No. 5/6 Harvard (15-5-2, 11-4-2 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
The No. 5/6 Harvard men's hockey team will sport a five-game unbeaten streak into a Beanpot semifinal matchup with Northeastern Monday evening at TD Garden. Harvard is 4-0-1 in its last five contests after downing Dartmouth, 5-2, Friday evening at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The Crimson and Huskies will meet a 5 p.m. in a game broadcast live on NESN and TSN.
The First Line
• Monday's meeting between Harvard and Northeastern is the 44th at the Beanpot Tournament. Harvard has a 23-20 edge in the all-time Beanpot series with the Huskies, but Northeastern has won four of the last five meetings at TD Garden. Overall, Harvard has a 65-36-0 lead in the all-time series against Northeastern.
• Harvard is seeking to earn its first championship appearance since 2008. That year, the 56th Beanpot, Harvard trumped Northeastern, 3-1, before falling in an overtime thriller to Boston College, 6-5.
• Senior Alexander Kerfoot and Luke Esposito each have two goals and two assists in Beanpot games to lead the Crimson scoring contingent. Six other Crimson have at least one point in Beanpot games, with fellow senior Sean Malone ranking second with three points.
• In four total games played against Northeastern in his career, Kerfoot leads current Harvard student-athletes with seven points. Esposito has two points in four games against the Huskies and five other skaters have one point.
Last Time Out
Seniors Sean Malone and Luke Esposito combined for five points as Harvard dispatched of Dartmouth Friday night, 5-2. Malone scored twice, while Esposito had a goal and assist to extend its current unbeaten streak to five games. Merrick Madsen turned away 28 shots in the victory.
The Huskies are an even .500 on the year with an 11-11-5 record heading into Monday's showdown. Northeastern had a four-game win streak snapped Friday eveing at Matthews Arena, falling to UMass Lowell, 6-4.
Senior Zach Aston-Reese and junior Dylan Sikura are among the nation's most prolific scorers. Sikura has the honor of leading the nation in points per game at 1.70, a number that matches Union's Mike Vecchione. Aston-Reese is tied for fourth with a 1.63 PPG mark. As a team, Northeastern is averaging 3.63 goals per game, good for seventh nationally.
Goaltender Ryan has a .890 save percentage and a 3.15 GAA in 26 starts.
Series Record vs. Northeastern: 65-36-0
Last Five Meetings: 1-4-0
Feb. 8, 2016 - L 1-5
Feb. 3, 2014 - L, 0-6
Dec. 29, 2012 - L, 1-5
Feb. 3, 2012 - W, 3-2
Feb. 7, 2011 - L, 0-4
Power Play Duel
Monday's matchup features two of the nation's most potent power play units. Northeastern ranks third, converting at a 26.8 percent rate, while Harvard stands fourth with a 26.3 conversion rate.
Stat Sheet Success
Harvard is yet to lose a game this season when either Ryan Donato or Jake Horton scores, dishes and assist or has a plus rating in a game.
When a Donato Has:
Goal: 8-0-0; Assist: 6-0-0; Plus: 8-0-0
When a Horton Has:
Goal: 5-0-0; Assist: 4-0-0; Plus: 7-0-0
Harvard has tallied seven short-handed goals this season, its most since it had 10 in 2000-01. Seven shorthanded goals ranks tied for second in the nation this year with Bentley and Boston University. Omaha leads the country with nine. Twice this season, Harvard has netted two man-down goals in the same game. The first came in the season-opener at Arizona by Ryan Donato and John Marino. On Dec. 3, Donato and Sean Malone both scored short-handed goals on an empty net at Clarkson.
Prior to this season, the last time Harvard scored twice a man down in a single game was Jan. 4, 2014 in a 7-4 win versus Boston University. Malone accounted for both goals.
For the first time this season, the Crimson overcame a deficit heading into the third period, rallying past Cornell Jan. 27, 4-1. The Crimson trailed 1-0 heading to the last 20 minutes, but Jake Horton, Clay Anderson, Ryan Donato and Lewis Zerter-Gossage all scored to propel the Crimson.
Junior forward Jake Horton scored the first Harvard goal in each of the Crimson's wins at Cornell and Colgate Jan. 27-28. The Oakdale, Minnesota native double his goal total for the season and also marked the first time in his career he scored in consecutive games. With his shorthanded goal against Dartmouth Feb. 3, he currently has goals in the last three Harvard games.
One year after Jimmy Vesey '16 won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player, the Crimson have three new candidates for the 2017 season. Seniors Alexander Kerfoot and Sean Malone, as well as freshman Adam Fox, have each been named a candidate this year. Fan voting is open on the Hobey Baker fan page through February.
Tim Taylor Cup
Junior goaltender Merrick Madsen became the first Harvard player to receive the Tim Taylor Cup as the MVP of the Harvard-Yale game played in Cambridge each season. The award is named in honor of the former Crimson player and coach, as well as Yale coach. Madsen shared the award with Yale goaltender, Patrick Spano, after the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Freshman Adam Fox has made a name for himself on the Harvard blue line through 22 games of the season. The Jericho, New York native, and Calgary Flames prospect leads the team with 23 assists. His 1.19 points per game mark ranks first among all defensemen in the country and third among all rookies. His 17 points in conference games leads all defensemen and freshmen.
Senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot has been selected as one of the 15 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. The announcement was made by the organization Jan. 13. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
The Crimson is unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center this season, going 8-0-2.
Power Play Power
The Crimson has converted on 26.3 percent of its power play opportunities this season. It's 25-for-95 success rate is the fourth-best in the nation.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 113
Sacred Heart - 106
Boston College - 100
Harvard ranks third in the nation in scoring. The Crimson is averaging 3.86 goals each time out. Harvard has scored at least five goals in 10 games this season. Last season, Harvard averaged 3.41 goals per game which was its best mark since posting 3.91 in 2002-03.
Harvard is boasting a 1.59 scoring margin through 22 games this season, the best mark in Division I. Harvard's offense is averaging 3.86 goals, while the defense has surrendered just 2.27, the 10th-lowest in the nation.
Harvard ranks No. 5 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 6 in the USA Today poll this week. It rose as high as No. 2 in the USCHO poll on Jan. 9. Harvard has been ranked in the USCHO.com poll for 63 weeks, while it has spent the last 45 weeks ranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.