Garden Party: Men's Hockey Opens 58th Beanpot Against No. 14 BC

Garden Party: Men's Hockey Opens 58th Beanpot Against No. 14 BC

The Crimson and Eagles will face off at TD Garden, home of the Boston Bruins.

Game Notes (PDF) | Follow on Twitter | Official Beanpot Site | NESN Coverage

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Game On
The Harvard men's hockey team seeks its 11th title in the 58th edition of the Beanpot tournament. The Crimson meets No. 14 Boston College Monday at 5 p.m. at TD Garden in Boston, aiming for a spot in the Feb. 8 final against Boston University or Northeastern.

Follow From Home
Both the Harvard-BC game and the second semifinal between the Terriers and Huskies will be televised live on the New England Sports Network (NESN). WHRB-FM 95.3 and offer live audio, while will link to live statistics. Fans can also follow the game via the HarvardCrimson Twitter page. NESN will also televise the championship game next week and will provide online coverage throughout the tournament.

Behind the Bench
Former Crimson captain, NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and 13-year National Hockey League veteran Ted Donato '91 is in his sixth season as The Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey. He owns an 87-79-20 record, three ECAC title-game appearances and two NCAA tournament bids.

Last Time Out
Conor Morrison (London, Ont.) scored the tying goal in the second period, but Princeton answered before the end of the frame and Zane Kalemba made 13 of his 34 saves in the third period as the Tigers defeated the Crimson, 2-1, Friday night at Bright Hockey Center. Kalemba withstood a flurry of shots during a Crimson power play in the game's final minute. Ryan Carroll (Hackensack, N.J.) made 32 stops for Harvard.

Crimson Hot
Following a trying start to the season, Harvard has lost just once in its last five games (3-1-1).

Hall Call
Fran Toland, who served as associate athletic director at Harvard for 41 years, will be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame in a ceremony in between games of Monday's first round.

57th Beanpot Revisited
Notes from Harvard's appearance in last season's Beanpot tournament, Feb. 2-9, 2009:

  • No. 1 Boston University rallied from a two-goal deficit to take the lead, and the would-be tying goal from Alex Biega (Montreal, Que.) hit the net a moment after the final buzzer, allowing the Terriers to hold off Harvard, 4-3, in the opening round. Michael Biega (Montreal, Que.), Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) and Pier-Olivier Michaud (Mont-Joli, Que.) dented the net for the Crimson. Nick Bonino scored twice for the Terriers. Alex Biega's non-goal was a one-timer off a pass from Alex Killorn. Video review was used to determine that the puck crossed the line after the horn sounded.
  • Harvard suffered another heartbreaking loss in the consolation game against No. 15 Boston College. The Eagles scored with 41.3 seconds left to edge the Crimson, 4-3. Ryan Carroll made 42 saves in his first collegiate start, and Pier-Olivier Michaud recorded two goals and an assist, but Benn Ferriero broke up a Harvard clear and scored the winning goal for BC. Matt McCollem (Westford, Mass.) assisted on both Michaud goals, and Nick Coskren '09 added a shorthanded goal to give Harvard its third one-goal lead of the game in the second period.
  • Pier-Olivier Michaud led Harvard with three goals and an assist in the tournament.
  • Five of Harvard's six goals in the two Beanpot games were scored by Quebec natives.
  • Harvard scored first in each Beanpot game and held four leads.
  • For the second straight year, near misses at the Beanpot propelled Harvard to success in the rest of the regular season. The Crimson was undefeated (4-0-2) in the six remaining regular-season games following the Beanpot. Among those wins were victories against Cornell and Princeton, both ranked sixth nationally at the time of their losses at Harvard. The Crimson is unbeaten (11-0-4) in its last 15 post-Beanpot, regular-season games.

Crimson Calendar
With the switch to a new academic calendar this year, the Crimson's exam break moved from January to December, but Harvard's success following exams is nothing new. Under Ted Donato, Harvard is 35‑9-8 in league games and 49-29-8 overall following exams.

Speed Bump
Friday's loss was the second in six years under Ted Donato that the Crimson has lost the league game directly preceding the Beanpot. The previous pre-Beanpot loss came in 2008, 4-2 at Brown. Harvard rebounded in the Beanpot, scoring three goals in the first seven minutes of a semifinal win against Northeastern and taking eventual national champion BC to overtime in the final.

Outside the Box
Harvard averages just 11.8 penalty minutes per contest, the nation's 11th-lowest average.

The Killers
Harvard has killed 20 of its opponents' last 21 power plays, including each of the last 12. The Crimson has killed 25 of its ECAC foes' last 27 man-advantage chances.

Giant Killer
Harvard defeated its last three ranked opponents, defeating No. 8 Quinnipiac (3-1, Dec. 29), No. 5 Yale (3-2, Jan. 12) and No. 13 Union (4-1, Jan. 22). The wins against the Bobcats and Bulldogs gave the Crimson wins in four of its last six games against top-10 teams, dating back to last season.

Leading the Crimson
Louis Leblanc (Kirkland, Que.) paces Harvard with nine goals and 17 points in 17 games, Michael Biega has 16 points and a team-high 11 assists.

Leading the Nation
Louis Leblanc is the nation's top freshman goal‑scorer with 0.53 goals per game.

Who's Hot?
Louis Leblanc has recorded multiple points in three of the last five games and has five goals and two assists in that span.

Rolling in Goal
Ryan Carroll has stopped 179 of the 187 shots he has faced in his last six appearances and has a 3-1-0 record, 1.53 save percentage and .957 goals-against average in that span. He has started Harvard's last five games. Carroll, who made 42 saves in his first career start in last season's Beanpot consolation loss to BC, ranks ninth nationally with a .924 save percentage and 24th with a 2.55 goals-against average.

Dec. 9 at Bright Hockey Center
Michael Biega scored in the third period to cut a BC lead to one goal, but the No. 10 Eagles held on for a 3-2 win against host Harvard. Biega also assisted on a power-play tally by Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.), while Ryan Carroll made 17 saves without allowing a goal in 36 minutes of relief goaltending. Harvard held a 27‑26 edge in shots and was 1 for 3 with the man advantage. BC was scoreless in three power plays.

Series History
Harvard and BC have split their last six early-season meetings, but the Eagles have prevailed in the last eight Beanpot matchups and hold a 68-44-5 lead in the all-time series. The teams first met Jan. 19, 1919, a 7-2 Harvard win at the Boston Skating Club.

The Crimson and Eagles met in three of the first four Beanpot title games, with Harvard taking the 1955 crown on an overtime goal by Bill Cleary. The teams also clashed in the 2008 title game, a thrilling 6-5 BC overtime win. The Crimson is seeking its first win against the Eagles since Nov. 7, 2006, when Kyle Richter made 36 saves to shut out BC, 4-0, for his first career win.

Scouting the Eagles
Boston College got off to a 10-3-2 start but was just 2-5 over the next seven games before rebounding Friday, beating Providence, 5-2. All five BC goals, including the 15th and 16th of the season for top goal-scorer Cam Atkinson, came in the first period. Atkinson has 26 points, while Brian Gibbons leads the squad with 28 points and 19 assists. As a team, the Eagles rank sixth nationally with 3.57 goals per game. John Muse is 8-6-2 in net, with a .901 save percentage and 2.61 goals-against average.

 Click here for full Harvard men's hockey game notes in PDF format.