Timeline of Tradition
January 19, 1898 - Harvard plays its first college hockey game when Brown defeats the Crimson on Boston's Franklin Field. The rivalry is the oldest continuing hockey series in the country.
February 26, 1900 - Harvard's hockey team meets Yale for the first time. The Elis win the black-tie affair, 5-4, at the St. Nicholas Rink in New York, but the Crimson answers back in the rematch the following winter, 4-0.
Fall 1903 - Harvard appoints its first head coach, Alfred Winsor ’02. In the past, the team had been coached by captains—including Winsor, who had played that role in 1901-02.
January 10, 1903 - A 4-3 victory over MIT starts the Harvard men's ice hockey team on a 22-game winning streak that spans nearly six seasons. The Crimson defeats Yale eight straight times during the streak.
December 1904 - Two ice hockey rinks are constructed inside Harvard Stadium, which was built the previous year. The team first played on rinks on Holmes Field, located behind the Law School. In 1901, a wooden rink was constructed on Soldiers Field, but was deemed inadequate and the team moved back to Holmes Field the following year. Constructing these two rinks inside the Stadium allowed for the consideration of spectators - some old bleachers were moved up to the side of the rink, and admission was charged for some of the more important games.
Spring 1910 - George Peabody Gardner '10 becomes the first Harvard man to be awarded 11 varsity letters. He receives three minor letters in tennis, three major letters each in hockey and track, one major letter in baseball, and a major H in lawn tennis for winning the Intercollegiate Singles title in 1907.
Winter 1911 - Harvard plays Princeton and Yale for the first time on what could be considered "home grounds"—the Boston Arena.
March 14, 1913 - The Athletic committee votes to make ice hockey a major sport.
March 1917 - Alfred Winsor steps down as the head coach after compiling a 124-29 record in 15 years at the helm.
1918 - The formal ice hockey program is suspended due to World War I. The team resumed play in 1919, but went back to playing at outdoor rinks and at the Pavilion Rink across from MIT, as the Boston Arena burned down in the fall of 1918. The Arena would be rebuilt and re-open in the fall of 1921.
March 3, 1923 - Harvard head coach William H. Claflin and multi-sport letterman George Owen '23 change the game of hockey forever with their innovation of substituting entire forward lines instead of individuals. The revolutionary tactic, which becomes known as the shift change, helps Harvard defeat Yale, 2-1, in overtime.
Winter 1928 - John Chase ’28 completes his Harvard hockey career with a combined 24-6-2 varsity record, including six straight wins against archrival Yale. Chase would go on to captain the 1932 U.S. Olympic Team and coach Harvard from 1942 until 1950.
March 12, 1930 - Harvard and Yale complete a three-game series with a 2-2 tie at the Boston Garden, allowing the storied rivals to share the intercollegiate title. A record crowd of more than 14,000 attends the game, which was called at midnight due to the "Blue Laws". Harvard ends the season with an 11-4-1 overall record.
March 7, 1936 - Harvard records an 11-0 win over Yale, clinching the "Ivy League" title. While the formal Council of Ivy Group Presidents agreement—the formal formation of the League —didn’t go into effect until the 1955-56 season, its beginning is traced back to the creation of the Quadrangular League in 1933-34 (Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth). The addition of Army in 1946-47 would make the Pentagonal League. Brown would replace Army in 1948-49. Cornell would join the group in 1958, with Penn becoming a member from 1967 until dropping its hockey program in 1978. Harvard has won 21 official and four unofficial Ivy League titles in all.
February 22, 1937 - The Crimson fails to claim the International Trophy with a 7-2 loss to McGill. This loss snaps a 19-game winning streak (going back to the previous season) and is the lone blemish in a 15-1 campaign.
Fall 1938 - Joseph Stubbs '20 steps down as head coach, recording a 95-43-6 record in 11 seasons. Stubbs led the team to four seasons of double-digit wins, including a career-best 15-1 mark in 1936-37.
March 10, 1943 - Harvard defeats Yale, 5-3, to cap a 14-3-1 campaign under the direction of first-year coach John P. Chase '28. The next two seasons, there will be no formal program due to World War II. Harvard, with Chase at the helm, resumes a formal team in 1945-46.
1944 - With the hockey program on hiatus because of the war, George Wood "Skeets" Canterbury ’01 ends his nearly 40-year career as Harvard’s goaltending coach. Sixteen years later, the Canterbury Society is formed—an organization which is comprised entirely of (and open exclusively to) former Harvard goaltenders. Now in its fifth decade, the Society’s sole purpose is "to provide a forum for the promotion of fellowship and the exchange of information and stories about ice hockey goaltending." To this day, the Society meets for an informal dinner annually before one of Harvard’s home games.
Spring 1950 - Chase resigns after an eight-year, six-season term with a 53-43-3 record. He is replaced by Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, a former scoring champion who won Stanley Cups as both a player and a coach with the Boston Bruins. He is the first non-alumnus to guide the hockey program.
December 27, 1952 - Harvard captures the inaugural Beanpot hockey tournament, defeating Boston University, 7-4, in the championship game at the Boston Arena. Captain Walter F. Greeley '53 is named Tournament MVP.
February 7, 1955 - William J. "Billy" Cleary '56 scores four goals in the first period against Northeastern in the Beanpot, a mark that still stands as a school and Beanpot record. Cleary leads the nation in scoring with an amazing 89 points in just 21 games as Harvard makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance in men's ice hockey. More than four decades later, Cleary's point total still stands as the Harvard single-season record. Cleary and classmate Chuck Flynn become Harvard's first All-Americans.
February 1956 - At the Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, Bill Cleary stars for the silver-medal U.S. men's ice hockey team while Robert B. Ridder '41 is the hockey team manager.
March 7, 1956 - The Donald C. Watson Rink is dedicated before a game against Princeton. Built in 1955 and named after a former Harvard quarterback, the rink had operated for a year without a roof, but the inclemency of the New England weather necessitated one be built. The Crimson defeated the Tigers, 2-1, on a goal by John Copeland '58.
March 1957 - After compiling a 21-5 overall record and earning a berth in the NCAA tournament, Harvard dominates the All-Ivy League team, as the first team is comprised entirely of Crimson players: goalie James Bailey ’57; defensemen E. Robert Owen ’58 and Daniel Ullyot ’58 and forwards Bob McVey ’58, Bob Cleary ’58 and Lyle Guttu ’58.
February 1960 - Four Harvard players are on the gold-meal winning U.S. men’s ice hockey team at Squaw Valley, Calif.: brothers Bill ’56 and Bob Cleary ’58, Bob McVey ’58 and E. Robert Owen ’58. The team captain is John "Jack" Kirrane, who would become known to the Harvard community as the manager of the Bright Hockey Center. The United States defeats Canada, Russia and Czechoslovakia en route to the gold.
January 4, 1962 - The Crimson defeats Northeastern, 6-1, at the Bright Center for the 500th win in the history of the program.
March 9, 1963 - The Crimson, led by captain Tim Taylor '63, captures its first ever ECAC title. Gene Kinasewich '63 scores the game-winner in overtime to give Harvard a 4-3 victory over Boston College. The win is the 200th in the coaching career of Cooney Weiland.
February 10, 1969 - Sophomore Joe Cavanagh '71 is named Tournament MVP as the Crimson captures its first Beanpot title in seven years and fifth title overall. Considered one of Harvard's all-time greats, Cavanagh would graduate in 1971 with more than that Beanpot MVP on his resume: He was the first three-time All-American in school history and also as the second-leading scorer in the Harvard annals (60 goals, 127 assists).
December 12, 1970 - Weiland wins his 300th game, a 5-0 shutout of Brown.
March 20, 1971 - Cooney Weiland coaches his final game after 21 years at the helm of Harvard’s men’s hockey program. He directs the Crimson to 315 victories, six Ivy League championships and five NCAA appearances. Harvard wins the ECAC title in Weiland’s final season behind the bench.
March 31, 1971 - It takes only 11 days after Cooney Weiland’s last game to find a worthy successor. Bill Cleary is elevated from his position as an assistant coach to become just the third Crimson coach in the modern era and ninth overall. He coaches his first game Dec. 4, an 11-3 win at Penn.
March 7, 1975 - Harvard defeats Cornell, 6-4, in the ECAC semifinals to win a school record 23rd game of the season. Unfortunately, the Crimson would lose in the finals the next day to Boston University and finish fourth in the NCAA Tournament with defeats to Minnesota and the same BU squad. The team was captained by All-American Randy Roth '75, who the previous year was named the Crimson's first ever ECAC Player of the Year.
November 1977 - Under the tutelage of former men's goalkeeper Joseph D. Bertagna '73, a collection of undergraduates form a club women's hockey team. One year later, the sport attains varsity status.
March 5, 1977 - A 5-3 victory over Yale in New Haven gives Bill Cleary his 100th coaching victory, becoming only the second coach in school history to reach that plateau.
November 19, 1979 - After the team spent a year playing out of local rinks, Watson Arena's renovations are revealed as the building is rededicated as the Alexander H. Bright '19 Hockey Center. Bright was a driving force in the building of Watson Rink and was a loyal friend to Harvard Athletics for many years.
March 6, 1982 - With the backing of a raucous student section, the Crimson defeats Dartmouth, 7-4, at the Bright Center. The win guarantees the Crimson a spot in the ECAC tournament, ending a seven-year playoff drought. (Harvard has qualified for the ECAC tournament every year since—a streak of 25 straight seasons.) The team knocks off powerhouse Clarkson in the semifinals before falling to crosstown rival Northeastern in the championship game.
March 27, 1983 - Mark Fusco ’83 wins the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the nation’s outstanding men’s collegiate hockey player. His play helps put Harvard into the NCAA final (against Wisconsin) for the first time in school history. Fusco would graduate as perhaps the most decorated of any Crimson skater, earning the Tudor Cup as team MVP, first team All-Ivy and All-ECAC distinction and All-America status three times each in his career. Joe Cavanagh ’71 is Harvard’s only other three-time All-American.
June 1985 - Defenseman Chris Biotti '89 becomes the first Harvard player selected in the first round of the NHL draft when he is taken 17th overall. To date, 67 Crimson skaters have been selected in the draft, including 13 on the 2002-03 team.
April 7, 1986 - Scott Fusco '86 duplicates his brother's Hobey feat, earning college hockey's highest individual honor. Fusco, who leaves as Harvard's all-time leading scorer (240 points), helps the Crimson advance to the NCAA championship game, where the team drops a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to Michigan State.
December 12, 1988 - C.J. Young ’90 scores the fastest three goals in Harvard men’s hockey history, collecting a hat-trick in a span of 49 seconds during the Crimson’s 10-0 win over Dartmouth. Even more amazing is that all three goals are shorthanded, on a single shift.
February 17, 1989 - Bill Cleary records his 300th coaching win with a 5-3 victory over Vermont at Gutterson Field House.
April 1, 1989 - Ed Krayer ’89 scores "The Goal" as Harvard captures the NCAA title with a 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in the championship game. Sophomore Ted Donato ’91, who had a goal and an assist in the final, is named tournament MOP, while defenseman Kevin Sneddon ’92, forward Lane MacDonald ’89 and goalie Allain Roy ’92 are also all-tournament team picks. The team sets the school record for wins in a season (31), and would visit the White House as well as throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before a Boston Red Sox game.
April 3, 1989 -Two-time First Team All-American Lane MacDonald becomes the third Harvard player to earn the Hobey. MacDonald's graduates with four school scoring records and among the top five in eleven categories.
April 1, 1990 - Exactly one year to the day after coaching Harvard men’s hockey to the NCAA championship, Bill Cleary ’56 formally starts his tenure as director of athletics. Cleary headed the hockey program for 19 seasons, won 324 games and took the Crimson to the Frozen Four on seven occasions. Cleary is replaced as coach by longtime assistant Ronn Tomassoni.
February 1, 1992 - Harvard becomes just the second program in college hockey history to win 1,000 games when it defeats Union, 7-3 at the Bright Center.
March 8, 1993 - Ted Drury ’93 is named tournament MVP as the Crimson captures its 10th Beanpot title. Drury, who had skated in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, went on to play for the United States two years later in Lillehammer—one of four former Harvard players to skate in two Olympic games.
March 26, 1994 - The Harvard men's ice hockey team defeats New Hampshire, 7-1, to advance to the NCAA semifinals. The Crimson finishes the year an impressive 24-5-4 and wins the ECAC Tournament championship for the first time since 1987. Captain Sean McCann '94 sets the school record for goals in a season by a defenseman (22) and is a Hobey Baker finalist.
February 2, 1998 - Freshman Chris Bala '01 scores the overtime game-winner against Boston College to send the Crimson to the Beanpot finals for the first time since 1994. Four days later, Bala ties Bill Cleary's school record with four goals in the first period against Vermont.
February 21, 1998 - Mike Ginal '00 makes college hockey history as the first player with a prosthetic limb to play in a Division I hockey game. Ginal, whose left foot was amputated at age four as the result of a birth defect, plays the final four minutes of a 6-1 victory over Colgate.
July 16, 1999 - Mark Mazzoleni is introduced as just the fifth coach in the modern era of Harvard hockey. In his first season, he leads the Crimson to the Ivy League title.
March 2, 2001 - Senior netminder Oliver Jonas '01 becomes the school recordholder for saves in a season, breaking the record of 844 set by J.R. Prestifilippo '00 (who Jonas backed up his first three varsity seasons). Jonas graduates with four single-season goaltending records: saves (1,021) games played (32), games started (32) and minutes played (1,904).
March 31, 2001 - Defenseman Don Sweeney ’88 appears in his 900th game in the NHL. Twenty former Crimson skaters have made it to the NHL. Sweeney appeared in more than 1,000 NHL contests with the Boston Bruins and also played for the Dallas Stars.
March 16, 2002 - After three straight overtime games for the Crimson, the longest championship game in ECAC history (96:11) ends with a wrist shot by sophomore Tyler Kolarik as Harvard claims its sixth tournament title with a 4-3 victory over Cornell. The team makes its first NCAA appearance since 1994, and plays its fourth consecutive overtime game - a school record - in a 4-3 loss to national finalist Maine.
March 20, 2004 - Dov Grumet-Morris ’05 becomes the ECAC tournament’s winningest netminder as he backstops the Crimson to its second Whitelaw Trophy in three seasons with a dramatic 4-2 victory over Clarkson. Grumet-Morris sets the ECAC record for wins in a tournament (six) and improves to 13-1 all-time in ECAC tournament games. Classmate Tom Cavanagh scores two goals to erase a 2-0 deficit in the second period, and team captain Kenny Smith ’04 nets the game-winner with 38 seconds on the clock
July 2, 2004 - Ted Donato ’91 is named just the sixth head coach of the modern era of Harvard Hockey, replacing Mark Mazzoleni, who led the Crimson to three NCAA tournaments and two ECAC titles in his five years at the helm. Donato is the eighth Harvard alum to coach the Crimson.
March 22, 2005 - Dov Grumet-Moris ’05 stops a career-high 46 shots in Harvard’s 4-3 double-overtime win again Colgate in the semifinals of the ECAC Hockey League Championship at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., his record 16th victory in an ECAC tournament contest. Kevin Du ’07 scored the game-winner at 96:01 to vault Harvard into its fourth consecutive ECAC tournament final. Grumet-Morris graduates with a 16-2 overall mark in ECACHL tournament games. In addition, he is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award and the recipient of the Walter Brown Award.
March 26, 2005 - Harvard makes its 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and fourth straight, against New Hampshire in the Northeast Regional in Amherst, Mass. Tom Cavanagh ’05 plays in the 138th game of his career in the 3-2 ot loss to the Wildcats, becoming the first Harvard player to play in every one of the Crimson's games during his career. His games-played total ranks fourth in the history of the ECAC Hockey League.
March 18, 2006 - The Crimson sets a league playoff record with 28 goals--including 24 in its final three games--to capture its third ECACHL championship in five years with a 6-2 win against Cornell. Goaltender John Daigneau '06 is named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and is one of five Harvard selections to the All-Tournament Team as the Crimson secures its fifth straight NCAA bid.