Harvard is looking to knock off its third ranked team of the 2012-13 season Friday at No. 12 Yale (Gil Talbot).
Complete Game Notes (pdf)
The Crimson continues its lengthy road stretch when it takes on Ivy League rivals No. 12 Yale and Brown this weekend. Yale represents the third consecutive ranked opponent for the Crimson and third game this season broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
Harvard played its first hockey game against Brown Jan. 19, 1898 at Boston's Franklin Field, 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 238 meetings.
Nov. 3, 2012 Against Yale
In Harvard's third game of the 2012-13 season, Yale scored early and rallied for three third-period goals to seal a 5-1 win at Bright Hockey Center. Jesse Root struck just 3:20 into the opening period but rookie Kyle Criscuolo converted a feed from classmate Brian Hart at 10:27 to knot the score at 1-1 after one frame. Root scored again in the second to give the guests a 2-1 lead and a pair of Kenny Agostino goals and a Trent Ruffolo strike put the game out of reach in the third. Goalie Raphael Girard collected 44 saves in the game, four short of his career high.
Scouting The Bulldogs
Yale is having another strong season, coming into the Harvard game with a 9-4-3 overall mark and No. 12 ranking in the national polls. The Bulldogs have had plenty of signature wins so far this season, including a 2-1 victory over Denver Nov. 23 and a 6-5 win over Colorado College the following night. The Bulldogs are coming off a weekend sweep of the North Country ECAC schools, topping St. Lawrence, 5-3, and Clarkson, 3-1, on the road.
The trio of Kenny Agostino (9-12-21), Antoine Laganiere (10-8-18) and Andrew Miller (7-10-17) makes up Yale's top scorers, and the group has accounted for five of the team's nine game-winning goals this season. Sophomore Tommy Fallen is the team's top-scoring defenseman with 3-7-10 points, while Stu Wilson (4-2-6) leads all Yale rookies in points this season.
Senior netminder Jeff Malcolm has played the majority of minutes this season, starting 13 of the team's 16 games. He brings a 2.57 goals-against average and .917 save percentage into Friday.
Nov. 2, 2012 Against Brown
A busy second period saw the Crimson skate to its second straight win to start the 2012-13 schedule. Neither team scored in the first period, but Brown's Chris Zaires got the game's first goal at 3:24 of the second to grab a 1-0 lead for the guests. A Harvard penalty gave the Bears a power play, but Colin Blackwell turned the tables and knotted the score at 1-1 with a short-handed score. Kyle Criscuolo notched his first collegiate goal at 13:43 of the period, off a feed from Jimmy Vesey to bring the score to 2-1, and Brendan Rempel scored his first career goal at 16:37 to give Harvard a 3-1 cushion. Matt Lorito scored with 1:46 left in the frame, but a scoreless third led to the 3-2 Harvard victory.
Scouting The Bears
After taking down Princeton in its season-opener, the Bears hit a five-game winless streak that started them well below .500. Brown has claimed wins in two of its last three contests, including a 3-2 win at Clarkson Jan. 11. The Bears are 5-7-4 on the season and are tied with the Crimson in the ECAC Hockey standings with six league points.
Sophomore forward Matt Lorito has proven to have the finishing touch as he leads the nation in goals per game (0.75) and is tied for sixth with 12 total goals on the year, including five on the power play. He leads the Bears with 18 points, and is followed by junior defenseman Dennis Robertson (1-9-10), who leads all Brown players with nine assists.
The Bears have rotated two goalies to this point in the season, with Marco DeFilippo and Anthony Borelli seeing nearly equal minutes. Borelli holds the better numbers of the pair with a .937 save percentage and 1.78 goals-against average in eight games played.
Last Time Out
After a six-goal outburst in a 6-5 overtime upset of No. 8 Boston University Jan. 9, the Crimson offense was held in check its last time out in a 3-2 loss at No. 12 Dartmouth.
Harvard jumped on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead into the first break. Freshman Jimmy Vesey collected a pass near his own blue line, weaved through a number of Dartmouth defenders and beat the Big Green goalie on a one-on-one with 7:38 left to play in the frame. Goals by Matt Lindbald and Nick Bligh put Harvard in a 2-1 hole after two periods, but Petr Placek brought the Crimson back even with a marker at 4:03 of the third. Dartmouth had the last laugh, however, as Jesse Beamish's low drive found the back of the cage, leaving Harvard in search of its first ECAC win of 2013.
To Be The Best...
Harvard is 2-3-0 against ranked teams this season. A 6-2 decision went then-No. 8/7 Union's way Nov. 9 at Bright Hockey Center, but Harvard responded a week later with a convincing 4-1 win over then-No. 10/10 Cornell at Lynah Rink in front of a national TV audience. The Crimson dropped its second game to a ranked team Jan. 5 when it fell, 6-2 to No. 5/9 Quinnipiac, but once against responded with a 6-5 overtime thriller over No. 8/8 Boston University in a game on the NBC Sports Network. No. 12/12 Dartmouth topped Harvard, 3-2, in its last game.
Harvard has played its best hockey this season when the game is broadcast on national television. In two games broadcast by NBC Sports Network this season, Harvard is 2-0-0 with a pair of wins over top-10 teams. The Crimson topped then-No. 10 Cornell, 4-1, Nov. 16 at Lynah Rink before edging out the Terriers, 6-5 in overtime, Jan. 9 at Agganis Arena.
Senior captain Danny Biega has logged an assist in each of the last three games. His three-game point streak matches the second-longest of anyone on the team this season, and is the longest active streak on the team.
Meet Me at Meehan
Meehan Auditorium has been good to the Crimson in recent history. Harvard is 5-1-4 in its last 10 games at Brown's home rink, and hasn't lost to the Bears on their home ice since 2008.
No Love For Ingalls
Conversely, Ingalls Rink has proven to be a tough place to play for the Crimson. Harvard is winless in its last seven trips to New Haven, and hasn't won at Yale since 2005.
Quite a Comeback
The 6-5 comeback victory over Boston University is Harvard's largest comeback since early last season, when it erased a four-goal, first-period deficit against New Hampshire Nov. 22, 2011. Harvard earned a 7-6 victory over the Wildcats.
I Wanna Block
The defensive unit for the Crimson has recorded 32 more blocks than its opponents through 14 games this season with a 247-215 edge in the category. Harvard has had more blocks than its opponent in nine games this season including its last four contests. The Crimson recorded a season-high 27 blocks against Boston University Jan. 9.
Danny Biega and Dan Ford share the team lead with 27 blocks each this season. Biega and Ford have played together as Harvard's top defensive pair in every game this season.
Three members of the class of 2013 have eclipsed the 100-games played mark in their careers. Danny Biega leads the way with 114, followed by Luke Greiner with 105 and Marshall Everson with 101. Alex Fallstrom is next in line to reach 100 as the game against Yale will be his 96th in a Harvard uniform. Conor Morrison also has a good chance to reach 100 games played as he currently sits at 87 for his career.
The last time Harvard had five seniors eclipse the 100-game mark was during the 2007-08 season, led by Jon Pelle '08 with 135 for his career.
After an injury sidelined Alex Fallstrom for the Northeastern game Dec. 29, the senior has scored at least one point in three of four games since. Fallstrom dished out two assists Jan. 4 at Princeton and collected a goal and an assist at Quinnipiac a day later. The senior also picked up an assist in the 6-5 overtime win over BU.
Vote For Danny
Danny Biega is on the 2013 Hobey Baker fan ballot, which college hockey fans can use to cast their vote for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award. The fan balloting portion of the award process will last from Jan. 7-March 10 and will account for one percent of the final Hobey Baker Award vote. Biega is one of 77 players on the fan ballot. More information about the process and the award can be found at www.hobeybakeraward.com.
Power Play Resurgence
After struggling to score on the power play earlier this season, the Crimson has now scored a power-play goal in four of its last five contests.