Women's Hockey Looks to Solidify Second Place Against Princeton, Quinnipiac

Women's Hockey Looks to Solidify Second Place Against Princeton, Quinnipiac

Jillian Dempsey is one of two Harvard skaters riding a five-game point streak (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

Highlights from Jan. 28 against Brown

The Particulars

The Crimson kicks off its home weekend as one of the hottest teams in college hockey, winner of six straight, as it welcomes Princeton and Quinnipiac to Bright Hockey Center. The six-game win streak is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. 

Series History
The Harvard-Princeton rivalry has been relatively even through the years, but the Crimson does hold a slight 36-28-4 lead in the all-time series record. The earliest contests belonged to the Tigers, as Princeton captured 11 of the first 12 meetings between the two teams. In recent years, Harvard has held the edge, taking nine of the last 15 matches, including the two of the last three. Last season, Harvard lost and tied games against Princeton in the regular season before sweeping it, 5-1 and 4-1, in the opening round of ECAC Tournament play. Earlier this season, a pair of Katharine Chute goals helped Harvard salvage a 2-2 tie in Princeton Nov. 13.

While Harvard holds a 9-2-0 all-time record against Quinnipiac, the Bobcats have taken the last two meetings by a combined score of 5-1. The series began in 2005-06, and the Crimson took the first nine meetings, outscoring the Bobcats 38-10. However, in the teams' second matchup of last season, Quinnipiac blanked the Crimson, 1-0, on the strength of 31 saves from Victoria Vigilanti. Earlier this season, Kelly Babstock netted a natural hat trick in the second period, helping the Bobcats to a 4-1 win in Hamden, Conn., Nov. 12.  

Last Weekend
Harvard kept the ball rolling on its ECAC win streak, blanking Brown, 4-0, Friday night and fighting off a fiesty Yale squad, 5-3, the following afternoon. The Crimson maintained its second-place position in the league standings with its third straight weekend sweep.
The Bears were unable to stymie a potent Crimson offense Friday night as Harvard rolled to its second straight 4-0 victory. Liza Ryabkina tallied the game's first goal on a first period power-play and second-period scores from Josephine Pucci, Marissa Gedman and Kate Buesser sealed the 4-0 win for the Crimson. Laura Bellamy stopped 25 shots for her second consecutive shutout.

Jillian Dempsey put Harvard on the board against the Bulldogs but a first-period goal from the hosts knotted the game at 1-1 at the first break. Lyndsey Fry and Ryabkina notched second period goals and scores from Katharine Chute and Buesser helped hold off a late Bulldogs charge to claim the 5-3 win in New Haven, Conn.

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 351-151-29 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.  

Notable Streaks
Liza Ryabkina and Jillian Dempsey are both riding five-game point streaks heading into this weekend. Ryabkina has collected eight points (3g, 5a) during that stretch, Dempsey has picked up seven (2g, 5a)  and both have scored two points each in their last two contests. Kate Buesser is on a three-game goal-scoring streak with all three goals being the final ones scored by Harvard in the given game. Laura Bellamy had back-to-back shutouts for the first time in her career against Union and Brown and played 141 minutes and 35 seconds in a span of four games without allowing a goal.

Hold Your Fire
In 63 periods of regulation hockey so far this season, Harvard has only allowed double-digit shots in a given period 13 times (21 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 yet to allow more than 30 shots to an opposing team in a game this season. The Crimson is averaging 31.6 shots per game to its opponents' 20.4 and is outshooting its opponents 664-428 through 21 games. Harvard recorded its highest shot total of the season against Brown Jan. 28, firing 54 shots on goal. It was the fourth time Harvard has eclipsed the 40-shot mark this season.

About Princeton
The Tigers come to Bright with an overall record of 11-11-1 on the season and an 8-7-1 conference mark, good for a tie for fifth in the conference standings. Princeton ended 2010 with four-straight wins, including three shutouts, and kicked off 2011 just as strong. The Tigers earned wins in their first four games of 2011, giving them an eight-game winning streak that spanned the New Year. That streak was snapped in its last contest, however, as Princeton couldn't recover from three third-period goals from Clarkson, falling to the Golden Knights, 3-2, at home.  

About Quinnipiac
The Bobcats have cooled off after a hot start to the season, but are still very much in the thick of the playoff picture, entering the weekend in fourth place in ECAC standings. Quinnipiac has hovered just above .500 since the New Year, collecting wins in four of its seven games in 2011. Last weekend, the Bobcats registered a win and loss, falling to Clarkson, 3-2 in overtime, Friday and rebounding with a solid 4-2 win over St. Lawrence at home Saturday.   

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 nine games, Harvard has allowed just four power-play tallies and killed 37 of 42 (88.1 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 four 5-on-3 opportunities in a recent five-game stretch. 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 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 4-1-1 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 315-215. In 21 games played this season, the Crimson has registered more blocked shots than its opponent in a game 15 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 has scored four or more goals in each of its last three games. Harvard blanked Union and Brown by identical 4-0 scores and downed Yale, 5-3, Jan. 29. 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 6-1-1 record in Saturday games and a 7-3-1 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 Jan. 31, claiming the No. 10 ranking in both the USCHO.com and USA Today polls.  

Getting Involved
Through 21 games this season, all six freshmen have registered at least one point. Marissa Gedman has tallied seven points (3-5-8) on the season and is tied for the rookie team lead with Lyndsey Fry (5-3-8). 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 3-6-2 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 6-1-1 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.

A Balanced Attack
Through 21 games this season, 16 different players have tallied goals for the Crimson with Kelsey Romatoski and Gina McDonald recording their first of the season against Union Jan. 22. In all, 18 skaters on the roster have tallied a point this season. Harvard had 14 different players light the lamp last season, scoring a total of 94 goals.  Four Harvard players (Kate Buesser, Jillian Dempsey, Liza Ryabkina and Randi Griffin '10) had double-digit tallies for the Crimson in 2009-10.