Crimson Men's Hockey Takes On Huskies in 59th Beanpot Opener
Harvard and Northeastern will meet on the home ice of the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins (photo courtesy Brian Babineau).
The Harvard men's hockey team opens the 59th Beanpot tournament against Northeastern, looking to take the first step toward its 11th Beanpot championship.
Follow From Home
Both Feb. 7 Beanpot semifinals and the Feb. 14 championship game will be televised on the New England Sports Network. WHRB-FM 95.3 and WHRB.org offer live audio with Brendan Roche and Raafi Alidina on the call. GoCrimson.com will provide a link for live stats.
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 95-106-20 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.
In the Nightcap
No. 1 Boston College and No. 14 Boston University face off in the second Beanpot semifinal. The semifinal winners will meet in the Feb. 14 title game at 7:30, following the consolation game at 4:30.
Last Time Out
Jimmy Martin scored at 4:36 of the third period, and Ryan Rondeau stopped all 34 Crimson shots as No. 3 Yale edged Harvard, 1-0, Friday night at sold-out Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn.
Ryan Carroll (Hackensack, N.J.) made 34 saves to help Harvard (4-17-0) hold the nation's highest‑scoring offense to one goal for the first time this season, but the Crimson could not quite hand the Bulldogs their first home loss in front of 3,500 fans. Instead, Martin broke a 44-minut deadlock by scoring off an offensive-zone faceoff win. Yale held a 35-34 edge in shots.
Leading the Crimson
Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) paces Harvard with seven goals. With 16 points, he shares the team lead with linemate Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.). Biega paces Harvard with 10 assists.
Top of the [Blue] Line
Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) has 15 points (6‑9‑15) to lead Harvard defensemen. He is tied for the league lead among defensemen and tied for 13th among all skaters with six goals in ECAC Hockey play. He has totaled 14 points (6-8-14) in league games to tie Princeton's Taylor Fedun for second in ECAC defenseman scoring, a point behind Rensselaer's Nick Bailen (5‑10-15). Biega is tied for 13th in league scoring among all players.
With six goals and nine assists overall, Biega averages 0.71 points per game, tying him for 17th nationally among defensemen.
Harvard has held each of its last four opponents to two goals or fewer. The Crimson limited No. 3 Yale to its lowest scoring output of the season Friday and held No. 12 Union, which ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense, without a goal for more than 46 minutes Jan. 22.
Carroll on a Roll
Ryan Carroll has started four straight games in goal for the Crimson, beginning with a 40-save effort at Union. In that span, he owns a 1.78 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.
The Crimson killed all four of Yale's power plays Friday and has now fended off 24 of the last 25 power plays it has faced. The only power-play tally Harvard has allowed in the last six games was Locke Jillson's second-period game-winner for Cornell (Jan. 29). The Crimson was a season-best 6 for 6 on the penalty kill at Northeastern (Jan. 19) and 5 for 5 at Union. The Dutchmen own the nation's top power play.
Monday's game caps stretches of four games in 11 days and seven games in 20 days for Harvard. Only two of those seven games were at home.
Harvard has lost eight games by a single goal and another game by two goals with one coming on an empty net. In 2011, five of the Crimson's seven league games have been one-goal losses.
Hall of Famer
Bob McManama '73 will be Harvard's 10th inductee to the Beanpot Hall of Fame when he is honored between semifinal games Monday. McManama totaled eight points on three goals and five assists in six Beanpot games, including two final appearances.
Vote for Alex
Alex Killorn is one of 68 nominees in the preliminary fan-voting phase of the Hobey Baker Award selection at www.hobeybakeraward.com, running through March 6. The fans' vote accounts for one percent of the total ballot in each phase.
All in the Family
Michael Biega has notched five goals and six assists in the last 11 games, and brother Danny has five goals and five assists in the last 10 games. A Biega brother has scored or assisted on 14 of the last 18 Harvard goals.
Boston Bruins prospect Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden), who missed 10 games with an injury suffered at Clarkson (Nov. 13), has returned to the lineup and returned to form. With his second tournament on the Bruins' home ice on the horizon, Fallstrom scored his first two goals of the season in consecutive games Jan. 28-29 against Colgate and Cornell.
Crimson, Black and Gold
There is a strong Harvard presence at TD Garden, in the front office of the Boston Bruins. Former Crimson captain Peter Chiarelli '87 is the Bruins' general manager, and former All-American Don Sweeney '88 is the team's assistant general manager. Sweeney played alongside Chiarelli at Harvard and was a teammate of Ted Donato with both the Crimson and the Bruins. Another of Donato's Harvard teammates, John Weisbrod '91, is Boston's director of collegiate scouting.
Scouting the Huskies
Northeastern's 4-3, overtime loss to Merrimack Friday was its first defeat in six games. The Huskies (8-11-6) are 7-4-4 since winning just one of their first 10 games. They have the nation's 10th-ranked scoring defense, allowing 2.28 goals per game despite owning Division I's fifth-highest penalty-minute average at 18.2 per game.
Wade MacLeod leads the Huskies in goals (13), assists (13) and points (26), while fellow senior Tyler McNeely (9-12-21) is not far behind. Chris Rawlings ranks sixth nationally with a .930 save percentage. In 23 starts, he owns a 2.22 goals‑against average and four shutouts, including three in the last six games.
Jan. 15 at Matthews Arena
Northeastern scored once in each period and got 34 saves from Chris Rawlings to shut out the Crimson, 3-0. The Huskies withstood a strong start by Harvard and claimed the lead for good in the final minute of the first period. Raphael Girard (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.) made 34 saves in his first collegiate start. It was the Crimson's first game since 1997 at the 100-year-old Matthews, formerly known as Boston Arena and once a home rink for Harvard.
Harvard and Northeastern have faced off in 11 of the last 12 Beanpots.
The Crimson holds the all-time series lead against Northeastern at 64-32-0 and is 22-17 against the Huskies in the Beanpot. The teams first met Dec. 4, 1940, a 7-4 NU win. Harvard won seven of the next nine meetings and later posted series win streaks of 10 games (1959-63) and 16 games (1967-76). The teams met for one ECAC title while Northeastern was a member of the conference, with the Huskies prevailing, 5-2, in the 1982 league title game.
Harvard's Beanpot games are the last non-league games of the regular season for any ECAC team. The conference has posted a combined 22–27–10 record against WCHA (8-8-4), CCHA (6-10-2) and Hockey East (8-9-4) teams. ECAC squads were 27–6–5 against teams from Atlantic Hockey for an overall record of 49-33-15 from outside the conference (records courtesy USCHO.com).
58th Beanpot Revisited
Notes from Harvard's appearance in last season's Beanpot tournament, Feb. 1 and 8, 2010:
• No. 14 Boston College took advantage of 17 Crimson penalties, scoring three power-play goals to defeat the Crimson, 6-0, in the semifinals. Kyle Richter (Calgary, Alta.) made 37 saves for Harvard while John Muse stopped 33 shots for the Eagles, handing Harvard its first shutout loss of the year. Carl Sneep registered a goal and two assists to lead BC to the championship game against Boston University.
• Tyler McNeely scored twice to lead Northeastern to a 4-1 win against the Crimson in the consolation game. Ryan Carroll made 30 saves for Harvard while allowing three goals, and Conor Morrison (London, Ont.) scored his ninth goal of the season. The rookie's defelection of a Ryan Grimshaw (Rochester, N.Y.) shot cut in half a second-period NU lead.
• BC held off BU, 4-3, in the title game to win its 15th Beanpot.
Call from the Hall
This is the second straight year someone from Harvard has been chosen for the Beanpot Hall of Fame. Fran Toland, who served as associate athletic director at Harvard for 41 years, was inducted last year.
Harvard has won 10 Beanpot titles, most recently in 1993. Other Crimson Beanpot notes:
• Head coach Ted Donato enters this season's tournament with a 2-10 Beanpot record as Harvard head coach, and his teams have a 5-7‑1 record against Boston teams in non-Beanpot action. The Crimson fell to BU, 5-2, and Northeastern, 3-0, last month.
• Pier-Olivier Michaud (Mont-Joli, Que.) leads Harvard with three career goals and four career points in Beanpot play. Matt McCollem (Westford, Mass.) has registered a goal and two assists with a +3 rating in Beanpot games.
• The Crimson has lost to the eventual national champion in each of the last three Beanpots, falling to BC in 2008 and 2010 and BU in 2009.
• Since the first Beanpot in 1952, Boston schools have won nine national championships. Each time, the title-winning team won the Beanpot earlier in the season.
• The rivalries with BU, BC and Northeastern are Harvard's most-contested among non-conference opponents. Many of those games took place when all the schools were part of the 17-team ECAC. Harvard has met Boston University 142 times, Boston College 118 and Northeastern 96.
• Harvard has faced BC in each of the last four Beanpots.
• In 2008, Harvard made its first appearance since 1998 in the Beanpot championship game, losing a thriller to BC, 6-5, in overtime. The Crimson trailed, 5-3, until Jon Pelle '08 and Mike Taylor '08 scored in the final nine minutes of the third period to send the game to an extra session. Taylor had two goals and an assist in the game. Doug Rogers '10 recorded a goal and two assists, one to Matt McCollem. Alex Biega '10 had two assists Kyle Richter made 27 saves. Nick Petrecki scored the winning goal for the Eagles at 7:07 of overtime. Petrecki had two goals, as did Brian Gibbons.
• Four current Harvard players skated in the 2008 Beanpot final: goal-scorer Matt McCollem, starting goaltender Kyle Richter, Michael Biega and Pier-Olivier Michaud.
• Harvard's last semifinal meeting with Northeastern also came in 2008. The Crimson started the game with three goals in barely seven minutes and won, 3-1. Harvard held the Huskies to 19 shots, and Kyle Richter stopped 18.
• Prior to last season, Harvard's last three Beanpot losses had come by a single goal.
• The Crimson narrowly missed trips to the Beanpot championship game in four of Ted Donato's first five years behind the bench. Harvard suffered a 2-1, double-overtime loss to Northeastern in the 2005 semifinal. BU held off a late Crimson charge (Harvard scored twice and held a 25-6 advantage in shots in the final period.) and added an empty‑net goal for a 5-3 win in the 2006 semifinals.
BC scored twice to rally and added an empty-netter in a 3-1 win against the Crimson in the 2007 first round. No. 1 BU defeated Harvard, 4-3, in 2009 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 crossed the goal line just after the final buzzer.
• Harvard's nine-year championship-appearance drought that ended in 2008 was the longest in school history. The current 17-year title drought is the Crimson's longest.
• Ted Donato made his Beanpot debut behind the Harvard bench in 2005, giving the tournament three teams with prominent alumni of their programs at the helm. Donato was 3-5 in Beanpot games as an undergrad, helping the team to a Beanpot title in 1989.
• 1955 Beanpot MVP Bill Cleary '56 holds Beanpot records for goals in a period (four), game (five[tie]) and tournament (seven) and for points in a period (five), game (seven) and tournament (11). He went on to coach Harvard to four Beanpot titles.
• Joe Cavanagh '71 holds the record for career points in the Beanpot with 19 (7-12-19) and was a member of the inaugural induction class to the Beanpot Hall of Fame, alongside Bill Cleary, in 1995.