PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After a four-game road trip, the Brown women's hockey team returns to the friendly confines of Meehan Auditorium for two games this weekend against Ivy League and ECAC Hockey rivals Harvard and Dartmouth. The Bears will face the Crimson Friday night, Jan. 28th at 7 p.m. before taking on the Big Green on Saturday, Jan. 29th at 4 p.m.
Brown takes on both Harvard and Dartmouth for the second time this season and the first time at home as both opponents will be looking to extend current win streaks.
The Bears made the trip to Boston and Andover in the first week of the season, traveling northward on Oct. 29th and 30th. At the time, the Big Green was receiving votes in the national polls, while Harvard was ranked ninth in the country. The Bears lost both games by the score of 4-2.
Strength of Schedule
Brown has faced a grueling schedule, not only in the first half of the season in which with nine of its 12 opponents have received votes in the national poll and six cracking the top 10, but since a return from winter break, the Bears have faced No. 2 Cornell, No. 3 Boston University and No. 4 Mercyhurst (twice) this month.
The Captain Returns
Senior captain Samantha Stortini (Sudbury, Ontario) missed seven games with a hip injury at the beginning of the season and has since returned after the winter break. Stortini's experience and leadership on the backline is needed with a plethora of young players seeing valuable minutes for the Bears this season. "Storts" looks to join fellow senior captains Erica Kromm (Naramata, British Columbia) and Jenna Dancewicz (Lake Forest, Ill.) at the 100 games played milestone. Both Kromm and Dancewicz hit the mark earlier this season. Stortini is currently at 93 career games with nine games left on the regular-season slate.
Sophomore Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Quebec) continues to be the Bears main offensive threat, leading the team with eight goals, 11 points and 47 shots. Jolin has been one of the most effective scorers in the ECAC this year. Her .182 goal percentage is fourth in the league among players with at least 40 shots.
Classmate Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) has really turned it on as of late, raking up four points in the past two games. Polenska had an assist on the first goal against St. Lawrence and had three points (a goal and two assists) versus Clarkson. "Czechy" is now second on the team in goals (four), assists (five) and points (nine).
Rookie defender Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) has proven she can do it all, playing staunch defense while leading the team with six assists this season. Nedow even shifted up to center after injuries at Mercyhurst left the Bears shorthanded.
Classmate Jessica Hoyle (Toronto, Ontario) has played on the top line for the Bears all season and continues to be one of the hardest skaters on the team. Hoyle is tied for second on the team with four assists and fourth with 31 shots.
Freshman Vanessa Welten (Crysler, Ontario) scored her second goal of the season at St. Lawrence, unassisted, going coast-to-coast for the score. It was her first game back from a head injury.
Goalie Aubree Moore (Bowie, Md.) kept the Bears in both games this past weekend. Entering the game against SLU in the first period, she allowed just one goal while making 26 saves. She drew the start at Clarkson the next day and added 30 moves stops to her weekend total.
Having won its last four games, the Harvard women's hockey team looks to keep its longest win streak of the season alive on the road against Brown and Yale.
The Bears represent one of Harvard's longest-running opponents, and the Crimson holds a slight edge in the all-time series record, 37-30-5. Brown collected the majority of its wins early in the series, once taking 11 consecutive contests between 1994 and 1999. However, the Crimson hasn't lost to Brown since the end of the 2001-02 season.
In 57 periods of regulation hockey so far this season, Harvard has only allowed double-digit shots in a given period 12 times. Harvard has yet to allow more than 30 shots to an opposing team in a game this season. The Crimson is averaging 30.5 shots per game to its opponents' 19.9 and is outshooting its opponents 580-379 through 19 games.
Dartmouth won both ECAC games last weekend, to push its win streak to three games. With eight games remaining in the regular season, Dartmouth holds a 12-8-0 record overall and an 8-6-0 mark in the ECAC. Currently, the team is tied for third in the league with 16 points. The Big Green are four points behind Harvard who is in second place, but only three points ahead of Clarkson who is in eighth place.
Multiple Dartmouth skaters have double-digit points this season and three are over 20 points. Sophomore Sasha Nanji leads the team with 22 points. She has a team-leading 12 goals and 10 assists. Sophomore Camille Dumais is second with 21 points on eight goals and a team-high 13 assists. Senior Amanda Trunzo is third with 20 points on 11 goals and nine assists. Junior Kelly Foley is fourth on the team with 18 points on nine goals and nine assists. Junior Reagan Fischer is third on the team in assists with 11 and has 17 total points. Junior Jenna Hobeika has 15 points on six goals and nine assists. Lauren Kelly leads the freshman class with six points on one goal and five assists.
In net, Holdcroft has started 13 games and played 760:54 minutes. She has 219 saves, a .876 save percentage, a 2.44 goals against average, an 8-5-0 record and two shutouts. Sophomore Whitney Woodcox has started seven games and played 442:41 minutes. She has 132 saves, a .892 save percentage, a 2.17 goals against average and a 4-3-0 record.
The two Ivy League foes will match up for the 73rd time in their history. Dartmouth holds a 36-28-8 advantage over Brown and have gained the series lead by winning the last nine contests. The Bears last won at home in 2006.
Next Time on the Ice
The Bears will face Yale for the first time this season on Tuesday, Feb. 1st after initial meeting was postponed due to the year's first blizzard. Brown will host the Bulldogs at Meehan Auditorium at 7 p.m. before beginning a five-game road trip on Friday, Feb. 1st at RPI.