Crimson Men's Hockey Visits Brown, Yale on Final ECAC Road Trip
The Harvard men's hockey team takes a seven-game ECAC Hockey unbeaten streak into weekend games at rivals Brown and Yale, looking to finish regular-season sweeps of both teams and solidify its top-four position in the league. The Crimson visits the Bears Friday at 7 p.m. at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, R.I., and the Bulldogs Saturday at 7 at Ingalls Rink.
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• The Crimson (8-7-10, 6-4-8 ECAC Hockey, 3-2-3 Ivy League) defeated Northeastern, 3-2, in Monday's Beanpot consolation game. Harvard is 3-0-4 in its last seven league games and 4-1-4 in its last nine games overall, with the lone loss coming to then‑No. 1 Boston University in the Beanpot semifinals Feb. 6.
• Harvard stands fourth in ECAC Hockey with four games remaining. The top four finishers earn a first-round by in the league tournament. The Crimson closes its Ivy League schedule this weekend and can wrap up a second-place finish in the Ancient Eight.
• Harvard has trailed during play in 21 games, but has rallied to win or tie 15 of those contests (5-6-10).
• The Crimson leads the NCAA in power-play efficiency at 29.6 percent (29 for 98). Harvard has scored at least one power-play goal in 20 of its 25 games and netted multiple power-play goals in eight games.
• Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) leads Harvard with 31 points and 16 goals. He ranks 13th nationally with 1.24 points per game and 10th with 0.64 goals per game. Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) ranks third nationally among defensemen at 1.04 points per game (7-19-26).
With two wins this weekend, Harvard would clinch a home playoff series. With the two wins, Clarkson losses to Cornell and Colgate and one loss each by Quinnipiac (at Union or Rensselaer) and St. Lawrence (against Colgate or Cornell), the Crimson would clinch a first-round bye.
Last Time Out
Harvard scored once in each period, with Tommy O'Regan (Needham, Mass.) assisting on two goals, to defeat Northeastern, 3-2, in the consolation game of the 60th Beanpot tournament Monday evening at TD Garden. Alex Killorn, Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) and Luke Greiner (Faribault, Minn.) scored for the Crimson, and Steve Michalek (Glastonbury, Conn.) made 24 saves. Northeastern's Clay Witt stopped 36 shots to keep the Huskies within a goal despite Harvard's 39-26 shots advantage. Greiner's shorthanded tally was the game-winner.
The Crimson came into last season's Beanpot consolation game off a league tie (4-4 at home against Princeton). Harvard rallied to a 5-4 win against Boston University and went on to win three of its final four league games, sweep a first‑round playoff series at Clarkson and win the first game of its ECAC quarterfinal set at Dartmouth. The consolation win was the first of eight for Harvard in a nine-game span.
On a Roll
Harvard's last ECAC Hockey loss came to Union, 2-0, in the Jan. 13 Frozen Fenway game. Its seven‑game league unbeaten streak is its longest since the Frozen Four season of 1993-94, when the Crimson doubled that number with an 11-0-3 record over its final 14 ECAC games.
Harvard is 22-3-2 in February home games under Ted Donato '91. The Crimson is 22-9-5 in post‑Beanpot ECAC games and 46-23-15 in all post-exam league games in Donato's seven‑plus seasons. (Harvard's first-semester exams took place in January until being moved to December in 2009.)
The Crimson earned taken at least one standings point in 14 of its 18 ECAC Hockey games. With a 3-1-5 record in league road games, Harvard has taken points from eight of nine away contests.
The Crimson holds a 30-16 advantage against its opponents in third-period goals, including 12-3 over the last eight games. Harvard is 6-1‑3 when entering the third period leading or tied.
Harvard has entered the final period trailing in 15 games but has rallied to win or tie in nine of those, including two of its last four league games.
Harvard has trailed 31 times during play this season and has come back to tie 25 times. The Crimson trailed twice each in its win against No. 18 Colgate (Nov. 12) and its ties against No. 19 Quinnipiac (Nov. 5), Dartmouth (Nov. 25), No. 18 North Dakota (Dec. 30), No. 14 Union (Jan. 6) and No. 9 Cornell (Jan. 21). Harvard scored seven goals over the final two periods to rally from a four‑goal deficit and defeat New Hampshire, 7-6 (Nov. 22), and erased four separate one‑goal deficits in a 4-4 tie at Massachusetts (Dec. 2). Harvard is 2-6-7 when trailing after two.
The Drawing Board
The Feb. 10 tie against Rensselaer was Harvard's eighth in ECAC play, eclipsing the previous league record held by the 1991-92 Yale, 2003‑04 Dartmouth and 2010-11 Quinnipiac squads. Harvard has tied 10 games overall, breaking the previous program record of six from 1991-92 and 2008‑09. The 2-2 draw with RPI matched the NCAA record first set by Minnesota State in 2002‑03. Colorado College matched that mark in 2008‑09, as did Western Michigan last season.
Time and a Half?
Eleven of Harvard's 25 games have reached overtime, including 10 of the last 18. The Crimson has played 50 minutes, eight seconds of overtime.
Outside the Box
Harvard averages the fourth-fewest penalty minutes per game in the nation at 10.7.
Harvard has held seven of its last nine league opponents to two goals or fewer and and each of its 13 overall opponents in the 2012 calendar year to three or fewer goals in regulation.
The Crimson is unbeaten when scoring four goals or more (5-0-2) and has lost just twice when allowing three goals or fewer (7-2-8).
Harvard has won its season series against Colgate and Quinnipiac; tied its series against Dartmouth, Princeton and Rensselaer and lost its series against Cornell and Union. The Crimson leads Brown, Clarkson and Yale and trails St. Lawrence.
With Monday's win, Harvard climbed five spots, to 24th, in the PairWise Ranking. Harvard is 4-5‑5 against its fellow teams under consideration for the NCAA tournament (Ratings Percentage Index of .500 or better).
Luke Greiner has scored four goals in the last five games and five in the last seven. He netted four goals in his 57 career games before this season. Greiner's shorthanded goal against the Huskies was Harvard's first of the season.
Walter Brown Semifinalists
Marshall Everson (Edina, Minn.) and Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) have been named semifinalists for the 60th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best United States-born college hockey player in New England, Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Paul Stewart announced Monday afternoon.
Everson and Blackwell are among 21 semifinalists from 14 schools and three conferences, including six candidates from ECAC Hockey. Harvard is one of five schools with multiple nominees. Nine Crimson players have combined to win the award 10 times, most recently Dov Grumet-Morris '05 in 2004‑05. Everson ranks third on the Crimson with 24 points and nine goals in 24 games and is tied for second on the squad with 15 assists. Blackwell, has registered 15 points, including five goals.
Survey Says ...
The Crimson has received votes in 14 of the 19 weeks of the USCHO.com national poll.
Harvard played seven ranked opponents in a stretch of eight games in December and January. The Crimson was 0-3‑4 against those seven ranked opponents and is 1-3-5 against ranked foes this season. Dating back to last season, Harvard is 3-5‑6 against its last 14 ranked opponents.
Only two of Harvard's games have been decided by more than two goals. Nineteen of the 25 games, including 17 of the last 21, have been tied in the third period. At a point in every third period but two, the score has been tied or the teams have been separated by one goal. The Crimson is 5-3‑10 in one-goal games and ties.
The attendance of 17,565 at Monday's Beanpot games was a season-high for Harvard. The Crimson skated before five-digit crowds in the opening round of the Beanpot (16,005), both of its games at North Dakota (11,500 Dec. 30 and 10,980 Dec. 31) and an ECAC regular‑season‑record 8,891 fans in its Frozen Fenway game against Union (Jan. 13). Three Harvard home games and two road games have been sold out.
The Crimson has allowed its opponents only 90 power plays this season, the nation's second-lowest total and an average of just 3.6 per game. The only other team to allow its opponents fewer than 100 power plays is New Hampshire (89).
Dating back to 2010-11, Harvard has netted 32 power-play goals in its last 24 ECAC games. The Crimson has had three man-advantage goals in three of those games and two in nine others. The Jan. 13 shutout loss to Union ended a Harvard streak of 18 games with a power-play goal.
The last team to score on at least 30 percent of its power plays in a full season was Colorado College in 2002‑03 at 30.8. The last team to break 35 percent was the 1986-87 Harvard squad at 35.9. The NCAA record for power-play efficiency is 40.2 percent, by Boston University in 1970-71.
Danny Biega has a league-high 12 ECAC power‑play points (1‑11‑12), leading four Harvard players ranked tied for sixth or better. Alex Killorn is tied for eighth nationally with eight power-play goals.
In ECAC Hockey play, Danny Biega leads league defensemen in points (7-12-19). Patrick McNally (Glen Head, N.Y.) (3-9-12) is tied for fifth among freshmen, first among rookie defensemen, in scoring. Harvard's power play is operating at a league-high 29.2 percent (21 for 72) in ECAC play. With overall totals of 4-5-19, McNally ranks second nationally among freshman defensemen with 0.76 points per game.
Marshall Everson registered two points each in four straight games in January and has four goals and 10 assists in his last nine games. He had scored or assisted on 15 of Harvard's previous 25 goals before missing Monday's game with an injury.
Harvard played its first hockey game against Brown Jan. 19, 1898 at Boston's Franklin Park, the first installment in college hockey's oldest rivalry. Brown won, 6-0. Harvard and Yale first faced off Feb. 26, 1900, a 5-4 Yale victory in New York. The series is college hockey's third‑longest‑running and 12th-most-contested at 234 meetings.
Jan. 28 at Bright Hockey Center
Eric Kroshus (Calgary, Alta.) scored the tying goal and assisted Alex Killorn on the game‑winner later in the third period as Harvard came from behind to defeat Brown, 3-1. Steve Michalek made 24 saves. Danny Biega sealed the win with a final-minute, empty-net tally from deep in his own zone after Harvard entered the third period trailing by a goal. The Crimson killed all five Brown power plays.
Series History: Harvard vs. Brown
Harvard owns a 105‑42-12 lead in a series that had seen the road team win each of the last six games before last month. The only consecutive shutout losses in Harvard history came to Brown in a 2009 ECAC first‑round playoff series.
Scouting the Bears
Brown (8-14-3, 5-11-2, 2-5-0) pulled off a 3-1 win home win against first‑place Union Jan. 21 but has lost each of its six games since, most recently a wild, 7-6 affair Saturday at Colgate. The Bears swept the season series from the Dutchmen and also have wins against Cornell, Yale and New Hampshire. Captain Jack Maclellan paces Brown with 14 goals, 13 assists and 27 points. Rookie Ryan Jacobson has scored 10 goals, while Bobby Farnham has logged 12 assists. Mike Clemente owns a .905 save percentage and 2.70 goals-against average in 19 starts.
Jan. 27 at Bright Hockey Center
Alex Killorn scored his second goal of the game with 1:19 left on the clock, guiding the Crimson to a 4-3 win against rival Yale with a national television audience watching on NBC Sports Network. Marshall Everson set up the winning goal after scoring to give Harvard a lead earlier in the third period. Luke Greiner also scored. Steve Michalek made a career-high 36 saves, including 16 in the third period, while Danny Biega and Colin Blackwell logged two assists each.
Series History: Harvard vs. Yale
Harvard leads the all-time series, 138-77-19. 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 Crimson is 6-0 all-time in playoff meetings against the Elis. Yale has ended three of Harvard's longest season-opening win streaks, including in 1988‑89, when a Jan. 31 loss in New Haven, Conn., snapped a 15-game win streak and was one of two regular-season setbacks in the Crimson's national championship season.
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 in overtime, 2-1.
Harvard and Yale rank first and third, respectively, in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report national university rankings. On the ice, the Crimson has won a conference-high 13 regular-season ECAC titles, while the Bulldogs have won two of the last three. Harvard has won 21 Ivy League crowns, the most of any school, while Yale ranks third with 10 Ivy championships, including the last three.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Yale (10-13-2, 7-10-1, 3-4-0) bounced back from its Jan. 27 loss to Harvard by scoring four straight goals to rally past Dartmouth a night later. The Bulldogs have only won once in four games since, however, and dropped a pair of 4-2 decisions last weekend at nationally ranked Colgate and Cornell. Brian O'Neill (17-13-30) and Andrew Miller (5-22-27) lead the Bulldogs' offense, with the help of Kenny Agostino (10-13-23). Jeff Malcolm has started 22 games, with a .911 save percentage and 2.70 goals-against average.