Final Regular-Season Road Trip Pits No. 8 Women's Hockey Against Rensselaer, Union
Harvard can clinch home ice in its ECAC quarterfinal series with a pair of wins and a loss by either Dartmouth or St. Lawrence (Gil Talbot)
Complete Game Notes (pdf)
In its final road weekend of the regular season, Harvard looks to clinch home ice in the first round of the ECAC tournament, with help from other results, as it visits Rensselaer and Union. The Crimson is 6-2-1 on the road this season against conference opponents.
The Harvard-Rensselaer series is only a dozen games old with the Crimson holding a 7-4-1 series edge over the Engineers. The teams first played during the 2006-07 season, and Harvard went 5-0-1 in the first six meetings. Four of the past six meetings have gone to RPI, and two of those games were decided in overtime.
Rensselaer came out gunning in the teams' first matchup this season at Bright Hockey Center, netting a first-period goal and then two more in the second to grab a commanding 3-0 lead.
Jillian Dempsey got Harvard on the board at 16:31 of the second, and it was all Crimson after that, as the hosts scored four more unanswered goals to claim a dramatic 5-3 comeback win. Gina McDonald scored Harvard's second goal of the game in the middle stanza, and collected two more in the third for Harvard's first hat trick of the 2011-12 season. Kalley Armstrong was the other goal scorer for Harvard.
In 17 all-time matchups, Harvard has never lost to Union, collecting wins in every meeting starting in 2003-04. The Crimson has outscored the Dutchwomen 104-3 in the all-time series and has recorded 14 shutouts.
A hot Union goaltender made goals hard to come by in the teams' first meeting of the year, as Harvard's Elizabeth Parker scored the game's first goal at 16:54 of the second period. Harvard clung to a 1-0 lead into the third, and Alisa Baumgartner's first goal of the season at 12:35 of the period was the icing on the cake, helping Harvard claim a 2-0 victory. Laura Bellamy needed just 15 saves for her second clean sheet of the season.
Last Time Out
The Crimson took on cross-town rival No. 6 Boston College in the consolation game of the 2012 Women's Beanpot, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Eagles Tuesday. It marks the first time since 1993 that Harvard has finished fourth at the annual meeting of the Boston-area schools.
BC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a goal just 1:51 into the contest, but Alisa Baumgartner answered for the Crimson to enter the first break in a 1-1 tie. Two power-play goals in three chances by the Eagles proved costly for the Crimson, and BC took a 4-1 lead with an early third-period strike. Jillian Dempsey got one back for the Crimson on a power play at 9:05, but Harvard couldn't close the two-goal gap in the 4-2 loss.
For the second time this season, Jillian Dempsey and Samantha Reber combined to capture ECAC Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively. Dempsey posted an eight-goal week to earn her second Player of the Week nod of 2011-12, and Reber notched a career high single-game point total against Princeton, contribting a goal and two assists in a 10-1 rout. Harvard players have now received seven weekly ECAC awards this season.
Harvard has already clinched a spot in the 2012 ECAC tournament and, with help from other teams in action this weekend, could secure home ice for its quarterfinal series. The Crimson holds a one-point lead over Clarkson in the ECAC standings and three-point leads over Dartmouth and St. Lawrence. If Harvard wins both games this weekend, and either Dartmouth or St. Lawrence fails to complete a weekend sweep, the Crimson would secure a top-four finish. St. Lawrence and Clarkson play at Princeton and Quinnipiac this weekend while Dartmouth, Harvard's travel partner, will play Union and Rensselaer. Harvard holds tiebreakers over Clarkson, Dartmouth and St. Lawrence.
A Whole Lotta Dempsey
Jillian Dempsey's performance against Princeton Saturday was one of the top single-game performances in Harvard history. Her five goals in the game was just one short of the NCAA record, held by former Harvard star Nicole Corriero '05 and Minnesota Duluth's Jenny Potter. In the history of the program, a Harvard player had only scored five goals in a game six times before Dempsey's showing. The last Crimson skater to net five goals in a game was 2008 Patty Kazmaier winner Sarah Vaillancourt '08-09, scoring a quintet against Cornell Feb. 9, 2007.
Dempsey entered Saturday's game with nine career two-goal games but had never collected a hat trick. The game against Princeton represents her fourth multi-goal game of the season. She enters the weekend riding a team-best seven-game point streak and has scored goals in each of her last four contests.
Sophomore forward Lyndsey Fry enters the game against Rensselaer as the No. 2 scorer on the Harvard roster. After missing the games against Brown and Boston University with a nagging injury, Fry has tallied eight points in the three games since. She posted five assists in the 10-1 win over Princeton, had a goal and two assists against Quinnipiac and added another helper in Tuesday's loss to Boston College in the Beanpot consolation game.
The seven goals scored in the second period against Princeton Saturday tied the NCAA record for goals in a period. It is the eighth time the feat has been accomplished in NCAA history, the last time being a game between Sacred Heart and Saint Michael's Jan. 11, 2006. It is the third time a Harvard team has netted seven goals in a single frame, and first since the Crimson did it to Boston College Jan. 28, 2003 in the first period. Harvard went onto score an NCAA record-17 goals against the Eagles in that contest.
With four games remaining on the regular-season schedule, Harvard has scored seven or more goals four times this season. The last time a Harvard team had that many seven-plus goal games was in 2006-07, when the Crimson posted six such contests, including a pair of games where it broke the 10-goal barrier.
30 And 30
Jillian Dempsey and Lyndsey Fry have both registered 30 points each so far this season. It represents the first time since the 2008-09 season that two Harvard players have broken the 30-point barrier in a season. There are 10 players on the Harvard roster with double-digit point totals so far this year.
So You're Telling Me There's A Chance...
Helped by an eight-point week last week, Jillian Dempsey has a career point total of 90 on 47 goals and 43 assists. Harvard will play a minimum of six more games this season (four regular season games, first round of ECAC tournament), giving Dempsey a chance to reach the 100-point mark this season. Dempsey would become the 21st player in Harvard history to amass 100 points in her career.
A Comeback of Notable Proportions
Harvard's 5-3 comeback victory over Rensselaer marked the first time since Nov. 16, 2004 the Crimson has come back to win from a three-goal deficit. The last time it happened, Brown scored three times within the first 8:52 of the contest, but Harvard found three of its own quickly after to close the first period in a 3-3 tie. In fact, the Crimson scored seven straight times to close the game with a 7-3 win in Providence. Harvard scored five unanswered goals in its comeback win over RPI.
Big Time Bellamy
After a stellar weekend in New Haven, Conn., and Providence, R.I., junior goalie Laura Bellamy was named ECAC Goalie of the Week Jan. 31. The honor marks the second time she has received the nod this season and third in her career.
Bellamy didn't allow a goal in 12-straight periods of ECAC play, the longest stretch of her career. The last time a Harvard goalie had a stretch of at least three-straight shutouts was 2007-08 when Christina Kessler '10 blanked Colgate (4-0), Boston College (7-0) and St. Lawrence (2-0) in consecutive contests.
Bellamy now has 12 shutouts in her career, placing her fourth in program history and one away from tying Erin Villiotte's '95 mark of 13. Bellamy also ranks tied for fourth for shutouts in a season with five, tying Emily Vitt '04 in 2003-04. She is currently tied for second in the nation with five clean sheets on the season.
Third Period Poise
While the second period had been Harvard's strongest in terms of goals scored, the Crimson is steadily becoming a third-period team in terms of scoring. In its 13 games since the New Year, Harvard has scored multiple third-period goals in seven of them, including three each in wins over Colgate, Rensselaer, Yale, Quinnipiac and Princeton. In those 13 games, Harvard has outscored opponents, 22-3, in the third period, representing both its highest goal total and best goal differential in any period.