No. 2/2 Harvard (22-5-2, 16-4-2 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
The No. 2/2 Harvard men's hockey team will host Yale in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals this weekend with a trip to Lake Placid on the line. The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the semifinals played at the 1980 Rink at the Herb Brooks Arena. Each game of the series will start at 7 p.m. and be broadcast live on ECACHockey.com.
The First Line
• Harvard is pursuing its third consecutive trip to Lake Placid and the ECAC semifinals. The Crimson won the title in 2015 and lost in the finals a year ago. Harvard has won nine ECAC Tournament titles, including two under head coach Ted Donato in 2006 and 2015.
• Harvard and Yale last met in the ECAC playoffs in the 2015 quarterfinals. The series went the full three games and needed double overtime in the final matchup before Jimmy Vesey '16 scored the series-clincher, capping the longest game in Harvard history (96:46).
• A series victory for the Crimson would give head coach Ted Donato '91 the two wins he needs to reach 200 for his career. Donato would become the third Harvard coach to reach 200 wins during their career, joining Bill Cleary, Jr. (324) and Ralph "Cooney" Weiland (315). Donato has a 198-185-48 record during his 13 years at the helm of the Crimson.
• Harvard is 1-0-1 against Yale this season. In the first matchup, goaltenders Merrick Madsen and Patrick Spano stood tall, playing to a 1-1 tie with the two netminders sharing the Tim Taylor Trophy as the MVP of the H-Y game in Cambridge. In the second meeting in New Haven, Tyler Moy scored twice, leading Harvard to a 4-2 win.
Last Time Out
Harvard had last weekend off, after earning a bye through the first round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs as the top seed in the conference. The Crimson ended the regular season on a 10-game win streak and a 12-game unbeaten streak (11-0-1) that dates back to Jan. 20. Harvard capped the regular season with a 6-3 victory over St. Lawrence on Senior Night. The win, coupled with a Union tie, earned Harvard a share of the ECAC Hockey regular season title for the first time since 1993-94.
Yale, the eighth-seed in the ECAC playoffs, earned its spot in the quarterfinals with a sweep of Dartmouth in the first round. The Bulldogs posted winning scores of 6-1 and 3-2 to improve to 13-13-5 overall this season. The series win snapped a tough stretch for the Bulldogs, as it went 1-6-1 during the month of February.
Sophomore Joe Snively paces the Bulldogs with 23 assists and 35 points, but is -5. John Hayden leads all scorers with 20 goals, 11 of which have come on the power play. Although Harvard has faced Patrick Spano twice in goal, his numbers are nearly identical to sophomore Sam Tucker. Spano has a slight edge in GAA, 2.70-2.72, while Tucker has a narrow save percentage advantage, .907-.903.
Series Record vs. Yale: 143-89-20
Last Five Meetings: 2-1-2
Feb. 17, 2017 - W, 4-2
Jan. 21, 2017 - T, 1-1 (ot)
Feb. 6, 2016 - L, 1-2
Nov. 6, 2015 - T, 2-2 (ot)
March 15, 2015 - W, 3-2 (2ot)
With its win over Brown, Harvard went over the 20-win plateau for a season for the 17th time in program history. It is only the second 20-win season in the last 10 years for Harvard as it had 21 in 2014-15. Its 22 wins matches its most since 2002-03. Prior to that season, Harvard's most wins was 24 during the 1993-94 season.
Harvard leads the nation in team winning percentage at .793 with a record of 22-5-2. Its five losses are the fewest in Division I hockey this season and fewest since 1993-94. Harvard is riding a 12-game unbeaten streak dating back to a Jan. 20 win over Brown. Its last loss was Jan. 17 versus Dartmouth.
Ancient Eight's Best
Harvard took home all three major awards distributed by the Ivy League March 2. Sophomore Ryan Donato was named the Player of the Year, Adam Fox was selected Rookie of the Year and Ted Donato earned Coach of the Year honors.
Ryan Donato is the 12th Harvard skater to earn Player of the Year, with Harvard earning the honor each of the last three seasons (Jimmy Vesey '16 - 2015, 2016). Fox is the 14th skater to earn Rookie accolades and Ted Donato is the first Harvard leader to earn Coach of the Year honors.
Goaltender Merrick Madsen and forward Alexander Kerfoot joined Donato and Fox on the All-Ivy first team. Freshman defenseman John Marino was named to the second team and senior forward Tyler Moy was honorable mention.
Tim Taylor Finalist
Ted Donato '91, The Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey, has been named a finalist for the Tim Taylor Coach of the Year Award of ECAC Hockey, as announced by the league Wednesday, March 8.
Donato was joined on the finalist list by Union's Rick Bennett and Princeton's Ron Fogarty.
Madsen, who has started every game this year for Harvard, earned all eight wins, while posting a 2.09 GAA and .920 save percentage during February.
Donato led the conference with 15 points in February and finished just two points shy of the nation's lead for points during the month. The Scituate, Massachusetts native has a knack for scoring in bunches, as he had three games during the month in which he recorded four points.
The class of 2017 has amassed 72 wins during its career, the most for a senior group since the class of 2008 notched 73. The class of 2006 has the most wins in the last 20 years with 82.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 157
Sacred Heart - 135
Minnesota - 130
For the first time in the 119-year history of the Harvard-Brown series, the Crimson swept a season series with the Bears via shutout. Harvard defeated Brown 3-0 at home and 6-0 on the road this year. Last season, Harvard shut out Rensselaer twice, beating them 4-0 at the Shillelagh Tournament and tying them 0-0. The last time Harvard earned two shutout wins over the same team in one season was 1958-59 against Cornell. Harvard beat the Big Red 18-0 and 13-0.
Harvard earned the Ivy League title for the second-straight season, racking up 17 points in 10 games against the Ancient Eight. Harvard earned consecutive titles for the first time since 1993-1994. It's 8-1-1 record was also its best since going 9-0-1 during the 93-94 campaign.
Six or More
For the third season in a row, Harvard has scored at least six goals in five games. Harvard has scored six or more goals seven times this season, its most since lighting up the scoreboard for at least six goals nine times in 2002-03.
Freshman Adam Fox has made a name for himself on the Harvard blue line. The Jericho, New York native, and Calgary Flames prospect leads the team with 27 assists. His 1.14 points per game mark ranks first among all defensemen in the country and fifth among all rookies. It is also a statistic that places Fox among the top-20 all-time of U19 defensemen in Division-I history. His 22 points in conference games leads all defensemen and is second among all freshmen.
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis. The sophomore forward is second in the country with a 4.90 shots per game average. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union Feb. 10. That number was the highest since Jimmy Vesey '16 had 13 against Rensselaer Feb. 12, 2016.
Harvard as a team ranks sixth in the nation in shots on goal per game at 34.45. That number ranks third in the ECAC behind Quinnipiac (35.78) and Princeton (35.11).
Sophomore Ryan Donato became the first Harvard skater since Connor Morrison on Nov. 24, 2009 to score four goals in a game. Donato scored the first two goals and the last two goals of a 6-2 triumph over Union Feb. 10, 2017 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. It marked the second hat trick of his career, with both coming against Union (Feb. 13, 2016). Four times this season Donato has had four points in a single game.
Harvard has tallied 11 short-handed goals this season, leading the nation. Harvard's most recent short-handed goal came from Luke Esposito in the third period of a 4-1 win vs. Clarkson Feb. 24.
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.
Jake Horton had the hottest scoring stretch of his career from Jan. 27 - Feb. 3. The junior scored a goal in three-straight games, leading the Crimson to conference wins over Cornell, Colgate and Dartmouth. It marked the longest goal streak of his career. The junior has set new career-highs with six goals and seven points this season.
Stat Sheet Success
Harvard is yet to lose a game this season when either Ryan Donato or Jake Horton scores, dishes an assist or has a plus rating in a game.
When Donato Has a:
Goal: 11-0-0; Assist: 9-0-0; Plus: 12-0-0
When Horton Has a:
Goal: 6-0-0; Assist: 7-0-0; Plus: 9-0-0
One year after Jimmy Vesey '16 won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player, the Crimson has 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.
Senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot has been selected as one of the 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. Kerfoot was selected as a nominee in January and named a finalist mid-February. 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.
• Harvard snapped a 24-year Beanpot drought (1993) with its 6-3 victory over Boston University Monday, Feb. 13 at TD Garden.
• The championship marked the 11th in the storied history of the tournament for Harvard.
• Nathan Krusko earned tournament MVP honors, scoring twice and dishing out an assist in the championship game. He is the 11th MVP in Harvard history and first since Ted Drury in 1993.
• Only one player on Harvard's team was alive for its last Beanpot title: Phil Zielonka, he was 11 days old.
• Head coach Ted Donato won the Beanpot as a player back in 1989. Harvard went on to win the national title that year.
• Wade Lau '82 became Harvard's 12th inductee into the Beanpot Hall of Fame this year. Lau was the netminder for Harvard's 1981 Beanpot championship squad.
• Harvard and Northeastern had not both won on the second Beanpot Monday since 1993 when Harvard last won the title and Northeastern beat Boston College in the consolation game.
The Crimson is unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center this season, going 11-0-2. The last time Harvard finished a season unbeaten at home was 1993-94 when it went 10-0-3.
Power Play Power
The Crimson has converted on 25.2 percent of its power play opportunities this season. It's 32-for-127 success rate is the fifth-best in the nation.
Sophomore defenseman Wiley Sherman has blocked a team-high 39 shots this season, helping the Crimson stymie opposing offenses. Alexander Kerfoot and Jake Horton lead all forwards with 28 blocks.
Harvard ranks third in the nation in scoring. The Crimson is averaging 4.17 goals each time out. Harvard has scored at least five goals in 14 games this season. Last season, Harvard averaged 3.41 goals per game which was its best mark since posting 3.91 in 2002-03.