Trip to ECAC Semifinals on the Line as Yale Pays Visit to No. 5/5 Women's Hockey



Harvard vs. Yale - Quarterfinals
Feb. 28-March 1
7 p.m. | 4 p.m. | 4 p.m.
Bright-Landry Hockey Center
Ivy League Digital Network
Live Stats
Harvard Game Notes

The Harvard women's hockey is in search of an ECAC title to pair with its Ivy League crown. The Crimson faceoff with Yale for a best-of-three series for a trip to the semifinals. (Elan Kawesch) 

The Opening Faceoff
On the heels of clinching the Ivy League championship and the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Tournament, the Harvard women's hockey team will play host to Yale in the conference quarterfinals. The Crimson (21-4-4, 16-3-3 ECAC) and Bulldogs (8-14-7, 6-9-7 ECAC) will duke it out at least two more times in a best-of-three series at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center this weekend.

The First Line

  • Last weekend, Harvard claimed the outright Ivy League title with a 3-3 tie at Yale and a regular-season-ending 3-1 win at Brown. The Crimson (7-1-2 Ivy) got help from a 4-3 Cornell (7-2-1 Ivy) loss to Princeton to take home the Ancient Eight crown for the second year in a row and 10th time in program history.
  • This is the 16th year in a row Harvard will host the ECAC Quarterfinals at Bright-Landry. The Crimson has historically maintained success in the opening round, and is the No. 2 team in the conference race for the fifth time in that span (since 1998-99). Only one other time, however, have Harvard and Yale met in the ECAC postseason (2007).
  • Faced with at least two more games at Bright-Landry, Harvard sits in its proverbial comfort zone. The Crimson is 11-2-2 in Cambridge this season and is 46-11-4 since 2010-11 while playing in front of the home crowd.

@HarvardWHockey Tweetables
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 has secured the No. 2 seed in the @ECACHOCKEYMWD1 Tourney and will host the Quarterfinals for the 16th straight year
  • The sophomore class has combined for 37 of @HarvardWHockey's 84 goals this season. #secondtonone
  • .@HarvardWHockey is looking for its first win against Yale all season; Aside from Yale, #HH has won or tied every other series this year

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ECAC Tournament Shakedown

Friday: 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: 3:30 p.m.
Sunday: 2 p.m. (if necessary)

No. 7 YALE at No. 2 HARVARD
Friday: 7 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. (if necessary)

Friday: 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m.
Sunday: 2 p.m. (if necessary)

Friday: 7 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m.
Sunday: 2 p.m. (if necessary) 

Twine from All Kinds
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 combined for 37 of the Crimson's 84 goals, led by Miye D'Oench's 17 scores. Mary Parker has found the back of the net 13 times, while fellow classmates Dylanne Crugnale (six) and Jessica Harvey (one) have added to the tally.

Not to be fully overshadowed, the four primarily defensive-minded juniors have kept up the pace as well. Hillary Crowe has potted 13 goals, second on the team, followed by Samantha Reber's seven, Sarah Edney's six and Marissa Gedman's three. The two seniors, Elizabeth Parker and Gina McDonald, have combined for nine scores this season, thanks in part to Parker's three-goal weekend at Yale and Brown. Two freshmen, Sydney Daniels and Natasha Rachlin, round out the Harvard scorers. Daniels is third on the squad with eight, including a pair of game winners and a game-tying goal, while Rachlin registered her only goal, a game-winner, against Colgate on Nov. 16.

Crimson, White and Blue
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 – will bring 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.

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 17-0-3 when scoring the game's first goal, and is outscoring the opposition in the opening period, 27-11. When Harvard holds a lead after the first, it is an unblemished 15-0-2 this year, and is 18-0-2 when leading after 40 minutes. When packing the punch, Harvard is 17-1-2 when scoring three or more times, and a perfect 7-0-0 when scoring at least four goals.

The Daily Specials
From day one, or rather when the Crimson started the season killing off the first 34 power plays it saw this year, Harvard has maintained the No. 1 penalty kill unit in the country. To date, the Crimson have fended off 120-of-128 power plays (93.8-percent), which is tied for the fewest goals allowed while down a skater (Minnesota has killed 103-of-111 penalties). To its credit, Harvard has also potted three shorthanded goals as well.

On the reverse side, Harvard's opponents have taken the second-fewest penalties against in the nation at 94 all season; only Holy Cross has been on fewer power plays at 74. The Crimson has scored 14 times with the skater advantage this season, good enough for a top-20 power play unit in the nation. Combined with its deadly penalty kill, Harvard owns the No. 1 special teams in the land overall at 60.4-percent.

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 +30 when it comes to +/- rating, fifth-best in the conference this season. Edney's ability to prevent goals from happening, while having a hand in 22 on the offensive side, has paved the way for the year-long success.

The primary first line for the Crimson, Miye D'Oench (+22), Samantha Reber (+20) and Hillary Crowe (+21), has bolstered the Harvard scoring attack for most of the season. Combined, the trio has accounted for 37 goals and 42 assists for 79 points, or about 40-percent of the Crimson's offense.

A Look at the Bulldogs
Seventh-seeded Yale, which has given Harvard fits in its first two meetings this year, is making its first appearance in the ECAC Quarterfinals since 2008. The Bulldogs will be getting its spark back as freshman Phoebe Staenz returns from Sochi to bolster the Blue and White scoring threat. Though Staenz didn't tally a point in the first meeting of the year, and missed last weekend's contest, she leads the Bulldogs with 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists.

Yale has a slew of young talent as the top-five point-earners are either freshmen or sophomores. The youth has led to success this season as the Bulldogs have enjoyed their best season in four years. After starting the 2013-14 campaign 0-5-1, Yale bounced back to win five of the next eight to gain momentum. Towards the end of January, Yale went on a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3), including a tie versus Clarkson and a win at Bright-Landry. To close out the season, the team finished 1-1-3, with ties against RPI, Quinnipiac and Harvard, but a loss to Dartmouth in the season finale.

Along with Staenz, Janelle Ferrara is the other 20-point earner this season, totaling 21 on five goals and a team-best 16 assists. Freshman Krista Yip-Chuck leads the way with 10 goals scored, adding seven assists for 17 points. Jamie Haddad owns an even nine goals and nine assists for 18 points, while classmate Hanna Astrom has 15 points (6-9-15).

In goal, Jaimie Leonoff has kept Yale in games all season long, as evidence by her eight wins and seven ties. The junior netminder has let in 78 goals in 29 games (a 2.80 GAA), while racking up 922 saves for a .922 save percentage. She has made 40 or more saves six times all season for the Bulldogs, who are outshot on average, 36-24 night in and night out.

The Season Series with Yale
This year, Yale has had Harvard's number, owning the regular-season series 1-0-1. On Jan. 11, the Bulldogs trotted into Bright-Landry and snuck away with a 2-0 victory, the first shutout at home for Harvard since 2009. Jackie Raines and Kate Martini scored for Yale, while Leonoff steered away 29 shots to snap Harvard's 12-game unbeaten streak to that point.

In the last weekend of the regular season, Harvard looked to return the favor in Ingalls Rink, and it even looked like it was going to go in the Crimson's favor. Elizabeth Parker netted the game's first goal not even four minutes into the contest, but two power play goals in the period for the home team put the Crimson on its heels. After Yip-Chuck made it 3-1, D'Oench fired back to bring Harvard within 3-2 in the second frame. After nothing-doing through most of the third period, Sydney Daniels evened the ledger in a big way, knocking in the tying score with just 1:16 left on the clock, forcing overtime, but the two would skate to a stalemate.

Overall, Harvard owns a 64-8-4 record against Yale, including 2-0 in the ECAC Tournament. The two squads met in 2007, with the Crimson advancing to the semifinals after wins of 3-1 and 2-1 in Bright-Landry.