No. 9/9 Harvard (12-5-2, 8-4-2 ECAC)
No. 9/9 Harvard (12-5-2, 8-4-2 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
The No. 9/9 Harvard men's hockey team closes out the first month of 2017 with a road trip to central New York this weekend, traveling to No. 14/14 Cornell Friday, Jan. 27 and Colgate Saturday, Jan. 28. Puck drop both nights is set for 7 p.m. Friday's Ancient Eight matchup can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network, while Saturday's game will be available on the Patriot League Network.
The First Line
• First place in the Ivy League standings will be up for grabs Friday night at Lynah Rink, as Harvard and Cornell both enter the weekend with nine points. The Big Red and Harvard have matching 4-1-1 Ivy records. Harvard earned the victory in the first meeting this season back on Nov. 5, 4-3.
• Harvard will be playing its first game ever at Colgate's new home venue, the Class of 1965 Arena. The Raiders opened the new facility this season and are 3-4-3 in front of their home crowd.
• Sixteen different Harvard skaters have netted goals this season. Frédéric Grégoire became the 16th student-athlete to score with his first collegiate goal against Brown Jan. 20. Ryan Donato, Sean Malone and Tyler Moy lead the Crimson in scoring with 10 goals apiece.
Last Time Out
Harvard earned three points in the ECAC Hockey standings with a shutout of Brown and a tie with Yale at home over the weekend. Merrick Madsen made 26 saves against the Bears to register his second clean sheet of the season. He went on to earn a share of the Tim Taylor Cup the following night against the Bulldogs as the MVP of the H-Y game in Cambridge, stopping 27 shots in a 1-1 tie. Luke Esposito scored the game-tying goal with less than three minutes to play.
The Big Red is unbeaten in the New Year, posting a 4-0-1 record since the turn of the calendar. Lynah Rink played host to Clarkson and St. Lawrence last weekend, as Cornell skated to a 3-3 tie with the Golden Knights before edging the Saints, 3-2. Cornell is fifth in the ECAC standings with 16 points, one behind Quinnipiac for fourth and two behind the Crimson.
The Big Red has ascended the rankings during this stretch and enters the weekend 14th in both national polls. Goaltender Mitch Gillam has held opponents at bay, boasting a 2.05 goals-against average, the 10th-lowest in the nation. Sophomore Mitch Vanderlaan paces the Big Red offense with nine goals and 17 points. Senior Patrick McCarron has dished out 13 assists.
Series Record vs. Cornell: 63-74-11
Last Five Meetings: 2-2-1
Nov. 5, 2016 - W, 4-3
Feb. 19, 2016 - T, 2-2 (ot)
Jan. 23, 2016 - W, 6-2
Feb. 13, 2015 - T, 3-3 (ot)
Jan. 23, 2015 - L, 2-3
The Raiders picked up their first win since Dec. 3 last Saturday, topping Clarkson, 3-2, at home. Colgate scored twice in the third period of the game, as Tim Harrison recorded a short-handed effort and Evan Peterson scored on the power play at 13:24 for the game-winner. Harrison leads the team with eight goals, while Jake Kulevich's 11 assists and 14 points are tops for the Raiders' offense. Senior Charlie Finn has been in net for 17 games this season, posting a .908 save mark and 3.04 GAA.
As a team, Colgate is averaging 2.30 goals per game, the 11th-lowest in the nation. With eight points in ECAC play, Colgate is tied for ninth in the standings with Princeton.
Series Record vs. Colgate: 53-23-8
Last Five Meetings: 4-0-1
Nov. 4, 2016 - T, 1-1 (ot)
Feb. 20, 2016 - W, 7-4
Jan. 22, 2016 - W, 4-2
March 21, 2015 - W, 4-2
Feb. 13, 2015 - W, 6-1
Tim Taylor Cup
Junior goaltender Merrick Madsen became the first Harvard player to receive the Tim Taylor Cup as the MVP of the Harvard-Yale game played in Cambridge each season. The award is named in honor of the former Crimson player and coach, as well as Yale coach. Madsen shared the award with Yale goaltender, Patrick Spano, after the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Harvard's top-two forwards lines have combined for 119 points this season. The number represents 58.3 percent of the scoring for the Crimson this season. The senior-laden line of Luke Esposito, Sean Malone and Tyler Moy has skated together in all 19 games and has a points line of 26-36-62. Similarly, the line of Ryan Donato, Alexander Kerfoot and Lewis Zerter-Gossage has accounted for 25-32-57.
Freshman Adam Fox has made a name for himself on the Harvard blue line through 19 games of the season. The Jericho, New York native, and Calgary Flames prospect leads the team with 20 assists. His 1.22 points per game mark ranks first among all defensemen in the country and third among all rookies. His 14 points in conference games leads all defensemen and 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.
Power Play Power
The Crimson has converted on 28.6 percent of its power play opportunities this season. It's 24-for-84 success rate is tops in the country.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 100
Sacred Heart - 98
Boston College - 87
On Jan. 6 against Quinnipiac, senior forward Tyler Moy served up three assists, a new career-high. It marked the fourth time this year that a Crimson player had at least three assists in a game. On Nov. 26 against Bentley, Alexander Kerfoot dished out four assists, while Ryan Donato (Nov. 5 - Cornell) and Adam Fox (Dec. 2 - St. Lawrence) each had three earlier this season.
Harvard ranks third in the nation in scoring. The Crimson is averaging 3.84 goals each time out. Harvard has scored at least five goals in nine games this season. Last season, Harvard averaged 3.41 goals per game which was its best mark since posting 3.91 in 2002-03.
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 19 games. He put together a 12-game point streak from November 4 - January 7.
Scoring Four or More
Four goals has been the magic number for the Crimson this season, as 11 of its wins has come when it has scored four or more times. The Crimson won for the first time when scoring less than four goals Jan. 20 when it blanked Brown, 3-0. Harvard has only lost once when scoring four goals - at Dartmouth Jan. 17. Harvard is also 9-1-1 when allowing two goals or less.
Harvard ranks No. 9 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 9 in the USA Today poll this week. It rose as high as No. 2 in the USCHO poll on Jan. 9. Harvard has been ranked in the USCHO.com poll for 62 weeks, while it has spent the last 44 weeks ranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.