No. 6/6 Harvard (11-5-1, 7-4-1 ECAC)
No. 6/6 Harvard (11-5-1, 7-4-1 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
After a three-game road swing, the No. 6/6 Harvard men's hockey team returns to the friendly confines of the Bright-Landry Hockey Center to face a pair of ECAC Hockey and Ivy League opponents in Brown and Yale. Puck drop for both games is slated for 7 p.m., with Friday's matchup against the Bears available live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Saturday's game against the Bulldogs will also be broadcast live on NESN.
The First Line
• The Harvard-Brown series is the oldest in program history. The Crimson and Bears met for the first time at Franklin Park on Jan. 19, 1898. The Bears won that initial meeting, as well as the second, before Harvard won the next 19 from 1900-1948. The Crimson holds a 111-46-13 record all-time.
• The Harvard-Yale rivalry is one of the most contested in college hockey. Saturday's meeting will be the 252nd all-time, with Harvard boasting a 142-89-20 advantage. The first meeting took place on Feb. 26, 1900 in New York City.
• The Crimson has three student-athletes that rank in the top-five in scoring in ECAC Hockey. With 18 points (6g, 12a), Alexander Kerfoot is tied for third in conference scoring. Tyler Moy (5g, 10a) and Ryan Donato (7g, 8a) are tied for fifth.
Last Time Out
Harvard dropped its third-straight game Tuesday evening, falling 8-4 at Dartmouth. The Crimson held leads at 2-0 and 4-3, but the Big Green scored a season-high eight goals to earn the victory. Tyler Moy scored his ninth goal of the season to help the nation's top power play go 1-for-2 in the game.
The Bears enter the weekend with a 3-13-1 overall record, the fewest wins in the ECAC this season. Against conference opponents, the Bears are tied for 11th place with four points on a 2-8-0 record. Brown is riding a four-game losing skid into Friday's matchup after being swept by St. Lawrence and Clarkson at home last weekend. Special teams has been a struggle for the Bears, converting on just eight of its 66 power play chances (12.1 percent), while allowing 25 goals on 89 penalty kills (71.9).
Freshman Gavin Nieto has been the primary goaltender, sporting a .864 save percentage and a 4.30 goals-against average. Four juniors lead the Bears in scoring, led by Sam Lafferty's 24 points and 18 assists. Charlie Corcoran paces the team with 12 goals, four of which have come on the power play.
Series Record vs. Brown: 111-46-13
Last Five Meetings: 4-1-0
Feb. 5, 2016 - W, 3-2
Nov. 7, 2015 - W, 5-2
March 7, 2015 - W, 4-3
March 6, 2015 - W, 6-2
Feb. 7, 2015 - L, 1-2
With eight points in the ECAC standings, the Bulldogs are entrenched in the middle of the pack, even with Princeton for eighth place and two points behind Dartmouth. Yale earned a crucial three points at home last weekend, topping Clarkson, 2-1, and skating to a 2-2 tie with St. Lawrence. Yale is 3-1-1 in the New Year, including wins over UConn and Northeastern.
Senior John Hayden and sophomore Joe Snively are tied for the team-lead with 20 points. Hayden has a team-best 13 goals, eight of which have come on the power play. Snively is second on the Bulldogs with 12 assists, trailing junior Ryan Hitchcock's 16. Senior Patrick Spano has spent the most time between the pipes, starting 14 games. He has a .907 save mark and a 2.65 GAA.
Series Record vs. Yale: 142-89-20
Last Five Meetings: 2-2-1
Feb. 6, 2016 - L, 1-2
Nov. 6, 2015 - T, 2-2 (ot)
March 15, 2015 - W, 3-2 (2ot)
March 14, 2015 - L, 0-2
March 13, 2015 - W, 3-2
Tim Taylor Cup
In its third season of existence, the Tim Taylor Cup will once again be awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the Harvard-Yale men's hockey game played in Cambridge.
The Cup was created as a way of honoring the late Tim Taylor. The captain of the 1962-63 ECAC Championship team for the Crimson, Taylor returned to his alma mater as the freshmen coach and an assistant coach before taking the head coaching job at Yale in 1978. He led the Bulldogs for 28 seasons, winning 337 games.
William "Bill" J. Cleary '56 Harvard Ice Hockey Endowment
Last season, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 in recognition of his six-decade association with Harvard Athletics as a student-athlete, coach, and former Athletic Director, Harvard Athletics honored Coach Bill Cleary by announcing a Harvard Hockey endowment in his name. On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, the Crimson will unveil a special plaque honoring those donors that pledged $50,000 or more to the endowment. The plaque will be installed outside of the coaching suite on the concourse of the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. His friends, family, and numerous former players established the William J. Cleary, Jr. '56 Harvard Ice Hockey Endowment. This new fund will support the Friends of Harvard Hockey and provide staffing, recruitment, out-of-region-travel, equipment, and hockey-specific facility enhancements for both the men's and women's programs.
Freshman Adam Fox has made a name for himself on the Harvard blue line through 17 games of the season. The Jericho, New York native, and Calgary Flames prospect is tied for the team lead with 18 assists. His 1.25 points per game mark ranks first among all defensemen in the country and third among all rookies. His 12 points in conference games leads all defensemen and is tied for first among all freshmen.
Senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot has been selected as one of the 15 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. The announcement was made by the organization Jan. 13. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
The Crimson is unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center this season, going 6-0-1.
Power Play Power
The Crimson has converted on 29.9 percent of its power play opportunities this season. It's 23-for-77 success rate is tops in the country.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 96
Sacred Heart - 87
Boston College - 82
Harvard is boasting a 1.41 scoring margin through 17 games this season, the third-best mark in Division I. Harvard's offense is averaging 4.06 goals, while the defense has surrendered just 2.65, the 20th-lowest in the nation.
Scoring Four or More
Four goals has been the magic number for the Crimson this season, as all 11 of its wins has come when it has scored four or more times. Harvard lost its first game when scoring four goals at Dartmouth Jan. 17. Harvard is also 9-1-1 when allowing two goals or less.
Freshman Adam Fox was one of 23 selected to represent the U.S. at the IIHF World Junior Championships. Fox and the Americans went 7-0 and captured gold with a shootout victory over host Canada. Fox was tremendous in the final game, dishing out three assists, including one on the game-tying goal.
Leading the Way
Senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot is setting the tone for the Harvard offense this season. His 26 points lead the Crimson and he has recorded a point in 15 of Harvard's 17 games. He put together a 12-game point streak from November 4 - January 7.
Junior defenseman Wiley Sherman is one of six players in college hockey standing 6'7". Those six players are just one inch shorter than the tallest player in the NCAA, Maine's Stephen Mundinger.