Feb. 26, 2009


Courtesy of Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Ivy League announced Thursday afternoon that Harvard senior forward Sarah Vaillancourt has been named the conference’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.  

Vaillancourt and junior goaltender Christina Kessler were each selected to the All-Ivy first team for the second time with Vaillancourt earning the nod unanimously.  Senior forward Jenny Brine was tabbed to the second team and senior forward Sarah Wilson garnered All-Ivy League honorable mention.  

Vaillancourt, the ninth different Harvard player to receive Ivy League Player of the Year recognition, is the Crimson’s fourth skater to earn the distinction twice, as she took home the award last season.  The native of Sherbrooke Que., led all scorers in Ivy League contests with 20 points on 12 goals and eight assists in only nine games played.  A nominee for the 2009 Patty Kazmaier award, Vaillancourt paces the Crimson with 25 tallies and 22 assists for 47 points, ranking her fifth in the nation with 1.96 points per contest.  She was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2005 and has been named to the All-Ivy League team all four years at Harvard.

Kessler received her second straight nod to the first team after leading the Ivy League with a 1.63 goals-against average and .943 save percentage, as she stopped 214 of the 227 shots  faced.  The junior from Oakville, Ont., was a perfect 8-0-0 against Ivy opponents and recorded two shutouts.  Overall, Kessler stands at 15-7-2 with a 1.68 goals-against mark and .929 save percentage (523 of 563).  

Brine, an Ivy honorable mention choice a year ago, ranked fourth in the Ivy League with five tallies, seventh with nine points and was third with five power-play points.  The native of Truro, N.S., also tied for the Ivy lead with one short-handed tally and two game-winning goals.  Brine stands second overall on the Crimson with 15 goals, 13 assists and 28 points.

Wilson earned All-Ivy honorable mention after the forward from Avon, Conn., collected 12 points against Ivy opponents, placing her fourth in the conference in scoring.  She ranked first in the Ivy League with nine power-play points and was tied for third with seven assists, four of which came on the power play.  Wilson also tied for the conference lead with two game-winning scores and ranks third on the team overall with 11 goals and 21 points.

No. 7 Harvard (17-9-3) enters the postseason as the Ivy League and ECAC Hockey regular-season champion.  The Crimson will face Cornell in a best-of-three series at Bright Hockey Center Feb. 27-March 1.  The first game is slated for Friday at 3:30 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start on Saturday.  Game three, if necessary, is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.