Ivies on Ice: Harvard Hosts No. 5 Yale Tuesday
Harvard hopes to celebrate a win against its old rival Tuesday night (photo courtesy J.J. Miller).
Old rivals Harvard and Yale meet for the 229th time Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Bright Hockey Center. Playing its third game in five days, the Crimson looks to hand the fifth-ranked Bulldogs their first Ivy League loss.
Follow From Home
Live video of the game will be available with a Crimson Video subscription on GoCrimson.com, which also provides free live statistics. WHRB-FM 95.3 and WHRB.org offer live audio.
Behind the Bench
Former Crimson captain, NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and 13-year National Hockey League veteran Ted Donato ’91 is in his sixth season as The Robert D. Ziff ’88 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey. He owns an 84-78-19 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.
Minnesota took two games from Harvard in Ted Donato’s first games against the Golden Gophers since leading Harvard to a win against Minnesota to claim the 1989 NCAA title as a player.
The Gophers won Friday’s series opener, 5-2. Chad Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) scored to tie the game late in the second period, but the Gophers scored four times in the third. The final U of M tally came on an empty net with two seconds remaining, after Morin had scored a second goal to cut the deficit to two. Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.) registered two assists, and Kyle Richter (Calgary, Alta.) made 40 saves.
A night later, Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.) scored, assisted by David Valek (Zagreb, Croatia), to give Harvard a first-period lead, but the Gophers scored once in each period for a 3-1 victory. Richter made 40 saves for the second straight night.
Chad Morin, who has gained notice for his standout defensive play in recent weeks, scored the fourth and fifth goals of his career Friday at Minnesota, ending a goal-scoring drought of more than two years. It was the 101st game of his career and his first multi-goal game. The two points equaled his previous career high, set with a highlight-reel goal and an assist Feb. 23, 2007 against Colgate. His most recent goal before Friday came at Quinnipiac Jan. 4, 2008.
After recording two assists Friday at Minnesota, Daniel Moriarty has eight points on three goals and five assists in the last seven games. The two-helper night was Moriarty’s fourth multiple-point game, tying him with Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.) for the team lead. Moriarty is tied with Louis Leblanc for second on the team in scoring with 10 points on four goals and six assists.
Impressing the Scouts
Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) is ranked 31st among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midseason ranking of 2010 NHL Entry Draft prospects, released Monday. He is one of four current collegians, the only one from an Eastern school, on the list. Biega, who turned 18 just a month before the start of the season, has skated in all 14 of Harvard’s games.
Pacing the Crimson
Michael Biega paces Harvard with 12 points and shares the team assists lead with Chris Huxley (Weymouth, Mass.). Conor Morrison (London, Ont.) leads the squad with six goals. Louis Leblanc (Kirkland, Que.) holds the team scoring lead in ECAC play with nine league points (four goals, five assists).
Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) has logged a team-leading 57 shots on goal, one more than Biega. Doug Rogers (Watertown, Mass.) has won 55.6 percent of his faceoffs (143-114).
The Crimson ranks 17th nationally with a 21.2-percent efficiency on the power play (11 for 52).
Outside the Box
Harvard is the nation’s 10th-least-penalized team, averaging just 11.6 penalty minutes per contest.
This game is Harvard’s 15th, bringing the Crimson past the regular season’s midpoint. Both the Bulldogs and Crimson are playing their fifth of 10 Ivy League games, but Harvard will still have 12 of its 10 ECAC Hockey contests remaining to be played after this game.
A Challenging Stretch
Harvard is facing its third top-10 opponent in a span of three home games. The Crimson previously fell to No. 10 Boston College, 3-2, and defeated No. 8 Quinnipiac, 3-1. Following a home game Monday against Dartmouth, the Crimson travels to take on another ranked team, No. 13 Union.
The Bright Stuff
The Crimson is 54-25-3 (.677) at home under Ted Donato and 276-118-28 (.687) all-time at Bright Hockey Center.
The Bright Stuff, Rivalry Edition
Harvard is 28-3-3 (.870) against Yale at Bright Hockey Center.
Harvard’s series with Brown is its oldest, but the 110-year-old rivalry with Yale is its most-contested. Harvard leads the all-time series, 136-74-18. The teams first met Feb. 26, 1900, a 5-4 Elis win in New York City. In 1913, six weeks after voting to make hockey a “major sport,” the Harvard Athletic Committee voted to award a varsity letter to any Harvard player who had ever skated against Yale. The first of two Yale wins last season ended Harvard’s four-game series win streak that started with a home sweep of the teams’ 2007 first-round playoff series. The Crimson is 6-5-1 against the Bulldogs under Ted Donato.
Inspiration for Innovation
The Harvard-Yale rivalry was the impetus for one of the great innovations in hockey history. In their March 7, 1923 game against Yale, Harvard coach William H. Claflin ’15 and captain George Owen ’23 implemented the practice of changing entire lines of three forwards at a time. The tactic, which became known as the line change, helped the Crimson defeat the Bulldogs, 2-1, in overtime.
Harvard vs. Yale in 2008-09
Yale scored three goals in the first half of the opening period on the way to a 6-2 win against the Crimson Jan. 10 at Bright. Jimmy Fraser ’09 scored two goals in the loss, Harvard’s first in an ECAC home game in nearly a year. Brian O’Neill netted a pair of goals for the Bulldogs, opening the scoring at 1:47 of the first period.
The Elis completed the season sweep with a 5-1 win Feb. 6 at Ingalls Rink. No. 14 Yale scored four unanswered goals to pull away from a first-period tie and totaled four goal goals on the power play. Matt McCollem (Westford, Mass.) scored for Harvard, but the Crimson’s streak of seven straight league wins on the weekend between Beanpot games came to an end.
Scouting the Bulldogs
After starting slowly at 2-2-2, Yale has been tough to beat of late. The only imperfections on the Bulldogs’ record in the last nine games are a 1-0 loss at Vermont Nov. 30 and a 2-2 tie at Wisconsin in the championship of the Badger Hockey Showdown Jan. 3. The host Badgers took the tournament title in a shootout, but Yale maintained its momentum, winning at Dartmouth, 4-2, Sunday.
Mark Arcobello scored twice against the Big Green and is one of Yale’s seven double-digit scorers. Brian O’Neill leads the team with 20 points and 12 assists, while Broc Little has a team-high 11 goals. Three goaltenders have seen significant time for Yale, with freshmen Jeff Malcolm and Nick Maricic rotating in recent games. Malcom made 29 saves against Dartmouth and has the team’s best numbers: a 4-1-0 record, .916 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against average.
Following Tuesday’s game, all six Ivy League hockey teams will have played five Ivy games. A Crimson win would lift Harvard into third place, three points back of Yale and Cornell. A Bulldogs win would give Yale a two-point edge halfway through the Ancient Eight season. Yale is the defending Ivy champion. Harvard won its league???high 21st Ivy crown in 2005-06. The Ivy title has been awarded since the official founding of the league in 1955-56.
Click here for full Harvard men's hockey notes in PDF format.