Historic Rivalry Pits Men's Hockey Against Princeton Friday
The Crimson is looking to complete the season series sweep Friday against the Tigers (Photo: Zack Williamson).
Looking to cap the month of January with a victory, the Harvard men's hockey team takes on its third Ivy League opponent of the month when it welcomes Princeton to Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Friday's game marks the sixth time in the last seven contests that Harvard has served as the home team.
• The Crimson will be looking to sweep the season series against the Tigers, as Harvard posted a 5-3 win over Princeton in its Ivy League opener Nov. 16. It was also Harvard's first road victory of the season and the first of two straight road wins for the Crimson.
• In its most recent action, Harvard stayed stride for stride with the nation's third-ranked team, but three straight scores spanning the first and second periods allowed Union to hang on with a 4-3 win to cap the season series. Alexander Kerfoot netted the game's first goal and Brian Hart and Tyler Moy also scored for the Crimson in the narrow defeat.
• Last Friday marked Harvard's 11th game against a ranked opponent this season, as the Crimson holds a 2-6-3 mark against ranked foes this year. Harvard's showdown with the Huskies in the Beanpot will be the fifth time in seven games Harvard has faced an opponent ranked within the top 12 nationally.
• Freshman Alexander Kerfoot was riding a four-game point streak heading into the Cornell matchup, and after logging an assist against Colgate and a goal against the Dutchmen, has picked up at least one point in six of his last seven games.
• Harvard has killed its last 20 penalties, including a five-minute major against BU Jan. 4 and a lengthy five-on-three Jan. 24 at Union. The Crimson penalty kill is ranked third in the nation behind only BC and Quinnipiac.
• 34 of Harvard's last 37 goals have been scored by either freshmen or sophomores, including the last 16 strikes. Underclassmen are responsible for 100 of Harvard's 123 total points (82%) through 19 games this season.
Series History: Princeton
In Harvard's second-most contested series, the Crimson holds a commanding 148-58-11 edge in 217 career meetings. The first game of the series was played in 1902 in New York City, where Harvard skated to a 6-3 victory. Recently, the matchups have been closely contested with nine of the past 12 meetings being either one-goal games or ties. Harvard is 5-5-2 against the Tigers in that stretch.
About The Tigers
The Tigers have endured a trying season to this point, collecting just four wins for a 4-15-0 overall record heading into the Harvard game. Princeton started its season with a win over Dartmouth in the Liberty Hockey Invitational, but dropped its next six contests. The signature win of the season came Nov. 23 when Princeton took the back half of a home-and-home with then- No. 4 Quinnipiac on the road. The Tigers snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 2-1 win over Rensselaer Jan. 10, but dropped a 3-0 decision to Union in their most recent action.
Junior forwards Tucker Brockett and Aaron Kesselman are leading the way for the Tigers in terms of scoring. Brockett boasts a team-high 11 points with a pair of goals and a team-leading nine assists. Kesselman has collected 3-6-9 points on the year, which ties him with sophomore Jonathan Liau (1-8-9) for second on the team. Senior Andrew Ammon has team-high totals of six goals and two game-winning strikes and junior Arron Ave leads all Princeton defensemen with 3-4-7 points on the season.
Freshman Colton Phinney has started to see more action in goal for the Tigers as of late, amassing eight starts to senior Sean Bonar's 10. Phinney leads the team with a 3.42 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. Both goalies have a pair of wins to their credit and Bonar has made 294 saves on the year to Phinney's 277.
Nov. 16, 2013 in Princeton
The Crimson offense came alive in its best showing of the season to that point, pouring in four third-period goals in a 5-3 win at Hobey Baker Rink.
Sean Malone started the scoring in the game, giving the guests a 1-0 lead 13:37 into the contest. After a scoreless second, Aaron Ave leveled the game at 1-1, 3:08 into the final stanza. Rookie Tyler Moy got the Crimson back on top four minutes later with the first goal of his career, and Kyle Criscuolo and Jimmy Vesey followed with strikes to make it 4-1 Harvard. Princeton closed the gap to 4-3 with 37 seconds showing on the clock, but an empty-net goal from Vesey padded the lead and secured the 5-3 win for the Crimson.
Steve Michalek earned his first win of the season in net, stopping 32 shots on the night.
An Historic Evening
Friday's meeting between Harvard and Princeton marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most notable games in the series between the two schools. The game took place Jan. 24, 1914 and featured a Princeton squad led by the legendary Hobey Baker. Tied at 1-1 after regulation, the game stretched into a second 20-minute overtime period and Harvard's Leverett Saltonstall, class of 1914, put home the game-winning tally to give Harvard a thrilling 2-1 victory.
Baker would go onto lead the Tigers to the 1914 national championship, helping Princeton past Harvard in a best two-of-three series en route to the overall title.
The two teams will recognize the anniversary of the historic meeting with a ceremonial puck drop prior to Friday's game.
Against The Ivies
Harvard's Ivy League opponents have proven to be tough challenges in 2013-14, with the Crimson holding a 1-3-1 record in Ivy games. Harvard's three losses in Ancient Eight contests have all been one-goal defeats, two of which occurred on the road (Dartmouth, Brown). The Crimson skated to a 2-2 tie with Yale Dec. 7 to cap the 2013 portion of its schedule.
Since the year 2000, the Crimson has amassed a 6-7-1 record in games immediately preceding the Beanpot. The last time Harvard faced Princeton in the game right before the Beanpot was in 2010; a 2-1 victory for the Tigers in Cambridge.
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.
Through 19 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.