Harvard Women's Hockey Heads to Wisconsin with Frozen Four Spot on the Line
Harvard at No. 4 Wisconsin
Harvard is set to make its 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament with a trip to Wisconsin this weekend. (Photo: Jim Pierce)
The Opening Faceoff
Following a run into the ECAC Semifinals, Harvard will turn its attention to the NCAA Tournament and No. 4-seeded Wisconsin on Saturday. The Crimson (23-6-4) and Badgers (27-7-2), who will meet for the third time in the postseason, are set to drop the puck at 8:07 p.m. ET in UW's LaBahn Arena with a shot at the Frozen Four on the line.
The First Line
- Last weekend, Harvard was stunned in Clarkson's Cheel Arena by No. 3-seed Cornell in the conference Semifinals. The Crimson took an early lead, eventually boasting a 4-2 advantage into the waning minutes of the second period, but the Big Red reeled off three goals in the third period to claim a 6-4 victory and a spot in the ECAC Finals. Cornell would eventually topple top-seeded Clarkson, 1-0, to earn the ECAC title.
- Harvard and Wisconsin are set to meet for the sixth time in each program's history. The last two times the Crimson and Badgers have taken the ice, Wisconsin has skated away with postseason victories, including an epic four-overtime thriller in Madison in 2007.
- Harvard is making its 10th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament with its trip to Madison. The Crimson has reached the Frozen Four five times during that span – last in 2008 – and has earned a spot in the title games three times (2003, 2004, 2005)
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 and @BadgerWHockey will square off for the 3rd time in the @NCAAIceHockey Quarterfinals on Saturday
- This is the first flight for @HarvardWHockey since #HH visited Minnesota in 2010.
- Six @HarvardWHockey players earned @Ivy_Athletics Team honors this year, including @Emerance_M's Co-Player of the Year nod.
NCAA Tournament Shakedown (from NCAA.com)
Some Quick Hits
- The Crimson's steady top line, made up of Miye D'Oench, Samantha Reber and Hillary Crowe, has combined to score 45 goals and 51 assists for 96 points, or about 40-percent of the Crimson's offense.
- There are four Crimson Midwesterners who will make a return to their familial roots on Saturday: Gina McDonald (New Brighton, Minn.), Hillary Crowe (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Samantha Reber (Edina, Minn.) and Hannah Zarzecki (Chicago, Ill.)
- Point Streaks Attached:
Player Games Points During Notes Hillary Crowe 8 10 12 points in last 10 games Miye D'Oench 7 11 19 points in last 12 games Jessica Harvey 3 3 6 points in last 6 games Sarah Edney 3 3 Sydney Daniels 2 2 Marissa Gedman 2 2
The Harvard Seniority
Harvard's two seniors, Elizabeth Parker and Gina McDonald, have combined for 10 scores and 16 assists for 26 points in 2013-14. The duo has played an integral role all season and, coming up big on multiple occasions. Parker scored the first goal and assisted on the game-winner in the come-from-behind victory at UConn, and enjoyed a three-goal weekend at Yale and Brown at the end of the regular season.
McDonald struck gold against Northeastern in the Frozen Fenway makeup game, notching a shorthanded goal and assisting on another score in the 3-2 win over the Huskies. Two games later, McDonald notched a goal and assisted on the winner in the 3-0 win vs. Brown in Bright-Landry.
Third Year's a Charm
There are four juniors on the Crimson, all of whom play equally important roles. Hillary Crowe is second on the team with 16 goals, adding 14 assists for 30 points this season. She has scored a team-high four power play goals, adding four game winners as well. Samantha Reber, who centers the top line for the Crimson, leads the team with 20 assists, adding eight goals in her junior campaign for 28 points. She is tied with Sarah Edney for the team lead with eight power play points (3-5—8) and owns four game winning goals, including the Beanpot Consolation thriller, where she notched the winner with under 10 seconds left in overtime.
Defensively, Sarah Edney, a finalist for the ECAC Best Defenseman Award, and captain Marissa Gedman are the linchpin to Harvard's top-10 defense. Edney leads the team with 89 blocks this season, adding seven goals and 18 assists on the offensive end to prove herself to be one of the more well-rounded skaters on the ice. A hard-nosed blue liner, Gedman has totaled 80 blocks in the Harvard zone, including a dozen or so key stops on 5-on-3 scenarios as a member of the penalty kill unit that was first in the nation nearly the whole season. Wither her rocket slapshot, Gedman has fired in three goals – including the game winner at No. 3 Cornell on Jan. 18 – and has handed out 15 assists.
Though it's not one of the most prolific scoring teams in the nation, Harvard does have its bright spots in the offensive zone, namely those in the sophomore class. Four second-year players have righteously avoided any kind of "sophomore slump," combining for 44 of the Crimson's 97 goals, led by Miye D'Oench's 21 scores. D'Oench has tallied 38 points so far this season, and leads the team with six first-goals, four game winning goals and four unassisted goals.
Mary Parker has found the back of the net 13 times this year, handing out 12 assists along the way. She also is tied for the lead with eight power play points, notching three goals to go along with her five assists with the skater advantage, adding a shorthanded goal to boot. Fellow classmates Dylanne Crugnale (7-5—12) and Jessica Harvey (3-7—10) have added to the tally in big ways, each coming up with crucial scores.
In goal for Harvard stands one of the soundest netminders in the country in Emerance Maschmeyer. The sophomore earned was dubbed a Patty Kazmaier Top-10 finalist, the Co-Ivy League Player of the Year and the ECAC Goaltender of the Year for her efforts between the pipes for Harvard. She currently sits in the top-10 in every goaltending category in the nation, including her 1.75 GAA and .942 save percentage.
The freshman class has filled in nicely this season, with some key contributors of its own. Sydney Daniels has spent much of the season between the first and second line for the Crimson, tallying eight goals and five assists with her physical play. She owns a pair of game winners and a crucial game-tying goal against Yale towards the end of the season. Defenseman Natasha Rachlin scored her first career goal this season, the game winner over Colgate, and has two assists as well to go along with 27 blocks in the defensive end.
Briana Mastel has been significant for the Crimson on defense as well. She garnered an ECAC All-Rookie Team nod for her play this season, totaling 53 blocks – third on the team. She's added eight assists as well, three of which have come on game-winning goals. In net, Maschmeyer's goalie partner has certainly made a splash, too. In seven starts, Brianna Laing has allowed just five goals (0.63 GAA) and has steered away 189 shots to earn a 7-0-0 record, including four whitewashes. She earned back-to-back ECAC Quarterfinal wins over Yale, including the second of two double overtime thrillers against the Bulldogs.
The Olympic Ties that Bind
After one of the more electrifying gold medal games the Olympics can offer, the Harvard contingent on the United States Olympic Women's Hockey team – made up of the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey Katey Stone, alumna Julie Chu '06-07 and current skaters Lyndsey Fry, Michelle Picard and Josephine Pucci –brought home the silver medal from the 2014 Games.
In the process, not only did Stone become the first female to be named the head coach a U.S. Olympic Hockey team, but she also became the first female to lead the Americans to a medal on the ice.
Wisconsin, in its own right, has some heavy Olympic ties as well. The Badgers sent four current or former skaters to Sochi, tied with Harvard for the second most behind only Minnesota's five. UW head coach Mark Johnson has left his mark on U.S. Olympic history as well, as he was a member of the 1980 gold medal-winning U.S. hockey team that upset the Soviet Union.
It's Awards Season…
The Crimson skaters have been recognized for a bevy of awards already as the regular season has come to a close. Emerance Maschmeyer was named a Patty Kazmaier Top-10 Finalist, as well as the Co-Ivy League Player of the Year with her stellar sophomore campaign. Maschmeyer also drew First Team All-Ivy honors, along with Miye D'Oench and Sarah Edney, the latter of whom was nominated as one of the ECAC's Best Defensive Defensemen this season.
The Ancient Eight also recognized Hillary Crowe and Mary Parker on its Second Team, while Marissa Gedman pulled in Honorable Mention honors as the Crimson's captain and leader on the ice. Harvard has a chance to add to the tally of accolades this weekend as the annual ECAC Awards Banquet is scheduled for Friday night in Potsdam to precede the championship weekend.
The Quick-start Kick-start
Much of Harvard's success this season has been due to its ability to get out in front of the competition early. The Crimson is an impressive 18-1-3 when scoring the game's first goal, and is outscoring the opposition in the opening period, 30-13. When Harvard holds a lead after the first, it is an unblemished 16-0-2 this year, and is 19-1-2 when leading after 40 minutes. When packing the punch, Harvard is tough to beat. The Crimson is 19-2-2 when scoring three or more times, and a near-perfect 8-1-0 when scoring at least four goals.
The Positive Jam
It comes with the territory of outscoring opponents an average of around 3-1, but a few Crimson have found themselves on the ice at the right times all year long. Junior Sarah Edney leads the team with a +32 when it comes to +/- rating, third-best in the conference this season. Edney's ability to prevent goals from happening, while having a hand in 25 on the offensive side, has paved the way for the year-long success.
The primary first line for the Crimson, Miye D'Oench (+26), Samantha Reber (+24) and Hillary Crowe (+25), has bolstered the Harvard scoring attack for most of the season, and especially did so in the ECAC Tournament.
Drawing the No. 4 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin has been atop the national spotlight for much of the season. After dropping two close, early decisions to Minnesota (2-1 and 2-0), the Badgers reeled off what would become the country's longest unbeaten streak at 16 games (14-0-2), until a midseason loss to North Dakota (4-1) in LaBahn Arena. UW then went on a seven-game win streak, before dropping two more games to the No. 1 Golden Gophers towards the end of the regular season (3-2 and 4-0).
In the WCHA First Round, Wisconsin drew Minnesota State in the Quarterfinals. After knocking off MSU, 4-0, in the opening game, the Mavericks shutout the Badgers in game two, 3-0, but UW bounced back to advance after a 2-0 victory. North Dakota, however, wouldn't let Wisconsin advance further. UND kept the Badgers off the board for the second time in three games, shutting them out, 1-0.
In the last three games, UW has scored just two goals while averaging close to 41 shots per game. In a testament to the team discipline, the Badgers have not committed a penalty in the last two contests, but haven't been on the power play themselves over that span, either.
The Badgers average 3.1 goals per game, reeling off 36.1 shots per outing as well. They've scored 29 goals on 121 power play opportunities, good enough for third in the land with the skater advantage. Defensively, UW bosts the third-best scoring defense at 1.14 goals per game allowed. The Badgers have killed off an impressive 86-of-93 penalties, second-best in the NCAA.
Wisconsin is led by a bevy of skaters to make headlines. Senior Brittany Ammerman joins Harvard's Maschmeyer as a Patty Kazmaier Top-10 Finalist, and has certainly lit up the box score. Ammerman leads UW and is 18th in the nation in scoring with her 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points, registering 1.17 points per outing. She also is in second nationally with eight power play goals, and is fourth with six game winners. Right behind her sits junior Blayre Turnbull who has 38 points, by way of 17 goals and 21 assists; she has five shorthanded tallies this season.
In net, the Badgers put forth a threatening goalie pair in senior Alex Rigsby and freshman Ann-Renee Desbiens. Rigsby has started 24 of 35 games this season, picking up a 16-5-2 record. Rigsby owns a .950 save percentage, compiling 527 saves to just 28 goals allowed (a 1.18 GAA). Though the senior was out some of the season, Wisconsin didn't miss a beat with Desbiens between the pipes. The freshman came away with an impressive 11-1-0 record in 11 starts, turning aside 265 shots and allowing just 12 goals (1.06 GAA).
All-Time vs. Wisconsin
Harvard and Wisconsin have met five times since UW added women's hockey in 1999. The Crimson took the first meeting between the two in the Badgers' inaugural season, 3-1, in Madison. But Wisconsin has taken each of the last four outings, two in the regular season (2000 and 2004) and twice in the postseason (2007 and 2008). In the 2007 meeting, the two sides battled back-and-forth through four overtimes in Madison before Jinelle Zaugg eventually knocked in the winning goal at the 12:51 mark in the seventh period. It ended up being the second-longest game in NCAA women's ice hockey history.
|Nov. 5, 1999||Madison, Wis.||Harvard 3, Wisconsin 1||Harvard's first game of the year; Wisconsin's inaugural season|
|Nov. 4, 2000||Madison, Wis.||Wisconsin 3, Harvard 1|
|Nov. 26, 2004||Cambridge, Mass.||Wisconsin 6, Harvard 4|
|March 10, 2007||Madison, Wis.||Wisconsin 1, Harvard 0 (4OT)||NCAA Quarterfinals; second-longest game in NCAA history|
|March 20, 2008||Duluth, Minn.||Wisconsin 4, Harvard 1||NCAA Quarterfinals|
|March 15, 2014||Madison, Wis.||??||NCAA Quarterfinals|