Ryan Grimshaw and the Crimson have won their last two Ivy League games (photo courtesy Jim Rosvold).
Riding a five-game league unbeaten streak, the Harvard men's hockey team takes on old rival Princeton Friday night at Bright Hockey Center, seeking key ECAC Hockey and Ivy League points in its only game of the weekend. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
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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 87-78-20 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.
Last Time Out
The Crimson collected three standings points in New York's Capital District. Harvard handed No. 13 Union its first league loss, 4-1, Friday. Ryan Carroll (Hackensack, N.J.) made a career-high 47 saves, allowing Eric Kroshus (Calgary, Alta.) to set up the tying goal and score the game-winner. Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) and Alex Fallstrom (Stockholm, Sweden) added empty-net tallies. Fallstrom also had an assist, and Biega's score was the first of his collegiate career.
Louis Leblanc (Kirkland, Que.) scored with 2.3 seconds left in regulation to complete a comeback from a two-goal, third-period deficit to tie Rensselaer, 3-3, Saturday. Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) and Doug Rogers (Watertown, Mass.) also scored in the third. Leblanc and Rogers each added an assist, while defensive partners Alex Biega (Montreal, Que.) and Chad Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) each completed +6 weekends.
Nov. 14 at Baker Rink
Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.) scored with 57 seconds remaining to complete a two-goal comeback for a 3-3 tie with host Princeton. Biega, brother Alex and Doug Rogers each registered a goal and an assist, while Kyle Richter (Calgary, Alta.) made 28 saves. The Tigers' Dan Bartlett and Mike Kramer each had a goal an assist each.
Saturday's tie at Rensselaer had a similar storyline to the Crimson's game at Princeton Nov. 14. In both games, Harvard trailed by scores of 2-0 and 3-1 before rallying and tying the game with a goal in the final minute of regulation. Louis Leblanc assisted Michael Biega on the tying goal at Princeton, and Biega assisted on Leblanc's tally with 2.3 seconds left at RPI.
Harvard is 3-0-1 in its last four games, tying the Crimson for the nation's fourth-longest active unbeaten streak. The Crimson is 4-0-1 in its last five ECAC Hockey contests. The league streak dates back to Harvard's 3-1 win against Quinnipiac in its first game following first-semester exams.
With the switch to a new academic calendar this year, the Crimson's exam break moved from January to December, but Harvard's success following exams is nothing new. Under Ted Donato, Harvard is 35-8-8 in league games after the exam break, including a 5-1-3 mark last season. The Crimson is 49-28-8 overall following exams.
He's Honored ... Again
For the second straight week, Louis Leblanc has been named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week. Leblanc scored Harvard's first two goals in the Jan. 18 win against Dartmouth before adding a goal and an assist Saturday at Rensselaer. Leblanc put 15 shots on goal during the week and was +5.
Fran Toland, who served as associate athletic director at Harvard for 41 years, will be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame in ceremonies in between games of Monday's first round.
The Bright Stuff
The Crimson is 56-25-3 (.685) at home under Ted Donato and 278-118-28 (.689) all-time at Bright Hockey Center, which opened in 1979-80.
Only Yale has faced off against Harvard more than Princeton. Starting with a 6-3 win March 1, 1902 in New York City, Harvard holds a 144-53-10 series edge. Harvard is 7-4-1 against Princeton under Ted Donato, but the Tigers defeated the Crimson, 4-1, in the 2008 ECAC title game. Harvard has won four of its last five series home games and is 21-8-3 against the Tigers at Bright Hockey Center. Doug Rogers has 10 points (7-3-10) in eight career games against Princeton.
Harvard vs. Princeton in 2008-09
Princeton scored the final four goals of the game following a first-period equalizer by Michael Biega to beat Harvard, 5-1, at home. Brett Wilson scored twice for the Tigers, while Dan Bartlett added a goal and an assist.
Back at Bright, Bartlett scored to tie the game in the second period, but Matt McCollem (Westford, Mass.) netted the only goal of the third, as Harvard beat sixth-ranked Princeton, 3-2, on Senior Night. Alex Biega notched a pair of assists, and Ryan Carroll made 38 saves.
Scouting the Tigers
Princeton is having a streaky season thus far. A six-game losing streak followed the Tigers' tie with Harvard, but they went 3-0-1 in their next four games, with all three wins coming against ranked teams. Home losses against Union and Rensselaer followed, but Princeton rebounded with an 8-1 win Monday against Connecticut.
Dan Bartlett paces the Tigers with nine goals and 19 points, while Mike Kramer and Mark Magnowski share the team assists lead with nine each. Zane Kalemba (.891 save percentage, 3.55 goals-against average) has started 11 games in the Princeton net. Alan Reynolds (.900, 3.00) has started seven.
Outside the Box
Harvard averages just 11.9 penalty minutes per contest, the nation's 10th-lowest average.
Harvard has killed 17 of its opponents' last 18 power plays, including each of the last nine. The Crimson has killed 22 of its ECAC foes' last 24 man-advantage chances.
Harvard has won its last three games against ranked opponents, defeating No. 8 Quinnipiac (3-1, Dec. 29), No. 5 Yale (3-2, Jan. 12) and No. 13 Union (4-1, Jan. 22). The wins against the Bobcats and Bulldogs gave the Crimson victories in four of its last six games against top-10 teams, dating back to last season.
Leading the Crimson
Top goal-scorer Louis Leblanc (9-7-16) and leading set-up man Michael Biega (5-11-16) share the Harvard team scoring lead. Leblanc is also the team's plus/minus leader at +8.
Louis Leblanc has recorded multiple points in three of the games in Harvard's current four-game unbeaten streak. He has five goals and an assist in that span. Michael Biega and Alex Killorn, Leblanc's linemates, have one goal and three assists each in the four games, while Alex Fallstrom has two goals and an assist. Alex Biega, Michael Biega and Leblanc are +6 during the unbeaten run, while Killorn and Chad Morin are +5.
Rolling in Goal
Ryan Carroll has stopped 147 of the 153 shots he has faced in his last five appearances and has a 3-0-0 record in that span. He ranks 14th nationally with a .922 save percentage and owns a 2.62 goals-against average.
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