No. 7/7 Women's Hockey Hits the Road to Face Rensselaer, Union

No. 7/7 Women's Hockey Hits the Road to Face Rensselaer, Union

Edney and the Crimson open the road schedule with a trip to New York to face the Engineers and Dutchwomen. (Gil Talbot)

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

The Storyline
The No. 7/7 Harvard women's hockey team hits the road for the first time this year after a successful weekend homestand. The Crimson (2-0-0, 2-0-0 ECAC) looks to stay undefeated and maintain the top spot in the conference with a pair of ECAC contests against Rensselaer and Union. Harvard is set to visit the Engineers at 7 p.m. on Friday in Troy, N.Y., before making the short trip from there to Schenectady, N.Y., to face the Dutchwomen at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

• Last weekend, Harvard welcomed the new year with a pair of ECAC wins, including a 4-2 victory over then-No. 8/9 Quinnipiac, and a thorough, 4-0 handling of Ivy League rival Princeton. With the weekend sweep, the Crimson moves to 23-11-2 in season openers, including a 16-6-1 mark in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.

• Coming into the weekend, Harvard (2-0-0) is one of just three teams in the nation to remain undefeated to start the 2013-14 season. The Crimson is joined in perfection by No. 1 Minnesota (8-0-0) and No. 3 Cornell (4-0-0).

• A few Crimson recorded career games over the weekend. In the season opener, sophomore Dylanne Crugnale registered two goals -- the first two over her career -- to lead Harvard to a 4-2 win over the Bobcats. A day later, Emerance Maschmeyer stopped a personal best 44 shots between the pipes, while Hillary Crowe tallied a pair of goals to tie her career-best performance. Maschmeyer collected ECAC Goaltender of the Week honors following the 63-save weekend and the sixth shutout of her career. Crowe leads the Crimson with five points at this point in the season (3-2-5).

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No Second Guessing
The second period has been kind to Harvard so far in 2013-14, as the Crimson has tallied five of its eight goals in the frame – four of which came versus Quinnipiac in the opener. It's early in the new season, but last year the Crimson racked up 41 of its 113 goals in the second, the most of any period (35 in the first, 36 in the third, one in overtime).

Especially Good Teams
Harvard's special teams has been lights-out to start the new campaign. Five of the Crimson's eight goals have come on the power play, going 5-of-8 with the advantage (63-percent). Conversely, Harvard is perfect on the penalty kill this season, fighting off 11-of-11 chances while down a skater, the only team in the country to not allow a power play goal.

In the grand scheme of special teams, Harvard is the nation's best in both categories with a combined mark of 84.2-percent -- the next best program is Minnesota-Duluth at 62.5-percent. Only Wisconsin (93.3-percent) is closest on the kill, while Minnesota and Ohio State are tied for second behind the Crimson with 30-percent with the advantage.

Individually, both Sarah Edney and Hillary Crowe have tallied a pair of power play goals for the Crimson, tied for third in the ECAC.

Fearsome Fivesome
While forced to skate no more than 16 players per game this season, everyone on the roster will see their fair share of time on the ice for Harvard, but a group of five Crimson have been on the ice for five of the squad's eight scores this season: Sarah Edney, Hillary Crowe, Samantha Reber, Mary Parker and Briana Mastel. What's more, Edney and Reber have been present for every one of Harvard's goals so far.

Show Stopper
After saving 19 and allowing a pair of goals to a tough No. 8 Quinnipiac team in the season opener, sophomore goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer followed her performance up with a career day against Princeton. The Bruderheim, Alberta, native steered away a personal-best 44 shots en route to the sixth shutout of her career. The weekend performance earned her ECAC Goaltender of the Week honors, announced on Tuesday.

Maschmeyer leads not only the conference, but also the nation with her 1.00 goals allowed per game, .969 save percentage and 1.000 win percentage so far this season.

Abstracting the Engineers
After taking down Robert Morris, 3-0, in its season opener, Rensselaer has fallen in five of the last six contests, managing a 2-2 tie against Boston University on Oct. 11. The Engineers (1-5-1, 0-0-0 ECAC) have played tight games, however, keeping four of its five losses within a single goal. Most recently, RPI fell in a two-game series with UConn, 3-2 (OT) and 5-2, in Storrs, Conn.

Freshman Laura Horwood leads the way for RPI, totaling five points (1-4-5) over the first seven games. The Engineers own a fluid attack which has seen four skaters tally two goals, including juniors Ali Svoboda, Taylor Mahoney and Kathryn Schilter, and sophomore Lauren Walsh.

Two goalies have split time for RPI this season, but Kelly O'Brien has gotten the bulk of the load as the backstop. In six games played, O'Brien has 117 saves (.893) while allowing 14 goals (2.57) for a 1-4-1 record. In relief, Brianna Piper has seen 39 shots, stopping 36 (.923), earning an 0-1-0 record after one start.

The Series with RPI
Having first met in 2006, Harvard and Rensselaer have played 15 times, with the Crimson owning a 10-4-1 record over the Engineers. Last season, Harvard one the series with 2-1 and 4-1 victories, stretching its win streak to five in a row over RPI

Flying with the Dutchwomen
Union (3-5-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) enters the weekend after splitting a two-game series at Penn State before suffering a 5-2 setback at Syracuse. The Dutchwomen started out of the gate strong, claiming a 3-2 win over UConn in the season's first game, followed by a dominating, 5-2, win over Providence at home. Led by sophomore Courtney Turner's eight points (4-4-8), the Dutchwomen will open up ECAC play with Dartmouth on Friday before hosting Harvard on Saturday.

Right beside Turner stands junior Christine Valente with six points (4-2-6) on a team-high 28 shots. Both Jessica Kaminsky and Kathryn Tomaselli have tallied two goals apiece to round out Union's top scorers so far this year.

Between the pipes, Union is led by junior Shenae Lundberg who has racked up 219 saves thus far (.916), allowing 20 goals (2.72) in eight starts. Madeleine Dahl has seen time in mop-up duty for two games, denying 12 shots, allowing a pair of goals in 38 minutes of action.

The Series with Union
The Crimson is a perfect 20-0-0 against the Dutchwomen since their first meeting in 2003 (a 13-0 win for Harvard). In total, Harvard has outscored Union, 115-3, never giving up more than one goal in a game. The last time the Dutwomen found the back of the net against the Crimson was in 2010.