Dec. 5, 2008


Courtesy of Harvard

The Particulars
No. 10 Harvard continues its stretch of skating against ranked non-conference opponents Friday evening at No. 7 New Hampshire.  The Crimson is looking to snap its current two-game losing streak after dropping both contests at No. 2 Minnesota last weekend.

The Crimson does not play an ECAC Hockey game again until Dec. 17, as the team will continue its out-of-conference stretch next week by hosting New Hampshire Dec. 12 and traveling to Connecticut Dec. 14.  Harvard will travel to Dartmouth Dec. 17 for its last game before the New Year.

Follow From Home
A video feed of Friday’s game is available via a subscription at UNHwildcats.tvWTSN-1270 AM (New Hampshire) will also carry the game on the radio. will provide live statistics for this weekend’s game, all home games and most road contests this season.

Series History
Friday’s game will be the 42nd meeting between Harvard and New Hampshire.  The Wildcats currently hold a 27-12-2 advantage in the series.  In the last six encounters, the Crimson is 0-5-1 against New Hampshire with the tie coming at Bright Hockey Center Dec. 8, 2006 (3-3).

Last season, the then-No. 2 Wildcats scored two breakaway goals to earn a 4-1 victory over top-ranked Harvard Dec. 14, 2007, at the Whittemore Center.  Jenny Brine tallied the Harvard goal at 9:17 of the third period.  Sarah Vaillancourt and Caitlin Cahow collected assists on the score.  Christina Kessler made eight saves. 

Last Time Out
The Crimson traveled west for a two-game series at No. 2 Minnesota.  In the first contest, the Golden Gophers scored the first three goals to emerge with a 3-1 win.  Jenny Brine got Harvard on the scoreboard with an unassisted power-play goal at 14:40 of the third.  Christina Kessler made 19 stops.

On the following afternoon, Sarah Vaillancourt scored her fifth goal of the season, coming on a short-handed breakaway attempt to tie the game at 13:09 of the second frame.  The Gophers went ahead 2-1 early in the third before Kathryn Farni scored on a slapshot on the powerplay to make it 2-2 with 7:39 to go.  Two minutes later, Minnesota scored the eventual game winner as the Gophers earned a 3-2 victory.  Kessler pushed aside 25 stops in the Saturday matinee.

Rank And File
Harvard is ranked No. 10 in this week’s USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and No. 10 in the College Sports poll.

Harvard Coach Katey Stone
Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey, is in her 15th season at the helm of the Crimson, and she brings a 304-130-21 record into Friday’s game. Stone, who ranks third all-time in Division I victories, has led Harvard to all seven of its NCAA tournament appearances.

Scoring in a Bunch
Sarah Vaillancourt has had a hand in 11 of the last 14 Crimson goals dating back to the St. Lawrence game Nov. 15.  The senior from Sherbrooke, Que., scored shorthanded Saturday at Minnesota  and had nine points the previous weekend against Colgate (2-3-5) and Cornell (2-2-4).

Offensive Outburst
Harvard’s 10 goals in two games Nov. 21-22 against Colgate and Cornell was the most scored in a two-game stretch since the Crimson skated to a pair of shutouts, 4-0 and 7-0, over Colgate and Boston College Jan. 5 and 8 of last season, a stretch of 26 games.

Atop the ECAC
Sarah Wilson is tied for the ECAC Hockey lead with 12 points in eight games.  Wilson also has a conference-best six goals and is tied for the most game-winning scores with two.  She recorded seven points during the Nov. 21-22 weekend against Cornell and Colgate, including a career-best five-point performance against the Raiders (2-3-5).  Wilson also sits first on the Crimson in scoring, goals and power-play tallies.

Offensive Defenseman
Junior Cori Bassett recorded a career-high four points in Harvard’s 6-4 victory at Princeton Nov. 1.  Bassett also scored on the power play at St. Lawrence Nov. 16.  She is currently 10th in the nation among defensemen with 0.80 points per game.  She has three goals and five assists on the year with one of the assists coming in last Saturday’s game at Minnesota.

She’s Honored
Sophomore defenseman/forward Liza Ryabkina was tabbed the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week Nov. 3 after scoring her first career hat trick at Princeton Nov. 1.  Ryabkina scored once in each period and twice on the power play in Harvard’s 6-4 victory.

Consistent Excellence
Harvard has been ranked in the national top 10 in 144 consecutive polls. The last time Harvard was not in the top 10 in the polls was Feb. 11, 2002.

Clean Sheets
Harvard registered 14 shutouts last season, breaking the school record set by the 2003-04 team (13).   The Crimson had 10 shutouts in 2006-07 and seven in 2005-06.  Harvard has one shutout so far this season, coming against Union at Bright Hockey Center (Nov. 8).

To Be The Best ...
Harvard was 10-2-0 against top-10 teams last season. The Crimson is currently 0-3 against top-10 opponents in 2008-09, falling at No. 8 St. Lawrence, 3-1, Nov. 15 and then dropping back-to-back games at No. 2 Minnesota, 3-1 and 3-2, Nov. 28-29.  Harvard’s next two games will be against New Hampshire, currently ranked seventh in the College Sports poll and eighth in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll.

It’s All Over
Harvard is 81-1-4 since the start of the 2004-05 season when leading after two periods.  The Crimson had a 1-0 advantage entering the third period against Rensselaer Nov. 7, but the Engineers came back to tie the game in the third, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Bright Spot
Harvard was a perfect 18-0-0 at home last season and has a 29-game home unbeaten streak (27-0-2).  The 18 victories at Bright Hockey Center in 2007-08 set a new program record.  The last time the Crimson lost at Bright came on Jan. 26, 2007, in a 2-1 defeat to St. Lawrence.

Just Win, Christina!
Junior goaltender Christina Kessler is 41-9-2 in her career in net, placing her sixth on Harvard’s all-time goalie win list.  Kessler is two victories shy of Cheryl Tate ’84 and seven behind Jessica Ruddock ’04.  Ali Boe ’06 is Harvard’s all-time winningest goaltender with 63 victories.

Leading the Way
Sarah Wilson comes into the weekend leading the Crimson in goals (six) and points (12) and is tied with Sarah Vaillancourt for the team lead in assists (six). Vaillancourt is second on the team with five goals despite missing four games earlier in the season when she participated in the Four Nations Cup. Jenny Brine stands third on the squad in points (nine), goals (four) and is tied for third in assists (five) with Cori Bassett.

Good For One
Harvard saw its streak of 38 consecutive games with at least one goal end at Clarkson Nov. 14.   The Crimson had a previous streak of 39 games with a tally snapped in the final game of the 2006-07 season against Wisconsin in the NCAA quarterfinals.  Harvard has now tallied at least one goal in five straight games.

Red Lights
Harvard is ranked ninth in Division I on the power play (.196, 11 of 56), 10th in combined special teams (.535, 61 of 114), 12th on the penalty kill (.862, 50 of 58), 16th in scoring margin (+0.50), 17th in scoring defense (2.30) and 18th in scoring offense (2.80).

Heading into this week, Sarah Vaillancourt and Cori Bassett were tied for 10th with one short-handed goal apiece.  Bassett also ranks 10th among defenders with 0.80 points per contest.

Between the pipes, Christina Kessler is 18th in the nation with a 2.01 goals-against average, 25th with a .911 save percentage (175 of 192) and 27th with a .438 winning percentage (3-4-1).

Tip Of The Caps
On Nov. 1 at Princeton, Liza Ryabkina recorded Harvard’s first hat trick since Caitlin Cahow ’07-08 tallied three goals against Boston College Jan. 8, 2008.

Making Their Move
Sarah Vaillancourt entered the Crimson’s top 20 in career scoring midway through her sophomore season. Vaillancourt has career totals of 86-110-196, good for seventh all-time at Harvard.  Up next is Angela Ruggiero ’03-04 (96-157-253), who is sixth in career scoring.  Vaillancourt is seventh on the school’s career goal list after passing Sandra Whyte ’92 (85) last weekend.  Up next is Julie Chu ’06-07, who stands sixth with 88. The senior forward is also eighth in career assists, five short of Nicole Corriero ’05 (115) for seventh place.

Jenny Brine (64-57-121) is 14th on the Crimson scoring list.  Kiirsten Suurkask ‘01 (59-64-123) is up next on the list. Brine is also 12th in career goals, one behind Diane Hurley ’84 for 11th, and needs eight more to tie Charlotte Joslin ’90 and move into the top 10.

Sarah Wilson is inching closer to the top 20 all-time Crimson scoring list, only seven points shy from tying Stacy Kellogg ’96 (99) for 20th.

First Things First
The Crimson is 3-0-2 in 2008-09 when scoring first and 1-4-0 when the opponent lights the lamp first.

Four Score and 20 Wins
Harvard has won 20 games in five of the last six seasons.  The Crimson has eight 20-win seasons in the program’s history, all under current head coach Katey Stone. Harvard has posted 10-straight winning seasons and has finished at .500 or better 22 times in its 30-year history.