No one on the Harvard women’s hockey team has experienced a loss against Dartmouth. The last time the Crimson fell to the Big Green was in 2011. Since the Class of 2015 took the ice, Harvard has dominated Dartmouth in every game the two teams have played.
The Crimson’s women’s hockey team opens its regular season against Dartmouth Friday night at Thompson Arena. Harvard is ranked fifth nationally in the most recent polls by the USCHO and by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine.
The Crimson are looking to mirror last year’s 27-6-3 season that included ECAC Hockey Regular Season and Tournament Championships, feats that they had not accomplished in the same year since 2008. Last year’s season didn’t stop at conference championships; Harvard advanced all the way to NCAA National Championship game at the 2015 Frozen Four, falling to Minnesota, 4-1.
Garnering eight out of 12 votes, Harvard was predicted to repeat as ECAC champions in the preseason coaches’ poll and led the way with four picks to the preseason All-ECAC team. The Crimson have security in the net with senior goalie Emerance Maschmeyer, who, for the second year in a row, was selected as the ECAC preseason choice as the top goaltender. Maschmeyer is tied for best save percentage in Harvard women’s hockey history with a .941 average.
“The preseason polls are great but they ultimately mean nothing,” senior forward Mary Parker said. “Friday night, the polls don’t matter. It’s us vs. Dartmouth and whoever plays the better game is going to win that night.”
In Harvard’s preseason debut the Crimson beat McGill, 3-2, outscoring them with an early goal in the third period. The game-winning goal was made by freshman forward Grace Zareski, donning a Harvard jersey for the first time.
After getting tripped up by the net, Zareski was able to make a short-handed goal from her knees to win Harvad the game. Underclassmen dominated the scoring for the Crimson with the two other goals made by sophomore forwards Karly Hefferman and Haley Mullens.
The Crimson enters the season as not only the defending champions of the ECAC, but the team that came just three periods away from the national championship. Although the team graduated a lot of talent, senior forward Miye D’Oench headlines a group of returning players that have the Crimson’s hopes set high for 2015-2016.
“My goals this year would be just individually just having the best year yet. I want to be a good leader on and off the ice,”
D’Oench said. “As a team the goal is always to win a national championship. Winning the Ivy League, the ECAC, the Beanpot, etc. are always also in our goals.”
The Crimson is taking it one game at a time and looking to build upon each game.
“We definitely saw some things we need to work on,” Parker said. “But it was a good start for us.”
The game is set to be a good battle as both Dartmouth and Harvard have taken down McGill in their preseason matches by one goal.
The Big Green squad graduated only four seniors and kept three players, Lindsey Allen, Kennedy Ottenbreit, and Laura Stacy, all of whom shared the spot for top scoring in the 2014-2015 season with 26 points. Last year’s Dartmouth squad finished with a record of 13-15-2 and a conference record of 9-11-2, good enough to earn them a spot in the ECAC Hockey Tournament, where they ultimately fell to Clarkson in the first round.
In last year’s meeting, the Crimson dominated with a 4-1 victory over Dartmouth with now-senior forward Miye D’Oench and Mullens chipping in a goal each between the pipes. The 2014-2015 Crimson squad bested Dartmouth in both face-offs won and shots on goal, but, due to penalties, gave the Big Green three power plays that they failed to take advantage of.
“To prepare for Dartmouth we’ve been working on making our game as best as possible. Dartmouth is always a great team,” Parker said. “It will be a hard fought battle so we have just been preparing as we always do and making sure we are the best we can be.”
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