CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The commonwealth's oldest university meets its flagship state school in men's hockey for just the eighth time, as Harvard plays a road game at Massachusetts for the second time, the first since 1998, Friday at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.
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• The Crimson is coming off a 3-3 tie at Dartmouth and has lost just once in its last five games (3-1-1).
• Harvard owns the nation's top power play at 28.6 percent, having gone 12 for 42 with the man advantage. The Crimson has netted at least one power-play tally in each game this season and has scored two man‑advantage goals in four of its eight outings.
• Harvard leads the all-time series against UMass, 6-1. The teams have not faced off since a 5-3 home win for the Crimson in 2003.
• The Crimson ranks 13th nationally in scoring at 3.38 goals per game.
• Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) and Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) were named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively, Tuesday. Killorn earned top-player honors for the second time in his career with two goals and two assists last week, with both scores and an assist coming in the second period of Harvard's comeback from four goals down to defeat New Hampshire, 7-6, Nov. 22. Blackwell scored the tying and go-ahead goals in the third period of that game and assisted on the game-tying goal by Luke Greiner (Faribault, Minn.) Friday at Dartmouth.
• Alex Killorn (5-5-10) and Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) (2-8-10) share the team scoring lead. Biega paces all of ECAC Hockey with six league assists and leads the team in total helpers. He ranks third nationally among defensemen with 1.25 points per game and fifth overall with one assist per game.
Last Time Out
Three different Crimson players scored goals and Danny Biega logged a pair of assists as the Crimson tied Dartmouth, 3-3, Friday night in Hanover, N.H. Mike Seward (Winchester, Mass.) scored at even strength for Harvard in the first period, and Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) and Luke Greiner added power-play tallies to erase a pair of one-goal deficits in the second. Steve Michalek (Glastonbury, Conn.) made 24 saves, while Max Everson (Edina, Minn.) blocked five shots.
In addition to leading the nation with its 28.6-percent overall power-play efficiency, Harvard is operating at a league-high 28.9-percent clip (11 for 38) in ECAC Hockey play. Dating back to last season, Harvard has scored at least one power‑play goal in 12 straight games and has netted 22 man‑advantage goals in its last 13 ECAC games.
Harvard has trailed 11 times this season and has come back to tie the score eight of those times. The Crimson trailed twice each in its win against No. 18 Colgate and its ties against No. 19 Quinnipiac and Dartmouth. Harvard scored seven goals over the final two periods to come back from a four‑goal deficit and defeat New Hampshire Nov. 22 in its lone non-league game so far.
Before last week, Harvard last rallied from a four-goal deficit to win Feb. 6, 2004, when the Crimson trailed Yale 4-0 after one period and 5-1 in the second before coming back to win, 7-5, in New Haven, Conn.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Harvard's seven goals against New Hampshire marked its greatest output since defeating Quinnipiac, 11-0, to open the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals March 14, 2008. The Crimson last scored seven or more goals in a regular‑season game in an 8-1 win at Union Feb. 1, 2005. The win against UNH featured the most combined goals in a Harvard game since an 8-6 home win against Princeton Nov. 13, 2004.
Not only does Harvard sport an even .500 record at 3-3-2, the Crimson is 2-2-1 at home and 1-1-1 on the road. Harvard and its opponents have each scored 27 overall goals. The Crimson and its foes are tied at 18-18 in Harvard home games and 9-9 in road games.
Danny Biega has notched multiple points in each of the last three games and has seven points on two goals and five assists during his current four‑game point streak. He has been on the ice for each of Harvard's last five goals and has assisted on three of those tallies.
Dan Ford (Skaneateles, N.Y.) is riding a three-game point streak, as is Alex Killorn, who has five points (2-3-5) in that span. Alex Fallstrom and Colin Blackwell have two goals and an assist each in the last two games.
On the Board
Mike Seward's goal at Dartmouth was the first of his collegiate career. He became the 14th Harvard player to dent the twine this season.
Harvard has received votes in five of the nine weeks of the U.S. College Hockey Online poll.
Defensemen assisted on nine of Harvard's 10 goals last week and have scored or assisted on 20 of the Crimson's last 22 tallies.
Harvard has outscored its opponents, 16-7, in second periods this season, including 4-1 against New Hampshire.
The Crimson has scored in 12 of its last 14 periods and has netted at least three goals in three of those frames.
Harvard is playing the second of seven straight road games. The Crimson returns home to face Union Jan. 13.
Harvard's only previous road game against UMass was a 3-1 win in 1998, in the teams' first meeting in 77 years. The series dates back to a 9-3 Crimson home win at Boston Arena in 1913. The Minutemen's only win in the series came in the 1999 Mariucci Classic at Minnesota, 4-2.
Harvard at the Mullins Center
The Crimson is 1-1 all-time at the Mullins Center. Harvard suffered an overtime loss to New Hampshire, 3-2, there in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament.
Scouting the Minutemen
Following a four-game unbeaten streak, Massachusetts has lost its last three games, all on the road. The Minutemen are winless (0-7‑1) on the road this season but have yet to lose at home (4-0-2), where they have defeated then-No. 1 Boston College and tied then-No. 13 Boston University.
T.J. Syner paces UMass in scoring with 18 points and, with 12 assists, is also the team's top setup man. He is also tied for second in Hockey East with 12 league points (6-6-12). Leading goal‑scorer Michael Perreira (8-7-15) and Conor Sheary (4-11-15) are also key offensive Minutemen. Three goaltenders have seen significant action and have combined for a 3.36 goals-against average and .883 save percentage.
In the Show
Louis Leblanc made his National Hockey League debut with the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday, logging seven minutes, 52 seconds of ice time in a 4-1 loss at Anaheim. The team's 2009 first-round pick registered three hits and a shot on goal. Leblanc led Harvard with 11 goals and 23 points while earning selection as Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2009-10. He had 10 points (4-6-10) in 14 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League before his call-up.
Leblanc is the 25th Harvard player to go on to the NHL and joins current NHLers Craig Adams '99 (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Dominic Moore '03 (Tampa Bay Lightning).
A Sparkling Debut
Former Crimson All-America goaltender Dov Grumet‑Morris '05 joined the AHL's San Antonio Rampage last week in time for a two‑game road series against the Abbotsford Heat. In his debut with the team, Grumet-Morris stopped 21 shots in a 5-0 shutout win Friday. Two days later, he led San Antonio to a 3-1 win with 30 saves.
Wearing No. 19 for Tampa Bay
Former Harvard captain Dominic Moore plays center for the Tampa Bay, wearing jersey No. 19. Harvard's current No. 19 is Lightning draft pick Alex Killorn, also a center, an assistant captain of the Crimson.
Among the Nation's Best
Danny Biega and Alex Killorn are tied for 22nd nationally in scoring at 1.25 points per game, while Killorn is tied for 19th in goal-scoring with 0.62 per game. Patrick McNally (Glen Head, N.Y.) joins Biega among the top offensive defensemen, ranking 21st in defenseman scoring at 0.75 points per game (2-4-6). He ranks third nationally in scoring by freshman defensemen.
Danny Biega is ECAC Hockey's fourth-leading scorer at 2-6-8 in conference contests, while Alex Killorn (3-4-7) is tied for fifth. Alex Fallstrom (2-3-5 in five games) joins them in the top 10, tied for ninth. Biega leads the league with seven ECAC power-play points, one more than second-place Killorn. Fallstrom, Killorn and Patrick McNally are among those tied for second with two league power-play goals.
Max Everson blocked eight shots in two games last week, giving him a team-high 17 blocked shots on the season. Ryan Grimshaw (Rochester, N.Y.) has blocked 11 shots. David Valek (Zagreb, Croatia) has blocked nine shots to lead Harvard forwards, and Danny Fick (Marine-on-St.-Croix, Minn.) also has nine blocks.
On the Dot
Alex Killorn leads Harvard's centers in faceoff win percentage at .571 (64-48), while Colin Blackwell is 42-37 (.532) and Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.) is 35-33 (.515). Alex Fallstrom (18-6, .750) and Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.) (11‑5, .688), usually wings, have the team's highest percentages.
Dan Ford leads Harvard in plus/minus at +4. Danny Biega is +2.
The six healthy freshman skaters in Harvard's highly ranked rookie class have combined for seven goals and nine assists in the last five games.