Danny Biega and the Crimson seek their second straight home win against Yale and second straight overall win against Brown (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
In its first home games of 2011, the Harvard men's hockey team renews college hockey's oldest rivalry against Brown Friday and looks to hand No. 1 Yale its first league loss Saturday. The action at 7 p.m. each night.
Tickets are still available for both games. Click here for more information.
All Cambridge residents receive free admission to Friday's game against the Bears. Just show proof of residency for free admission.
Follow from Home
Live video of the game is available with a Crimson Central subscription on GoCrimson.com, which also provides free live statistics. WHRB-FM 95.3 and WHRB.org offer live audio with Brendan Roche and Raafi Alidina on the call.
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 seventh season as The Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey. He owns a 94-98-20 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.
Harvard (3-9-0, 2-7-0 ECAC Hockey, 0-3-0 Ivy League) began 2011 by getting back on track with four unanswered goals, limiting Army to 15 shots and rallying to a 4-2 win to open the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup. Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) broke a 2-2 tie with his third‑period goal, and the Crimson also got tallies from Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.), David Valek (Zagreb, Croatia) and Luke Greiner (Faribault, Minn.). Biega added an assist, and Danny Fick (Marine on St. Croix, Minn.) had two.
The Crimson closed the tournament by falling to host Vermont, 3-1. The Catamounts took advantage of two goals during four‑on‑four play and 28 saves from goaltender Rob Madore. Kyle Richter (Calgary, Alta.) made 25 saves for Harvard. Killorn scored a power-play goal in the third period, assisted by defensemen Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) and Chris Huxley (Weymouth, Mass.).
Brown and Yale are Harvard's two oldest rivals, and the Crimson's series with them are two of its most historic. Harvard and Brown first clashed in 1898, making their rivalry college hockey's oldest. Only 11 pairs of teams have faced off more than the Crimson and Bulldogs. The series led to the invention of the line change, and skating against Yale is considered enough merit to earn a Harvard man a varsity letter.
All six Ivy League hockey teams are facing one another Friday. In addition to Harvard-Brown, Yale visits Dartmouth and Princeton hosts Cornell. Harvard will reach the midpoint of both its Ivy League and ECAC schedules Saturday.
Look Out, No. 1
The Crimson has given top-ranked teams a great deal of trouble in recent years. Its last encounter with a No. 1 squad came against Boston University in the opening game of the 2009 Beanpot. The Terriers won that matchup, 4-3, but only after rallying from a 2-0 deficit, gaining the lead in the final two minutes and surviving when a would-be tying goal from Alex Biega '10 crossed the goal line just after the final buzzer.
Harvard's last home game against a No. 1 team was a 3-1 victory against Boston College Nov. 16, 2004. The Crimson's previous season ended when top-ranked Maine came from behind to win, 5-4, in the NCAA tournament.
Leading the Crimson
After scoring goals in the third period of each of last weekend's games, Alex Killorn leads Harvard with six goals and 10 points. Michael Biega registered three points in the two games in Vermont and ranks second on the Crimson with seven points With five assists, he shares the team lead in helpers with younger brother Danny.
In the Crease
Kyle Richter ranks 23rd nationally with a .919 save percentage and owns a 2.49 goals-against average. He has surrendered two goals or fewer in six of his 11 starts and has not allowed more than three goals in any game.
Outside the Box
The Crimson is averaging just 10.7 penalty minutes per game, the eighth-lowest mark in the nation. Harvard has given its opponents two or fewer power plays in five of the last nine games and has surrendered more than four power plays only three times in 11 games.
Saturday's game was the first Harvard has played this season in which the team to score first did not win. The Crimson had previously come back from a four‑goal deficit to tie Quinnipiac on the road Nov. 20, but the Bobcats scored in the third period to secure a 5-4 victory.
Finishing the Job
Harvard is 3-0-0 when leading at any point during a game and 2-1-0 when a game is tied going into the third period.
On a Roll
Alex Killorn has registered a point in each of Harvard's last seven games and in 10 of the Crimson's 12 games overall. He has recorded a winning or even faceoff record in each of the last 10 contests, including a 14-8 mark Sunday at Vermont.
Alex Killorn has scored all three of Harvard's game-winning goals, including the lone goal with 8.2 seconds left on the clock against then-No. 18 Rensselaer Nov. 6. He is tied for third nationally in game-winners and shares the ECAC lead with two winning scores in league action.
The late Gene Kinasewich '64 was named to ECAC Hockey's list of the top 50 players in league history Wednesday, joining Mark Fusco '83 and Joe Cavanagh '71 as Harvard's honorees so far. Kinasewich earned selection to the All-ECAC first team in each of his three years. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 1962 Beanpot and Most Outstanding Player of the 1963 ECAC tournament. He captained the Crimson and won the William J. Bingham Award in 1964 and recorded 111 points in 75 career games.
Scouting the Bears
Brown's road sweep of Colgate and Cornell Nov. 19-20 was its first since 1993 and boosted the Bears' record past the .500 mark. A five‑game winless streak against tough competition followed, but the Bears got back on track with a 6-1 win against then‑No. 10 Boston University Saturday in the first round of the Shillelagh Tournament. Minnesota State then topped Brown (4-5-5, 2-3-1, 1-1-0), 7-3, in the Shillelagh title game.
Jack Maclellan is the catalyst of the Brown offense. He leads the team with 11 goals, 12 assists and 23 points and is tied for second nationally with 1.77 points per game. Harry Zolnierczyk has registered 17 points on eight goals and nine helpers. In 11 starts, Mike Clemente owns a 3.92 goals‑against average and .884 save percentage.
Harvard vs. Brown Series History
Brown defeated Harvard, 6-0, in the teams' first meeting Jan. 19, 1898 at Boston's Franklin Park, but the Crimson holds a 103‑41-12 all-time series lead. The Bears have won three of the last four meetings after taking just two of the previous 12.
The teams split last season's two meetings. The Bears won, 4-1, at Bright Dec. 1, 2009. Mike Clemente made 18 of his 42 saves in the first period as Brown built a 2-0 lead early in the second and added two empty-net goals in the final minute of the third. Conor Morrison (London, Ont.) scored for Harvard, and Kyle Richter made 29 saves. Harvard claimed the penalty-filled rematch, 5-2, Feb. 5. Doug Rogers '10 scored twice, as the Crimson netted three goals in 10 power plays and killed 10 of the Bears' 11 man-advantage chances. Ryan Carroll (Hackensack, N.J.) made 27 saves in the win.
Harvard is 5-2 in its last seven home games against top-10 teams, dating back to 2006-07 (2-2 last season with wins against No. 5 Yale and No. 8 Quinnipiac, 2-0 in 2008-09, 1-0 in 2006-07).
Scouting the Bulldogs
Yale (12-1-0, 6-0-0, 2-0-0) is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history, has won its first six league games for the first time and is off to its best overall start since 1929-30. The Bulldogs enter Friday's game at Dartmouth having won seven straight games since suffering their only loss thus far, 4-3 at Air Force, Nov. 14. Yale is Division I's top‑scoring team, at 5.31 goals per game, and has outscored its opponents by more than three goals per contest.
Broc Little has registered 12 goals and 23 points, good for first nationally at 0.92 goals per game and second with 1.77 points per game. With 17 assists, Andrew Miller has an NCAA‑best average of 1.31 per contest. Ryan Rondeau has emerged as Yale's starting goaltender. He is unbeaten in 11 starts, with a .932 save percentage and 1.78 goals-against average.
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 Series History
Harvard leads the all-time series, 137-75-18, and is 29-3-3 against Yale at Bright. 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 Bulldogs came into Bright Hockey Center ranked fifth nationally Jan. 12, 2010 but fell to the Crimson, 3-2. Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) put Harvard on top early in the second period, and Ryan Carroll made the lead stand up with 35 saves. Ryan Grimshaw (Rochester, N.Y.) logged two assists.
Yale came out on top when the squads reconvened Feb. 6 at Ingalls Rink, pulling away to a 6-3 win with four third-period goals. A different player scored each of the game's nine goals, and Carroll made 41 saves.
The Harvard-Yale rivalry is college hockey's 12th‑most-contested. Here are the top 25 rivalries in terms of games played:
281 Michigan-Michigan State
280 Minnesota-North Dakota
277 Colorado College-Denver
261 Michigan Tech-Minnesota
254 Denver-North Dakota
252 Boston College-Boston University
249 Colorado College-Minnesota
237 Michigan Tech-North Dakota
219 Colorado College-North Dakota
218 Michigan-Michigan Tech
216 Boston College-Northeastern
214 Michigan Tech-Minnesota Duluth
211 Denver-Michigan Tech
209 Minnesota Duluth-North Dakota
207 Boston University-Northeastern
186 Clarkson-St. Lawrence