Harvard Men's Hockey, Quinnipiac Clash in Key ECAC Matchup on NESN
Riding an unbeaten streak tied as the nation's fourth-longest at five games, the Harvard men's hockey team visits Quinnipiac Friday at 7 p.m. for a key ECAC Hockey matchup that will be televised on the New England Sports Network.
On the Air
NESN is available through cable and satellite providers in NESN's home broadcast territory (all of New England except Fairfield County, Conn.). Much of NESN's programming is also available outside NESN's home broadcast territory through NESN National, the network's national television service. Click here for NESN channel listings.
Follow From Home
Live video, audio and statistics are available for free at the links above. Brendan Roche and Raafi Alidina will have the call on WHRB-FM 95.3 and WHRB.org.
NESN.com Behind the Scenes
• A win in the regular-season series between the teams and the accompanying standings tiebreaker are up for grabs. Harvard and Quinnipiac skated to a 2-2 tie Nov. 5 at Bright Hockey Center.
• Harvard's 2-2 tie against Dartmouth Tuesday extended its unbeaten streak to five games and moved the Crimson (6-6-9, 5-4-7 ECAC Hockey) into a tie for third place, with Colgate, in the ECAC Hockey standings. The Crimson has six games remaining on its league schedule, while other schools have as many as eight left. Quinnipiac is tied for sixth, alongside Dartmouth, three points back of Harvard.
• The Crimson leads the NCAA in power-play efficiency at 31.1 percent (28 for 90). Harvard has scored at least one power-play goal in 19 of its 21 games and netted multiple power-play goals in eight games.
• ECAC Hockey Player of the Week Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) leads Harvard with 26 points and 14 goals. He ranks 13th nationally with 1.24 points per game and ninth with 0.67 goals per game. He is tied for third in ECAC Hockey with eight goals in league games. Linemate Marshall Everson (Edina, Minn.) has recorded three goals and six assists in the last six games.
• Harvard boasts two of the nation's highest-scoring defensemen. Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) ranks second nationally in defenseman scoring at 1.14 points per game (5-19-24) and 14th among all players with 0.90 assists per game. With 5-12-17 totals in ECAC Hockey play, he ranks third in the league, first among defensemen, in scoring. Patrick McNally (Glen Head, N.Y.) ranks 11th among defensemen, second among freshmen on the blue line, with 0.81 points per game (4‑13‑17).
Last Time Out
Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) netted the tying goal in the game's final seven minutes to complete a comeback from two goals down as the Crimson tied Dartmouth, 2-2, Tuesday night at Bright Hockey Center. Luke Greiner (Faribault, Minn.) deflected home a Brendan Rempel (Willington, Conn.) shot in the second period, getting Harvard on the board after the Big Green scored twice in 18 seconds earlier in the frame. Steve Michalek made 29 saves.
Coming Up Big
Each of Colin Blackwell's five goals have been third-period tallies, including the tying and go‑ahead goals in the Crimson's comeback from a 4-0 deficit to defeat UNH, 7-6, Nov. 22 and the tying goal in the 2-2 draw at Rensselaer Jan. 7 and Tuesday. He notched the primary assist on each of Harvard's two third‑period goals Friday against Yale and on the tying goal Jan. 21 at Cornell.
The Drawing Board
Tuesday's tie was Harvard's seventh in ECAC Hockey play, matching the league record held by the 1991-92 Yale (11‑4-7), 2003‑04 Dartmouth (10‑5-7) and 2010-11 Quinnipiac (6-9-7) squads. Harvard has tied nine games overall, breaking the previous program record of six set in 1991-92 and matched in 2008-09. Minnesota State set an NCAA record with 10 ties in 2002‑03. Colorado College matched that mark in 2008‑09, as did Western Michigan last season.
The Crimson has taken at least one point from 12 of its 16 ECAC Hockey games. With a 2-1-5 record in league road games, Harvard has taken points from seven of eight away contests.
Five points separate third through 10th places in the ECAC standings. Harvard is ahead or even head-to-head with the other teams in those spots and has climbed five places in the last five games.
Practice vs. Rest
The Crimson's game Tuesday was its third in five days. Quinnipiac has not played since Jan. 14.
Harvard has entered the final period trailing in 14 games but has rallied to win or tie in nine of those, including Saturday's defeat of Brown and Tuesday's tie against Dartmouth.
Harvard has trailed 28 times during play this season and has come back to tie 23 times. The Crimson trailed twice each in its win against No. 18 Colgate and its ties against No. 19 Quinnipiac, Dartmouth, No. 18 North Dakota, No. 14 Union and No. 9 Cornell. Harvard scored seven goals over the final two periods to rally from a four‑goal deficit and defeat New Hampshire, 7-6, and erased four separate one‑goal deficits in a 4-4 tie at Massachusetts. Harvard is 2-5-7 when trailing after two and 4-5-9 when trailing at any point.
The Crimson is unbeaten when scoring four goals or more (4-0-2) and has lost just once when allowing three goals or fewer (5-1-7).
Time and a Half?
Ten of Harvard's 21 games have gone to overtime, including nine of the last 14. The Crimson has played 45 minutes, eight seconds of overtime.
Harvard has held six of its last seven league opponents to two goals or fewer and each of its last eight to three goals or fewer.
The Crimson holds a 25-14 advantage against its opponents in third-period goals, including a 7-1 edge over the last four games.
Survey Says ...
Harvard has received votes in 12 of the 16 weeks of the USCHO.com national poll, including four points this week. The Crimson is a team under consideration for the NCAA tournament and is tied with Bemidji State and Michigan Tech for 28th in the PairWise Ranking.
Harvard has killed 21 of its opponents' last 24 power plays, including all six last weekend and two of three Tuesday.
Dating back to 2010-11, Harvard has netted 32 power-play goals in its last 22 ECAC games. The Crimson has had three man-advantage goals in three of those games and two in nine others. The Jan. 13 shutout loss to Union ended a Harvard streak of 18 games with a power-play goal.
Danny Biega has a league-high 12 ECAC power‑play points (1‑11‑12), leading four Harvard players ranked tied for third or better.
The Crimson is on pace to match the 18th-highest power-play percentage in NCAA history. The last team convert at least 35 percent of its power plays over a full season was the 1986-87 Harvard squad at 35.9. The last school to break 30 percent was Colorado College in 2002-03 at 30.8. The NCAA record for power-play efficiency is 40.2 percent, recorded by Boston University in 1970-71.
Outside the Box
The Crimson has allowed its opponents only 77 power plays this season, the nation's lowest total and an average of just 3.67 per game. That is seven fewer than Cornell and New Hampshire, which are tied for the nation's second-fewest power plays against. Only 10 teams besides Harvard have allowed their foes fewer than 100 power plays.
Only two of Harvard's games have been decided by more than two goals. Sixteen of the 21 games, including 15 of the last 17, have been tied in the third period. At a point in every third period but one, the score has been tied or the teams have been separated by one goal.
In addition to Harvard's .500 overall record, the Crimson owns even marks at home (4-4-2) and on the road (2-2-7), as well in each month of the season so far (3-3-2 in November, 1-1-2 in December and 2-2-5 in January).
In ECAC Hockey play, Danny Biega leads league defensemen in points, while Patrick McNally (3-7-10) paces ECAC freshman defensemen in scoring. Marshall Everson is tied for the league lead in power-play goals (five).
Marshall Everson registered two points each in four straight games in January and added an assist on the tying goal Tuesday. He has scored or assistsed on 10 of Harvard's last 16 goals.
Brendan Rempel, who missed the first 18 games with an injury, has two assists in his three games.
Eric Kroshus (Calgary, Alta.) made a great play to gain and hold the puck on the boards before passing across the zone to Brendan Rempel and assist on Luke Greiner's goal Tuesday. Kroshus has notched four points (1-3‑4) during his current three-game point streak, while Danny Biega has five points (1-4-5) during a four-game run.
A New Streak?
Tuesday's game was the fifth of 21 this season in which Alex Killorn did not register a point. He had four goals in the last three games and five goals and three assists during a five-game point streak leading into the Dartmouth game. The senior had an eight‑game point streak earlier this season and a 10-game run in 2010-11.
The Hot Hand
Steve Michalek owns a 1.91 goals‑against average and .933 save percentage during Harvard's five‑game unbeaten streak, improving his league numbers to 2.39 and .917 for the season.
The Century Mark
Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.) is set to reach the 100-game plateau for his career. Alex Killorn and Ryan Grimshaw have already eclipsed that mark this season. Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.) is three games shy of the 100 mark. With 87 games played so far, junior Danny Biega could reach 100 in the ECAC tournament.
Friday's game is in the hometown of Rence Coassin (Hamden, Conn.), while Brendan Rempel and Steve Michalek also hail from the Constitution State. Coassin registered the first two points of his career, a shorthanded goal and an assist, in last season's 5-4 loss at Quinnipiac.
Nov. 5 at Bright Hockey Center
David Valek (Zagreb, Croatia) scored the tying goal in the second period and Raphael Girard (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.) made 24 saves as the Crimson came from behind to tie No. 19 Quinnipiac, 2-2. Conor Morrison (London, Ont.) tied the score at 1-1 with a power‑play goal early in the second period after Jeremy Langlois gave Quinnipiac the lead late in the first. Cory Hibbeler put the Bobcats back on top before Valek brought Harvard back again. Eric Hartzell stopped 23 Crimson shots.
The Crimson is 7-6-3 against Quinnipiac in a series that dates back to a 5-2 Bobcats win in their first ECAC game in 2005, but is seeking its first series road win. Harvard won a home ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series between the teams in 2008 and is 7-2-1 against the Bobcats at Bright. Quinnipiac is 4-0-2 in its series home games, including a 2-2 tie in the inaugural ECAC game at TD Bank Sports Center in 2007. Last season in Hamden, the Crimson rallied from a 4-1 deficit to tie the score, but Ben Arnt lifted the Bobcats to a 5-4 win with his third-period goal.
Scouting the Bobcats
Quinnipiac (13-8-5, 5-5-4) has lost just twice in its last 11 games (6-2-3), but has had each of the last two weekends off from game action. In their last game, a 7-1 rout of Colgate, seven different Bobcats scored, and Connor Jones logged four assists. Quinnipiac boasts a 9-2-2 home record, bolstered by wins in each of its six non-league home games.
Overall, the Bobcats are outscoring their foes by a goal per game, but that margin drops to 0.22 goals per ECAC contest. Jeremy Langlois is the most accomplished goal-scorer, with 14 tallies, but it is Connor Jones that leads Quinnipiac with 26 points and 21 assists. Kellen Jones, Connor's brother, has notched 19 points (6-13‑19). Quinnipiac has three veteran goaltenders, led by Eric Hartzell, who sports a 2.00 goals‑against average and .916 save percentage.