Crimson Men's Hockey Returns to ECAC Play Against RPI

Eric Kroshus and the Crimson are 2-0-1 in their last three games at Bright Hockey Center (photo courtesy Kevin Burns).
Eric Kroshus and the Crimson are 2-0-1 in their last three games at Bright Hockey Center (photo courtesy Kevin Burns).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard men's hockey team looks to continue its climb up the ECAC Hockey standings and build on a six-game unbeaten streak in league play as it hosts Rensselaer Friday at 7 p.m. at Bright Hockey Center with a win in the regular-season series up for grabs.

Be There
Tickets are still available from the Harvard Athletic Ticket Office.

Student Rewards
Friday's game is part of the Harvard Student Rewards program. Harvard students in attendance can swipe in to earn $1 of Crimson Cash and entry into the winter grand prize drawing for an iPad 2. The first 50 students in attendance will receive a T-shirt.

Game Notes (PDF: Hi-res | Lo-res  
Standings: ECAC Hockey | Ivy League
Scoreboards: ECAC Hockey | National

Follow From Home
Live, pay-per-view video and free live statistics from all home games will be on WHRB-FM 95.3 and offer live audio with Brendan Roche and Raafi Alidina on the call.

Game On
• The third-place Crimson has climbed five spots in the standings in its last six league games. Harvard is tied with Colgate for third, with four other teams within four points back of the Crimson and Raiders. The Crimson can move into a tie for second place with a win and Cornell loss against Brown. A win and a Union loss at Dartmouth would pull Harvard within three points of first place with four games remaining.

• Harvard was unable to come from behind in Monday's 3-1 loss to top-ranked Boston University at the 60th Beanpot tournament. The Crimson has trailed during play in 20 games, but has rallied to win or tie 14 of those contests (5-6-9).

• The Crimson leads the NCAA in power-play efficiency at 30.5 percent (29 for 95). Harvard has scored at least one power-play goal in 20 of its 23 games and netted multiple power-play goals in eight games.

Alex Killorn (Montreal, Que.) leads Harvard with 30 points and 15 goals. He ranks 14th nationally with 1.30 points per game and is tied for ninth with 0.65 goals per game. Linemate Marshall Everson (Edina, Minn.) has 23 points (9-14-23), including four goals and nine assists in the last eight games.

• Harvard boasts two of the nation's highest-scoring defensemen. Danny Biega (Montreal, Que.) ranks second nationally among defensemen, 29th overall, at 1.13 points per game (7-19-26). Patrick McNally (Glen Head, N.Y.) is tied for 10th among among defensemen and seventh among freshmen at any position with 0.83 points per game (4‑15‑19).

Last Time Out
Kieran Millan stopped 29 shots and Wade Megan scored two goals to lead No. 1 Boston University past the Crimson, 3-1, in the first semifinal of the 60th annual Beanpot tournament Monday night at TD Garden. The loss snapped Harvard's six‑game unbeaten streak and sent the Crimson to a consolation matchup with Northeastern. Harvard held a 10-6 edge in shots in the third period and a 30-25 advantage for the game but could not erase a three-goal deficit. Alex Killorn registered Harvard's goal in the second period, on the power play, assisted by Marshall Everson.

BU will play Boston College, a 7-1 winner against NU, in Monday's championship game.

On a Roll
Harvard's six-game league unbeaten streak (3‑0‑3) is its longest since heading into the 2008 playoffs on a 5-0‑1 run. The last time the Crimson went seven league games without a loss was the Frozen Four season of 1993-94, when Harvard doubled that number with an 11-0-3 record over its final 14 ECAC games.

Crimson Calendar
Harvard is 22-3-1 in February home games under Ted Donato '91. The Crimson is 22-9-5 in post‑Beanpot ECAC games and 45-23-14 in all post-exam league games in Donato's seven‑plus seasons. (Harvard's first-semester exams took place in January until being moved to December in 2009.)

Between the Beans
Over the last decade, Harvard is 8-2-1 in games between rounds of the Beanpot, including a 4-4 tie against Princeton last season and a split on the 2009-10 Brown-Yale road trip. The Crimson is 5-2-1 between Beanpot games in the Ted Donato era. 

Point Men
The Crimson has taken at least one point from 13 of its 17 ECAC Hockey games. With a 3-1-5 record in league road games, Harvard has taken points from eight of nine away contests.

Big Stages
The attendance of 16,005 for Monday's Beanpot games was a season-high for Harvard. The Crimson skated before five-digit crowds in both of its games at North Dakota (11,500 Dec. 30 and 10,980 Dec. 31) and an ECAC regular-season-record 8,891 fans in its Frozen Fenway game against Union (Jan. 13). Three Harvard home games and two road games have been sold out.

Closing Time
The Crimson holds a 28-14 advantage against its opponents in third-period goals, including a 10-1 edge over the last six games. Harvard is 5-1‑2 when entering the third period leading or tied.

Comeback Crimson
Harvard has entered the final period trailing in 15 games but has rallied to win or tie in nine of those, including two of its last three league games.

Harvard has trailed 30 times during play this season and has come back to tie 24 times. The Crimson trailed twice each in its win against No. 18 Colgate (Nov. 12) and its ties against No. 19 Quinnipiac (Nov. 5), Dartmouth (Nov. 25), No. 18 North Dakota (Dec. 30), No. 14 Union (Jan. 6) and No. 9 Cornell (Jan. 21). Harvard scored seven goals over the final two periods to rally from a four‑goal deficit and defeat New Hampshire, 7-6 (Nov. 22), and erased four separate one‑goal deficits in a 4-4 tie at Massachusetts (Dec. 2). Harvard is 2-6-7 when trailing after two.

The Drawing Board
The Jan. 31 tie against Dartmouth was Harvard's seventh in ECAC 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.

Time and a Half?
Ten of Harvard's 23 games have gone to overtime, including nine of the last 16. The Crimson has played 45 minutes, eight seconds of overtime.

Harvard has held six of its last eight league opponents to two goals or fewer and and each of its last 11 foes overall to three goals or fewer.

Magic Numbers
The Crimson is unbeaten when scoring four goals or more (5-0-2) and has lost just twice when allowing three goals or fewer (6-2-7).

Head-to-Head Tiebreakers
Harvard has won its season series against Colgate and Quinnipiac, tied its series against Dartmouth and Princeton and lost its series against Cornell and Union. The Crimson leads its series against Brown, Clarkson and Yale; is tied with Rensselaer and trails St. Lawrence.

Survey Says ...
Harvard has received votes in 13 of the 17 weeks of the national poll, including four points this week.

Poll Positions
Harvard had played seven ranked opponents in games in December and January. The Crimson was 0-3‑4 against those seven ranked opponents and is 1-3-5 against ranked foes this season. Dating back to last season, Harvard is 3-5‑6 against its last 14 ranked opponents.

Pairing Up
The Crimson is tied for 23rd in the PairWise Ranking, alongside Northeastern and Quinnipiac. Harvard is 3-5-6 against its fellow teams under consideration for the NCAA tournament (Ratings Percentage Index of .500 or better).

Outside the Box
Harvard averages the seventh-fewest penalty minutes per game in the nation at 11.1.

Power Outage
The Crimson has allowed its opponents only 84 power plays this season, the nation's lowest total and an average of just 3.65 per game. Only seven other teams have allowed their foes fewer than 100 power plays.

Power Surge
Dating back to 2010-11, Harvard has netted 32 power-play goals in its last 23 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.

Special Forces
The Crimson is the nation's only team converting 30 percent of its power plays. The last team to  score on at least 30 percent of its power plays in a full season was Colorado College in 2002‑03 at 30.8. The last team to break 35 percent was the 1986-87 Harvard squad at 35.9. The NCAA record for power-play efficiency is 40.2 percent, recorded by Boston University in 1970-71.

Power Players
Danny Biega has a league-high 12 ECAC power‑play points (1‑11‑12), leading four Harvard players ranked tied for fifth or better. Alex Killorn is tied for seventh nationally with eight power-play goals.

Close Calls
Only two of Harvard's games have been decided by more than two goals. Seventeen of the 23 games, including 16 of the last 19, have been tied in the third period. At a point in every third period but two, the score has been tied or the teams have been separated by one goal. The Crimson is 4-3-9 in one-goal games and ties.

League Leaders
In ECAC Hockey play, Danny Biega leads league defensemen in points (7-12-19), while Patrick McNally (3-9-12) is tied for second among freshmen, first among rookie defensemen, in scoring. Harvard's power play is operating at a league-high 30 percent (21 for 70) in ECAC play.

Marshall Plan
Marshall Everson registered two points each in four straight games in January and has five points (1-4-5) in the last three games. He has scored or assisted on 14 of Harvard's last 23 goals.

Rock-Solid in Relief
Raphael Girard (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.) has come off the bench and stopped every shot he has faced in the last two games. He made 26 saves in two periods at Quinnipiac and eight stops after entering Monday's game in the second stanza. He has not allowed a goal in his last 64 minutes, 47 seconds on the ice.

A New Streak?
Alex Killorn was held off the scoresheet for just the fifth time this season Jan. 31 against Dartmouth. He rebounded with three assists Feb. 3 at Quinnipiac and scored Monday against BU. He has six goals and six assists in the last eight games. The senior had an eight‑game point streak earlier this season and a 10-game run in 2010-11.

The Century Mark
Alex Killorn has 93 points on 45 goals and 48 assists in 119 career games for the highest point total by a Crimson player since Jon Pelle '08 graduated with 97 points (39-58-97). Harvard, which plays only 29 games per regular season, has not had a 100-point scorer since Tom Cavanagh '05 registered 117 (48-69-117). Harvard's last 50‑goal scorer was Tim Pettit '04. The last 50-assist Harvard men were classmates Alex Biega '10 and Doug Rogers '10 with 55 each.

The Other Century Mark
Daniel Moriarty (Bienfait, Sask.) is set to play in his 100th game for Harvard. Colin Moore reached that milestone at Quinnipiac, while Alex Killorn and Ryan Grimshaw did so earlier this season. With 89 games played so far, junior Danny Biega could reach 100 in the ECAC tournament.

Balancing Act
Through 23 of its 29 regular-season games, Harvard has nine players with double-digit scoring totals. The Crimson had seven such players all of last season. Twenty‑two players have recorded points for Harvard, and 15 have scored goals.

The Bright Stuff
Harvard is 65-38-6 (.623) at Bright Hockey Center under Ted Donato and 287-131‑31 (.674) all-time at Bright, which opened in 1979‑80.

Jan. 7 at Houston Field House
Rensselaer scored twice in the first period, but a power‑play goal by Eric Kroshus (Calgary, Alta.) and a spinning, highlight-reel tally by Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) earned Harvard a 2-2 draw. The Crimson held a 27-13 edge in shots. Blackwell and Kroshus assisted on each other's goals, and Dan Ford (Skaneateles, N.Y.) helped out on both. Zach Schroeder and C.J. Lee scored for the Engineers. Steve Michalek  (Glastonbury, Conn.) made 11 saves for Harvard, while RPI's Scott Diebold stopped 25 shots.

Series History
Harvard owns a 46-35-4 lead in the all-time series, which began with a RPI home win in 1951. Ted Donato is 8-5-2 against the Engineers. The Crimson and Engineers have combined for three national titles and have met twice to determine the ECAC champion, a 3-1 RPI win in 1985 and a 3-0 Harvard victory in 1994.

Each of the last six meetings between the teams has been a one-goal game or a tie, including last season at Bright Hockey Center, when Alex Killorn scored with just 8.2 seconds on the clock to lift Harvard to a 1-0 win. Renssleaer's only win in its last seven visits to Bright was a wild, 5-4 victory Feb. 12, 2010.

Scouting the Engineers
The tie against Harvard started a strong spurt for Rensselaer, which has more wins in the eight games since (4-3-1) than it did in the 19 games before (3-16-0). The Engineers scored twice in the third period to rally for a 2-2 tie last Friday at Cornell but suffered an 8-3 defeat a night later at Colgate.

Thanks to his 16 assists, Brock Higgs holds the RPI scoring lead despite having netted only one goal. Ryan Haggerty leads the squad with six goals, while defenseman Nick Bailen ranks second on the squad with 16 points and is one of four players with five goals. Bryce Merriam has logged three shutouts in his 21 starts and owns a .910 save percentage and  2.43 goals-against average.