CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's hockey team will look to end a three-game skid with a bang on Tuesday night at Kelley Rink. The Crimson will face the No. 2/2 Boston College Eagles for the second time this season after dropping an 8-1 decision to the crosstown rivals in November. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. in Chestnut Hill and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Harvard is in the midst of its longest stretch of ranked opponents since the 2010-11 season. St. Lawrence jumping back into the polls this week brings the Crimson's slate to five consecutive top 10 opponents. In the last 10 years, Harvard has gone 40-57-16 (.425) against top-10 opponents. Twelve of those wins were against top-five teams while 11 of the losses came during post-season play. Harvard's last win against a ranked opponent was a 4-1 defeat of Colgate in the 2016 ECAC Tournament.
After back-to-back multi-point outings, Becca Gilmore was named ECAC Hockey's Rookie of the Week. Against No. 4/4 Colgate, Gilmore added an assist on both of Harvard's goals and then came back against No. 6/6 Cornell to tally two more assists and a score for a five-point weekend. Gilmore now leads the Crimson with 17 points in 16 games.
Last weekend, freshman Becky Dutton made her third career appearance against No. 6/6 Cornell. After relieving starting goalie Beth Larcom, Dutton turned away a career high 21 shots from the Big Red in her 34:42 between the pipes. Her clean sheet at Cornell bumped her save percentage to .943 and her goals against average to 1.61.
Harvard's second forward line, Bradley Fusco - Becca Gilmore - Kat Hughes, went 3-8-11 in two games last weekend. In both tilts, all three scored at least one point, including back-to-back multi-point efforts from Gilmore and Hughes.
Last Time Out
Facing its second ranked opponent in two days, the Harvard women's hockey team dropped a 4-3 decision at Cornell on Saturday afternoon. Freshman goaltender Becky Dutton made her third appearance in net, notching a career high 21 saves in 32:42 between the pipes while rookie defenseman Emma Buckles potted her first career goal. For the second straight contest, all three members of Harvard's second line found their way onto the scoresheet. Rookie Becca Gilmore tallied her team-leading sixth multi-point game of the year on one goal and two assists.
Scoring Against The Eagles
Harvard has had a bit of success scoring on the Eagles in the past, but will surely need to step up its game to compete with the current team.
Haley Mullins added the Crimson's lone score earlier this season, while Kat Hughes has also added a goal in contests with the Eagles. Bradley Fusco, Ali Peper and Kaitlin Tse have all contributed assists against Boston College.
Record at Kelley Rink
Despite having played Boston College at least once a season over the last 10 years, Harvard has only visited the Eagles for three contests.
Like the Crimson, the Eagles find great success at home. In the last two seasons, Boston College has only lost twice at home and its defeated Harvard in all three trips in the last decade.
The Uphill Battle
With St. Lawrence jumping back into the rankings this week, Harvard is in the midst of a five-game stretch of top-10 opponents. The Crimson played two very close games against No. 4/4 Colgate and No. 6/6 Cornell last weekend but was unable to take a win home. Coming up, Harvard will face No. 2/2 Boston College, its highest ranked opponent since facing the Eagles in 2016 when they were ranked No. 1, No. 2/-- Clarkson and No. 10/-- St. Lawrence.
The stretch of top-10 opponents is the longest since the 2010-11 season when Harvard also took on five straight.
In the last 10 years, Harvard has earned 40 wins in 113 contests. Twelve of the wins have come against top five teams and 11 of 57 losses have come during postseason play. Last season, in 12 games against ranked opponents, Harvard held four contests to ties. Harvard's last win against a ranked opponent was a 4-1 win over Colgate during the 2016 ECAC Tournament. The last win over a ranked opponent during the regular season was a 4-1 victory over No. 9/9 Princeton in January of 2016.
With just three career appearances under her belt, and one full game, freshmen Becky Dutton may see some net time against the Eagles.
In November, Dutton was sent out for her second career game during the third period when the Eagles visited Bright-Landry. In 20 minutes of action, Dutton stopped 12 of 13 shots to hold the Eagles at eight goals.
Rookie of the Week
Harvard's freshmen class was awarded again on Jan. 16 when Becca Gilmore was named ECAC Hockey's Rookie of the Week. The Wayland, Mass. native picked up five points this weekend, including her team-high sixth multi-point effort. Gilmore leads the team in points (17) and assists (12).
On Nov. 14, freshman Brooke Jovanovich was tabbed ECAC Hockey's Rookie of the Week for her performances against Brown and Yale. The left-winger notched a three-point weekend on two goals versus Brown and an assist against Yale.
Second Line Success
Coach Stone may have found the magic combination in her newest second line arrangement. Beginning with the game against No. 4/4 Colgate, the Bradley Fusco - Becca Gilmore - Kat Hughes line collected three goals and eight assists in two games together. All three members found their way to the scoresheet in both games and the line ranks fourth in scoring among line combinations this season. Each of the three lines with more points has played five or more games together.
Becca Gilmore has stepped up to the plate in 2018. The freshman has scored in three of four contests in the new year, all multi-point outings.
The forward ranks 28th in the nation, 17th in the ECAC, in points per game and seventh among freshmen, second among ECAC freshmen, in the same category.
Counting only schools that have played the same number of total games as Harvard (16), Gilmore ranks third in the conference and counting only league games (12), she ranks eighth among all teams and fifth among teams having played 12 ECAC games or less.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
Following Tuesday's tilt, the Crimson will prepare for an ECAC weekend series with Clarkson and St. Lawrence at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The games will be the first at home after being on the road for the first five games of 2018.