Harvard Men's Hockey Seeks Playoff Momentum Against Clarkson, SLU
The seven members of the Harvard senior class will take the ice for their final game at Bright Hockey Center Saturday.
The Harvard men's hockey team looks to improve its playoff seeding as it closes the regular season against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Crimson meets the Golden Knights Friday at 7 p.m. and the Saints Saturday at 7.
Tickets are still available for both weekend games. Friday night's game will be followed by a team autograph session with the Crimson, and Saturday's will be followed by a Senior Night ceremony.
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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 98-108-21 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.
Last Time Out
Ryan Carroll (Hackensack, N.J.) recorded 40 saves to make two first-period goals stand up as the Crimson (7-19-1, 5-14-1 ECAC Hockey) defeated Brown, 2-1, Tuesday in the 158th installment in college hockey's oldest rivalry. Conor Morrison (London, Ont.) and Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) scored power‑play goals, while Biega added an assist and Chris Huxley (Weymouth, Mass.) logged two helpers. Pier‑Olivier Michaud (Mont-Joli, Que.) posted an 8-2 record on faceoffs, and Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) was 8-3. Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) registered six shots on goal.
Harvard can finish anywhere from ninth through 12th in the ECAC Hockey standings. Two wins this weekend would guarantee the Crimson 10th place or better and a playoff matchup at Clarkson, Quinnipiac or Brown.
Harvard is 20-3-1 in February home games under Ted Donato. The Crimson is 20-9-5 in post‑Beanpot ECAC games and 40-22-9 in all post-exam league games in Donato's six-plus seasons.
The Crimson has played in six of the last nine ECAC title games, winning league championships in 2002, '04 and '06 to bring its tournament-title count to eight. Last season, Harvard finished ninth in the regular season and pulled off a two‑game road sweep of eighth-seeded Princeton in the first round of the playoffs before falling at Cornell in the quarterfinals.
Harvard has lost just once in the last five games (3-1-1). The Crimson snapped a four-game losing skid in its last home game, overcoming three one‑goal deficits to tie No. 20 Princeton, 4-4 (Feb. 11). Harvard followed that effort with a 5-4, come-from-behind win against No. 15 Boston University in the Beanpot consolation game (Feb. 14). Alex Killorn scored twice against the Terriers, before goals by Danny Biega and Michael Del Mauro (Watchung, N.J.) tied and won the game for the Crimson in the final five minutes.
At rival Cornell (Feb. 18), Killorn added two more goals, and Biega broke a third-period tie with his power-play goal.
Pacing the Crimson
Danny Biega leads Harvard with 25 points and 15 assists, and Alex Killorn is the team's top goal‑scorer with 12. Ryan Carroll has a team‑high .915 save percentage, while Kyle Richter (Calgary, Alta.) leads Harvard in goals-against average (2.72).
Danny Biega has been named Inside College Hockey national Player of the Week, U.S. College Hockey Online national Third Star, ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Player of the Week and Harvard COOP Athlete of the Week this week. The defenseman registered seven points (3-4-7) in three games last week and added a goal an an assist Tuesday at Brown.
Goals, Goals, Goals
The Crimson has scored 16 goals in its last five games, one fewer than its total from the previous 10 contests.
In its last eight league games, Harvard has held its opponent to two goals or fewer six times. The Crimson limited No. 3 Yale to one goal, the lowest scoring output of the season for the nation's top offense, Feb. 4 and held No. 12 Union, which ranks third nationally in scoring offense, without a goal for more than 46 minutes.
In ECAC games this season, only Yale has gotten more from its special teams than Harvard. The Crimson has scored eight more goals than it has allowed in special-teams play. The Bulldogs are +14 in special-teams net goals, while Dartmouth and Rensselaer are tied for third at +7.
Harvard has scored on nine of its last 19 power plays in ECAC Hockey games, climbing to third in power-play efficiency in league games (18 for 81, 22.2 percent). The Crimson has scored at least one power-play goal in four straight league games and is one of only two teams, along with Cornell, that has not allowed an ECAC shorthanded goal.
The Crimson has killed its ECAC opponents' last 13 power plays, dating back to the 4-4 tie against Princeton. Harvard ranks fourth in league penalty killing (65 for 77, 84.4 percent) and is tied with Dartmouth and St. Lawrence for the fewest power‑play goals against (12) in ECAC games.
Harvard is 3-1-1 in its last five games despite trailing seven times. The Crimson was behind by a single goal each time and on four occasions tied the game within three minutes, 14 seconds.
The Bright Stuff
The Crimson is 59-35-4 (.622) at home under Ted Donato and 281-128-29 (.675) all-time at Bright Hockey Center, which opened in 1979-80.
The seven members of the Harvard men's hockey Class of 2011 are: Ryan Carroll, Chris Huxley, Matt McCollem (Westford, Mass.), Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.), Michael Del Mauro, Pier-Olivier Michaud and Kyle Richter. Each of these student-athletes has excelled on and off the ice at Harvard. They helped the Crimson reach the Beanpot and ECAC Hockey title games in 2008, sweep a playoff series last season at Princeton and go 3-1-1 in the last five games to turn around this season. They have combined to earn five ECAC All-Academic honors.
Three of Harvard's last four games have been decided by a tie-breaking goal in final eight minutes the third period. Nine of Harvard's 17 games in 2011 and 12 of its 27 total games have been tied in the third period. The Crimson is 4‑7‑1 in those games.
Harvard has lost nine games by a single goal and another game by two goals with one coming on an empty net. In 2011, six of the Crimson's seven league losses have come by one goal, and the other was a two-goal defeat. Harvard's last three wins have come by one goal. Of its 11 ECAC games in 2011, nine have been decided by one goal and another was a tie.
Ted Donato needs two wins to become the fourth head coach to lead Harvard to 100 victories. He is seeking to join Harvard legend Bill Cleary '56 (324 wins), Hockey Hall of Famer Ralph "Cooney" Weiland (315) and Ronn Tomassoni (140) in that exclusive club.
Lucky No. 1,300
The Crimson needs four wins to reach 1,300 in program history.
Danny Biega has 10 points (4-6-10) during a five‑game point streak and has figured in each of Harvard's last six goals. Alex Killorn (5-2-7) and Chris Huxley (1-6-7) each have seven points in the last five games. Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.) has logged assists in three straight games and has four points (1-3-4) in the last four league contests.
Top of the [Blue] Line
Danny Biega leads ECAC Hockey defensemen in points (21) and goals (nine) in league play. Rensselaer's Nick Bailen (5-14-19) ranks second in points, while Princeton's Taylor Fedun (8-9-17) is second in goals. Biega ranks sixth nationally in defenseman scoring at 0.93 points per game. He is tied for third among defensemen in total goals and ranks third in goals per game (0.37)
Nov. 13 at Cheel Arena
Clarkson took advantage of Harvard's missed opportunities in the first period and a quick pair of goals in the second en route to a 3-1 win in Potsdam, N.Y. Allan McPherson and Nik Pokuluk scored less than three minutes apart to put the Golden Knights on top for good. Kyle Richter made 32 saves, while Michael Biega scored the Crimson's goal. Scott Freeman also tallied for Clarkson, which got 35 saves from Paul Karpowich.
Scouting the Golden Knights
Clarkson (14-16-2, 8-11-1) has lost seven of its last nine games, but its last three defeats have come at the hands of ranked teams. The Golden Knights took seventh-ranked, first‑place Union to overtime in a 4-3 loss Friday and fell to No. 14 Rensselaer, 5-1, Saturday. Clarkson can clinch home ice in the first round of the ECAC playoffs with one win or tie, one Brown loss or tie or two Quinnipiac losses this weekend.
With 23 points and 12 goals, Brandon DeFazio is Clarkson's top producer in both categories. Nick Tremblay ranks second on the team in scoring with 21 points, while Jake Morley has a team-high 15 assists. Goaltender Paul Karpowich has started 31 of the squad's 32 games and owns a .911 save percentage and 3.08 goals-against average.
Harvard vs. Clarkson Series History
The Golden Knights hold a 50-45-11 series lead since the teams' first meeting, a 2-1 Clarkson win in 1935, and are one of just two ECAC teams with a winning all-time record against the Crimson. Harvard beat Clarkson in the 1971 and 2004 ECAC championship games, and the Golden Knights downed the Crimson in the 1957 and '58 NCAA consolation games. Clarkson swept a pair of close games from Harvard in a 2007 ECAC quarterfinal series in Potsdam.
Nov. 12 at Appleton Arena
Harvard defeated St. Lawrence, 4-2, in Canton, N.Y., behind a first-period breakaway goal and late empty-netter by Eric Kroshus (Calgary, Alta.) and 41 saves from Kyle Richter. Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.) and Alex Killorn also scored, while Danny Biega logged two assists. Nick Pitsikoulis and Peter Child found the net for the Saints, and Matt Weninger made 32 saves.
Scouting the Saints
St. Lawrence's lone win in the last four games came Feb. 18 against No. 14 Rensselaer, 5-3. The Saints (10-17-5, 6-13-1) also knocked off No. 2 Yale, 3-2, Feb. 11, but they fell to No. 7 Union, 5-2, in their last game. St. Lawrence needs two wins, two Quinnipiac losses and a Brown loss to clinch home ice in the first round of the league tournament.
Rookie Greg Carey has keyed the SLU offense, having registered team highs of 17 goals and 33 points, while Kyle Flanagan has logged 30 points and a team-leading 20 assists. Matt Weninger has started 20 games with a team‑best .909 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average, but Robby Moss (.907, 3.11) has started seven of the last eight games.
Harvard vs. St. Lawrence Series History
The Crimson has faced only rival Cornell as often as it has St. Lawrence in the Ted Donato coaching era, with a 10-7-1 record against the Saints, including playoff-series wins in 2005 and '06. The Crimson holds a 51-38-6 all-time edge in the series. The teams first met Dec. 27, 1954, a 3-2 overtime win by Harvard.