January 11, 2012

Bay Stater Landry Torments Harvard Again, Helping PU Women’s Hockey Top Crimson 3-0

Over the course of her career with the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Massachusetts native Heather Landry has produced some of her biggest highlights against Harvard.

In her freshman season in 2008-09, Landry scored the lone goal in a 1-0 Princeton victory at Harvard. A year later, she notched the game-winning tally in a 2-1 win over the Crimson.

Last Friday evening, Landry was up to her old tricks when Princeton hosted 10th-ranked Harvard at Baker Rink. The 5’5 senior forward notched two assists as the Tigers posted a 3-0 triumph.

Afterward, Landry acknowledged that her success against Harvard was no coincidence.

“I think it is definitely a Boston-area kid thing; especially when I go there because I usually have 40 fans in the stands,” said Landry, who hails from Lexington, Mass.

“I think everyone here is up for them. Part of the thing is that they are always ranked and on top. They are someone to shoot for and they are someone we can beat so it is always a big game.”

Landry helped Princeton get a big shot of momentum late in the first period as she set up Sally Butler on a goal; that put the Tigers up 1-0.

“Denna [Laing] was coming wide I just went to the net to bother the goalie,” said Landry.

“I was trying to see if there was anything I could do. The goalie came out really far and the puck was sitting there and Sally came in and knocked it right in.”

Minutes into the third period, Landry tormented Harvard again as she fed Butler for an insurance goal.

“I was coming along the boards and I knew Sally was right next to me,” recalled Landry.

“Their defense was closing up on me and I kind of put it behind me knowing Sally would get it. It is sort of a dangerous play but I knew she would get it. She took a nice shot right through their five hole.”

Landry knows she is lucky to be teamed up with sophomores Laing and Butler, having recently been moved to that line after Olivia Mucha was sidelined.

“Those two work well together and it is fun to play with them,” asserted Landry.

“I think they are both really good goal scorers. If I give them the puck, they will score; that’s good. When I was a freshman I was playing with seniors; it is fun to play with different people.”

Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal had fun seeing Landry pestering Harvard.

“Our Massachusetts kids definitely looks forward to the opportunity to play Harvard,” said Kampersal, a Boston-area native himself.

“Harvard has been a top program for so long; I always think there is extra incentive to play them because of their excellence.”

In Kampersal’s view, his team produced its top performance of the season so far in the win over the Crimson.

“We got two good efforts against Ohio State but this is our best in terms of being disciplined and our execution,” said Kampersal, whose team had two ties in its recent trip to Ohio State.

The Tigers did get a break as an apparent Harvard goal was disallowed after a video review by the officials.

“Being down 1-0 in the first minute would not have been a great way to start,” said Kampersal, who got a 20-save effort from senior goalie Rachel Weber as she posted her third shutout of the season.

“It was a fluky play but our kids, whether they were up or scrambling, kept their composure the whole time. They never really panicked so I thought it was a good solid team effort. Everyone chipped in and contributed. The defense broke out when they needed to break out for us and got it in deep when they needed to get it in deep.”

The Tigers got another big effort from Butler, who has emerged as the team’s top finisher.

“Sally was a monster out there today; she had a lot of jump in her step,” said Kampersal of Butler, who has a team-high 11 goals.

“Her skating was good; she is always good around the net. We need that finishing touch and it is nice to see her get in double digits for goals. That is the kind of effort we need out of her everyday. If we get it, we’ll be in really good shape.”

Kampersal is hoping that the win over Harvard will get Princeton rolling.

“It is definitely a big win; we will definitely enjoy it but we need to have a good consistent effort against Dartmouth tomorrow,” said Kampersal, whose team ended up skating to a 2-2 tie with the Big Green on Saturday to improve to 7-9-4 overall and 6-6-2 in ECAC Hockey play and move up to third in the league standings. “I thought all the lines played well.”

Landry, for her part, is determined to enjoy the final weeks of her college hockey career.

“I think all of us realize coming after the Christmas break, half the season is over,” said Landry, who will look to keep rolling this weekend as Princeton plays at Colgate (8-11-1 overall, 3-5-1 ECACH) on January 13 and at third-ranked Cornell (12-2 overall, 8-1 ECACH) on January 14.

“I think we have a really good group; we are all really close. There is a sense of camaraderie. We really want to put all we have into it because it is the last time that we will get to play together and play in a really competitive environment.”