The 100-year-old Harvard-Cornell rivalry is considered among the best in college hockey (photo courtesy Patrick Shanahan).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-The Harvard men's hockey team will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., to face Ivy League rival Cornell for a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series Friday-Sunday at Lynah Rink.
The Crimson, the ninth seed in the league tournament, is coming off a first-round sweep at Princeton and will go on the road for a second straight week. Harvard and Cornell, seeded second in the league and ranked ninth nationally, will meet Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m., with a deciding third game occurring Sunday at 7, if necessary.
In the other quarterfinal series, No. 11 seed Brown travels to top-seeded Yale, seventh-seeded Quinnipiac visits No. 3 seed Union and No. 5 seed St. Lawrence heads to No. 4 seed Colgate. The series winners will advance to the ECAC Hockey championship weekend March 19-20 in Albany, N.Y.
The Harvard-Cornell series pits ECAC Hockey's two top-performing programs in the playoffs. The Big Red has the best tournament winning percentage (.674, 87-41-4) among league members and has won a league-high 11 playoff titles. The Crimson ranks second in both categories, with an 85-44-4 (.654) all-time playoff record and eight championships.
The Crimson and Big Red are meeting for the eighth time in the last 11 ECAC tournaments but are facing off before the semifinals for the first time in a decade. The teams were matched up in four of the last eight league championship games, with each side winning twice, and alternated league titles from 2002 to '06. Harvard has won the last two playoff matchups. Cornell has won three of the squads' four previous quarterfinal meetings, most recently with back-to-back 4-3 home victories in 2000.
Harvard and Cornell first met Jan. 8, 1910, a 5-0 Crimson win in New York City. Cornell owns a 67-58-9 all-time series lead and won both regular-season matchups in 2009-10. The Big Red rallied for a 6-3 win Nov. 7 at Lynah and scored two quick second-period goals and added an empty-netter for a 3-0 victory Feb. 19 at Harvard's Bright Hockey Center.