No. 8 Women's Hockey Meets No. 10 St. Lawrence With Trip to League Championship at Stake

No. 8 Women's Hockey Meets No. 10 St. Lawrence With Trip to League Championship at Stake

Harvard is looking for its first ECAC semifinal victory since the 2007-08 season (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (pdf)

The Particulars

After sweeping Princeton in the ECAC quarterfinals for the third time in three all-time matchups, the No. 2 seeded Harvard women's hockey team travels to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on No. 5 seeded St. Lawrence in the ECAC semifinals Friday. The winner of the Harvard-St. Lawrence game will take on the winner of the No. 1 seeded Cornell-No. 6 seeded Quinnipiac contest in the ECAC final Saturday.   

Series History
Harvard holds a 34-11-5 lead in the all-time series against St. Lawrence and has captured victories in 12 of the last 13 meetings. In the last four games against the Saints, Harvard holds a 27-6 scoring advantage.

The Crimson was dominant in the two regular-season meetings with the Saints this year, blasting St. Lawrence by scores of 7-1 and 6-1 within the first three weeks of the season. In Harvard's season opener, St. Lawrence took a 1-0 lead into the first break, but seven straight goals from the Crimson allowed the guests to leave Canton, N.Y., with a 7-1 win. Jillian Dempsey and Lyndsey Fry scored a pair of goals each as Harvard went 3-for-7 on the power play. In Cambridge two weeks later, six different Harvard players scored as Harvard turned a 5-0, two-period lead into a 6-1 victory.                

Last Time Out
Harvard dug deep in a quarterfinal matchup against Princeton last weekend, stretching its record to 6-0 all-time against the Tigers in the ECAC tournament with a 5-3 win in Game 1 and a dramatic, 4-3 overtime victory in Game 2. 
It was the Lyndsey Fry show Friday in Game 1 as the sophomore netted her second hat trick in as many games, leading the Crimson to a 5-3 victory and 1-0 lead in the series. Josephine Pucci scored in the first period to make it 2-0, and after Fry's third goal of the game gave Harvard a 4-3 edge, Gina McDonald added an empty-net goal for the 5-3 final.  

Saturday's contest was just as close and even more physical, with the teams combining for 15 penalties in the game. Princeton grabbed leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Jillian Dempsey had an answer for both Tiger goals, including a shorthanded effort in the first period. With the game tied at 2-2 late in the third, Dempsey collected her third goal of the game with 3:26 left to play, but the lead was short-lived, as Princeton pulled its goalie and scored with 1:04 left in regulation. Laura Bellamy kept Harvard in the game with a number of big saves in overtime, and Marissa Gedman blasted a shot through a crowd for the game-winner with 2:01 on the clock.           

Harvard ECAC Tournament History
The Crimson holds an all-time record of 35-16 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 its five. Bright has hosted an ECAC quarterfinal series every year since 2002, and the Crimson has emerged victorious in every one of those series.

Against St. Lawrence In The Tourney
Harvard has faced St. Lawrence eight times in the ECAC tournament and holds a commanding 7-1 edge, outscoring the Saints 43-16 in those matchups. Harvard faced St. Lawrence  last season in the quarterfinals, and the Crimson posted a pair of five-goal wins, 6-1 and 8-3. Harvard has faced St. Lawrence three times in the conference semifinals, the most recent being a 4-3 loss in 2007, the only playoff loss to the Saints in team history.

Holy Hat Tricks!
The Crimson has had a player tally a hat trick in each of its last three games. It is the first time since the 2004-05 season, when Nicole Corriero '05 netted five goals Feb. 5, Jennifer Raimondi '06 scored three Feb. 8 and Corriero picked up three more Feb. 11.

Lyndsey Fry started the hat trick streak with a quartet of goals in the regular-season finale against Yale Feb. 18. She repeated the feat the following Friday against Princeton, netting three scores in the ECAC quarterfinals. She became the first Harvard player since Sarah Vaillancourt '08-09 to record back-to-back hat tricks. Vaillancourt netted three goals Oct. 28, 2006 against Rensselaer and four against Union the following afternoon.

Jillian Dempsey gave Harvard its third straight game with a player notching a hat trick, scoring  shorthanded, power-play and even-strength goals in Game 2 of the ECAC quarters against Princeton.    

In The Running
The ECAC has announced the finalists for its annual awards and two Harvard players are in the running for year-end honors. Jillian Dempsey is up for the ECAC Player of the Year honor, along with Rebecca Johnston (Cornell), Erica Howe (Clarkson) and Kelly Sabatine (St. Lawrence). Josephine Pucci is a finalist for the league's Best Defensive Defenseman Award, joining Lauriane Rougeau (Cornell) and Danielle Boudreau (Clarkson) in the final three.  

Ivy League Honors
The 2011-12 Ivy League women's hockey awards were released prior to the ECAC quarterfinals, and four Harvard players were recognized by the league. Jillian Dempsey was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection, earning the third All-Ivy nod of her career. Lyndsey Fry had a strong finish to the Ivy season and earned second-team status as a result, and was joined on the second team by rookie Sarah Edney. Laura Bellamy earned All-Ivy League honorable mention.

Century Mark
With the second of her three goals against Princeton Saturday, Jillian Dempsey became the 21st player in Harvard history to collect 100 points in her career.  Dempsey has career totals of 51 goals, 51 assists and 102 points, replacing Kathy Carroll '84 for 20th on the all-time Harvard scoring chart. Dempsey enters the St. Lawrence game just one point behind Sarah Wilson '09. Dempsey has scored at least a point in 13 straight contests and in 26 of her 29 games played this season.

Great Week, Great Month
In the final weekly and monthly league awards voting, Jillian Dempsey was named ECAC Player of the Week for the third time this season and also received league Player of the Month honors for the first time in her career. Dempsey led all Crimson players with 20 points (12g, 8a) in February, including two hat tricks, two shorthanded goals and four power-play strikes.

Her five goals against Princeton Feb. 4 were one short of the NCAA record for goals in a game, held by former Harvard great Nicole Corriero and Minnesota Duluth's Jenny Potter. In the history of the program, a Harvard player had scored five goals in a game only six times before Dempsey's showing. The last was 2008 Patty Kazmaier winner Sarah Vaillancourt, scoring a quintet against Cornell Feb. 9, 2007.
Plenty Of Points
With a balanced scoring attack, Harvard boasts nine players with at least 20 points on the season, tying Minnesota for the most 20-point scorers in the nation. The last time Harvard had nine players record at least 20 points was 2002-03. Rookie Sarah Edney (Mississauga, Ont.) is one point away from joining the 20-point club.

A Total Of 20
With wins against Brown and Yale last weekend, Harvard hit the 20-win mark in the regular season for the first time since
2007-08. Harvard has won 20 games in seven of its last 10 seasons, last hitting the 20-win mark in 2009-10. The Crimson now has 10, 20-win seasons in the program's history, all under current head coach Katey Stone. Harvard has finished at .500 or better 26 times in its 33-year history, including the current stretch of 13 straight winning seasons.     

Patty Picks
Junior defenseman and assistant captain Josephine Pucci and classmate Jillian Dempsey have been named 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award nominees, USA Hockey announced last week. Dempsey and Pucci join 28 other candidates on the list for the prestigious award.

The 34 NCAA Division I women's ice hockey head coaches will select the top-10 finalists from among the group of 30 nominees, with the announcement taking place on March 1. A 13-member selection committee will choose the three finalists (announced March 8), as well as the award recipient, which will be announced live at the brunch ceremony in Duluth, Minn., on March 17.

Harvard has produced six Patty Kazmaier Award winners in the 14-year history of the award, including the only two-time winner Jennifer Botterill '02-03.

Gedman To The Rescue
Harvard has played just three overtime games this season, posting a 2-0-1 record in such contests. Marissa Gedman scored the game-winning goal in both overtime victories this year.  
Break Out The Brooms
With wins over Brown and Yale in the final regular-season weekend, Harvard wrapped up its sixth and seventh series sweeps against ECAC opponents this season. Harvard has taken both games against Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Colgate, Rensselaer, Union, Brown and Yale this season. Harvard posted five season series sweeps against ECAC teams last season and six the year before.      

Large Fry
Sophomore forward Lyndsey Fry enters the ECAC semifinals as the No. 2 scorer on the Harvard roster. After missing the games at Brown and Boston University with a nagging injury, Fry has tallied 20 points in the nine games since, scoring at least a point in all nine contests. She posted five assists in the 10-1 win over Princeton and had back-to-back hat tricks against Yale Feb. 18 and Princeton Feb. 24.   

Spreading The Wealth
Hilary Hayssen collected her second assist of the season in Harvard's 4-2 win over Rensselaer Feb. 10. With Hayssen's helper, every Harvard position player on the 2011-12 roster has logged multiple points on the season. The last time every Harvard non-goalie had multiple points in a season was 2001-02. Twelve different players have scored goals this season, while all 16 skaters on the roster have logged at least one assist.