No. 3/3 Harvard (20-5-2, 14-4-2 ECAC)
No. 3/3 Harvard (20-5-2, 14-4-2 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
The No. 3/3 Harvard men's hockey team will bring its 2016-17 regular season to a close this weekend, hosting Clarkson and No. 20/- St. Lawrence at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center Friday and Saturday. Puck drop for both games is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
The First Line
• Following Saturday's game, the Crimson will honor the eight members of the senior class in an on-ice ceremony. The eight members of the senior class are: Clay Anderson, Luke Esposito, Alexander Kerfoot, Sean Malone, Tyler Moy, Victor Newell, Devin Tringale and Phil Zielonka.
• Harvard boasts the nation's second-longest unbeaten streak at 10 games. The Crimson has not lost since Jan. 20 and is 9-0-1 during that span. The streak is the longest since 1993-94 when Harvard went 9-0-2 over 11 games. Canisius' current 14-game unbeaten streak leads the nation.
• Harvard has already secured a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs. With 30 points, Harvard is one point shy of Union for the top spot in the regular season standings. The team that finishes with the most points in the regular season earns the Cleary Cup from ECAC Hockey. Harvard has 13 ECAC regular season titles to its credit, the most in the conference, but has not hoisted the Cleary Cup since 1993-94.
• With its 4-2 win over Yale last Friday, the Crimson earned its first outright Ivy League title since 2006. Harvard has 23 Ivy League titles to its credit since the league began recognizing an official conference champion in ice hockey in 1956.
Last Time Out
Harvard extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games, and its current win streak to eight games, with road wins at Yale and Brown last weekend. Power play goals from Tyler Moy and John Marino, as well as a shorthanded tally from Luke Esposito helped the Crimson prevail at archrival Yale. The Crimson scored three times in the opening period at Brown, cruising to a 6-0 victory. Senior
The Golden Knights have already secured a home series in the first round of the ECAC Hockey Playoffs. They can finish no higher than fifth and no lower than seventh in the ECAC standings. Last weekend, Clarkson shut out Colgate, 3-0, and then tied Cornell, 3-3, at home.
Junior Sam Vigneault leads the Golden Knights with 32 points and 21 assists. His 11 goals ranks second on the team to senior Troy Josephs' 13. Freshman goaltender Jake Kielly has played in 30 games this season, holding a 2.57 GAA and .915 save mark.
Series Record vs. Clarkson: 55-54-11
Last Five Meetings: 3-2-0
Dec. 3, 2016 - W, 7-3
Feb. 26, 2016 - L, 1-2
Jan. 16, 2016 - L, 1-5
Feb. 21, 2015 - W, 3-2
Jan. 16, 2015 - W, 6-3)
Scouting St. Lawrence
The Saints are 0-3-1 in its last four games, as it fights for a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs. With 26 points, St. Lawrence holds the fourth and final first-round bye entering the last weekend of the series and can clinch it with just one point at either Dartmouth or Harvard. Quinnipiac is fifth with 23 points.
Scoring has been balanced for St. Lawrence this year, as 11 skaters have at least 10 points. Gavin Bayreuther leads the way with 25 points and 18 assists. Mike Marnell has 11 goals. Junior Kyle Hayton has 30 starts in net this year and will bring a .933 save mark and 2.14 GAA into the weekend.
Series Record vs. St. Lawrence: 57-44-7
Last Five Meetings: 4-1-0
Dec. 2, 2016 - W, 4-2
March 18, 2016 - W, 2-1 (ot)
Feb. 27, 2016 - W, 4-1
Jan. 15, 2016 - W, 3-2
Feb. 20, 2015 - L, 1-5
North Country Sweep
Harvard defeated St. Lawrence and Clarkson in the first meetings of the season back in December. The 4-2 win over the Saints and 7-3 triumph at Clarkson marked the first North Country sweep for the Crimson since November 2002.
Senior Tyler Moy and freshman Nathan Krusko were recognized as the ECAC Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, this past week. Moy racked up seven points in wins over Boston University, Yale and Brown, while Krusko received Beanpot MVP honors for his two-goal, one-assist performance in the Beanpot Championship.
The class of 2017 has amassed 70 wins during its career, the most for a senior group since the class of 2008 notched 73. The class of 2006 has the most wins in the last 20 years with 82.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 146
Boston College - 120
Sacred Heart - 118
With its win over Brown, Harvard went over the 20-win plateau for a season for the 17th time in program history. It is only the second 20-win season in the last 10 years for Harvard as it had 21 in 2014-15.
For the first time in 119-year history of the Harvard-Brown series, the Crimson swept a season series with the Bears via shutout. Harvard defeated Brown 3-0 at home and 6-0 on the road this year. Last season, Harvard shut out Rensselaer twice, beating them 4-0 at the Shillelagh Tournament and tying them 0-0. The last time Harvard earned two shut out wins over the same team in one season was 1958-59 against Cornell. Harvard beat the Big Red 18-0 and 13-0.
Harvard earned the Ivy League title for the second-straight season, racking up 17 points in 10 games against the Ancient Eight. Harvard earned consecutive titles for the first time since 1993-1994. It's 8-1-1 record was also its best since going 9-0-1 during the 93-94 campaign.
Six or More
For the third season in a row, Harvard has scored at least six goals in five games. Harvard scored six goals in six games in 2014-15, and with its 6-0 win at Brown Feb. 18, it has six games in five games each of the last two seasons.
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis. The sophomore forward is second in the country with a 4.74 shots per game average. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union Feb. 10. That number was the highest since Jimmy Vesey '16 had 13 against Rensselaer Feb. 12, 2016.
Harvard as a team ranks sixth in the nation in shots on goal per game at 34.15. That number ranks third in the ECAC behind Quinnipiac (35.78) and Princeton (35.11).
The Crimson is unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center this season, going 9-0-2. The last time Harvard finished a season unbeaten at home was 1993-94 when it went 10-0-3.
Harvard is boasting a 1.89 scoring margin through 27 games this season, the best mark in Division I. Harvard's offense is averaging 4.04 goals, while the defense has surrendered just 2.32, the 12th-lowest in the nation.
Harvard has tallied 10 short-handed goals this season, its most since it had 10 in 2000-01. Ten shorthanded goals leads the nation. Harvard's most recent short-handed goal came Luke Esposito in the second period of a 4-2 win at Yale Feb. 17.
Twice this season, Harvard has netted two man-down goals in the same game. The first came in the season-opener at Arizona by Ryan Donato and John Marino. On Dec. 3, Donato and Sean Malone both scored short-handed goals on an empty net at Clarkson.
Prior to this season, the last time Harvard scored twice a man down in a single game was Jan. 4, 2014 in a 7-4 win versus Boston University. Malone accounted for both goals.
Stat Sheet Success
Harvard is yet to lose a game this season when either Ryan Donato or Jake Horton scores, dishes an assist or has a plus rating in a game.
When Donato Has a:
Goal: 10-0-0; Assist: 7-0-0; Plus: 11-0-0
When Horton Has a:
Goal: 5-0-0; Assist: 6-0-0; Plus: 8-0-0
In The Giving Mood
Twice this season a Harvard skater has dished out four assists in one game. In Harvard's 5-2 win over Bentley Nov. 26, senior Alexander Kerfoot dished out four assists and then sophomore Ryan Donato handed out four helpers in a 6-0 win at Brown Feb. 18. The last Harvard player with four assists in a game was Colin Blackwell '16 against Cornell March 16, 2012.
Walter Brown Semifinalists
On Monday, Feb. 6, The Gridiron Club of Boston announced the 23 finalists for the Walter Brown Award, which honors the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Freshman Adam Fox, junior Merrick Madsen and senior Sean Malone were honored as the Crimson's semifinalists. The trio represent three of the five selections from ECAC Hockey schools.
One year after Jimmy Vesey '16 won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player, the Crimson has three new candidates for the 2017 season. Seniors Alexander Kerfoot and Sean Malone, as well as freshman Adam Fox, have each been named a candidate this year. Fan voting is open on the Hobey Baker fan page through February.
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.
Senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot has been selected as one of the 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. Kerfoot was selected as a nominee in January and named a finalist mid-February. 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.
In back-to-back games this season against Bentley (Nov. 26) and at St. Lawrence (Dec. 2), senior forward Alexander Kerfoot had four points. It marked the first time since the 1990-91 season that a Crimson skater had four points in consecutive games. Current head coach Ted Donato '91 was the last to accomplish that feat early in his senior season when he went four-straight games with at least four points.