Conference Road Tests Await Women's Hockey in Colgate, No. 2/2 Cornell

Conference Road Tests Await Women's Hockey in Colgate, No. 2/2 Cornell

Laura Bellamy ranks second in the nation with a 0.99 goals-against average through two games (Kevin Burns)

Complete Game Notes (pdf)

Harvard at St. Lawrence Highlights (Oct. 28, 2011)

Harvard at Clarkson Highlights (Oct. 29, 2011)

The Particulars
After a weekend off from action, the Harvard women's hockey team takes to the road for a pair of conference contests against Colgate and Cornell. This weekend marks the second consecutive trip to New York for the Crimson.     
Series History
The Crimson has had the Raiders' number in the all-time series, as Harvard has captured 18 wins in the 21 games between the two teams for an 18-1-2 overall mark. Colgate's lone win in the series game during the 2006-07 season, and Harvard has won the last five meetings between the squads.

Harvard faced Colgate on the Raiders' home ice in just its second road game of the 2010-11 season, skating to a convincing 3-1 win. Colgate took a 1-0 lead thanks to a Jenna Klynstra goal at 12:33 of the first period, but Kate Buesser '11 responded with the tying tally at 12:30 of the second. Third-period goals from Kalley Armstrong and Leanna Coskren '11 went unanswered as the Crimson picked up its first road win of the season. The second meeting of the season was a landslide victory for the Crimson, as Harvard shut out the Raiders in a 7-0 pounding at Bright Hockey Center. Coskren had a pair of goals and Jillian Dempsey (Winthrop, Mass.) handed out four assists in the win.  

Against Cornell, one of Harvard's longest-tenured rivals, the Crimson holds the lead in the all-time series with a 50-21-3 career mark. The Big Red has been tallying up marks in the win column in recent history, however, as the Crimson is winless against Cornell in its last five games, dating back to the 2008-09 season.

The Crimson traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. to kick off its 2010-11 road schedule and came away from Lynah Rink empty-handed, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Big Red. Cornell capitalized on two of its seven power-play chances and outshot the Crimson, 29-24, to remain perfect in ECAC action. It looked like more of the same in the teams' second meeting as a trio of first-period goals by the Big Red gave the visitors a commanding 3-0 lead after one. Josephine Pucci got the Crimson on the board in the second period, and Kate Buesser helped Harvard pull within one with another second-period score. A third-period power-play goal from Catherine White proved to be the game-winner as a late power-play tally from Jillian Dempsey wasn't enough and the Crimson dropped the 4-3 decision in its final game of the regular season.    

Last Time Out
Harvard stormed out of the gate to start the 2011-12 campaign, completing its second sweep of St. Lawrence and Clarkson in its last three attempts.  

The Crimson put on an offensive display in its season-opener against the Saints, netting seven unanswered goals after falling behind early to notch a 7-1 road win. Classmates Lyndsey Fry (Chandler, Ariz.) and Marissa Gedman (Framingham, Mass.) tallied three points each on the day, with Fry netting a pair of goals and Gedman dishing out a pair of assists. Jillian Dempsey also scored twice in the game, while Samantha Reber (Edina, Minn.) posted her first collegiate points with a goal and an assist.

Against Clarkson the following afternoon, a Josephine Pucci power-play goal gave Harvard the lead early in the second, but the Golden Knights tied it with just 35 seconds left in the middle stanza. A scoreless third pushed the game into overtime, and it was Gedman to the rescue, as the sophomore received a pass from rookie Michelle Picard (Taunton, Mass.) and fired true just 1:32 into the extra frame to seal the dramatic 2-1 victory.     

COOP Athlete of the Week
For her efforts in the opening weekend, Marissa Gedman was named Harvard COOP Athlete of the Week for Oct. 31. She finished the weekend with 2-3-5 points and a +4 rating and backboned a Crimson defensive effort that only allowed two goals in the two games.      

Pucci Please
With a pair of assists in the St. Lawrence game and a goal and an assist against Clarkson, Josephine Pucci extends her team-leading point streak to seven games, dating back to last season. The streak started with a goal in Harvard's 7-0 win over Colgate Feb. 18, 2011, and was highlighted by her three-assist night in an 8-3 blowout of St. Lawrence in the ECAC Quarterfinals Feb. 26. Pucci has goals in five of the seven games during the scoring stretch.

On The Road Again
Harvard begins its season with four-straight road contests for the first time since the 2002-03 season. That season got off to a hot start as well, as the Crimson went 3-1-0 in its first four games. Harvard topped Vermont (13-0), Dartmouth (9-2) and Minnesota Duluth (2-1) before dropping a 4-3 decision at Minnesota.   

After downing St. Lawrence and Clarkson, two teams that were receiving votes in both major polls, the Crimson jumped up to No. 10 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and the polls.

Who's Missing?
Harvard will be without its head coach and a trio of players for the Colgate/Cornell weekend, due to the Four Nations Cup taking place in Nykoping, Sweden Nov. 9-13. Head coach Katey Stone, along with blueliners Josphine Pucci and Michelle Picard and forward Jillian Dempsey, will be with Team USA for the tournament.

Crimson, White and Blue
Aside from having Katey Stone as its coach, the U.S. Women's National Team has a number of familiar Harvard faces within its ranks. Three current members and two formers members of the Crimson are on the U.S. roster for the 2011 Four Nations Cup in Nykoping, Sweden in early November.  

Pucci will be playing in her fourth tournament with the team, having earned a spot on the roster prior to the 2010 Four Nations Tournament. Dempsey will be making her second appearance with the team after debuting at the Twelve Nations Tournament this summer, and Picard will be making her debut  with the U.S. National team. Veterans Julie Chu '06-07 and Caitlin Cahow '07-08 are also on the roster for the 2011 Four Nations Cup.     

Fresh Faces
The 2011-12 Crimson boasts five freshmen on its roster: two forwards, two defensemen and a goalie. Hillary Crowe and Samantha Reber bolster the crew of Harvard forwards while Sarah Edney and Michelle Picard join the roster as blueliners. Tiana Press gives the Crimson a solid option in goal.  

Harvard Coach Katey Stone
Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Hockey, is in her 18th season as Harvard's head coach, and she holds a 358-155-31 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 is the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Preseason Prognostications
The ECAC Hockey coaches picked Harvard second in their preseason poll, behind defending league champion Cornell.

Team (first-place votes)    Points
1. Cornell (11)    121
2. Harvard      105
3. Quinnipiac (1)    93
4. Dartmouth    91
5. Clarkson    82
6. St. Lawrence    70
7. Princeton    68
8. Rensselaer    51
9. Colgate    41
10. Yale     36
11. Brown    22
12. Union     12     

Crimson Captain
Leading the way for the Crimson as captain this season is the lone member of the class of 2012, Alisa Baumgartner. Josephine Pucci and Laura Bellamy have donned 'A's' on their jerseys as assistant captains this season.  

First Things First
Over the past three seasons, Harvard is a combined 31-3-2 when scoring first and 8-15-7 when conceding the first goal. Harvard picked up wins against St. Lawrence and Clarkson Oct. 28-29, scoring first against the Golden Knights and conceding the first goal against the Saints. The Crimson was 13-1-0 last season when netting the first goal of the game.