No. 3 Harvard Crimson (17-2-1, 14-1-0 ECAC Hockey/ 6-0-0 Ivy League) at
Dartmouth Big Green (12-7-3, 7-6-2 ECAC Hockey / 4-2-0 Ivy League)
Friday, Feb. 1 - 7 p.m.
Hanover, N.H. - Thompson Arena (4,500)
Home Sweet Home
Dartmouth returns to the friendly confines of Thompson Arena after being swept in a conference road weekend for the first time since Jan. 8-9, 2010. The Big Green's late third-period surge fell short against St. Lawrence, as they lost, 2-1, on Jan. 25. The next afternoon, Clarkson raced out of the gates inside Cheel Arena and scored a 5-0 victory against head coach Mark Hudak's squad. The team welcomes the return trip home where it is 4-1-3 this season, having registered at least one point in seven of the last eight contests in Hanover. In 2013, they are making the most of having the final change, riding a four-game unbeaten streak in front of their home crowd.
Rank and File
Heading into the game against No. 3 Harvard, the team from the Upper Valley is still in search of their first win against a ranked opponent this season. They are 0-4-1 when facing top-10 programs, erasing a two-goal third period deficit to draw a tie against No. 5 Boston College at Thompson Arena on Nov. 12. The team's last win against a nationally-ranked foe was on Nov. 26, of last season as they topped No.10 Northeastern, 4-3, in overtime at home.
Leading by Example
Dartmouth is led by a strong core of experienced seniors, with eight players seeing action in over 100 contests. The class of 2013 paces a balanced offensive attack for the Big Green as four of the team's five leading scorers are set to graduate. Co-captain Reagan Fischer leads the team with 13 markers, while Camille Dumais has a team-best four power-play goals. Co-captain Jenna Hobeika is second on the team with 12 helpers and defenseman Sasha Nanji has found the back of the net in three of the last four home contests. During her run, the Markham, Ontario, native has had a pair of multi-point games, while scoring all three of her markers in the first period.
Top of the Line
Dartmouth's top line of Hobeika, Fischer and Dumais has carried the offensive load for the team over the last six games, tallying 11 of the squad's 17 goals. When the trio skates together this season they have produced 43 points (20g-23a), while leading the team to a 7-3-1 mark. Over the last six games, Fischer has five tallies and two multi-point contests. In her final season on campus, the Irma, Alberta, native is averaging a point a game, while racing up the program's career points list (she currently is tied for 27th with 109 points). Not to be outdone, Dumais is putting an exclamation point on her career, currently sitting in 21st on the all-time list with 123 points.
During their four-game unbeaten streak at home, the Big Green have scored eight goals in the first period. Only once have they failed to hold on to the first period lead as the Engineers rallied to score a pair of third-period markers to force overtime and the eventual tie on Jan.19. The team from the Upper Valley has scored first in six of their eight home games in 2012-13, while outscoring their opponents, 8-1, in the opening period over the last four at Thompson Arena.
The Green and White boast a strong core of first-year players led by Laura Stacey. Through the first 19 games of her collegiate career the Kleinburg, Ontario, native has four tallies and a team-leading 13 assists. Stacey has five multi-point games this season and has registered points in three straight home games. Other newcomers making an impact this season are Ailish Forfar and Lindsey Allen. Forfar has twice been named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week and leads all freshmen in the conference with three game-winning goals, while Allen is tied for fifth on the team with 12 points (5g-7a). Defenseman Olivia Whitford is settling into the system nicely picking up seven helpers in her first year on campus.
With the Man-Advantage
Dartmouth's power play struggled over the weekend going 0-for-18 against the Saints and Golden Knights. The losses over the weekend marked the only time in 2013 the squad failed to tally man-advantage goals. Dating back to Jan. 19, the Big Green are 0-for- 21 on the power play. The team hasn't tallied a special teams goal since the first period against Rensselaer. Things won't get any easier as Harvard boasts the top penalty kill in the conference (94.0%), allowing just four goals when a man down this year.
The Green and White's penalty killers continued their impressive run, killing 10-of-11 penalties last weekend. They have now killed off 25-of-27 power-play chances over the last four games. In the opener, the Big Green killed all six of the Saint's power-play chances. Against the Golden Knights, the Green and White committed five penalties. After allowing an early power-play goal, Dartmouth killed off the final three chances. The special teams ranks third in the conference, killing 87.2% of opponents' man-advantage opportunities this season. They are also the third-most penalized team in the league with 238 penalty minutes through 22 games.
First 40 Minutes
The key for the Big Green is to hold a lead after 40 minutes of play. When leading through two periods, the Green and White are 11-0-1 this season, a figure that reached its current state after the team held a 2-0 advantage going into the third against RPI. The Engineers were the first team all season to battle back from a second-period deficit against the Green and White to earn a point. On the other hand, when trailing after two periods Dartmouth is 0-5-1. When the team is tied after two periods this season they are 1-2-1. The Big Green haven't won when trailing after two periods since Feb. 27, 2011, when they rallied to beat Clarkson, 4-3, in overtime.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard visits Hanover having won five straight games against Dartmouth inside Thompson Arena. The last time the Big Green topped the Crimson in front of their home crowd was Dec. 15, 2006. The Crimson are coming off their first conference loss of the season last weekend, falling, 3-1, at Clarkson. They bounced back in the weekend finale, topping St. Lawrence, 3-2, in overtime. Harvard enters the contest the only undefeated team in Ivy League play, having topped its opponents by a combined score of 28-2. The team from Cambridge posts a potent offensive attack led by Jillian Dempsey, the leading goal-scorer in ECAC Hockey. Dempsey is the only player in the conference to earn Player of the Week honors three times this season. Junior Lyndsey Fry has a team-high 17 assists, while classmate Kalley Armstrong leads the squad with five game-winning goals. Between the pipes, Harvard has a talented one-two punch. Senior Laura Bellamy is 10-1-0 with five shutouts this season and a league-best .068 goals-against average, while freshman Emerance Maschmeyer is 7-1-1 with a pair of shutouts and a .939 save percentage.
Against Harvard Earlier this Season
The Big Green and the Crimson met on Nov. 30 in Cambridge. Harvard scored a trio of first period goals and never looked back, skating to a 6-0 victory at the Bright Hockey Center. Fry netted two goals, including the game-winner, while Dempsey added a marker and two helpers. Bellamy turned aside 16 shots to earn the shutout. Dartmouth had chances, but tied a season-worst in going 0-for-10 with the man-advantage.
Dartmouth is 44-38-3 all-time and 7-14-1 under head coach Mark Hudak against Harvard.