The Crimson looks to maintain its ECAC lead with four points this weekend. (Elan Kawesch)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Following its Beanpot title and upset of No. 1 Boston College, the No. 4/4 Harvard women's hockey team hits the road for its last weekend away for the year. The Crimson (19-4-2, 14-2-1 ECAC) treks to No. 10/10 Cornell (14-8-3, 12-4-2 ECAC) and Colgate (7-22-1, 4-13-1 ECAC) for a pair of league contests.
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.
Besting the Best
After downing No. 1 Boston College – which entered the night on a 28-game unbeaten streak – the Crimson proved it can pack a punch against the nation's best. Harvard is 5-1-2 versus ranked opponents this season, including wins over BC, Boston University, Quinnipiac, and ties with BU and Clarkson. What's more, the Crimson has outscored its ranked foes 26-19 in those eight games, which proves Harvard can compete in close games.
Full Steam Ahead
After erupting for 25 goals in its last four games – including nine versus BU over a week ago – the highest total in three years – the Crimson moved back up into the top-3 in the nation's scoring with just under four goals per game. Aside from its struggle at Princeton, Harvard has been electric in its last 19 outings (17-2-0), averaging more than four goals per game (4.17), while reaching the six-goal plateau six times.
That high-flying Crimson offense has been lights out of late thanks to a wide range of attacking talent. Both Lyndsey Fry and Mary Parker recorded hat tricks recently, while Miye D'Oench has found her rhythm as well. Parker, the Crimson's leading scorer has nine points over the last four games (5-4—9), while D'Oench has added eight over that same span (5-3—8), including the game winning goals over Yale and BC.
Karly Heffernan enjoyed a career night against Brown, scoring twice and dishing out two assists for a four-point night, and added a goal and an assist versus BC the following Tuesday, helping to vault the Crimson to victory.
Lexie Laing became the first Crimson in three years to register three assists in one game, lending a helping hand to three goals to defeat Brown on Saturday, while adding two more assists in the victory over the Eagles in the Beanpot. In total, 11 different Crimson have recorded multi-point games over the last four contests.
Blue Line Bombers
Harvard's defense is stout, one of the best in the nation, yielding just 1.76 goals per outing. Taking out the lone blip on the radar, the loss at Boston College in December (L, 10-2), Harvard's defense would be fourth in the country with a 1.41 goals/game average defensively.
As far as blocking big-time shots, there might be none better than the Crimson defensemen who get sticks down in crucial situations. Marissa Gedman holds the team lead with 39 blocks, ahead of classmate Sarah Edney (31), while Michelle Picard has added 20. Josephine Pucci, who missed the first 10 games, has averaged nearly two per game (27 in 15 games) and was a huge reason for the defensive success in the victory over Boston College – the senior had nine blocks down the stretch to help keep the Eagles off the board in the final frame of the Beanpot.
Offensively, Harvard's defensemen have added their due as well. Edney is 10th in the country in points per game, accumulating 0.71 per outing (4-11—15 in 21 games). Picard is close behind with 12 points (2-10—12), as is Gedman with 10 (2-8—10). In total, the Crimson blue liners have added 14 goals and 50 assists for 64 points to the cause.
This is Home
Harvard hits the road this weekend, but the Crimson's accomplishments at home should not go unnoticed. The Crimson – one of two clubs in the country to not suffer a loss at home this season (12-0-0) –has really come on of late with the start of February, outscoring its opponents 25-6 over the last four games, an incredible average of 6-1 per contest.
The Big Red, one of Harvard's toughest rivalries of late, is 8-2 over its last 10 games coming into the weekend, but is coming off a tough Ivy loss at Princeton, 3-2. Prior to that, Cornell defeated RPI, 7-1, but struggled some versus Colgate (3-2 OT) before coming away with a big victory at Quinnipiac (4-3 OT). Overall, the Big Red is 12-4-2 versus ECAC opponents, and holds a 5-3 record against Ivy foes (including a 3-0 loss against a record crowd at Harvard on Jan. 24).
A triad of seniors leads the charge for Cornell in the offensive zone, including ECAC point-leader Breanne Jenner, who owns 40 points (13-27—40). Classmates Emily Fulton (19-17—36) and Jillian Saulnier (9-21—30) complete a feisty package that has been tough for opponents to handle of late. Erin O'Connor adds some power from the blue line as well, sending in six goals and adding 18 assists for 24 points.
In net, Cornell has solid goaltending strength in Paula Voorheis, who has started all but five games for her team this season. The 6-foot sophomore has let in 57 goals (2.59 GAA), but has a respectable .915 save percentage with 610 saves this season.
The Raiders (7-22-1, 4-13-1 ECAC) have struggled this season on and off. Recently, Colgate came away with back-to-back ECAC wins, downing Dartmouth, 2-0, and RPI, 4-2, before tying Union, 2-2, and falling to Cornell, 3-2 in overtime. Last week, 'Gate fell at Princeton and Quinnipiac. Last time the Raiders faced Harvard, it was a 4-0 Crimson victory in Cambridge.
Though Colgate has only scored 47 goals all season (just 1.5 per contest), there are a few skaters who can act as threats, including freshmen Megan Sullivan and Breanne Wilson-Bennett. Sullivan is tied with senior Melissa Kueber (8-5—13) with the team lead in goals, while Wilson-Bennett is tied for the squad lead with 15 points.
In net, junior Ashlynne Rando has seen north of 76-percent of the time between the pipes, yielding 58 goals (2.51 GAA) with a .917 save percentage and 644 saves for the Raiders. She has a 6-17-1 record in net with three shutouts toward her credit in 2014-15.