The Harvard women's hockey team gets back into ECAC competition with visits from Brown and Yale. (Elan Kawesch)
The Opening Faceoff
After four straight non-conference games, the No. 4/5 Harvard women's hockey team is set to get back into the ECAC swing with two Ivy League opponents on tap this weekend. Both Brown (1-11-3, 0-7-1 ECAC) and Yale (5-9-1, 3-4-1 ECAC) will pay a visit the Bright-Landry Hockey Center as the Crimson (11-1-2, 7-1-1 ECAC) looks to get back to the top of the conference standings.
The First Line
- The Crimson is coming off a four-game stretch of Hockey East opponents, most recently with a nail-biter at UConn. Harvard found itself down 1-0 past the midway mark of the third period, but a quick goal from Elizabeth Parker tied things up with five minutes left. Not 20 seconds later however, Sarah Edney sealed the deal with a quick strike to put the Huskies away, 2-1. With the win, the Crimson is now 4-0-1 against the WHEA this season.
- Harvard enters the weekend with the nation's second-longest unbeaten streak (11 games), tied with Robert Morris, which is 10-0-1 over that span. The Crimson trail only Wisconsin (16 games, 14-0-2) after North Dakota defeated Minnesota on Nov. 17.
- This weekend features two Ivy League matchups for the Crimson, which is 2-0-1 against its Ancient Eight opponents this season. Last year, Harvard finished 8-1-1 against the League in the regular season.
Follow @HarvardCrimson, the official Twitter handle of Harvard Athletics, for all the latest news and notes on your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams. Fans also are encouraged to follow @HarvardWHockey for all things Harvard women's hockey. Use the hashtag #GoCrimson to see what fans are saying about Crimson athletics.
- .@HarvardWHockey brings the nation's second-longest unbeaten streak into the weekend, having not lost in 11 games (9-0-2). #GoCrimson
- Saturday's game will be the 75th time @HarvardWHockey's and Yale have met on the ice. #RivalryOnIce #BeatYale
- .@HarvardWHockey's @shellfish20 @josephinepucci @fry_X_cycle & @juliechu13 have been named to #TeamUSA. #Sochi2014
Ivy League Digital Network
All of Harvard's home games will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch contests both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all home Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription.
The Best in the Bright-est Barn
Bright-Landry has been a safe haven for the Crimson in recent years, and the 2013-14 season has been no different. This year, Harvard boasts a 7-0-2 record in Cambridge, including a pair of wins (No. 8 Quinnipiac and No. 9 Boston University) and a pair of ties (No. 3 Cornell and No. 6 Boston College) over ranked opponents. Harvard is an impressive 152-36-17 at home since 2000, and is 42-9-4 since the start of 2010-11.
Up Up Up!
After starting the season in both the USA Today and USCHO.com polls at No. 9, the Crimson have remained in the national mix for 11 straight weeks, steadily climbing the ranks. For the fourth consecutive week, Harvard sits at No. 4 in the USA Today and No. 5 in the USCHO.com polls, its highest in each since February of last season.
A Look at the Bears
After opening its season with a 1-1 record, Brown has found itself on a 0-10-3 slide into this weekend. The Bears' three ties, however, have come against solid competition, skating to a 1-1 tie at Clarkson, a 1-1 tie vs. Connecticut and a recent 3-3 tie at Maine.
Three Brown skaters have four goals to lead the team: Janice Yang (4-3-7), Jessica Hoyle (4-2-6) and Ariana Rucker (4-1-5), but freshman Erin Conway leads the squad with her nine points this season (3-6-9). While the Bears struggle offensively, averaging 1.53 goals per game, they have yet to be shutout this season, scoring at least a goal in all 15 games.
Three Bears have seen time between the pipes for Brown this year, but senior Aubree Moore has seen the bulk of the time in net with her 14 starts. Moore has allowed 39 goals (2.74 per game) so far, while racking up 449 saves (.920 save percentage).
The Series with Brown
The Crimson and Bears are prepared to meet each other on the ice for the 78th time since 1978-79. Harvard owns the all-time series record, having gone 42-30-5 against Brown during that stretch. The Crimson is unbeaten in the last 25 contests (23-0-2) and has won 15 consecutive showdowns by a 64-15 margin, an average score of 4-1.
Last season, Harvard swept Brown to the tune of a 3-0 shutout on the road and a 5-2 handling in Cambridge.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Following a 1-6-1 start, Yale has crept back into the thick of things this season. The Bulldogs are 2-1 in the last three games after a 5-1 win at Providence and a 6-4 scrum versus Colgate. Yale is 3-4-1 against the ECAC this year, but 0-2 against Ivy competition.
Leading an offense that averages 2.33 goals per contest is a pair of freshmen in Phoebe Staenz and Krista Yip-Chuck with seven and six goals, respectively. Staenz leads all Bulldogs with 16 points (7-9-16), while three other Yale skaters have accumulated at least 10 points: Janelle Ferrara (4-8-12), Jamie Haddad (3-7-10) and Stephanie Mock (3-7-10).
Junior Jaimie Leonoff has taken the reigns for Yale in net, starting 14 of 15 games for the Bulldogs. Leonoff has accumulated 505 saves (.918 save percentage) while allowing 45 goals this year (3.22 GAA) for a 5-9-1 record.
The Series with Yale
Saturday will be the 75th edition of the Harvard-Yale rivalry since the two took to the ice in 1978-79. The Crimson holds a distinct 64-7-3 advantage over the Bulldogs, having gone 15-0-1 in the last 16 meetings since 2006-07. Last year, Harvard claimed a pair of wins by 4-0 and 3-1 margins.
This season, Harvard has one of the top point differentials in the nation, averaging a 3-1 win over opponents this season, but the last three meetings on the docket have been different cases. On Dec. 7, the Crimson battled to a 1-1 stalemate against No. 6 BC, thanks to Emerance Maschmeyer's career-high 51 saves. To open up the 2014 portion of the season, Harvard dueled to the end with Northeastern, coming out victorious by a 3-2 margin. Most recently, the Crimson rallied back from 1-0 down late in the third at UConn to beat the Huskies, 2-1, for its third-straight nail-biter. Overall, the Crimson is 3-1-2 in games decided by one goal or fewer this year.
To say that Harvard has been "killing it" on the penalty kill this season is an understatement. The Crimson has allowed just two power play goals in 70 chances this season (68/70; 97.1-percent), by far the best mark in the country, even when it is committing an average 5.2 penalties per game. The next fewest amount of goals allowed is five by No. 2 Wisconsin (54/59; 91.5-percent).