Senior co-captain Laura Bellamy has been the nation's top goaltender in terms of goals-against average and save percentage this season (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's ice hockey team takes its unblemished ECAC record to the North Country to face Clarkson and St. Lawrence in two road contests this weekend.
Follow From Home
The game will be available to follow via live stats and live video. To access the respective pages, follow the links at the top. Also, follow @HarvardCrimson and @HarvardWHockey on Twitter for updates from the games.
Around the ECAC (Conference Page)
Ten of the 12 ECAC teams will be in action this weekend with the exceptions being Princeton and Quinnipiac. Cornell and Colgate visit Brown and Yale, while RPI and Union play a home-and-home on Friday and Saturday.
The Crimson (16-1-1, 13-0-0 ECAC) has been the top defensive team in 2012-13, allowing just 12 goals over the course of 18 games. Senior Laura Bellamy and freshman Emerance Maschmeyer have split time at goaltender throughout the year and have posted the two best goals-against averages in the country at 0.54 and 0.87, respectively. Maschmeyer is one of two goalies in the NCAA to be undefeated (7-0-1), while Bellamy leads the country in save percentage (.968) and has five shutouts this season.
On the offensive side, Jillian Dempsey paces Harvard with 37 points, including 21 goals and 16 assists. Junior Lyndsey Fry has also added 16 assists, to tie the team lead, while scoring 11 goals. The pair has combined with junior Kalley Armstrong, who has four game-winning goals, to provide the Crimson with one of the top first lines in the country.
Last Time Out
Jillian Dempsey had the game's only tally, as Harvard relied on its defense for the second consecutive night en route to a 1-0 win over Union Jan. 19. Dempsey picked up a power play goal midway through the second period on assists by Sarah Edney and Samantha Reber to account for the game's only offense and extend Harvard's unbeaten run to 13 games (12-0-1). Laura Bellamy made seven saves in goal to blank the Dutchwomen for the second time this season and earn her 19th career shutout.
Related Link: Dempsey's Goal Lifts No. 2/3 Harvard Past Union, 1-0
Scouting No. 7 Clarkson (Team Page)
The Golden Knights (18-6-0, 10-2-0 ECAC) are tied for second in the ECAC and ranked No. 7 in the latest polls after beating Colgate, 3-1, but falling to No. 4 Cornell, 3-1, last weekend. Junior Jamie Lee Rattray leads a balanced scoring attack for Clarkson with 16 goals and 17 assists on the season. Junior Carly Mercer (9 goals, 22 assists), freshman Erin Ambrose (2 goals, 22 assists) and junior Brittany Styner (6 goals, 14 assists) have also produced more than 20 points apiece, while senior Danielle Skirrow is second on the team with 12 goals.
Junior Erica Howe has played all but one game in net for the Golden Knights and owns a 17-6-0 record with a .932 save percentage and 1.75 goals-against average.
Series History – Clarkson
Harvard is 16-5-2 all-time against Clarkson, including a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1). Last season, both wins over the Golden Knights, a pair of 2-1 victories including one OT contest, came in the first five games of the year.
Scouting St. Lawrence (Team Page)
St. Lawrence (13-9-2, 8-3-1 ECAC) is in the middle of the ECAC's race for first round home ice after going 0-1-1 last weekend. The Saints were shutout by No. 4 Cornell, 6-0, and tied Colgate, 1-1, on a third-period goal from Kelly Sabatine. The senior is St. Lawrence's leading scorer with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists), ahead of junior Rylee Smith (9 points, 16 assists) and sophomore Amanda Boulier (4 goals, 20 assists). Freshman Abbey McRae has also chipped in 11 goals.
In net, sophomore Carmen MacDonald has gone 11-9-2 this season. She enters the weekend with a 2.44 GAA and .911 save percentage.
Series History – St. Lawrence
Harvard leads the series against St. Lawrence, 34-12-5, since the teams first met in 1984. In 2011-12, the Crimson swept the regular-season series with the Saints, 7-1 and 6-1, but fell, 2-1 (OT), in the ECAC semifinals. Jillian Dempsey scored a game-tying second-period goal for Harvard in the Crimson's last overtime loss.
Harvard senior Laura Bellamy and freshman Emerance Maschmeyer are two of the top goaltenders in the nation this season. Bellamy ranks No. 1 in goals-against average (0.54) and save percentage (.968), with Maschmeyer ranking second in the nation in GAA (0.87) and third in save percentage (.949). Only Noora Räty of Minnesota is also allowing less than one goal per game (0.94) while saving more than 95% of shots (.956). The NCAA record for GAA is 0.83 (Jessie Vetter, Wisconsin, 2007), while the save percentage mark is .955 (Christine Dufour, Wisconsin, 2007).
Related Link: NCAA Statistics
Harvard has denied its opponents in 56 of 58 power-play opportunities this season, including 35 straight kills over the course of 10+ games dating back to Nov. 27 at Northeastern. The Crimson kill is the top-ranked unit in the country at 96.6 percent, ahead of Minnesota's 92.2.-percent (94/102) mark. The NCAA record for penalty kill percentage is 95.7 percent (112/117), set by the 2003 Crimson.
Get Ahead, Stay Ahead
Harvard has yet to trail in an ECAC contest this season, while holding a lead during 75.5 percent of the time. Overall, Harvard has held the lead 69.2 percent of the time, trailed 5.2 percent and been tied 25.6 percent.
In the Rankings
The Crimson is ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings and the USCHO poll. Harvard was ranked No. 3 in the USCHO poll, but traded places with Boston College after the Eagles fell, 3-2, at Mercyhurst last weekend. Harvard has not been No. 1 in the USCHO poll since March 10, 2008.
Related Link: NCAA Rankings
Winning the Kill
Harvard has scored more goals than opponents while the Crimson is on the penalty kill. Harvard has scored three short-handed goals and has allowed its opponents to score just two power-play tallies.
Harvard has not allowed a third-period goal in thirteen ECAC games; it is the only team to have blanked all of its opponents in any period.
Dempsey's Hot Streak
Jillian Dempsey ended a 30-game point streak, what was the longest active streak in the country, Jan. 18. Dempsey ranks fifth in the country with 2.06 points per game, second in goals per game (1.17) and 16th in assists per game (0.89).
Dempsey Dominates ECAC Awards
Jillian Dempsey was named the Hogan Hockey/ECAC Player of the Month for December after leading the conference in goals with five in just two contests. She is the first player in the two-year history of the award to win in back-to-back months. Dating back to last season, the co-captain has now won three of the last four player of the month honors. Dempsey started the month with four goals in an 8-1 rout of Providence, before netting the game-tying goal in the third period of an eventual 2-2 draw at New Hampshire. She was named the ECAC Player of the Month for November after leading Harvard to a 6-1-0 record with six goals, eight assists and 14 points.
Related Link: Dempsey Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for Third Time in 2012-13
Three Crimson skaters, Jillian Dempsey, Lyndsey Fry and Michell Picard, and head coach Katey Stone traveled to Blaine, Minn., during the final six days of 2012 for the U.S. Women's National Team Winter Camp. Stone, who doubles as Team USA's head coach, ran the camp which featured two days of physical fitness testing, three days of practice and three games. Former Crimson Julie Chu '06-07 and Caitlin Cahow '06-08 were also at the camp along with current ECAC players Jordan Smelker (RPI), Kelly Babstock (Quinnipiac) and Alyssa Gagliardi (Cornell).
Related Link: Dempsey, Fry, Picard to Participate in U.S. Women's National Team Winter Camp
Sarah Edney skated with the Canadian Women's Development Team during the 2013 Meco Cup, helping the squad to the gold medal at the Füssen Arena Jan. 6. Former Crimson goalie Christina Kessler '10 also starred for the Canadians at the event. Edney added Canada's eighth goal in the team's 8-3 win over Russia in the gold-medal match, while Kessler started in goal and picked put the win. The empty-net tally was the first of the tournament for Edney, a sophomore defender from Mississauga, Ont. Kessler also added a 4-0 shutout victory in Canada's first preliminary game against Switzerland.
Related Link: Edney Helps Canada's Development Team to Meco Cup Gold
D is the Key
The Crimson's defense, led by the goaltending tandem of Emerance Maschmeyer and Laura Bellamy, has been the toughest to score on in the country this season. Harvard has allowed just 0.67 goals per game to rank first in scoring defense. Minnesota sits in second at 0.79 GAA. Harvard is the only team in the NCAA to not have allowed more than two goals in a single game this season. The NCAA record for scoring defense is 0.85, set by Wisconsin in 2007, while Harvard's mark of 1.00 in 2008 is the second-best in a single year.
Back of the Net
The Crimson's offense has been stellar this season, posting 4.06 goals per game in its first 18 contests. Harvard's offensive output is ranked fifth in the NCAA to combine with its 0.67 goals against average for a 3.39 scoring margin. Only Minnesota (5.04) is winning by more goals per game than Harvard.
The Crimson is undefeated in its last thirteen games for the second longest active streak in the country. Minnesota has won its first 24 games of the season, helping the Gophers to win its last 32 games and set a new NCAA record. Harvard previously held the record of 21, set in 2008.
Armstrong for the Win
Kalley Armstong has tallied six goals this season and four have counted as the game-winner. She scored the initial goal in a shutout of Brown Nov. 2 and has followed with Harvard's second goal in 3-1 wins over No. 2 Cornell and No. 9 Northeastern and the first goal in a win over Quinnipiac. Armstrong is tied for the fifth in the nation with her four game-winners. Clarkson's Jamie Lee Rattray and North Dakota's Jocelyne Lamoureaux are tied at the top with six game-winners.
White the Bright
Harvard will host its first "White the Bright" game Feb. 8 when archrival Yale visits Bright Hockey Center with the goal of breaking the program's single-game attendance record. The Crimson's record since women's hockey became an NCAA sport is 1,921 fans, set Jan. 11, 2004 in a matchup against Dartmouth. Harvard will provide a number of ways to receive free tickets, while also having free giveaways and gameday promotions for fans.
Related Link: Women's Hockey Looks to Break Program's Attendance Record at "White the Bright"
Fox College Sports will air the Harvard at Dartmouth women's hockey game Feb. 1 live on FCS Atlantic. The 7 p.m. telecast will be available to over 60 million homes across the nation.
Related Link: No. 2 Women's Hockey's Feb. 1 Matchup at Dartmouth to Air on Fox College Sports