No. 8/10 Women's Hockey Returns to Conference Play at Princeton, Quinnipiac

No. 8/10 Women's Hockey Returns to Conference Play at Princeton, Quinnipiac

Kalley Armstrong is one of five Harvard players with an active scoring streak of three or more games (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (pdf)

Video Highlights: Harvard at UConn, Jan. 3, 2012

The Particulars

Harvard returns to conference play with road games against Ivy foe Princeton and league-leading Quinnipiac this weekend. The Crimson is riding a four-game win streak, its longest of the season. 

Series History
Princeton represents one of Harvard's oldest rivals, as the two teams have squared off 69 times since their first meeting during the 1978-79 season. Harvard maintains a slim lead in the all-time series with a 36-29-4 record against the Tigers, and has captured victories in seven of the last 12 meetings.

A typically stingy team, the Tigers were just that for the Crimson in 2010-11, with Harvard managing only a tie and a loss to its Ancient Eight foe. In the first meeting of last season, Katharine Chute '11 came to the rescue, scoring both Harvard goals in a 2-2 tie on the road. Her second came with under five minutes to play and the Crimson trailing 2-1 to force the overtime period. In Cambridge, Harvard erased a 1-0 first-period deficit off goals by Liza Ryabkina '11 and Alisa Baumgartner, but Princeton netted the final two scores of the game to skate away with a 3-2 victory.  

The Harvard-Quinnipiac series is a relatively young one as the teams have faced each other just 12 times, beginning in 2005-06. Harvard captured victories in the first nine meetings, but has gone 1-2 in the last three for a 10-2-0 lead in the all-time series.

Harvard managed a split with the Bobcats last season as each team successfully defended home ice. Quinnipiac freshman sensation Kelly Babstock took over Game 1, recording a natural hat trick in the second period to lead the Bobcats to a 4-1 win. Later in the season at Bright, the Crimson made a gutsy comeback to sink the Bobcats, 3-2, on the strength of three third period goals. Quinnipiac posted two scores in the middle frame to take a 2-0 lead into the third, but Kalley Armstrong scored just 2:08 into the final stanza to cut the lead to one. Josephine Pucci tied the game three minutes later and Armstrong's second marker of the period sealed the 3-2 comeback win for the hosts. Goalie Laura Bellamy made 30 saves in the victory.  

Last Time Out
An offensive onslaught in its first game back from winter break saw the Crimson dominate from start to finish in an 8-1 pounding of Connecticut Tuesday night at Freitas Ice Forum.   

Despite not taking advantage of an early five-minute major penalty on Connecticut, Harvard netted three goals in the first to take a commanding lead. Gina McDonald started the scoring, Kalley Armstrong followed with a power-play goal and Lyndsey Fry deposited her first of two on the night to end the first.  

Kaitlin Spurling got on the board to start the second, and after UConn got one back 16 seconds later, Jillian Dempsey, Hillary Crowe and Fry notched goals to stretch the lead to 7-1 after two. McDonald capped the scoring on the night, posting Harvard's second short-handed goal of the season on Connecticut's only power-play of the game.      

Back From Camp
A quartet of Harvard players had a very productive winter break, participating in the 2011 USA Hockey Women's Winter Training Camp. Defensemen Josephine Pucci, Marissa Gedman and Michelle Picard, along with forward Jillian Dempsey, spent Dec. 26-31 at the National Sports Center's Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., under Harvard and Team USA head coach Katey Stone. The camp served as an evaluation camp as well as a training session for the U.S. women's national team. Harvard alums and U.S. team veterans Caitlin Cahow '07-08 and Julie Chu '06-07 were also in attendance.

Oh, Canada
The Crimson will play the first three games of the 2012 portion of its schedule without freshman defender Sarah Edney. Edney was named to the Canadian U-22 development team, which is competing in the 2012 MECO Cup in Germany Jan. 3-8. The freshman has had plenty of contact with the Canadian Women's National Team, attending a number of training camps and captaining the U-18 team to a silver mdeal at the 2011 IIHF Women's World Under-18 Championship in Stokholm, Sweden. Edney is one of just two ECAC Hockey defenders named to the team for the MECO Cup.   

Four In a Row
With the victory over Connecticut, Harvard extended its winning streak to four games, the longest of the 2011-12 season. The Crimson began the year with a stretch of three straight wins, collecting road victories over St. Lawrence, Clarkson and Colgate. In the current streak, three of the wins have come on the road and three have come against non-conference opponents.

Feast On the East
Hockey East has become one of the strongest conferences in women's college hockey, but the Crimson has been dominant in three games against Hockey East opponents this season. Harvard downed Providence on the road, 5-1, Dec. 8, and followed with a 5-2 pounding of New Hampshire at Bright the following night. The 8-1 thrashing of Connecticut pushes Harvard's record to 3-0 against Hockey East schools this season. The Crimson is slated to face two more Hockey East opponents in the Beanpot in February.  

Sure While Short-Handed
After going 10 games without a short-handed goal to start the season, Harvard has tallied a pair of them in the past three contests. Jillian Dempsey scored Harvard's first of the season in a two-goal night at Providence, and Gina McDonald scored on the penalty kill against Connecticut for her second goal of the evening. Harvard is also one of five ECAC Hockey teams that has not given up a short-handed goal this season.  

More Than One Unbeaten Streak
While Harvard has put together a four-game winning streak, which currently ranks fourth in the nation, Quinnipiac enters the weekend on a seven-game winning streak, which ranks second, only behind unanimous No. 1 Wisconsin. Princeton is also unbeaten in its last two contests, skating to a pair of ties at Ohio State.  

Speaking of Streaks
Thanks to the offensive in recent games, Harvard boasts five players currently on point streaks of three games or more. Lyndsey Fry has scored at least one goal in each of her last four games and has nine points over that stretch to tie for the team lead in that timeframe. Jillian Dempsey has also been red hot, putting together a five-game point streak in which she has posted four multi-point efforts. Before leaving with the Canadian U-22 team, Sarah Edney put together a four-game point streak, and forwards Samantha Reber and Kalley Armstrong are riding three-game point streaks into the weekend.

Right Out Of The Break
The Crimson proved it was able to carry the momentum it gained before winter break into the 2012 portion of the schedule. The 8-1 pounding of Connecticut represents the biggest win for Harvard in its first game after winter recess since a 9-0 drubbing of Wayne State Jan. 4, 2003. This year also represents the first time since the 2005-06 season Harvard was able to win its last game before break and first game returning from it.  

Strong in the Second
The second period has been Harvard's best in terms of goal differential this season. 19 of Harvard's 48 team goals have come in the middle stanza, making it the Crimson's most productive period. Harvard has also allowed only eight goals in the first frame, also a team-best mark.

Bring It On, Conn.
Harvard has seen some of its tougher games in recent years in the state of Connecticut. Over the past four seasons, Harvard has compiled a 6-3 record when playing on the road in the Constitution State. Last season, the Crimson split a pair of games in Connecticut, dropping a 4-1 contest to Quinnipiac and downing archrival Yale, 5-3.    

League's Elite
As a team, Harvard ranks among the top of the league in a number of categories. The Crimson boasts the second-best scoring offense in the league as one of just two teams averaging even or better than three goals per game at 3.69 per contest. Harvard has converted on 24.1 percent of its power-play chances, which also ranks second in the ECAC, and its 14 power-play goals rank tied for fourth in the league, Harvard has also allowed just nine power-play goals this season, the third-lowest number in the ECAC.   

Everyday Dempsey
Junior Jillian Dempsey has been a consistent force for the Crimson this season. Dempsey missed two games while suiting up for the U.S. Women's National team, but in the 11 games she has played for Harvard, she has logged at least one point in 10. Dempsey has seven multi-point games on the season, including six in her last eight games.

ECAC Recognition
The strong end to the 2011 schedule did not go unnoticed, as two Harvard players received weekly honors from the league. Jillian Dempsey was named ECAC Player of the Week and fellow forward Samantha Reber picked up league Rookie of the Week honors. Dempsey posted five points in two games and netted Harvard's first short-handed goal of the season against Providence, where she also notched her season-high single game points output with three. Reber picked up an assist against the Friars and the collected the first multi-goal game of her career with a pair of tallies in a 5-2 win over UNH. Harvard has now had players earn every weekly award the league offers this season, as Laura Bellamy was named ECAC Goalie of the Week in November. 

Face The Facts
Jillian Dempsey is the go-to person when it comes to faceoffs for Harvard. The junior has posted a winning faceoff record in seven games played and had her best performance on the dot against Providence Dec. 8. Dempsey won 20 of 29 faceoffs against the Friars. She enters the Connecticut game with  a mark of 157-132 (.543). Elizabeth Parker (71-64, .526) and Lyndsey Fry (31-20, .608) also have winning faceoff records this season for Harvard.   

Midweek, Road Warriors
The Crimson has done most of its damage on the road so far this season, and has been very strong in midweek games. Harvard boasts a 6-1-0 record on the road this season and is 7-1-0 in games played during the week.