season. Harvard allowed just one power-play goal in seven attempts to the nation's top power-play unit in Cornell, and tallied it's fourth man-up  score of the weekend.

May I Help You?
With four assists in a 7-0 blowout of Colgate, Jillian Dempsey set a career-high for points in a game and set the mark for most points by a Harvard skater in a game this season. The last time a Harvard player recorded four helpers in a game was Feb. 3, 2009 when Sarah Vaillancourt '08-09  posted four assists against Boston University.

Offensive Outburst
The seven goals scored in the 7-0 win over Colgate Feb. 18 marked the most goals scored in a game during the 2010-11 season. The last time the Crimson posted at least seven goals in a game was against Quinnipiac, Nov. 15, 2009 in a 7-2 win. The Colgate win also represented the biggest margin of victory for the Crimson since an 8-0 blanking of Boston University in the 2009 Beanpot semifinals.

Hold Your Fire
In 87 periods of regulation hockey this season, Harvard only allowed double-digit shots in a given period 21 times (24 percent). On 10 occasions, Harvard held its opponent to three or less shots in a period, including twice holding an opponent to a single shot on goal in a given frame. Some of Harvard's top defensive performances this season:   

Fewest Shots Allowed - Game
10 - at Union, Jan. 7, 2011 (W, 5-0)
      vs. Union, Jan. 22, 2011 (W, 4-0)
13 - vs. Yale, Oct. 29, 2010 (T, 3-3)
14 - at New Hampshire, Dec. 9, 2010 (W, 3-1)
15 - vs. Brown, Oct. 30, 2010 (W, 4-2)
16 - vs. Clarkson, Jan. 15, 2011 (W, 3-2)
16 - vs. Colgate, Feb. 18, 2011 (W, 7-0)

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 averaged 32.4 shots per game to its opponents' 21.3 and outshot its opponents 941-618 during the regular season. 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 St. Lawrence
The Saints entered the final weekend of the regular season needing some results in order to secure a spot in the 2011 ECAC tournament. After splitting with Harvard and Clarkson the weekend before, St. Lawrence took care of business last weekend to secure a seven-seed in the tournament field. The Saints handled Union, 4-0, Friday night and earned their 11th conference victory with a 2-1 win over Rensselaer Saturday. Both contests took place on the road.   
Two Down But Not Out
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 separate 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 seven times this season and has captured wins in all seven games. The Crimson is 6-2-3 in games it scores three goals, its only losses coming to No. 4/5 Boston University in a 5-3 final and No. 2 Cornell in a 4-3 game.  

Comeback Kids
While Harvard has been a bit slow to start in its last few outings, the team has shown its resilience, posting a number of come-from-behind performances. 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.

Harvard came back from two seperate one-goal deficits to tie Clarkson Feb. 11, and then overcame a 2-1 hole against St. Lawrence to claim a 3-2 overtime win.   

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, 406-284. In 29 games played this season, the Crimson has registered more blocked shots than its opponent in a game 21 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 7-7-2 mark on visiting ice 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 8-2-1 record in Saturday games and a 9-4-3 record in afternoon contests.

Rookie Campaigns
This years roster featured seven freshmen: goaltender Lauren Joarnt, Kalley Armstrong, Lyndsey Fry, Marissa Gedman, Gina McDonald, Elizabeth Parker and Jackie Young.

Here is a look at their stats in their first full regular season with the Crimson:
Marissa Gedman: 4g, 9a, 13 pts
Lyndsey Fry: 6g, 4a, 10 pts
Kalley Armstrong: 5g, 3a, 8 pts
Gina McDonald: 1g, 4a, 5 pts
Elizabeth Parker: 2g, 3a, 5 pts
Jackie Young: 0g, 3a, 3 pts
Lauren Joarnt: 1-1-1, 3.04GAA, .852 save %   

It's All Over
Harvard is 121-2-6 (.960) since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods. The Crimson is 10-0-0 this season in such situations.