Bye at Stake as Men's Hockey Closes Regular Season vs. SLU, Clarkson
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard men's hockey team looks to secure a first-round bye for the ECAC Hockey Championship as it closes the regular season against St. Lawrence Friday and Clarkson Saturday. Friday's game will start at 7:30 p.m. due to the women's playoff game preceding it and Saturday's Senior Night game is scheduled for 7.
Tickets for both games are available from the Harvard Athletic Ticket Office. Fans can save $5 per ticket by buying online.
Friday's game is Teacher Appreciation Night. All teachers with valid identification (Massachusetts Teacher Association card or Boston Teachers Union card acceptable) receive free admission. Contact the Athletic Ticket Office or show your ID at the ticket window at the game.
Saturday's Senior Night game is the last chance to purchase a Coke Family 4 Pack of four tickets and four Cokes for $40. Either night this weekend, fans can present their tickets stubs to save on their bill at Bertucci's in Harvard Square.
• The Crimson (8-8-11, 6-5-9 ECAC Hockey) can clinch a weekend off with two wins or a tie against St. Lawrence (13-16-3, 9-10-1) and win against Clarkson (15-13-6, 9-7-4). The Crimson needs at least two standings points to get a bye, and can clinch a home playoff series with one point.
• Harvard will celebrate Senior Night following Saturday's game against the Golden Knights. The Crimson is 9-1-0 in its last 10 Senior Night games. Last season, a sweep of Clarkson and St. Lawrence to close the regular season was part of a six-game win streak that stretched into the ECAC quarterfinals.
• Harvard has trailed during play in 22 games, but has rallied to win or tie 15 of those contests (5-7-10).
• The Crimson leads the NCAA in power-play efficiency at 29.5 percent (31 for 105). Harvard has scored a power-play goal in 22 of its 27 games and netted multiple power-play goals in eight games.
• Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) leads Harvard with 35 points and 18 goals. He ranks 15th nationally with 1.30 points per game and is tied for sixth with 0.67 goals per game. Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) ranks second nationally among defensemen at 1.04 points per game (7-19-26).
There are a number of scenarios in which Harvard can clinch a first-round bye, and the Crimson could end up seeded anywhere from third through ninth. Harvard could wrap up the No. 3 seed with a weekend sweep and a Colgate loss at Rensselaer or Union or tie in both games.
The effects of this weekend's games on the final standings can be determined here.
Last Time Out
Alex Killorn scored twice and assisted on an Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) goal, leading Harvard in a 3-3 tie at Brown Friday night. Raphael Girard (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.) made 32 saves for the Crimson. A night later, Danny Biega scored to cut Yale's lead to two goals in the second period, but Harvard was undone by three breakaway goals and 11 power plays for the Bulldogs in a 7-1 loss.
The Drawing Board
Friday's tie was Harvard's 11th of the season, setting a new NCAA record. Before the Crimson this season, three teams recorded 10 ties in a season: Minnesota State in 2002‑03, Colorado College in 2008-09 and Western Michigan last season. Those MSU and WMU teams both made the NCAA tournament.
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.
Time and a Half?
Twelve of Harvard's 27 games have reached overtime, including 11 of the last 20. The Crimson has played 57 minutes, eight seconds of overtime.
The Crimson has earned at least one standings point in 15 of its 20 ECAC Hockey games. With a 3-2-6 record in league road games, Harvard took points from nine of its 11 away contests.
The Crimson holds a 30-19 advantage against its opponents in third-period goals, including 12-6 over the last 10 games. Harvard is 6-1‑4 when entering the third period leading or tied.
Harvard has won its season series against Brown, Colgate and Quinnipiac; tied its series against Dartmouth, Princeton, Rensselaer and Yale and lost its series against Cornell and Union. The Crimson trails Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
Harvard is 22-3-2 in February home games under Ted Donato '91. The Crimson is 22-10-6 in post‑Beanpot ECAC games and 46-24-16 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.)
Harvard has entered the final period trailing in 15 games but has rallied to win or tie in nine of those. Harvard has trailed 32 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.
Harvard has held 14 of its 15 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 (7-2-9).
Harvard ranks 27th in the PairWise Ranking. The Crimson is 4-5‑6 against its fellow teams under consideration for the NCAA tournament (Ratings Percentage Index of .500 or better). Among the 32 teams under consideration, five are ECAC Hockey squads.
Tommy O'Regan (Needham, Mass.) was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week following a three-assist, +3 performance in three games last week. He recorded a pair of primary assists in Harvard's 3-2 win against Northeastern in the Beanpot and added another in Friday's 3-3 tie at Brown. O'Regan became the third Crimson skater to earn ECAC rookie honors this season, joining Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) (Nov. 29) and Patrick McNally (Glen Head, N.Y.) (Dec. 13).
Walter Brown Semifinalists
Marshall Everson (Edina, Minn.) and Colin Blackwell 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 last week.
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 ranks second on the Crimson with 15 assists. Blackwell has registered 15 points, including five goals.
Alex Killorn has five points (3-2-5) during his current three-game point streak. Alex Fallstrom has scored goals in four of the last six games and has six points in that span. Five of the eight goals Luke Greiner (Faribault, Minn.) has scored this season have come in the last nine games.
Saturday's game will be the final regular-season home contest for Harvard's seniors. The Class of 2012 is: Rence Coassin (Hamden, Conn.), Ryan Grimshaw (Rochester, N.Y.), Alex Killorn, Eric Kroshus (Calgary, Alta.), Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.), Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.) and Peter Starrett (Bellingham, Mass.).
In last year's 4-3 Senior Night win against St. Lawrence, all three senior forwards scored, defenseman Chris Huxley '11 logged an assist and Ryan Carroll '11 made 32 saves.
Survey Says ...
The Crimson has received votes in 14 of the 20 weeks of the USCHO.com national poll.
Only three of Harvard's games have been decided by more than two goals. Twenty of the 27 games have been tied in the third period. At a point in every third period but three, the score has been tied or the teams have been separated by one goal.
The attendance of 17,565 at the Feb. 13 Beanpot games was a season-high for Harvard. The Crimson skated before five-digit crowds in the opening round of the Beanpot (16,005) and both of its games at North Dakota (11,500 Dec. 30 and 10,980 Dec. 31). An ECAC regular‑season‑record 8,891 fans in its Frozen Fenway game against Union (Jan. 13). Three Harvard home games and three road games have been sold out.
The Bright Stuff
Harvard is 65-38-7 (.623) at Bright Hockey Center under Ted Donato and 287-131‑32 (.673) all-time at Bright, which opened in 1979‑80.
Dating back to 2010-11, Harvard has netted 34 power-play goals in its last 26 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 14 ECAC power‑play points (2‑12‑14), leading three Harvard players ranked tied for sixth or better. Alex Killorn is tied for fourth nationally with nine power-play goals, one off the NCAA leaders.
In ECAC Hockey play, Danny Biega leads league defensemen in points (8-13-21). Patrick McNally (Glen Head, N.Y.) (3-10-13) is tied for sixth among freshmen, first among rookie defensemen, in scoring. Harvard's power play is operating at a league-high 29.1 percent (23 for 79) in ECAC play. With overall totals of 4-6-20, McNally ranks third nationally among freshman defensemen with 0.74 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 last week's games with an injury.
Nov. 19 at Appleton Arena
Gunnar Hughes scored to break a third‑period tie and lift the Saints to a 4-3 win in Canton, N.Y. That came after Patrick McNally and Danny Biega logged power‑play goals and fellow defenseman Dan Ford (Skaneateles, N.Y.) tied the game earlier in the third. Steve Michalek (Glastonbury, Conn.) stopped 28 SLU shots, while Matt Weninger denied Harvard 30 times. Chris Martin scored twice for St. Lawrence.
Series History: Harvard vs. St. Lawrence
Since Ted Donato took over as head coach in 2004, the Crimson and Saints have met 20 times, with Harvard owning an 11‑8‑1 record, including playoff-series wins in 2005 and '06 and a 4-3 win on Senior Night last year. The Crimson owns a 49-38‑6 all‑time series edge. The teams first met Dec. 27, 1954, a 3-2 overtime win by Harvard.
Scouting the Saints
It has been a season of streaks for St. Lawrence. A 4-3, overtime loss to Cornell Saturday ended the Saints' five-game win streak, which came on the heels of a six‑game winless skid that, in turn, followed a five-game unbeaten run. The most recent spurt has carried SLU from last place at the beginning of the month to contention for a playoff bye on the regular season's last weekend.
With identical lines of 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points, Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey share the team lead in all three scoring categories. Flanagan's 33 points have come in just 24 games, tying him for sixth nationally with 1.38 points per game. Matt Weninger has backstopped the Saints in 28 games, posting a 3.06 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.
Nov. 18 at Cheel Arena
Danny Biega scored the tie-breaking goal in the third period and the Crimson killed a five‑minute penalty to close out a 3-2 win at Clarkson. Eric Kroshus scored in the first period, and Tommy O'Regan netted his first collegiate goal in the second. Steve Michalek made 30 saves, and Clarkson's Paul Karpowich logged 24. Nick Tremblay and Matt Zarbo scored for the Golden Knights.
Series History: Harvard vs. Clarkson
A Crimson win Saturday would even the all‑time series, which the Golden Knights lead, 50-49‑11. The teams' first meeting was a 2-1 Clarkson win in 1935. Clarkson is one of just two ECAC teams with a winning all‑time record against the Crimson. Harvard has won the last four matchups between the teams, including a road sweep in the first round of last year's ECAC Hockey Championship.
Scouting the Golden Knights
Clarkson has put itself into firm contention for a playoff bye by posting a 6-3-3 record over its last 12 games, all ECAC Hockey contests, heading into Friday's tilt at Dartmouth. The Golden Knights enter that game needing at least three standings points this weekend to be able to secure a bye without help from other results. Clarkson is coming off a 1-1 tie against Cornell and 2-1 defeat of Colgate last weekend.
Paul Karpowich, the defending ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week, has been the key figure in Clarkson's success this season. He begins the weekend sporting a .925 save percentage and 2.32 goals-against average. On the other end, Louke Oakley paces the Golden Knights with 32 points on 14 goals and 18 assists, while Nick Tremblay has 31 points and a team-high 15 goals.