Conference Points On The Line As Men's Hockey Hosts No. 12/12 Cornell, Colgate
Harvard vs. No. 12/12 Cornell, Colgate
Luke Esposito is tied for the team lead in freshman scoring with nine points on three goals and six assists (Gil Talbot).
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In its first home ECAC weekend since the beginning of November, the Harvard men's hockey team hosts league foes No. 12/12 Cornell and Colgate this weekend at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. It also marks the first time the Crimson will face an Ivy League opponent at home this season.
• It was a marquee matchup against the defending national champion Yale Bulldogs in Harvard's last action, but the Elis prevailed, 5-1, in a game broadcast nationally from Madison Square Garden. The showdown was the first installment of the Rivalry On Ice event. Jimmy Vesey was Harvard's lone goal scorer on the night.
• Saturday marked Harvard's ninth game against a ranked opponent this season, as the Crimson holds a 2-4-3 mark against ranked foes this year. Harvard will see its third straight ranked team Friday in No. 12/12 Cornell and 10th overall on the season.
• Freshman Alexander Kerfoot is riding a four-game point streak heading into the Cornell matchup, tied with Brian Hart, Luke Esposito and Jimmy Vesey for the longest streak on the team this season. Kerfoot had the first multi-point game of his career last Tuesday with a goal and an assist against Quinnipiac.
• 27 of Harvard's last 30 goals have been scored by either freshmen or sophomores. Underclassmen are responsible for 83 of Harvard's 103 total points (81%) through 16 games this season.
• This weekend's games will be the fourth and fifth in a row where Harvard has been designated the home team. Even though the Rivalry On Ice was played at a neutral site, the Crimson was the home team for the event.
Series History: Cornell
Friday's matchup between the Crimson and Big Red will be the 142nd meeting between the two teams, dating back to 1910 when Harvard earned a 5-0 win in the first ever meeting between the two teams. Harvard had great success in the early years of the rivalry, earning wins in 16 of the first 18 contests, including a string of five straight shutouts. Despite trailing in the all-time series, 61-71-9, recent history has been favorable to the Crimson with Harvard posting a 3-1-2 record in the last six matchups.
About The Big Red
One of five nationally-ranked ECAC schools, Cornell comes into the Harvard game with an 8-4-3 overall record and a No. 12 ranking in both national polls. Cornell jump-started its season with three straight wins, but hit a bit of a roadblock when it was shutout in two of three games against Quinnipiac and Union. The Big Red brought a four-game win streak into its showdown with Boston University in another Red Hot Hockey installment, but, like the Crimson, Cornell found itself on the short end of its Madison Square Garden affair. Cornell is 1-0-2 since that game and will be playing in its first contest since Jan. 3, thanks to a cancelled game against Massachusetts, originally slated for Jan. 10.
A quartet of juniors is leading the way for the Big Red on the scoring chart, with Joel Lowry (6-11-17) and John McCarron (4-13-17) sharing the team lead in points and McCarron acting as the team's assist leader. Brian Ferlin is close behind with 8-8-16 points and the team goals lead, and Joakim Ryan (5-11-16) is even with Ferlin in the point column. Ferlin is also the team leader in power-play goals (5) and game-winning scores (3). Fellow junior Cole Bardreau is the highest rated player on the roster at +6.
Senior netminder Andy Iles has been solid in 14 games this season, holding solid numbers with a 2.25 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.
Last Season Against The Big Red
Harvard fared well against a talented Cornell squad in 2012-13, picking up a win and a tie in the season series.
In one of its finest showings of the season, the Crimson showed a national TV audience it could hang with the best in the country, besting then-No. 10 Cornell, 4-1, at Lynah Rink on NBC Sports. Alex Fallstrom '13 got Harvard on the board at 14:32 in the first, and despite a Cornell answer just 26 seconds later, Mike Seward gave the Crimson a 2-1 lead after one with a goal at 15:30. Kyle Criscuolo struck late in the second to push the Harvard lead to 3-1, and an empty-net score by Petr Placek sealed the impressive 4-1 win.
It was Fallstrom again in the rematch in Cambridge, leveling the score at 1-1 on the power play to close the opening period. Marshall Everson '13 gave the hosts a 2-1 lead, but Nick D'Agostino's goal knotted the score at 2-2. The teams remained scoreless the rest of the way, resulting in a 2-2 tie.
Series History: Colgate
Harvard holds a significant 47-22-7 edge in the all-time series with the Raiders, a series which dates back to 1961. The Crimson got off to a fast start in its tenure against Colgate, earning wins in 17 of the first 20 meetings. Recently, the Raiders have held their own, as the teams have played to an even 4-4-1 record in the last nine meetings.
About The Raiders
Colgate is having a strong year, especially in ECAC action, as it brings a 9-9-3 record and 5-3-1 conference mark into the weekend. Early wins over Ferris State and RIT got the team off to a good start but the four-game losing skid that ensued snapped the strong beginning. The Raiders showed their mettle in a 5-3 win at Union, and swept the always-tough road trip to St. Lawrence and Clarkson a week later. Wins over Ferris State and Vermont have the Raiders heading into a showdown with Dartmouth Friday on a two-game winning streak.
Like the Crimson, the Raiders boast a talented sophomore class, as five second-year players sit atop the team scoring chart. Mike Borkowski leads all players in points (19), assists (13) and game-winning goals (3). Kyle Baun is next in line with 7-9-16 points, and team goals leader Darcy Murphy is one behind with 11-4-15 points. Tyson (3-11-14) and Tylor Spink (8-5-13) round out the quintet of sophomore scorers. Junior Spiro Goulakos begins the weekend as the top-scoring blueliner on the squad, totaling 2-6-8 points in 21 games played.
Freshman Charlie Finn and senior Eric Mihalik have been sharing time in goal, with Finn logging 12 starts to Mihalik's eight. The senior has a slightly better goals-against average at 2.54 and a save percentage of .910, two points higher than his freshman counterpart.
Vesey Does It
With a goal against Yale Saturday at MSG, sophomore Jimmy Vesey became the first Harvard player to eclipse the 10-goal mark this season. He ranks 15th in the nation with a 0.62 goals-per-game average, 35th in power play goals with four and 10th in game-winning scores with three.
The Crimson and Big Red have combined for three NCAA titles, with Cornell capturing two and Harvard one. They rank first and third in ECAC regular-season championships (Harvard 13, Cornell 9) and first and second in league tournament crowns (Cornell 12, Harvard 8). The rivals have combined to finish first or second in the ECAC Hockey Tournament 11 times over the last 10 seasons.
Either Harvard or Cornell has won or shared the Ivy League crown in 38 of the league's 56 seasons, with Harvard totaling 21 titles and Cornell 19. The teams shared the honor in 1983‑84 and 1984-85.
Through 16 games this season, Harvard has amassed three short-handed goals. That ties last year's total, which represented the most since the 2008-09 season. The Crimson poured in an impressive 10 short-handed goals as a team during the 2000-01 season.
Rookie Sean Malone has two to his credit this season, becoming the first player since Mike Taylor '08 to net a pair of short-handed goals in a season.