Harvard makes its much anticipated 2017-18 debut on Sunday night against Dartmouth at Bright-Landry Hockey Center (Gil Talbot).
The Opening Faceoff
No. 3/3 Harvard men's hockey kicks off the 2017-18 season tomorrow night (Oct. 29) against Dartmouth. The game can be viewed on NESN and the Ivy League Network.
The First Line
• Harvard is ranked No. 3 in the most recent USCHO.com poll and No. 3 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. Last season, Harvard moved to No. 2 in both polls, with that USCHO.com poll mark the highest ranking ever for the Crimson since the poll began in the 1997-98 season. Harvard was ranked No. 2 in the USCHO.com poll earlier this month.
• The Crimson played an exhibition contest last Saturday at Bright-Landry against the U.S. NTDP U-18 Team with a quick start - four goals in the first 20 minutes – helping Harvard cruise to a 7-2 win. Junior forward Ryan Donato had a five-point night (three goals, two assists) including a hat trick, freshman defenseman Reilly Walsh added a pair of power play goals and senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made all 14 saves in two periods of work to lead the Crimson.
• Dartmouth (0-1) opened the season on Friday night with a 5-3 loss at Holy Cross. Daniel Warpecha, Ryan Blankemeier, and Kevan Kilistoff all scored for the Big Green, with Devin Buffalo (24 saves) getting the start in net.
• Seniors Eddie Ellis, Jake Horton, and Merrick Madsen will lead the squad this season as captains. All Harvard varsity captains are elected by their teammates. This marks the first time in program history that Harvard has elected three men's hockey captains.
Dartmouth finished the 2016-17 season at 10-18-3 (7-13-2 ECAC Hockey), placing them 9th in ECAC Hockey. The Big Green graduated its top scorer Troy Crema, who had 17 goals and 12 assist to lead Dartmouth. Senior goaltender Devin Buffalo and senior forward Corey Kalk (11 goals, 12 assists) return to lead Dartmouth. Last season, Dartmouth led ECAC Hockey in penalty minutes per game (12.8).
The Last Meeting
On Feb. 3, 2017, Harvard earned a 5-2 win over Dartmouth, led by Sean Malone who scored twice and dished out an assist. Jake Horton added a shorthanded goal, and Luke Esposito and Alexander Kerfoot added third period goals for the Crimson. Harvard's win kicked off a current six-game home winning streak.
The Dartmouth Series
Series Record: Harvard Leads 132-65-13
Last Five Meetings:
November 18, 2014 – W, 2-0
October 31, 2015 – W, 7-0
November 1, 2015 – W, 5-2
January 14, 2017 – L, 4-8
February 10, 2017 – W, 5-2
The Crimson was unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center last season, going 13-0-2. The last time Harvard finished a season unbeaten at home was 1993-94 when it went 10-0-3. Since extensive renovations were completed prior to the start of the 2014-15 season, the Crimson is 29-7-6 on its home ice.
2016-17: A Year To Remember
• Harvard had a 28-6-2 overall record, the most wins since the 1988-89 season (31) and the fewest losses in Division I college hockey. The Crimson earned its 13th Frozen Four appearance and first since 1994.
• Harvard won its 10th ECAC Hockey Tournament title and second in the last three years (2015, 2017). The title was the third under head coach Ted Donato '91 (2006, 2015, 2017).
• Harvard won a share of its 14th ECAC regular season title, the most in the conference, hoisting its first Cleary Cup (named for legendary student-athlete, coach and administrator William J. Cleary, Jr. '56) since 1993-94.
• 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.
• Harvard snapped a 24-year Beanpot drought (1993) with its 6-3 victory over Boston University on Feb. 13, 2017 at TD Garden. The championship marked the 11th in the storied history of the tournament for Harvard. Nathan Krusko earned tournament MVP honors, scoring twice and dishing out an assist in the championship game.
• The Crimson was unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center last season, going 13-0-2.
• Adam Fox was named 2016-17 CCM/AHCA first team East All-American and Alexander Kerfoot was selected to the second team.
• Fox was named the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year. Fox and Alexander Kerfoot were selected to the All-ECAC Hockey first team, forward Ryan Donato was tabbed to the second team and goaltender Merrick Madsen earned a spot on the third team.
• Goaltender Merrick Madsen etched his name in the Harvard record books. With 28 wins on the season, Madsen recorded the most wins by a Harvard goaltender in a single season, passing Grant Blair '86, who had 24 in 1985-86.
• Harvard had an 18-game unbeaten streak (17-0-1) dating from Jan. 20 to its Frozen Four appearance. It was the longest such streak in program history and the longest in the nation during the 2016-17 season.
The class of 2018 has amassed 68 wins in three seasons at Harvard and has a chance to surpass the most wins for a senior group since the class of 2006 notched 82, and the most over the last 20 years of any senior class.
While Harvard lost its top three scorers from 2016-17, four of its top eight scorers are back. Leading the group is junior Ryan Donato who was fourth on the team with 40 points (21-19-40) and second in goal-scoring last year and sophomore defenseman Adam Fox (6-34-40), who led all blueliners in the nation in scoring.
Harvard ranks No. 3 in the most recent USCHO.com poll and No. 3 in the USA Today poll. Harvard has been ranked in the USCHO.com poll for 75 weeks, while it has spent the last 58 weeks ranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen has etched his name in the Harvard record books. With 28 wins last season, he had the most wins by a Harvard goaltender in a single season, passing Grant Blair '86, who had 24 in 1985-86. Madsen will leave Harvard as one of the program's greatest goaltenders. He is currently fifth on the all-time wins list (46), second on the career goals-against average list (2.07), first on the career save percentage list (.926), and third on the career shutouts list (7).
Donato A High Volume Shooter
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis. The junior forward was second in the country with a 5.14 shots per game average. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union Feb. 10, when he became the first Harvard skater since Connor Morrison on Nov. 24, 2009 to score four goals in a game. That number was the highest since Jimmy Vesey '16 had 13 against Rensselaer Feb. 12, 2016. Harvard as a team ranked fourth in the nation in shots on goal per game at 34.42.
Harvard boasts seven players on its 2017-18 roster that were selected in the NHL Entry Draft:
• Jack Badini (2017, Anaheim, 3rd rd.)
• Ryan Donato (2014, Boston, 2nd rd.)
• Adam Fox (2016, Calgary, 3rd rd.)
• Merrick Madsen (2013, Philadelphia, 6th rd.)
• John Marino (2015, Edmonton, 6th rd.)
• Wiley Sherman (2013, Boston, 5th rd.)
• Reilly Walsh (2017, New Jersey, 3rd rd.)
Junior defenseman Wiley Sherman blocked a team-high 57 shots last season, helping the Crimson stymie opposing offenses. Junior defenseman Jacob Olson was second on the team with 49 blocked shots.
Sky Scraper Sherman
Senior defenseman Wiley Sherman is one of nine players in college hockey standing at least 6'7", and the tallest D1collegiate defensemen. Stephen Mundinger of Maine and Keenan Suthers of St. Lawrence, both forwards are the tallest players in the nation at 6'8".
Harvard adds eight freshmen to the roster in 2017-18. Among them are drafted defenseman Reilly Walsh (New Jersey) and forward Jack Badini (Anaheim). Up front, Harvard will also add Henry Bowlby, Jack Donato, Mitchell Perrault and Benjamin Solin. The additional new defensemen are Nick Azar and Benjamin Foley.
A Power Play
Harvard's power play was one of the best in the nation a season ago at 26.4% (42-for-159, 4th NCAA). Sophomore Nathan Krusko made his mark in his first year at Harvard on the man advantage, scoring six of his nine goals on the power play. Harvard scored a power play goal in 26 of 36 games on the season.
Wealth of Experience, But Young
The Harvard roster features 14 juniors and seniors, tied for 11th most in the NCAA. Harvard is also the 9th youngest team in the nation with an average age of 21 years, 72 days as of Oct. 1.
Harvard placed 27 student-athletes on the 2016-17 ECAC Hockey All-Academic team, the most of any school in the conference. Harvard was led by senior Thomas Aiken, who earned a spot on the Commissioner's List as the top scholar for Harvard in 2016-17.
NHL In The Family
Ryan Donato, Jack Donato, and Ty Pelton-Byce are sons of former NHLers. Ted Donato, Harvard's current head coach played 13 years in the NHL, while John Byce played parts of two season with the Bruins, but spent over a decade playing professionally.
Three former Harvard men's hockey players are now general managers in the NHL, the most of any college program. Don Sweeney '88 (Boston), Peter Chiarelli '87 (Edmonton) and Chuck Fletcher '90 (Minnesota) all skated for the Crimson. Only one other college program is represented more than once, Bowling Green: George McPhee (Las Vegas) and Brian MacLellan (Washington).
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
Harvard is proud to announce the addition of closed captioning for men's and women's hockey to make its Ivy League Digital Network broadcasts of those two teams accessible to all.
Closed captioning for the Crimson's hockey programs will be available on desktop and mobile devices. The service is provided by Vitac (vitac.com).