The Crimson steps back into ECAC and Ivy League play this weekend versus Dartmouth. (Elan Kawesch)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – At the tail end of its four-game road swing – having played six of its last seven games away from the Bright-Landry Hockey Center after this weekend – the No. 5/5 Harvard women's hockey team (12-2-2, 9-1-1 ECAC) looks to take on ECAC Hockey foe and Ivy League rival Dartmouth (9-7-1, 5-5-1 ECAC) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Thompson Arena.
Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
The Harvard women's hockey team will host its annual "White the Bright" game Jan. 24 when Ivy League and ECAC rival Cornell visits the Bright-Landry Hockey Center with the goal of breaking the program's attendance record for the showdown. The Crimson's record since women's hockey became an NCAA sport is 1,921 fans, set Jan. 11, 2004 in a matchup with Dartmouth.
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Climbing the Ivy
Now two-time defending Ivy League champions, the Crimson is off to another hot start among its Ancient Eight peers. Sitting at 4-0-0 in Ivy play, Harvard is in first place and is the lone unbeaten club. Having played Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale and Brown once already, the Crimson has outscored the four squads 16-2.
Princeton (4-1) sits in second place behind Harvard, followed by Cornell (2-1), Dartmouth (1-3), Yale (1-3) and Brown (0-4) in the race for the Title. Including Saturday's showdown, the Crimson has six more Ivy League games on the docket.
Just a Walk Through the Park-er
More than a few Crimson skaters have had shining runs of scoring this season (Miye D'Oench has earned a point in all but four games for Harvard; Sydney Daniels had a run of scoring in five of seven games (seven goals in those outings); and Lexie Laing with her seven goals in four games at the start of the month, but Mary Parker has been heavily consistent as well, since the Crimson's loss at No. 1 Boston College in November.
Over the last nine contests, Parker – who is tied for the team lead with 17 points through 16 games – has compiled 15 points (5-10—15), including Harvard's lone shorthanded goal on the year and an impressive three-point outing in the 8-2 win versus UConn last week. Playing on the wing, the junior also has earned favor on the faceoff dot, owning the best faceoff percentage for a Crimson with at least 10 attempts (98-74, 57-percent).
Youth of the Nation
Harvard has received invaluable production from its freshmen this season. Thanks to Lexie Laing's three game winners, the Crimson rookies own five of Harvard's 12 winning goals when adding in tallies from Karly Heffernan and Haley Mullins. The trio of Laing, Heffernan and Mullins – all on separate lines – also has combined for 31 points on 15 goals and 16 assists through 16 games. They have combined for a +28 on ice rating as well.
Harvard is a perfect 10-0-0 over its last 10 contests. This marks the sixth 10-game winning streak in program history, all coming under the guidance of Katey Stone, The Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey. Over the win streak, the Crimson has outscored its opponents handily, 45-11 – an impressive average of around 4.5-1.
Early and Often
The Crimson is unbeaten when scoring first this season (8-0-2), but has shown it can come back after falling behind early by securing four wins after opponents found the back of the net first. Harvard also relies on outshooting its foes, as all 12 wins have come when taking more shots (12-1-1).
What's more, Harvard is +16 in scoring during the first period, manhandling opponents 26-10 in the opening frame. The Crimson has taken 176 shots – its most for any one period – and has limited opponents to just 104 – its lowest allowed.
The Daily Special
The Harvard special teams have varied this season, allowing nine power play goals while scoring eight. Last time versus Dartmouth and when Princeton paid a visit, the Crimson was perfect in each outing. The Harvard penalty kill has been nothing short of stellar, halting 30-of-31 opponents' power plays over the last seven contests.
On the season, Harvard is 25.8-percent with the skater advantage – good enough for fourth in the nation behind Minnesota, Dartmouth and Holy Cross – and an improving 84.5-percent on the kill. Combined, Harvard sits as the best special teams unit in the nation at No. 1 overall with a 64-percent.
A lot has changed since the last meeting between the Big Green and the Crimson in December. After starting 4-0 and landing a spot in the top-10, Dartmouth has tapered off slightly, going 5-7-1 over the last 13, including a 4-1 loss to Harvard in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center on NESN.
Three Big Green skaters have combined to lead the way for Dartmouth, which averages 3.1 goals per game, in sophomore Kennedy Ottenbreit (9-9—18), Lindsay Allen (13-4—17) and Laura Stacey (6-10—16). Allen's 13 scores is second-most in the ECAC and tops among Ivy skaters.
In goal, Robyn Chemago has been a rock as the only netminder to see time this season for Dartmouth. Chemago has given up 42 scores (2.46 GAA) while turning aside 373 shots for a 89.9-save percentage. The sophomore has two shutouts on the year, blanking both Union and RPI, 3-0, in separate weekends.
Harvard finally returns to the Bright-Landry Hockey Center to face both Colgate and Cornell for the first time this year. The Crimson and Raiders will battle at 7 p.m. on Jan. 23, while Harvard hosts bitter rival Cornell on Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. for its annual White the Bright game.