Men's Ice Hockey Hosts Dartmouth in ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series This Weekend on NESN

No. 4 seed Harvard will host No. 5 seed Dartmouth in a ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series this weekend. (Gil Talbot)


Live Stats
Last Meeting

Harvard (13-12-4, 11-8-3 ECAC) vs.
Dartmouth (15-15-2, 11-10-1 ECAC)

March 9-11, 2018
7 p.m.; 7 p.m.; 5 p.m.
Bright-Landry Hockey Center
Game 1; Game 2; Game 3
NESN (all games)
Game 1; Game 2; Game 3
Game Notes
W, 4-1 (Feb. 2, 2018)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard, the No. 4 seed in the ECAC Hockey Tournament, takes on No. 5 seed Dartmouth in a best-of-three ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series this weekend at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The winner of the series will advance to the semifinals played at the 1980 Rink at the Herb Brooks Arena. Games 1 and 2 will begin at 7 p.m., while Game 3 (if necessary) will start at 5 p.m. All games will be broadcast live on NESN and Harvard won both meetings against the Big Green this season (W, 5-0 - Oct. 29; W, 4-1 - Feb. 2).

• Harvard is pursuing its fourth consecutive trip to Lake Placid and the ECAC semifinals. The Crimson won the Whitelaw Cup in  2015 and 2017 and reached the final in 2016. Harvard has won 10 ECAC Tournament titles, including three under head coach Ted Donato (2006, 2015, 2017).

• Harvard and Dartmouth last met in the ECAC playoffs in the 2013 quarterfinals. The series went the full three games, with the Big Green winning Games 2 and 3 at Thompson Arena. Harvard is 6-4 all-time against Dartmouth in the ECAC Hockey playoffs.

• The last time Harvard was the No. 4 seed in the ECAC Hockey Tournament, the Crimson won the Whitelaw Cup in 2006, defeating St. Lawrence in the quarterfinals, Dartmouth in the semifinal, and Cornell in the championship game for head coach Ted Donato's first conference tournament title. In fact, two of Harvard's 10 ECAC Hockey Tournament titles (1971, 2006) have come as the No. 4 seed.

• Junior forward Ryan Donato was the talk of the U.S. men's ice hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Donato led Team USA with five goals, scoring four in two wins against Slovakia, and adding another in the team's 3-2 (SO) quarterfinal loss to the Czech Republic. Donato surpassed his father Ted's goal total (4) from the 1992 Olympics.

Scouting Dartmouth
Dartmouth won a best-of-three first round series against No. 12 seed St. Lawrence with a 2-1 win in Game 3 against the Saints on Sunday. Dartmouth's defense has been excellent of late, allowing two goals or less in five of the last seven contests. Dartmouth is also one of the nation's best shot-blocking teams, averaging 13.78 blocks per game this season. Will Graber leads the team in scoring with 25 points (9 goals, 16 assists).

The Dartmouth Series
Series Record: Harvard Leads 134-65-13
Last Five Meetings:
November 1, 2015 – W, 5-2
January 14, 2017 – L, 4-8
February 10, 2017 – W, 5-2
October 29, 2017 - W, 5-0
February 2, 2018 - W, 4-1

The Last Meeting
On Feb. 2, 2018, Frédéric Grégoire scored the go-ahead goal at 16:32 of the second period to break a 1-1 tie, Ryan Donato scored his 21st goal of the season, and goaltender Merrick Madsen made 22 saves to help Harvard to a 4-1 win at Dartmouth. Benjamin Solin and Wiley Sherman added goals for Harvard, which snapped a two-game goal-scoring drought, outshooting Dartmouth 40-23 on the night.

All-Ivy For Fox, Donato, Madsen
Junior forward Ryan Donato and sophomore defenseman Adam Fox were named First Team All-Ivy selections, and senior goaltender Merrick Madsen was named a Second Team All-Ivy honoree, the league announced on March 1. Donato (22 goals, 11 assists) had an outstanding junior campaign for the Crimson, leading Harvard with 33 points in just 25 games played. Fox (three goals, 18 assists) leads all Harvard defensemen in scoring and was tied for third among Ivy defensemen with seven points in 10 Ancient Eight contests. Madsen was excellent this season in net for the Crimson, particularly against Ivy competition this year, going 4-3-0 with a 1.73 goals against average and .935 save percentage against Ancient Eight foes.

Crimson Power Play a Plus
Harvard's power play has gotten into a groove in the last five games heading into the playoffs. The Crimson are 10-for-24 (41.7%) over the last five contests on the man advantage with multiple power play goals in four out of the last five games. Freshman defenseman Reilly Walsh (three power play goals) leads Harvard during that span, and topped all ECAC Hockey players with six power play goals in conference play.

Horton Nearing Games Played Mark
Senior forward Jake Horton, who has never missed a game in his four seasons at Harvard, is nearing a program record for games played in a season. Horton enters the weekend with 136 games played, tied for second all time in program history with Ryan Lannon '05, and has a chance to match or eclipse the Harvard record of 138 games played set by Tom Cavanagh '05.

Gornet Stars In First Career Start
In his first career start in net on Feb. 12 against No. 19 Boston College, sophomore goaltender Cameron Gornet was impressive, making 30 saves to help the Crimson earn a 5-4 win over the Eagles in the Beanpot consolation game. For Gornet, it was his first game action of the season and first game since Feb. 18, 2017.

ECAC Does It
Harvard has been at its best this season in ECAC Hockey play, with a 9-5-3 mark in league play in the last 16 games. Junior forward Ryan Donato led Harvard with 17 goals in 19 conference games (league-best .89 goals/game, and Merrick Madsen (7-5-2, 2.03 goals-against average, .926 save percentage, three shutouts) has been at his best against league opponents allowing two goals or less in six of his last seven starts. Harvard allowed 2.27 goals per game (.25 lower than overall) in league play.

Donato For Hobey
The accolades are rolling in for junior forward Ryan Donato (22 goals, 11 assists), Harvard's nominee for the 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Donato played for the U.S. men's ice hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics before returning to complete the season at Harvard. Donato had a career high 14-game point streak (14 goals, eight assists) to open the season, and was the first player in college hockey to reach 20 goals this year, taking just 19 games to do it. Donato was named the HCA National Player of the Month for December and was also named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month.

Donato, Welch '05 Receive Olympic Call
Junior forward Ryan Donato and former Harvard standout Noah Welch '05 represented he United States in men's ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Donato and Welch were selected to the 25-man roster that made up the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, released during the NHL Winter Classic. Donato, a native of Scituate, Mass., is in the midst of his best individual season with the Crimson. Welch, a two-time All-American and standout defenseman at Harvard, captained the Crimson as a senior in 2004-05. The Brighton, Mass., native registered 76 points (23 goals, 53 assists) in 129 career games. Harvard men's hockey is no stranger to the Winter Olympics, with 28 men's hockey alumni selected as a coach, player, or member of team personnel of their respective national teams, including current head coach Ted Donato '91, who represented the U.S. at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.

Home Cooking
Harvard is 24-3-4 in its last 31 games at Bright-Landry Hockey Center, a run that dates back to Feb. 12, 2016. 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 36-10-7 on its home ice.

Fantastic Freshmen
Several of Harvard's freshmen have made an immediate impact. Forward Henry Bowlby leads Harvard forwards with a +10 rating and has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists). Forward Jack Badini has 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) and is Harvard's top faceoff man (59.4%), and defenseman Reilly Walsh is second among Harvard blueliners with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) including 10 PPGs.

Dominant on Draws
Freshman center Jack Badini leads the team and is third in ECAC Hockey at 59.0% on faceoffs this season. Badini is No. 11 in the nation on draws. Junior forward Ryan Donato, who made the switch to center this season, has also been solid in the faceoff circle with a 52.2% win rate on draws this year.

NHL In The Family
Ryan Donato, Jack Donato, Ty Pelton-Byce, and Reilly Walsh 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 seasons with the Bruins and a decade playing professionally. Mike Walsh played parts of two seasons wth the New York Islanders and had a nine-year pro career.

Money Madsen
Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen has etched his name in the Harvard record books. Madsen has three shutouts (Dartmouth, Brown, Rensselaer) in 19 starts this season bringing his career total to 10 (Second in Harvard history). 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 third on the all-time wins list (54), moving into sole possession of third with his 50th career win against Rensselaer on Jan. 5, and entered the year second on the career goals-against average list (2.04), and first on the career save percentage list (.927). Madsen made a career high 48 saves in Harvard's 2-1 (ot) loss at Minnesota on Nov. 18, He had the most saves in a game by a Harvard goaltender since Raphael Girard made 48 saves in a win against Yale on March 10, 2012 (4th most in a game all-time).

Super Seniors
The Harvard Hockey class of 2018 has 80 wins in 3+ seasons at Harvard and could surpass the most wins for a senior group since the class of '06 had 82, and the most in the last 20 years of any senior class.

Giving Back
Harvard hosted One Summit for a learn to skate and play hockey event on Jan. 14 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. One Summit is an organization that helps children battling cancer build confidence and courage through a partnership with a Navy SEAL. 

NHL Caliber
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.)

Donato A High Volume Shooter
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis. Donato leads the team with 150 shots on net (6.00 per game/1st NCAA) The junior forward was second in the country with a 5.14 shots per game average last year. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union last season on Feb. 10, 2017 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. 

Giving Back
Harvard hosted One Summit for a learn to skate and play hockey event on Jan. 14 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. One Summit is an organization that helps children battling cancer build confidence and courage through a partnership with a Navy SEAL. 

Fox at World Juniors
Sophomore forward Adam Fox won a bronze medal at the IIHF World Junior Championships, one year after winning gold with Team USA. Fox, who competed at the tournament in Buffalo from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, was the team's top scoring defensemen with five points (goal, four assists), including the game-winner in Team USA's 5-4 win against Finland on Dec. 31. Fox was named one of the team's most valuable players.

Sky Scrapers
Senior defenseman Wiley Sherman is one of nine players in college hockey standing at least 6'7", and the tallest D1 defensemen. Stephen Mundinger of Maine and Keenan Suthers of St. Lawrence, both forwards are the tallest players in the nation at 6'8".

General Managers
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).

Ultimate Sacrifice
Through 29 games, senior defenseman Wiley Sherman leads the team with 50 blocked shots, while senior captain Jake Horton leads Harvard forwards with 40 blocked shots. Junior blueliner Adam Fox is second on the team with 44 blocked shots.

Oh Captains, My Captains
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.

Senior CLASS
Senior co-captain Merrick Madsen has been selected as one of the 20 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. 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.

Harvard placed 27 student-athletes on the 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.