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Looking to snap a six-game winless streak, the Harvard men's hockey team makes the short trip to Agganis Arena to take on local rival No. 8 Boston University in a midweek matchup on NBC Sports Network. Harvard is in search of its first win over a Hockey East school this season as it is 0-2-1 against teams from the conference this year.
Harvard vs. Boston University Series History
The series against Boston University is one of Harvard's oldest, thanks in large part to a number of matchups in the annual Beanpot Tournament. Harvard trails in the all-time series, 63-76-6. The teams first faced each other in 1922 and Harvard captured wins in 15 of the first 16 matchups. The Crimson also owns the longest win streak in the series, earning 11-straight victories from 1927-37.
Last Season Against The Terriers
Harvard and BU met twice in a span of just over three weeks last season, with the Terriers taking both games.
Harvard got out to a fast start in the first meeting of 2011-12, as Alex Fallstrom struck on the power play just 3:06 into the game for a quick 1-0 lead. A power-play goal from Chris Connolly knotted the score at 1-1, but Fallstrom and Alex Killorn '12 both scored before the period ended, giving Harvard a 3-1 cushion after one. The score stood that way until the third when Connolly struck again and Ben Rosen tied the game at 3-3, forcing overtime. Garrett Noonan played the role of hero, netting the game-winner for BU 2:08 into the extra frame.
The teams met again in the first round of the Beanpot and despite being outshot for the game, BU took control of the contest. Matt Nieto got the Terriers on the board with a goal at 8:14 of the first and a pair of scores from Wade Megan in the second gave BU a 3-0 lead. Killorn got one back on the power play for the Crimson, but a scoreless third period resulted in a 3-1 defeat for Harvard.
Scouting The Terriers
The perennially strong Terriers have put together yet another solid season to this point, entering the Harvard game with an 11-6-0 overall mark to go along with an 8-4-0 record in Hockey East action. BU is also 6-2-0 at Agganis Arena this season. The Terriers have squared off against nine ranked teams so far this year, and have faced the No. 1 team in the nation four times this season. Bu is 3-6 against ranked opponents this season, but has defeated the No. 1 team in the nation twice, downing Boston College, 4-2, Nov. 30 and New Hampshire, 3-2, Dec. 6 on the road.
Sophomore Cason Hohmann is leading the way for the Terriers with 18 points and a team-high 13 assists. Wade Megan has a team-high nine goals heading into the matchup with the Crimson and freshman defender Matt Grzelcyk leads all blueliners with 12 points and 10 helpers. Fellow freshman Danny O'Regan has 5-6-11 points on the year and junior Garrett Noonan (3-8-11) and sophomore Evan Rodriguez (3-7-10) round out the double-digit scorers for BU.
Two freshman have taken care of the goaltending duties this season with Matt O'Connor seeing the majority of playing time, starting 11 of 17 games. He has a 2.56 goals against average and .922 save percentage, compared to Sean Maguire's .930 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against mark.
Last Time Out
The Crimson had a trying roadtrip last weekend, dropping league games to Princeton (3-2 ot) and Quinnipiac (6-2).
Facing a 2-0 deficit against the Tigers, senior Marshall Everson stepped up to get the Crimson on the board, closing the gap to one after two periods. A power-play goal from Colin Blackwell with 7:10 to play knotted the score at 2-2 but Andrew Calof's third goal of the game 58 seconds into overtime gave the Tigers a dramatic victory.
Two early goals from Quinnipiac the next day made it look like the game may get away from the Crimson, but Luke Greiner netted his second goal of the season to cut the Bobcats' lead to 2-1 after the first period. Three straight goals from the hosts in the second put the game out of reach, as a power-play tally by Alex Fallstrom wasn't enough to prevent the 6-2 final in favor of Quinnipiac.
Boston University's freshman forward Danny O'Regan is the younger brother of Harvard sophomore forward Tommy O'Regan. It marks the first time the brothers will face each other on the college stage. Their father, Tom O'Regan, was a four-year player and team captain at Boston University from 1979-83. The O'Regan's were featured in the Boston Herald Monday in advance of the Wednesday showdown.
Red, White, Blue and Gold
Freshman forward Jimmy Vesey was one of three ECAC Hockey players to help the United States capture the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Vesey joined fellow ECAC Hockey players Shayne Gostisbehere (D, Union) and Cole Bardreau (F, Cornell) on the U.S. squad. Team USA captured its first gold medal since 2010 with a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the tournament final Jan. 5.
Vesey skated in all seven tournament games for the U.S., and after starting the tournament dressing as the 13th forward, Vesey moved up to the top line for the final three games. The North Reading, Mass., native finished the event with five points on a goal and four assists. His best game came in the final contest of pool play, as he dished out three assists in a 9-3 rout of Slovakia, helping the U.S. advance in the tournament. He scored his lone goal of the tournament in a 5-1 defeat of Canada in the semifinal, and added an assist in the contest as well.
Team USA's last gold at the World Juniors came in 2010 in Saskatoon, Sask., when the Red, White and Blue edged Canada, 6-5 in overtime to capture the tournament crown. The U.S. took bronze in 2011 in Buffalo, N.Y., and failed to medal in last year's tournament.
World Junior Crew
With his experience in Ufa, Russia, Jimmy Vesey becomes the third player on the current Harvard roster with World Junior Championship experience. Conor Morrison skated for Germany in 2009 and Ryan McGregor represented Switzerland in 2010 and 2011.
After an injury sidelined Alex Fallstrom for the Northeastern game Dec. 29, the senior has scored multiple points in both games since. Fallstrom dished out two assists Jan. 4 at Princeton and collected a goal and an assist at Quinnipiac a day later.
Top Line Touch
It was Harvard's top line of forwards that had the scoring touch against Princeton and Quinnipiac as three of the four goals on the weekend came via first-line forwards. Against the Tigers, Alex Fallstrom, Marshall Everson and Colin Blackwell accounted for both Harvard goals and all four assists in the game.
After struggling to score on the power play earlier this season, the Crimson has now scored a power-play goal in its last three contests.
Nov. 24, 2009
In his first game against Boston University, senior Conor Morrison exploded for four goals on only four shots at Bright Hockey Center. Morrison has five points in three career games against the Terriers and missed both contests last season due to injury.
Home Is Where The Hart Is
Freshman Brian Hart has four points (2-2-4) in 10 games this season. All four points have come at Bright Hockey Center.
Let's Get Busy
With only 12 games played this season, Harvard has played the fewest contests of any team in the nation. Harvard's record will be bolstered by a busy January, which features nine contests, including seven away games.
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.
Best Against BU
Members of Harvard's senior class have had success against the Terriers during their time at Harvard. Danny Biega has 1-4-5 points in five career meetings with BU while Conor Morrison has 4-1-5 points in three matchups. Marshall Everson (1-3-4) and Alex Fallstrom (2-2-4) both have four points in five career games against BU.
Crimson At Agganis
The last time Harvard played BU at Agganis Arena was Jan. 15, 2011. Marshall Everson and Ryan Grimshaw '12 scored for the Crimson, but a pair of scores from Chris Connolly and Wade Megan, Joe Pereira and Justin Courtnall goals led to a 5-2 BU victory. The last time Harvard won on the road against BU was Nov. 20, 2007, when the Crimson scratched out a 2-1 overtime victory.