Harvard will enter its 11th NCAA Tournament all-time. (Elan Kawesch)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Now with its sights set on the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, the ECAC Champion Harvard women's hockey team will host conference foe Quinnipiac this weekend, the NCAA announced Sunday. As the nation's third seed, the Crimson will welcome in the Bobcats for the fourth meeting of the season as the two will meet 4 p.m. Saturday in the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
Harvard is set to make its 11th program appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and third in as many years.
The Crimson, which went wire-to-wire as one of the nation's top-10 teams, reaching as high as No. 3 in the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll, will take on QU for the fourth time this season, second in the post season. Harvard has claimed all three prior meetings, each with a 2-1 outcome. Most recently, the Crimson toppled the Bobcats in the ECAC Semifinals this Saturday in a thrilling overtime contest.
Harvard has been one of the more consistent teams in the nation on both ends of the ice, finishing with the No. 4-ranked offense (3.73 G/GM) and the No.6-ranked defense (1.52 G/GM). The Crimson also owned the nation's fourth-ranked power play and 11th-ranked penalty kill in the country.
Senior defenseman Sarah Edney, named the ECAC's Best Defenseman and the conference tournament's Most Outstanding Player, led a bevy of Crimson to earn post season accolades. Mary Parker (16-21—37) was tabbed to the Second Team All-ECAC, while junior netminder Emerance Maschmeyer (1.50 GAA, .941 sv) earned Third Team honors and freshman Lexie Laing (10-13—23) was named to the All-Rookie squad.
Harvard will face a test yet again, though, as the Bobcats bring with them the second-ranked scoring defense. Goaltender Chelsea Laden, a Second Team All-ECAC nominee is among the best puck stoppers in the land, owning a 1.12 GAA and a .933 save percentage. Freshman sensation Taylor Cianfarano leads QU with 30 points this season, coming off 17 goals and 13 assists.
The winner of the first-round game will move on to face the winner of the matchup between No. 2 Boston College and Clarkson in the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 20. The national championship game, hosted by the University of Minnesota, is slated for March 22.
For more information on the NCAA tournament, visit NCAA.com.