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No. 3/3 Union Hosts Men's Hockey in Friday ECAC Clash


Teams
Date
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Harvard at No. 3/3 Union
Friday, Jan. 24
7:00 p.m.
Messa Rink
UnionAthletics.tv
WHRB 95.3 FM-Cambridge
  Anton Khodakov, Danny Wood
Live Stats
Harvard Game Notes


Harvard will be looking for its first ECAC victory of the 2014 portion of its schedule (Gil Talbot).

Game Notes (.pdf)

Highlights: Cornell Sneaks Past Men's Hockey, 3-2

Highlights: Harvard Falls to Colgate, 4-2

The Storyline

In its first road contest of the 2014 portion of the schedule, the Harvard men's hockey team travels to Schenectady, N.Y., to take on No. 3/3 Union in a Friday night showdown. Friday's game marks the fourth time in the last five games that Harvard has faced an opponent ranked within the top 12 teams nationally.             

Trending
• The Crimson is coming off a pair of narrow defeats in a weekend homestand, falling to No. 12/12 Cornell, 3-2, Friday and dropping a 4-2 decision to ECAC foe Colgate the following night. Harvard is in search of its first conference win since a 5-3 victory at Princeton Nov. 16 in its Ivy League opener.            

• Sophomore Kyle Criscuolo netted a pair of power-play goals in the 4-2 loss to Colgate Saturday. It marks the third time this season he has collected two goals in a game, good for the team lead in that category. He is also tied with classmate Jimmy Vesey for the team lead in goals with 10 this year.

• Friday marked Harvard's 10th game against a ranked opponent this season, as the Crimson holds a 2-5-3 mark against ranked foes this year.          

• Freshman Alexander Kerfoot was riding a four-game point streak heading into the Cornell matchup, and after logging an assist against Colgate, has picked up at least one point in five of his last six games. Jimmy Vesey has the longest active point streak on the team at three games, just one shy of his season high.   

• Rookie Sean Malone holds the team lead in freshman scoring with 4-7-11 points on the year. Malone notched his third multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist Friday against Cornell.        

• 31 of Harvard's last 34 goals have been scored by either freshmen or sophomores, including the last 13 strikes. Underclassmen are responsible for 93 of Harvard's 114 total points (82%) through 18 games this season.

Series History: Union
In one of the younger series against ECAC opponents, Harvard holds a solid 30-12-4 record in 46 career matchups with Union. The teams' first meeting came Nov. 15, 1991 at Messa Rink and Harvard poured in seven scores in a 7-5 win. Harvard was unbeaten in the first seven games of the series, and held an eight-game win streak from 2002-05. The tide has turned recently in the series, as Union is unbeaten in the last eight meetings and has claimed seven victories over the Crimson in that eight-game span.  

About The Dutchmen
It was a slow start to the year for Union, which stumbled out of the gate with a 1-2-2 record, but the Dutchmen have been nearly flawless since, bringing a 15-4-3 overall record into the Harvard matchup and a No. 3 national ranking in the USCHO.com poll. After a loss to Colgate Nov. 8, the Dutchmen rattled off a 10-game unbeaten streak, taking down such formidable foes as Quinnipiac, St. Cloud State and Cornell. Union's last loss came Jan. 10 when Quinnipiac eked by them at home by a 2-1 score, and a 3-0 win over Princeton and two, 3-1, wins at New Hampshire bring the Dutchmen to the game against the Crimson.   

Scouting Union
Three seniors have been leading the charge for Union this season. Forward Daniel Carr leads all players with 24 points and also has the team lead in goals with 11. Defenseman Mat Bodie has accumulated an impressive 20 assists to lead the squad, and is one point off Carr's point total for the season. Forward Kevin Sullivan rounds out the strong senior trio, boasting 3-16-19 points on the season, good for third on the squad. As a team, the Dutchmen boast the highest scoring offense in the ECAC, and third-highest in the nation, averaging 3.64 goals per game.

Junior goalie Colin Stevens has earned the majority of the time between the pipes this season and leads the team with 12 wins to his credit. He also holds a 1.98 goals-against average (good for eighth in the nation) and a .927 save percentage.
 
Nov. 2, 2013 in Cambridge
Out to a hot, 2-0-1, start to the season, the Harvard men's hockey team couldn't hold onto an early lead and dropped a 4-2 decision to Union in the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

Things went Harvard's way early, with sophomore Greg Gozzo netting his first goal of the season at 6:37 of the first to give Harvard the lead. Junior Ryan McGregor reacted quickly off an offensive zone faceoff and beat Colin Stevens with a quick shot later in the period to give the hosts a 2-0 edge after one. It took Union just 23 seconds into the second frame to respond, however, as Daniel Campini scored his first of two goals in the frame, knotting the game at 2-2 with his shorthanded second. Daniel Carr's strike at 14:23 of the second gave Union the lead for good, and Matt Hatch's empty-net goal with 25 seconds on the clock sealed the win for Union.  

Harvard goalie Steve Michalek made 43 saves on the evening while Stevens needed just 20 stops to record the win for the Dutchmen.

Sophomore Surge
With a goal against Yale in the Rivalry On Ice game at MSG, sophomore Jimmy Vesey became the first Harvard player to eclipse the 10-goal mark this season. Two games later, classmate Kyle Criscuolo joined the 10-goal club, posting a pair of power-play tallies in the 4-2 loss to Colgate.   

Short Story
Through 18 games this season, Harvard has amassed four short-handed goals. That surpasses last year's total of three, and represents the most since the 2007-08 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.  Patrick McNally had a short-handed score in the win over UNH, and Devin Tringale netted one against Cornell, his first collegiate goal.