Growing Pains or Beginner’s Luck?: No. 13/13 Women’s Ice Hockey Returns to Bright-Landry | Sports

Following a historical 2021-22 marketing campaign that featured the 1st Beanpot name and NCAA event berth since 2015, the No. 13/13 Harvard girls’s ice hockey group starts the season in the middle of a transition. In addition to the brand new threads that the Crimson will put on this season, the group will characteristic many new faces when it kicks off its season at Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Oct. 15 as opposed to Quinnipiac.

“We’re young compared to a year ago,” mentioned head trainer Katey Stone, who’s getting into her twenty eighth season on the helm. “We are going to be learning as we go a bit more.”

This anticipated studying curve has been mirrored within the media’s preseason scores. After completing ultimate season ranked 9th in each the United States Today and USCHO ballot, the Crimson began the season ranked thirteenth in every. Even after claiming the ECAC common season name in 2021-22, coaches around the league are unsure of Harvard’s likelihood to repeat. In the ECAC preseason ballot, which is voted on by way of the convention’s coaches and sports activities data administrators, the Crimson is picked to end 7th at the back of fellow Ivy league faculties: Cornell, Princeton, and Yale.

The Crimson might be with out 9 seniors from ultimate yr’s 22-win squad. This workforce contains defender Emma Buckles ’22, who led the group in plus-minus, and ahead Becca Gilmore ’22, who paced the squad in assists and issues. Harvard will strive to substitute their manufacturing with underclassmen, as handiest six of the 18 returning avid gamers are juniors or seniors. Along with the first-years, the start of the season may also be an adjustment for the sophomores.

“[With] a lot of depth in our senior class, a lot of our sophomores didn’t play a bunch of minutes,” Stone mentioned. “They are still gaining a lot of experience.”

Out of the 12 returning sophomores, handiest 4 have recorded a purpose, with ahead Paige Lester pacing the crowd with 3. Additionally, just one sophomore, defender Mia Biotti, recorded double-digit issues. Goalkeeping could also be a space the place the Crimson lack revel in, as sophomores Daisy Boynton and Alex Pellicci have a blended 3 profession begins.

Throughout the offseason, the category of 5 first-years has made a good impact thru their prime power and possible for enlargement.

“They have great enthusiasm and there are tremendous opportunities for all of them,” Stone mentioned.

Along with the departing senior elegance, the Crimson may have to substitute the manufacturing from Taze Thompson and Lindsay Reed. Last yr, Thompson ranked 5th at the group in objectives and issues, taking pictures Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors and a place at the ECAC All-Rookie Team. After her good marketing campaign, she made up our minds to switch and can lace up her skates for Northeastern this upcoming season. Reed could also be lacking from the reliable group roster. The senior holds the Harvard file for saves in one season and has the third-highest all-time profession save share in program historical past (.927).

Harvard junior forward Anne Bloomer battles for position with an RPI defender in a 4-3 victory on Dec. 4, 2021. Bloomer will be one of the key senior leaders for this year's Harvard squad.

Harvard junior ahead Anne Bloomer battles for place with an RPI defender in a 4-3 victory on Dec. 4, 2021. Bloomer might be one of the crucial key senior leaders for this yr’s Harvard squad. By Angela Dela Cruz

The management of the squad will fall onto the shoulders of its skilled seniors. All 3 of Harvard’s seniors, ahead Anne Bloomer, defender Kyra Willoughby, and ahead Kristin Della Rovere, will function captains this season. Stone has prime hopes for the crowd.

“They are the engine for our team and will be all year,” mentioned the reigning Ivy League Coach of the Year.

Bloomer will hope to construct upon the scoring prowess that she confirmed ultimate yr. The Chicago local paced the group with 20 objectives ultimate season and posted the Crimson’s handiest hat trick of the season. Bloomer used to be additionally recognized for her late-game heroics, as she registered 4 game-winning objectives all over the season. Willoughby will function the anchor for the Harvard protection, and is coming off a season the place she led the Crimson with 35 blocked photographs and earned an All-Ivy League Honorable point out. Della Rovere, an ECAC and Ivy League First Teamer ultimate season, will proceed to lead the group from the middle. She led Harvard with 403 faceoff wins and dished out a career-best 25 assists in 2021-22.

Building off of the group philosophy of ultimate yr, the Crimson’s playstyle might be predicated on its onerous paintings and pre-game preparation.

“One of the biggest things for us to do is to make sure that we outwork everybody we play, and if we do we have a lot of good opportunities in front of us,” Stone mentioned.

Harvard will open the season with a four-game homestand. Although the Crimson may have the added spice up from the house crowd, the green squad might be examined early, as two of the matchups characteristic ranked warring parties in No. 7/7 Quinnipiac and No. 8/8 Yale. The largest take a look at for the younger squad will occur in November, when Harvard travels to Duluth, Minn. to tackle No. 5/4 Minnesota-Duluth.
–Staff author Christopher D. Wright may also be reached at christopher.wright@thecrimson.com.

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