The Crimson is looking for its second straight Ivy win against Dartmouth Friday (Photo: Zack Williamson).
The Harvard men's hockey team looks to exact a measure of revenge on Ivy rival Dartmouth, as the Crimson hosts the Big Green in an ECAC showdown Friday at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Harvard is looking to make it two straight conference wins in a row against Dartmouth Friday.
• The Crimson ran into a determined No. 11/11 Northeastern team in its last contest, dropping a 6-0 decision to the Huskies Monday in the first round of the 62nd annual Beanpot at TD Garden. The teams combined for 31 total penalties in the game, and it marked the first time Harvard has been shut out since Feb. 1, 2013 in a 3-0 loss to Rensselaer.
• Monday marked Harvard's 12th game against a ranked opponent this season, as the Crimson holds a 2-7-3 mark against ranked foes this year. Harvard's showdown with the Huskies in the Beanpot represented the fifth time in seven games Harvard faced an opponent ranked within the top 12 nationally.
• Prior to the Beanpot loss to Northeastern, Harvard netted three goals in the first period and held on for a 3-2 victory Friday against Princeton. Greg Gozzo, Alexander Kerfoot and Jimmy Vesey had goals for the Crimson, which snapped a four-game losing skid with the victory.
• Freshman Alexander Kerfoot was riding a four-game point streak heading into the Cornell matchup, and after logging an assist against Colgate and a goal against the Dutchmen and the Tigers, has picked up at least one point in seven of his last nine games.
• Despite a tough night against the Huskies, the Crimson penalty kill is ranked eighth in the nation (75/87, .862). The penalty kill unit is also ranked third among ECAC teams, trailing only Cornell and Quinnipiac.
• 37 of Harvard's last 40 goals have been scored by either freshmen or sophomores, including the last 19 strikes. Underclassmen are responsible for 107 of Harvard's 131 total points (82%) through 21 games this season.
Series History: 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 127-64-12 edge in the all-time series. The tide has started to turn recently, however, as Dartmouth has picked up nine wins in the last 15 meetings and is unbeaten in nine of the last 10 matchups.
About The Big Green
It has been a trying season for Dartmouth in 2013-14, as it brings a 4-15-3 overall record and 3-11-1 conference mark into Friday's game. An 0-8 start was interrupted by a 2-1 victory over the Crimson Nov. 30, and the Big Green went onto upset then-No. 8 Yale a week later, 4-1, at Ingalls Rink. Dartmouth also took down Boston University, 4-2, on the road Jan. 8, and downed Princeton, 5-3, in its most recent action.
Junior forward Eric Neiley enters the Harvard game as the team's scoring leader, leading the squad in points (15), goals (10), power-play goals (four) and game-winning goals (one). Neiley also has the long short-handed goal on the season for Dartmouth. Classmate and fellow forward Brandon McNally is second on the team with 13 points, and is tied with Ryan Bullock for the team lead in assists with nine apiece. Bullock is also the highest-scoring defenseman on the roster with 2-9-11 points to his credit. Grant Opperman leads all first-year players on the roster with 5-4-9 points in 19 games.
Dartmouth has utilized three goaltenders in 22 games this season, with sophomore Charles Grant leading the trio with 14 starts to his credit. He also holds the highest save percentage of the group at .885, while classmate James Kruger has a team-best 2.82 goals-against average. Grant has been in net for three of the four Dartmouth wins this season.
Nov. 30, 2013 in Hanover
The opening game of the season series between Dartmouth and Harvard took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Thompson Arena.
The game remained scoreless through one and a half periods of play before Jimmy Vesey broke through, converting a Sean Malone feed at 10:13 of the second. Dartmouth rookie Grant Opperman had a quick response however, besting Raphael Girard at 13:34 to knot the game at 1-1 heading into the final period. With overtime looming, Eric Neiley played the role of hero, slapping home the game-winning strike with just 2:41 remaining in the game to seal the 2-1 win for Dartmouth. Harvard went 0-for-6 on the evening on the power play, allowing Dartmouth to capture its first victory of the season.
Against The Ivies
Harvard's Ivy League opponents have proven to be tough challenges in 2013-14, with the Crimson holding a 2-3-1 record in Ivy games. Harvard's three losses in Ancient Eight contests have all been one-goal defeats, two of which occurred on the road (Dartmouth, Brown). The Crimson skated to a 2-2 tie with Yale Dec. 7 to cap the 2013 portion of its schedule, and downed Princeton, 3-2, last Friday to sweep the season series with the Tigers.
Through 21 games this season, Harvard has amassed four short-handed goals. That surpasses last year's total of three, and represents the most since the 2007-08 season. The Crimson poured in an impressive 10 short-handed goals as a team during the 2000-01 season.
Rookie Sean Malone has two to his credit this season, becoming the first player since Mike Taylor '08 to net a pair of short-handed goals in a season. The last player to record multiple short-handed scores in a single game was C.J. Young '90, who netted three short-handed scores in a 10-0 win over Dartmouth Dec. 12, 1988.
This season, Patrick McNally had a short-handed score in the win over UNH, and Devin Tringale netted one against Cornell, his first collegiate goal.