Men's Hockey Looks to Make It Two In a Row at Dartmouth Saturday
Dan Ford has led the Crimson to a 4-5-1 mark through its first 10 games (Gil Talbot).
Game Notes (.pdf)
Highlights: Men's Hockey takes down UNH, 6-3
After knocking off its first Hockey East opponent of the season Tuesday, the Harvard men's hockey team returns to ECAC and Ivy League play when it takes on Dartmouth Saturday at Thompson Arena. Saturday's showdown will be a rematch of a first-round playoff series from last season.
• In its highest output of the 2013-14 season, the Crimson poured in six goals in a 6-3 defeat of No. 20 New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center. Harvard also matched a season-high by recording 11 assists in the game.
• Rookie Luke Esposito netted his second goal in as many games and now leads all rookies with seven points on two goals and five assists. Sophomore Kyle Criscuolo had a pair of goals against the Wildcats for his second two-goal game of the season.
• Harvard has faced six nationally-ranked opponents in its 10 games this season, holding a 2-3-1 record in such games. The Crimson has scored eight goals and conceded eight goals in its four games against ranked ECAC opponents.
• Last season, the Crimson faced six Hockey East schools, putting together a 2-3-1 record in those games. Both of Harvard's wins against Hockey East opponents came against Boston University. Harvard downed the No. 8/8 Terriers, 6-5 in overtime, at Agganis Arena Jan. 9, and posted a 7-4 win over No. 11/13 BU in the Beanpot consolation game.
• In just his third game with the team this season, junior Patrick McNally recorded a goal and two assists in the win over New Hampshire. McNally also became the first Crimson defenseman to record a goal this season with an empty-net score in the final minute.
• After failing to score on the power play in its first four games of the season, Harvard has collected a power play goal in each of its last six contests. Sophomore Jimmy Vesey has netted three of those man-up scores.
Series History vs. Dartmouth
As its third-most frequent opponent, the Crimson has seen plenty of the Big Green through the years. The two teams first faced off Feb. 7, 1907 when Harvard skated to a 12-3 victory. In fact, the Crimson captured the first eight meetings between the two teams, and 13 of the first 14, to help claim a 127-63-12 edge in the all-time series. The tide has started to turn recently, however, as Dartmouth has picked up eight wins in the last 14 meetings and is unbeaten in eight of the last nine matchups.
About The Big Green
It has been a tough start to the season for Dartmouth as it enters the matchup with the Crimson with an 0-8 overall record. Five of the Big Green's losses have been by two goals or fewer, and six have been to ECAC Hockey schools. This will be just the second Ivy League matchup for both the Big Green and the Crimson, with Dartmouth dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to Princeton.
Junior forward Eric Neiley has led the charge for the Dartmouth offense through eight games, leading the team in points (seven) and goals (five). Sophomore defenseman Ryan Bullock is the top-scoring blueliner and leads all Dartmouth skaters with five assists on the year. Junior forward Tyler Sikura is right on Bullock's heels with four helpers this season.
Senior goalie Cab Morris has played the majority of minutes for Dartmouth this season, seeing action in five of the eight games. He enters the matchup with the Crimson holding a 4.74 goals-against average and .826 save percentage.
Last Season vs. Dartmouth
The Crimson traveled to Hanover to kick off the season series Jan. 9 and gave the then-No. 12/12 Big Green a scare on its home ice. Jimmy Vesey gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead after one period with a highlight-reel goal, but strikes from Matt Lindblad and Nick Bligh in the second put the hosts up 2-1 after 40 minutes. Petr Placek knotted the score just past the four-minute mark of the third, but Jesse Beamish's shot through traffic stood as the game-winner in a 3-2 Dartmouth victory.
In a game delayed by a powerful Nor'easter, Harvard stayed right with the Big Green in the rematch in Cambridge Feb. 10. Andy Simpson gave the guests a 1-0 lead that stood until the midway point of the second when Marshall Everson netted a power-play tally to tie it at 1-1. Neither team was able to net the go-ahead score, although Dartmouth did have a goal disallowed for having a player in the crease, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie, just the second of the season for the Crimson.
The Big Green hosted the Crimson in a first-round playoff series the second weekend of March and fended off the Crimson despite dropping the first contest, 2-1. Harvard opened the series with the surprising win thanks to goals from Brian Hart and Desmond Bergin. Raphael Girard was stellar in net, allowing just the one goal. Dartmouth responded with a 4-1 win in Game 2, and put the Crimson away with a 6-3 victory in Game 3, despite a pair of unassisted goals from Luke Greiner '13.
Harvard has shown a penchant for netting late scores through 10 games this season, scoring half of its goals this season in the third period. The Crimson is outscoring teams 23-17 in the second and third periods combined, including a 13-9 margin in the third period. Harvard outscored UNH 3-1 in the third period in its last contest.
Points For All
There are 12 players on Harvard's roster that have played against Dartmouth and 10 of those 12 players have points against the Big Green. Senior captain Dan Ford and junior Colin Blackwell lead all Crimson skaters against the Big Green with a goal and two assists apiece, while Greg Gozzo, Brian Hart and Desmond Bergin all have two points each in games against Dartmouth. Petr Placek and Jimmy Vesey have each recorded a goal against Dartmouth in their careers.
The Crimson offense had one of its best showings of the season at Princeton, yielding five goals and six assists. Four Harvard players (Brian Hart, Sean Malone, Tyler Moy and Jimmy Vesey) recorded multi-point games, marking the first time this season Harvard has had more than one multi-point scorer in a game. Four more Harvard players (Patrick McNally, Kyle Criscuolo, Tommy O'Regan and Luke Esposito) had multi-point games Tuesday at New Hampshire.
Both Brian Hart and Jimmy Vesey came into the BC matchup riding four-game point streaks. Hart had posted an assist in each of his last four games, including a pair of helpers against Princeton, representing his longest career point streak. Vesey brought a four-game goal scoring streak into Wednesday's contest, the longest goal streak of his career.
Right On, Rookies
The freshman class has made a significant impact for Harvard through 10 games this season. seven of the nine newcomers have logged at least point, and all nine have seen game action. Luke Esposito leads all freshmen in scoring with 2-5-7 points, and is followed closely by Sean Malone (1-4-5). Tyler Moy (1-3-4), Kevin Guiltinan (0-3-3), Alexander Kerfoot (2-1-3), Phil Zielonka (0-1-1) and Clay Anderson (0-2-2) all have points as well.
Harvard has shown a penchant for netting late scores through nine games this season, scoring half of its goals this season in the third period. The Crimson is outscoring teams 17-14 in the second and third periods combined, including a 10-8 margin in the third period.