“[Ingram] put herself in the right spot three times on our power play. That kid was awesome. She gets better every single game. She gives younger kids the opportunity to get themselves going and she’s solid. I said from the day she got here three years ago, she’s the smartest player I’ve ever had,” Stone said.
That’s no small compliment coming from someone who has coached two players on both the U.S. and Canadian Olympic Teams.
But Ingram was worthy of every word.
Entering a stretch of three road games in six days beginning on Dec. 12 at Connecticut, Ingram led the nation in assists-per-game but had just one goal all season.
Ingram scored just 2:14 into Harvard’s 3-1 victory over the Huskies, and after the game she said that hopefully goals would begin to come easier for her.
That they did.
Ingram’s hat trick of three mirror-image power-play goals was the difference as Harvard survived an emotional 4-3 victory over the Wildcats on Dec. 14. Then against Maine on Dec. 16, Ingram assisted on all three Harvard goals in a 3-2 Crimson victory.
Freshman winger Nicole Corriero, now the national leader in scoring, has credited Ingram with much of her early success. Ingram has assisted on eight of Corriero’s 18 goals.
“Coach has put a lot of confidence in me in letting me play with such awesome players,” Corriero said. “Playing with Kalen out there has definitely elevated my game because she’s just really awesome. It’s been pretty easy to excel because I’ve been surrounded by so many players who make me look good.”
Thanks in large part to Ingram, Harvard still holds a No. 7 national ranking despite the graduation of its most talented class of seniors in school history last season.
Ingram’s success this year comes to the surprise of no one who has paid just attention to her. She has made big plays from the opening seconds of her career, when she scored a goal right off a faceoff on her first-ever line shift against then-No. 1 UNH in Nov. 1999.
She scored Harvard’s biggest goal of her freshman season when she tied up Harvard’s ECAC semifinal against Dartmouth with just six seconds left. Last year, she netted the overtime game-winner against Providence in the ECAC quarterfinals and two of Harvard’s three goals in its NCAA Frozen Four consolation victory over Dartmouth.
Although Ingram was snubbed of any kind of All-ECAC or All-Ivy honors last season despite finishing fourth in each league in scoring, her performance this year cannot be overlooked.