First Place on the Line for No. 5 Women's Hockey at No. 4 Cornell, Colgate

First Place on the Line for No. 5 Women's Hockey at No. 4 Cornell, Colgate

Hillary Crowe and the Crimson look to vault Harvard to the top spot of the ECAC and Ivy League standings with a win at Cornell Friday (photo Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard women's hockey team will look to strengthen its chances for ECAC home playoff dates when it travels to Cornell and Colgate Feb. 15-16. The Crimson and Big Red, who have been fighting for position at the top of the ECAC and Ivy League standings, square off Friday at 7 p.m., before Harvard meets Colgate Saturday at 4 p.m.

Follow From Home
Friday's game will be televised on Time Warner Cable in New York and both games 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 on Twitter for updates from the games.

Scouting Harvard
The Crimson (18-3-2, 14-1-1 ECAC) is led by a defensive core that has Harvard ranked second in the nation in goals allowed per game (0.91). Senior Laura Bellamy and freshman Emerance Maschmeyer lead the way by splitting time in goal, while Kelsey Romatoski, Michelle Picard, Sarah Edney and Hilary Hayssen make up the first two lines of defense. Bellamy and Maschmeyer have been brilliant in net so far in 2012-13, ranking first and third, resepectively, in both goals-against average and save percentage. Bellamy is the nation's leader in both categories, while Maschmeyer has three wins against ranked opponents.

Jillian Dempsey is Harvard's leader on the offensive side. The senior has poured in 40 points on 23 goals and 17 assists to leave her one point away from Harvard's top ten in career points entering the weekend. Lyndsey Fry trails Dempsey with 30 points on 12 goals and a team-leading 18 assists and first-line mate Kalley Armstrong has netted five-game winning goals.

Last Time Out
Harvard scored three goals in 2:47 of the second period to surge past No. 3 Boston University, 3-0, in the Beanpot consolation game Feb. 12 at Matthews Arena. Samantha Reber led the charge, picking up a goal and two assists in the spurt, while second-line mate Hillary Crowe contributed one goal and one assist. The Crimson outshot BU in the first two periods to accumulate a 37-32 advantage in shots on goal for the game and avenged a Nov. 18 loss to the Terriers. Emerance Maschmeyer made 32 saves for her third shutout of the year and advanced her record to 8-2-1.

Related Link: Reber's Three Points Lift No. 5 Women's Hockey Over No. 3 BU, 3-0, in Beanpot Consolation

Scouting Cornell (Team Page)
The Big Red (20-5-0, 15-3-0 ECAC) have dubbed Friday night's game against Harvard its Pack Lynah night. The first 2,000 fans will receive a free rally towel and the first 2,000 staff in attendance get in for free. Cornell won its last outing against Princeton, 4-1, but fell the day before to Quinnipiac by the same score to end an eight-game winning streak. Brianne Jenner is Cornell's best offensive threat; have scoring 28 goals this season, while Lauren Slebodnick is the Big Red's usual starter in goal. Slebodnick has won 17 games with a .927 save percentage and 1.51 goals-against average.

Series History - Cornell
The Crimson owns a 51-23-3 series lead against Cornell since first defeating the Big Red, 4-3 (OT), in 1981-82. Harvard went on a 20-game winning streak over Cornell from 2002-2009, but the Big Red has won six of the last eight. Cornell is 6-1-1 against Harvard since 2009 with the Crimson's only win coming in a 3-1 decision Nov. 24 of this season.

Last Meeting with Cornell (Recap | Box Score | Video)
Jillian Dempsey scored a goal and assisted on the game-winner as the then-No. 7 Harvard women's ice hockey team snapped then-No. 2 Cornell's eight-game win streak, 3-1, Nov. 24. Kalley Armstrong scored the Crimson's winning tally and Lyndsey Fry added an empty-net goal.

Scouting Colgate (Team Page)
The Raiders (9-17-3, 4-11-3 ECAC) split games last weekend with a win against Princeton, 6-1, before falling to Quinnipiac, 4-1. Senior Brittany Phillips, who is tied for the team lead with 18 points, became the sixth player in Colgate history to reach 100 career points in the loss. Phillips leads the team in goals with 11 and classmate Jenna Klynstra, who also has 18 points entering the weekend, has 13 assists to pace the Raiders. Phillips, Klynstra and Jessica Hootz will be honored at Saturday's game during Colgate's Senior Day festivities.

Freshman Ashlynne Rando has gone 7-11-3 in goal for the Raiders, while sophomore Susan Allen is 2-6-0 entering the weekend. Rando owns a .900 save percentage and 3.04 GAA, ahead of Allen's .865 and 4.41 marks.

Series History - Colgate
Harvard leads the all-time series against Colgate, 21-1-2, since the two teams' first meeting in 1979. The Crimson has taken down the Raiders on eight consecutive occasions as the last time Harvard did not get two points against Colgate came after a 5-5 tie in 2008. Harvard had shutout the Raiders three straight times before winning 4-1 on Nov. 23. The last time Colgate scored more than one goal against Harvard was in 2008's five-goal affair.

Last Meeting with Colgate (Recap | Box Score | Video)
Four Crimson skaters netted goals, and Laura Bellamy made 10 saves in net to propel the No. 7 Harvard women's ice hockey team to a 4-1 win over Colgate Friday night at Bright Hockey Center. Samantha ReberHillary CroweSarah Edney and Hilary Hayssen all found the back of the goal for Harvard, and Jillian Dempsey picked up two assists.

Stone on NHL Network Radio 
Katey Stone joined Mike Ross and Mick Kern on NHL Network Radio to discuss the current state of women's hockey in the U.S. and around the world Feb. 13.

Kaz Watch
Jillian Dempsey was featured in the latest edition of "Kaz Watch," a weekly series highlighting the nation's top performers and potential Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalists. Harvard has won six "Patty Kaz" honors, the most of any program in the country, since its inception 1998. Sarah Vaillancourt '08-09 was the last Crimson to bring the award, presented to the nation's best player to Cambridge in 2008. 

Related Link: Kaz Watch: Jillian Dempsey is 'Living the Dream' at Harvard

Top Goalies
Harvard senior Laura Bellamy and freshman Emerance Maschmeyer are two of the top goaltenders in the nation. Bellamy ranks No. 1 in goals-against average (0.79) and save percentage (.958), with Maschmeyer ranking third in the nation in GAA (1.08) and save percentage (.948). The NCAA record for GAA is 0.83 (Jessie Vetter, Wisconsin, 2007), while the save percentage mark is .955 (Christine Dufour, Wisconsin, 2007). Bellamy is on pace to set both national marks.

Related Link: NCAA Statistics  

Killin' It
Harvard has denied its opponents in 69 of 74 power-play opportunities this season, including 35 straight kills over the course of 10+ games from Nov. 27 at Northeastern until Jan. 25 at Clarkson. The Crimson kill is the top-ranked unit in the country at 93.2 percent, ahead of Minnesota's 91.8-percent (112/122) mark. The NCAA record for penalty kill percentage is 95.7 percent (112/117), set by the 2003 Crimson.

Thinking Outside the Box
The Crimson has been one of the most disciplined teams in the nation this season, ranking fourth with only 7.2 penalty minutes per game. Harvard had its first game without an infraction Feb. 5 against Boston College (L, 2-1) since Jan. 22, 2011 versus Union (W, 4-0).

One of the Greats
Katey Stone is quickly approaching 400 wins for her career, all at Harvard. She will be one of six coaches in all of NCAA Division I hockey (men's or women's) to win 400 games at one school over the last 20 years. List as of Feb. 14, 2013:
1. Red Berenson, Michigan – 559
2. Jerry York, BC – 463
3. Jack Parker, BU – 460
4. Richard Umile, UNH – 453
5. George Gwozdehy, Denver – 438
6. Katey Stone, Harvard – 395

Cracking the Top 10
Jillian Dempsey is one point away from breaking into the top ten on Harvard's career points list. With the second of her three goals against Princeton Feb. 25, 2012, Dempsey became the 21st player in Harvard history to collect 100 points in her career.

In the Rankings
The Crimson was ranked No. 5 in both polls for the second straight week. Harvard has been as high as No. 2 this season, but has not been up to No. 1 in the USCHO poll since March 10, 2008.

Related Link: NCAA Rankings

Get Ahead, Stay Ahead
Harvard has scored first in 20 of 23 games this season and has led during 57.4 percent of time on the ice (798:29). The Crimson has trailed only 6.7 percent of the time (93:08) and been tied for 36.0 percent of action (500:33).

D is the Key
The Crimson's defense, led by the goaltending tandem of Emerance Maschmeyer and Laura Bellamy, has been the second toughest to score on in the country this season. Harvard has allowed 0.91 goals per game to rank second in scoring defense. Minnesota sits in first at 0.90 GAA. 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 3.61 goals per game in its first 23 contests. Harvard's offensive output is ranked seventh in the NCAA to combine with its 0.91 goals against average for a 2.70-scoring margin. Only Minnesota (4.70) has a higher mark.

Up Next
Harvard hosts four straight home games to end the regular season, including two Tuesday contests rescheduled from last weekend when Winter Storm Nemo hit Cambridge. The Crimson invites Brown (Feb. 19), St. Lawrence (Feb. 22), Clarkson (Feb. 23) and Yale (Feb. 26) to Bright Hockey Center in the coming weeks.