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Old Rivalries Renewed with 2010-11 Men’s Hockey Schedule

Fans can celebrate with the Crimson at 16 games in Boston: 12 home, two away and two at the Beanpot (photo courtesy Kevin Burns).

2010-11 Harvard Men's Hockey Schedule

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard men’s hockey team will make the short trip to Northeastern’s Matthews Arena for the first time since 1997, meet former conference rivals Army and Vermont and take on Merrimack for only the second time in program history as part of the 2010-11 schedule, announced Monday by Ted Donato ’91, the Robert D. Ziff ’88 Head Coach for Men’s Ice Hockey.

In addition to its always-challenging, 22-game ECAC Hockey schedule and its annual appearance in Boston’s Beanpot tournament, Harvard will skate in the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup at Vermont, pay visits to local rivals Boston University and Northeastern and host Merrimack. The Crimson will look to earn a trip to the first ECAC championship weekend to be held in Atlantic City, N.J., and book its 22nd trip to the NCAA tournament.

Ticket information for Harvard home games is coming soon to GoCrimson.com. ECAC Hockey Championship semifinal and final all-session passes are on sale now.

Harvard will play up to eight regular-season games against teams ranked in last season’s final USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll (No. 3 Boston College, No. 6 Cornell, No. 8 Yale, No. 15 Vermont and No. 16 Union) and up to six games against teams that competed in last season’s NCAA tournament (national champion BC, Cornell, Vermont and Yale). Harvard will play two games against the programs that have won NCAA Division I’s last three national titles (BC and BU).

Bright Hockey Center will host 12 Harvard men’s regular-season games, 11 conference tilts and the Nov. 30 encounter with Merrimack, the alma mater of Crimson assistant coach Bobby Jay. The only previous meeting was a 6-4 Warriors win Dec. 23, 2004 in the Dodge Holiday Classic at Minnesota.

After starting 2009-10 with five straight road games, Harvard has another challenging opening sequence this season. Its first three games, including a season-opening Nov. 5 home date with league finalist Union, are against teams that finished in the top half of the ECAC Hockey standings. Following a Nov. 6 game against Rensselaer, the next four contests are on the road, starting with the long trip to the North Country to face St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

Harvard opens its Ivy League schedule Nov. 19 with a visit to Princeton. The game is a rematch of the Crimson’s two-game road sweep of the Tigers in first round of the 2010 ECAC playoffs. Harvard takes on another Ivy rival, Dartmouth, in a home-and-home series Nov. 26-27. The teams play Friday night at Bright before meeting again Saturday night in Hanover, N.H.

The 2011 calendar year starts with a Harvard-Army matchup on New Year’s Day, the first evening of the Catamount Cup. The Crimson and Black Knights have met 35 times since 1931, but their most recent encounter was Feb. 1, 1991, a 12-2 Harvard win. On Jan. 2, Harvard takes on host Vermont, coached by former Crimson captain Kevin Sneddon ’92. The winner of the tournament, which also includes Ohio State, will be determined on a points system, with three points being awarded for a win and one for a tie.

The Crimson visits Matthews Arena, the world’s oldest indoor hockey arena and formerly known as Boston Arena, Wednesday, Jan. 19. Play in Boston Arena began in 1910, and the building was home to all of the city’s college hockey teams for decades. Harvard continued to play many of its home games there until Watson Rink opened in 1956. The Crimson and Huskies have met in 11 of the last 12 Beanpots, but have not met outside of the tournament since a 6-5 Harvard home, overtime win Dec. 19, 1999. Northeastern won the teams’ last meeting at Matthews, 6-4, Dec. 18, 1997.

Northeastern will also be Harvard’s first-round opponent in the 59th Beanpot. The teams will face off Monday, Feb. 7 at TD Garden, home of the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins. The winner will meet BC or BU a week later for the Beanpot title. The Crimson will also take on BU Friday, Jan. 14 at the Terriers’ home rink, Agganis Arena.

Harvard hosts its oldest rivals, Brown and Yale, Jan. 7-8 and another of its most bitter Ivy foes, Cornell, Jan. 29. The Crimson-Big Red rematch will be Feb. 18 in Ithaca, N.Y. The Crimson closes the regular season Feb. 26 against St. Lawrence at Bright. Harvard’s other home dates are Dec. 8 against Quinnipiac, Jan. 28 against Colgate and Feb. 25 against Clarkson.

A top-four regular-season finish would earn Harvard a first-round bye in the 2011 ECAC Hockey Championship, while a top-eight showing would guarantee the Crimson a home playoff series. The semifinals and final will be played March 18-19 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. In the last 10 ECAC tournaments, Harvard has reached the semifinals seven times and the final six times, winning three league titles.

The NCAA Championship begins with Regionals March 25-27 in Bridgeport, Conn.; Manchester, N.H.; St. Louis and Green Bay, Wis. The 2011 NCAA Frozen Four is April 7 and 9 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.