The No. 20 Harvard men's hockey team wraps up the 2012 portion of its schedule with its third straight non-conference contest against a Hockey East team when it welcomes local rival Northeastern to Bright Hockey Center. Harvard is 0-1-1 against Hockey East teams so far this season and 1-1-1 in non-conference contests.
Watch From Home
The Harvard-Northeastern matchup will be broadcast on the D2 Network, Comcast channel 296.
Harvard has been the driving force in the all-time series with the Huskies, owning a 65-33-0 advantage in 98 all-time matchups. The longest winning streak within the series also belong to the Crimson, as Harvard captured 16 straight victories from 1967- 76, a streak that included seven Beanpot wins. Harvard broke a three-game skid against the Huskies last year with a 3-2 victory over Northeastern in the consolation game of the 2012 Beanpot.
Scouting The Huskies
A solid start to the 2012-13 season stalled out as the Huskies enter the game against Harvard with a 5-9-1 overall record. The team currently sits in ninth place out of 10 teams in Hockey East with seven points in 12 conference contests. Northeastern handed current No. 1 Boston College one of its two losses in just its second game of the season, but went on to drop four of the next five games. Northeastern's last win came at Massachusetts Nov. 30, a 1-0 victory. The Huskies are winless in their last two games, dropping decisions to Massachusetts and Massachusetts Lowell.
Kevin Roy comes into the Harvard game holding the team lead in points (13) and goals (seven), while team captain Vinny Saponari is close behind with 11 points and a team-best eight assists. Ludwig Karlsson has seven points on five goals and two helpers, and has proven to be the go-to-option on the power play with a team-high three extra-man tallies. Rookie Colton Saucerman is the top-scoring defenseman on the Huskies with five points on a goal and four assists.
Chris Rawlings has established himself as the first choice on goal for Northeastern this season, starting 11 games and boasting a 5-5-0 record. He brings a .924 save percentage and 2.35 goals-against average into the matchup with the Crimson.
Last Time Against Northeastern
In the most recent meeting between Harvard and Northeastern, the Crimson netted a goal in each period to collect a 3-2 win over the Huskies in the Beanpot consolation game Feb 13, 2012. Alex Killorn '12 got the Crimson on the board with a first-period marker, but Robbie Vroluk answered in the second to make it 1-1. Alex Fallstrom gave the Crimson a 2-1 lead late in the second frame and a shorthanded score by Luke Greiner proved to be the game-winner. Luke Eibler brought the Huskies to within one with just under six minutes to play, but Harvard held on for the 3-2 win.
Besides The Beanpot
The annual Beanpot tournament has been the venue for most of the recent matchups between Harvard and Northeastern. The last non-Beanpot contest came Jan. 19, 2011 when the Huskies blanked the Crimson, 3-0, one month before a showdown in the Beanpot.
It has been more than a decade since the Huskies last came to Bright Hockey Center. Dec. 19, 1999 was the last time Northeastern made the short trip to Cambridge, and the Crimson eked out a 6-5 overtime victory in the game. A pair of third-period goals saw the Huskies knot the game at 5-5, but Harvard struck just 41 seconds into overtime to seal the victory. The teams combined for 17 total penalties and Harvard finished 3 for 8 on the power play.
Repping The Red, White and Blue
After a solid training camp this summer and a successful tryout, freshman forward Jimmy Vesey will represent the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia. Vesey was one of 27 players to be named to the preliminary roster Dec. 4, and was one of 13 forwards to make the team, which was announced Dec. 23. Vesey joins fellow ECAC Hockey players Shayne Gostisbehere (D, Union) and Cole Bardreau (F, Cornell) on the U.S. squad.
The U.S is looking to earn its third medal in four years, after taking home the bronze in 2011 in Buffalo, N.Y., and capturing gold in 2010 in Saskatoon, Sask. Team USA kicked off the tournament against Germany Dec. 27. All Team USA games will be broadcast on the NHL Network and streamed live on NHL.com.
2011-12 team leading scorer and All-America selection Alex Killorn has been on fire with his professional team, the Syracuse Crunch. Killorn has been named the Tampa Bay Lightning Prospect Performer of the Week for the past two weeks, thanks to a six-game goal streak that is tops in the AHL. Killorn stood fifth on the team in scoring as of Dec. 26 and has helped the team to the top of the East Division standings.
On The Dot
Jimmy Vesey has the top faceoff percentage on the team among players that have taken at least 20 faceoffs. Vesey has won 28 of 47 (.596) faceoffs, while Alex Fallstrom (36 of 64, .562), Brayden Jaw (15 of 27, .556) and Mike Seward (17 of 32, .531) also have above-.500 faceoff percentages.
Three of Harvard's four game-winning goals this season have been scored by seniors. Luke Greiner, Marshall Everson and Brendan Rempel all have game-winning tallies, while sophomore Mike Seward is the only non-senior with a game-winner this year.
Four Games of Firsts
Four of Harvard's last five contests have featured a number of notable firsts for players on the team.
Freshman Brian Hart, a second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, collected his first collegiate goal in Harvard's 4-0 shutout of Rensselaer Nov. 10.
In the 4-1 upset victory over No. 10 Cornell, Mike Seward's game-winning tally was his first of the season, and Petr Placek's goal was his first collegiate score. Greg Gozzo picked up his first collegiate point on an assist and Dan Ford and Conor Morrison registered their first points of the year on an assist each.
Against Merrimack, Tommy O'Regan netted his first goal of the season and Desmond Bergin collected his first collegiate goal and assist in a two-point night. Bergin becomes the fourth member of the highly-touted freshman class to record a goal this season.
Sophomore forward Tommy O'Regan has logged an assist in six of his last eight games. He recorded the longest point streak of the 2012-13 season for the Crimson, notching an assist in five straight contests from Nov. 2 to Nov. 16. The five-game point streak also marks a career long for O'Regan.
A Major Feat
Harvard has been booked for two major penalties so far this season, but has killed off both infractions. The first came at Colgate Nov. 17 and the Crimson killed of a major that spanned the entire overtime period in a 2-2 tie at Merrimack Dec. 7.
Consider It Killed
With 31 of 35 (88.6%) penalties killed this season, Harvard ranks ninth in the nation and fourth in the ECAC in penalty killing.
Harvard was equal to the challenge posed by Bentley, killing all five power-play chances the Falcons earned in the game. Harvard also went 3 for 3 against Brown and killed three of four penalties against Yale. Harvard went 3 for 4 on the penalty kill against Union and stopped all three power-play chances against RPI. The Crimson kept the Cornell and Colgate power plays silent Nov. 16-17, and blanked Merrimack's six man-up chances Dec. 7.
In the quarterfinal series against Yale last season, Harvard killed 17 of 18 penalties, including an 11-for-11 showing in Game 2 of the series. Harvard went on to hold Cornell (0-for-2) and Union (0-for-3) without a power-play goal in the ECAC Tournament semifinal and final rounds. Harvard has killed 53 of its last 58 penalties and held nine of its last 12 opponents without a power-play goal, dating back to last season.