Kelsey Romatoski is a finalist for the ECAC's Student-Athlete of the Year award (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The No. 5-ranked Harvard women's hockey team will begin its final stretch of the regular season with a Tuesday game against Brown at Bright Hockey Center. The 7 p.m. meeting, the first of four straight home games for the Crimson, was rescheduled after Winter Storm Nemo postponed the outing previously scheduled for Feb. 9.
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 on Twitter for updates from the games. Live video streaming of all Crimson home games will be available by subscription through GoCrimson.com with the official voice of Harvard women's hockey, Eric Steckling, on the call.
The ECAC Race (Conference Page)
The Crimson has clinched at least third place in the league, meaning Harvard will host a first-round series at Bright Hockey Center March 1-3. Bright will play host to the ECAC championship if the Crimson can come away with at least seven points in its last four games. Harvard sits two points behind Cornell in the standings today, but the Big Red has played two more games than the Crimson. Clarkson is also in the mix, one point behind Cornell with the same amount of games remaining.
Scouting the Crimson
The Crimson (19-4-2, 15-2-1 ECAC) comes into the final home stretch of the season having owned the ECAC with stingy defensive play and two of the top goaltenders in the nation. Senior Laura Bellamy is the NCAA leader in goals-against average (0.89) and save percentage(.952), while freshman Emerance Maschmeyeris not far behind with a 1.24 GAA because of her 94.3-percent save rate.
At the other end, senior Jillian Dempsey paces the Crimson's first line, along with juniors Kalley Armstrongand Lyndsey Fry. Dempsey is third in the conference with 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) and Fry ranks fifth with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists). Armstrong has contributed ten goals this season, including five game-winners, which is the eighth-best total in the nation.
Last Time Out (Recap | Box Score | Video)
Mary Parker and Kaitlin Spurling gave Harvard a 2-0 lead 3:13 into the game and the Crimson cruised to a 5-2 win at Colgate's Starr Rink Saturday afternoon. Spurling assisted on Parker's marker and scored again in the second period for the third multi-goal game of her career. The Crimson outshot Colgate, 34-17, in the game that saw Laura Bellamy make 15 saves. Bellamy moved her record to 11-1-1 this season with her tenth straight game without a loss (9-0-1).
Scouting the Bears (Team Page)
Brown (6-17-1, 5-14-0 ECAC) is on the outside looking in on an ECAC playoff spot, although the Bears did win both contests last weekend. Brown skated past Union, 2-1, Friday, before exploding for five goals in a 5-2 win over RPI Saturday. The Bears had scored just four goal in the team's previous five contest until lighting up the lamp against Rensselaer. Five different Bears netted goals against RPI, including senior Alena Polenska, who also added three assists. Polenska paces Brown's offense with 17 points on eight goals and nine assists. Sophomore Lauren Vella and junior Jessica Hoyle, who each found the back of the net in the rout of RPI, are tied for second on the team with 11 points apiece.
Junior Aubree Moore was in net for both of Brown's wins last weekend, but senior Katie Jamieson has also seen time in 2012-13. Moore brings a 3-10-1 record to Cambridge along with a 2.28 goals-against average and .921 save percentage, while Jamieson is 2-6-0 overall with a 3.17 GAA and .901 save percentage.
The Crimson has pulled away from Brown in recent years in the all-time series and now has a 41-30-5 advantage. The Crimson owns 12 straight wins over Brown, including a 21-0-2 record against Brown since the Bears last pulled out a win Feb. 23, 2002.
Last Meeting (Recap | Box Score)
Then No. 6-ranked Harvard outshot Brown, 38-5, and eased to a 3-0 win in Providence, R.I., Nov. 2. The Crimson earned its third consecutive road victory to start the year 3-0 for the seventh time in the last 11 years. Kalley Armstrong, Jillian Dempsey and Kelsey Romatoski contributed goals and Laura Bellamy needed just five saves to earn the shutout. Lyndsey Fry added two assists.
Jillian Dempsey was featured in the Feb. 5 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
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 (0.89) and save percentage (.952), with Maschmeyer ranking third in the nation in GAA (1.24) and save percentage (.943). 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 78 of 84 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 92.9 percent, ahead of Cornell's 92.4-percent (121/131) mark. The NCAA record for penalty kill percentage is 95.7 percent (112/117), set by the 2003 Crimson.
Defending Home Ice
Harvard has killed 33 straight penalties at Bright Hockey Center dating back to Nov. 23 against Colgate. The Raiders scored on the Crimson penalty kill's second appearance on the Bright ice this season during Harvard's home opener. The Crimson has since nixed every penalty in 8+ games to go 9-0 at Bright.
A Total Of 20
With one more win, Harvard will hit the 20-win mark for the second straight year. The Crimson has won 20 games in seven of the last 10 seasons and owns 10, 20-win seasons overall. All of the program's 20-win years have come under Katey Stone.
Thinking Outside the Box
The Crimson has been one of the most disciplined teams in the nation this season, ranking tied for fourth with only 7.6 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).
Harvard's second line has been much improved over the last four games. Hillary Crowe has tallied at least one point in four straight games to set a new career high. Samantha Reber has a point in three consecutive games, one short of her career best, while Kaitlin Spurling gave Harvard three points (2 goals, 1 assists) at Colgate Feb. 16 to set new season-highs in each category.
Nemo Keeps Crimson Away
Tuesday marks Harvard's first home game in exactly one month, after Winter Storm Nemo rescheduled the Yale and Brown weekend. The Crimson went 3-3-1 during the month away, including a 1-3-0 mark against ranked teams.
Cracking the Top 10
Jillian Dempsey is one point away from breaking into the top ten on Harvard's career points list. Another point would tie Dempsey with Jenny Brine '09 for 10th all-time with 144 points. 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.
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.
1. Red Berenson, Michigan – 559
2. Jerry York, BC – 464
3. Jack Parker, BU – 460
4. Richard Umile, UNH – 453
5. George Gwozdehy, Denver – 438
6. Katey Stone, Harvard – 397
Harvard will play three more games at Bright Hockey Center to conclude the regular season. St. Lawrence and Clarkson make the trek to Cambridge Friday and Saturday, respectively, while Yale finishes the season Feb. 26.