Harvard warms up for 2011-12, the team's 112th season of hockey, by hosting Western Ontario for an exhibition game Friday night at 7 p.m. at Bright Hockey Center. Admission is free.
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Back on the Ice
The Crimson looks to pick up where it left off at the end of last season, when Harvard was just an overtime goal away from reaching the ECAC Hockey semifinals in Atlantic City, N.J. The team won six straight games, including a road sweep of Clarkson in the first round of the playoffs and a defeat of Dartmouth in Game 1 of the teams' quarterfinal series. That win against the Big Green completed a run of eight wins and a tie in a 10-game span for the Crimson.
Eighteen letterwinners, including five defensemen who skated in more than 25 games last season, are back with the Crimson this year. Captain Ryan Grimshaw is the most experienced on the blue line, having been in the lineup when healthy throughout his first three years. Danny Biega is a standout player on both ends of the ice. He paced the Crimson with 30 points and 19 assists last season and led all ECAC defensemen with 21 points and nine goals in league play.
Harvard returns 73 percent of its goal-scoring, led by assistant captain Alex Killorn, who netted a team‑high 15 goals last year. A number of other returning forwards were key factors in Harvard's late‑season surge, including assistant captain Daniel Moriarty and Conor Morrison, who totaled 19 points in 2009-10. Alex Fallstrom tied for second in ECAC Hockey with four playoff goals.
Former Crimson captain, NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and 13-year National Hockey League veteran Ted Donato '91, the Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey, begins his eighth season behind the Crimson bench.
The nine-player freshman class has been ranked among the nation's best and is arguably its deepest. Red Line Report ranked the class as NCAA Division I's fourth-best, while Inside College Hockey ranked the class 12th nationally. INCH named four incoming players among the best at their positions, and only two schools, Minnesota and North Dakota, matched Harvard's total of five incoming NHL draft picks.
The Crimson welcomes two new assistant coaches. Albie O'Connell comes to Cambridge following a three-year stint at nearby Northeastern. Jerry Forton served as an assistant coach at UMass Lowell for two seasons following 13 years on the staff at Niagara.
Scouting the Mustangs
Western Ontario is off to a 3-1 start to the season in regular Canadian Interuniversity Sport schedule. The Mustangs have played two previous games against NCAA teams, falling to Notre Dame, 4-0, and Michigan State, 6-1. Keaton Turkiewicz leads Western with six points and four assists, while Yashar Farmanara had netted a team-high four goals. Josh Unice has seen the most time in net. He owns a 2.27 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.