2010-11 Schedule Pits Women’s Ice Hockey Against Nation’s Best

Harvard looks for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11 (Gil Talbot).

The Harvard women’s ice hockey team announced its 2010-11 schedule Monday. The team will play two preseason scrimmages before tackling a schedule that has it facing off against six teams that finished last season ranked in the national top 10.

“We are excited about this year’s schedule,” said Katey Stone, The Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey. “It has the perfect mix of league play and out of conference competition.”

Harvard opens its 2010-11 regular season schedule against rival Yale, Oct. 29, followed by Brown the following afternoon. The Crimson swept the season series against the Bears and the Bulldogs last year, and has only dropped eight games in 69 all-time matchups with Yale.

Harvard hits the road for the first time Nov. 5, squaring off against league rival Cornell, which finished the 2009-10 season ranked sixth in the nation and captured both the ECAC Hockey regular-season and tournament crowns. The Crimson faces Colgate the following evening and then sees Quinnipiac and Princeton on their home ice Nov. 12-13. Nov. 19-20 will see the Crimson play a home-and-home against its oldest rival, Dartmouth, before heading west to play two against Minnesota, Nov. 26-28. The Golden Gophers ended last season ranked third in the nation and advanced to the national semifinal.

The Crimson returns to the Northeast but stays on the road as it travels across town to face Boston College Dec. 5. New Hampshire, which finished last year ranked seventh nationally, welcomes Harvard to Durham, N.H., Dec. 9. The Crimson wraps up its 2010 calendar year with a home game against 2010 Hockey East Tournament champion Boston University Dec. 10.

Two road games kick off the 2011 portion of the schedule with Union and Rensselaer slated for Jan. 7 and 8, respectively. Harvard returns home to face St. Lawrence Jan.14, kicking off a four-game homestand in which it will face 2010 ECAC Hockey runner-up Clarkson (Jan. 15), RPI (Jan. 21) and Union (Jan. 22). Harvard finishes January with road games against Brown (Jan. 28) and Yale (Jan. 29).

Ivy League rival Princeton comes to Bright Hockey Center Feb. 4, and Harvard takes on Quinnipiac at home the following afternoon. Feb. 8 marks the opening round of the 33rd Women’s Beanpot where the Crimson will look to defend its title against Northeastern at Conte Forum on the campus of Boston College. A road trip to Clarkson and St. Lawrence the weekend of Feb. 11-12 precedes the Beanpot final/consolation Feb. 15. Harvard wraps up its regular season slate Feb. 18-19, with conference matchups against Colgate on Friday and Cornell on Saturday.

ECAC Hockey playoffs begin the weekend of Feb. 25-26 as the top eight teams in the regular-season standings will take part in the quarterfinal round. Four best-of three series will determine who advances to the semifinals, and the ECAC tournament champion will be crowned March 6. The higher seeded team in any given matchup will serve as host throughout the conference playoffs.

The NCAA quarterfinals will take place March 12 at the home of the higher seed, and the 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four will be March 18 and 20 in Erie, Pa., at Tullio Arena on the campus of Mercyhurst College.