Harvard Hosts Defending Champ BU in Non-League Opener
Michaud was one of three Harvard goal-scorers last season against the Terriers (photo courtesy Steve Babineau).
Harvard plays its first non-conference game of the season against crosstown rival and defending national champion Boston University. The game is BU’s first at Bright Hockey Center since 2005 and gets underway at 7 p.m.
Follow From Home
Live video of the game will be available with a Crimson Video subscription on GoCrimson.com, which also provides free live statistics. WHRB FM 95.3 and WHRB.org offer live audio.
Behind the Bench
Former Crimson captain, NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and 13-year National Hockey League veteran Ted Donato ’91 is in his sixth season as The Robert D. Ziff ’88 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey. He owns an 83 72 19 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.
Harvard opened its home season against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. The Saints scored twice on the power play and got 42 saves from Alex Petizian to hold off the Crimson, 3-2, in front of a sellout crowd Friday. Harvard held a 44-28 edge in shots and got power-play goals from Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.) and Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.). Kyle Richter (Calgary, Alta.) made 25 saves.
The Golden Knights scored twice 32 seconds apart late in the third period to overcome 56 minutes of Crimson dominance and tie Harvard, 2-2, Saturday. Louis Leblanc (Kirkland, Que.) and Marshall Everson (Edina, Minn.) scored for the Crimson, and Ryan Caroll (Hackensack, N.J.) made 18 saves. Harvard continued to generate scoring chances, holding a 43-20 shots advantage, including a 29-7 edge during the first two periods. Harvard killed all seven Clarkson power plays.
Harvard held a combined 87-48 edge in shots over the weekend. Michael Biega (18) and Louis Leblanc (16) alone totaled 34 shots.
The Bright Stuff
The Crimson is 53-21-3 (.708) at home under Ted Donato and 275-114-28 (.693) all-time at Bright Hockey Center.
The Crimson ranks 15th nationally and fourth in ECAC Hockey play with a 21.9-percent efficiency on the power play (7 for 32). Harvard scored three power-play goals in its two games last weekend and has scored twice on the power play in three of its seven games.
Outside the Box
Harvard is the nation’s 12th-least-penalized team, averaging just 11.7 penalty minutes per game.
Pacing the Crimson
Linemates Michael Biega, Alex Killorn and Louis Leblanc share the team scoring lead with eight points. Killorn paces Harvard with four goals, while Biega, Leblanc and Chris Huxley (Weymouth, Mass.) have a team-high five assists each. Leblanc leads the Crimson with a +5 rating and 34 shots. Michael Biega has 33 shots and is tied with Doug Rogers (Watertown, Mass.) for second in plus/minus at +4. Rogers leads Crimson centers with a .545 faceoff percentage (79-66).
Louis Leblanc is tied for fourth among NCAA freshmen with 1.14 points per game. Chris Huxley ranks 15th in defenseman scoring with 0.86 points per game.
Louis Leblanc is ECAC Hockey’s top freshman scorer in league games and is tied with Alex Killorn and Michael Biega for sixth among all players. Killorn is tied for sixth in ECAC goals. Chris Huxley leads ECAC defensemen in league scoring. Marshall Everson is tied for second in ECAC power-play goals with three.
Michael Biega had a three-game goal-scoring streak snapped Saturday against Clarkson but has still notched points in five straight games. Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) has assists in two straight contests.
Harvard vs. BU in 2008-09
The top-ranked Terriers rallied from a two-goal deficit to take the lead, and the would-be tying goal from Alex Biega (Montreal, Que.) hit the net a moment after the final whistle, allowing Boston University to edge Harvard, 4-3, in the opening round of the 57th Beanpot before 17,565 fans Feb. 2 at TD Banknorth Garden. Michael Biega, Alex Killorn and Pier Olivier Michaud (Mont-Joli, Que.) scored goals that counted for the Crimson, while Nick Bonino tallied twice for BU.
Harvard vs. BU Series History
The Terriers and Crimson have met on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 11 of the last 12 years. BU leads the series, 72-62-6, but Harvard holds a 49-46-6 edge in non-Beanpot games. Harvard is 2-1-1 in early-season meetings under Ted Donato, including a 2-1 overtime win on a Doug Rogers goal at Agganis Arena in Nov. 20, 2007. The last meeting here was a 2-2 tie Nov. 22, 2005.
The teams first met Dec. 13, 1922, a 2-0 Crimson win at the Boston Arena. Harvard won 15 of the first 16 meetings and in 1952 pulled out a 7-4 win in the inaugural Beanpot tournament championship. The Terriers have won the last six Beanpot meetings and hold a 26-13 series edge in Beanpot matchups.
Scouting the Terriers
Boston University is coming off a 3-3 tie Saturday against New Hampshire and is seeking its second win in eight games since knocking off UMass Lowell, 5-4, Oct. 30. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk leads the Terriers with 11 points and nine assists, while rookie Alex Chiasson has a team-high four goals. Nick Bonino, the team’s top returning scorer, returned to the lineup over the weekend after missing five games due to injury. Kieran Millan backstopped BU to a national title as a rookie last season and owns a 3.25 goals-against average and .873 save percentage this year.
Beating the Best
This is the second straight season the Crimson has faced the defending national champion. Harvard faced 2008 NCAA champ Boston College twice last season, falling by scores of 5-1 and 4-3. The Crimson last defeated the defending champion Jan. 3, 1994, topping 1993 winner Maine, 7-6, on the road.
Harvard also swept a two-game series from defending champ Lake Superior State on the way to its own 1989 NCAA title, beat 1985 winner Rensselaer twice in 1985-86, downed 1972 champ Boston University in 1972-73 and topped BC a season after the Eagles’ 1949 title.
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