ECAC, Ivy Slates Gets Underway as No. 13/13 Men's Hockey Hosts Brown, Yale
Alex Fallstrom recorded the first three-point game of his career in the season opener against Bentley (Gil Talbot).
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Last Season vs. Brown
The Crimson faced off against the Bears late in the year in 2011-12, as the teams first played each other Jan. 28 at Bright Hockey Center. After a scoreless first period, Jarred Smith put the Bears out in front with a strike early in the second and the 1-0 lead held through the end of the stanza. Harvard came roaring back in the third with Eric Kroshus '12 and Alex Killorn '12 notching goals and Danny Biega adding an empty-net tally to seal the 3-1 win.
Three weeks later in Providence, Killorn got the Crimson out to a quick start with a pair of first-period markers. Smith scored 1:50 into the second period to cut the Harvard lead to one, but Alex Fallstrom scored to make it a 3-1 game. A power-play goal from Jack Maclellan brought the score to 3-2 at the end of two, and a Massimo Lamacchia tally with 1:46 left in the game forced overtime and the eventual 3-3 draw, Harvard's record-breaking 11th of the season.
Last Season vs. Yale
It was hardly a normal run of games between the Crimson and Bulldogs last season, as the teams met five times with Harvard going 3-2-0 in those games.
It was a see-saw battle in the first matchup of 2011-12, as a national TV audience saw Alex Killorn's goal with 1:19 left on the clock lift the Crimson to a thrilling, 4-3, victory in front of a sellout crowd at Bright Hockey Center. Three weeks later, the Bulldogs exacted their revenge, humbling the Crimson to the tune of 7-1, and putting Harvard's home-ice bid in serious jeopardy heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
A sweep of St. Lawrence and Clarkson secured an opening-round playoff bye for Harvard, but the Bulldogs made a return trip to Bright for a quarterfinal series after a win in their opening playoff round. Luke Greiner's goal at 19:33 of the second period stood to push Game 1 to overtime, but Yale's Kenny Agostino scored 3:49 into the extra period to give the guests a 1-0 series lead.
Danny Biega potted a pair of power-play goals in Game 2, but Antoine Laganiere's strike with 27 left in regulation pushed the game to overtime. Dan Ford came to the rescue in the second overtime period, scoring 9:20 into the frame to even the series at a game apiece.
After the teams traded scores in the first period of Game 3, the Harvard offense exploded, posting four goals in the second and three in the third to breeze to an 8-2 win and earn a spot in the ECAC Tournament semifinals. Harvard's David Valek recorded a hat trick in the deciding game.
Harvard played its first hockey game against Brown Jan. 19, 1898 at Boston's Franklin Park, the first installment in college hockey's oldest rivalry. Brown won, 6-0. Harvard and Yale first faced off Feb. 26, 1900, a 5-4 Yale victory in New York. The series is college hockey's third‑longest‑running and 12th-most-contested at 234 meetings.
Red Hot Rookie
Thanks to a three-point performance (2-1-3) in his collegiate debut, freshman Jimmy Vesey was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week for Oct. 30. Last season, Harvard had three different freshmen take home Rookie of the Week honors throughout the year: Colin Blackwell, Patrick McNally and Tommy O'Regan.
Shutting The Door
In his 14th career start and 19th career game, junior goalie Raphael Girard recorded his first collegiate shutout, stopping 31 shots in a season-opening 5-0 win against Bentley. The last time Harvard shut out an opponent was Nov. 6, 2010 at home against Rensselaer. Kyle Richter '11 blocked 19 shots in the 1-0 win over the Engineers.
Girard's effort also marked the first time since 2000 that the Crimson recorded a shutout victory in its first game of the season.
Top Line Touch
Harvard's top line of Marshall Everson, Luke Greiner and Alex Fallstrom has a strong start to the season as each player tallied a goal against Bentley, and Everson and Fallstrom had multi-point games. The trio of seniors combined to finish the game with a +8 rating.
Scouting the Bears
Like Harvard, Brown started its season last weekend, hosting Princeton, Dartmouth and Yale in the Ivy Showcase Tournament. Goals in the first and second periods in its season opener against Princeton held up for Brown, as the Tigers got one back in the third but couldn't complete the comeback in a 2-1 Bears victory. The following day, the Dartmouth defense proved to be too much for the Bears to figure out as the Big Green tallied a pair of scores in the second and third periods to skate away with a 4-0 blanking.
Through two games, sophomore Matt Lorito and freshman Nick Lappin share the team lead in goals with one apiece, while sophomore defenseman Joey de Concilys has the lone assist on the year. Junior Marco DeFilippo has been the choice in net for both games this season, and he brings a 2.02 goals-against average and .930 save percentage into the Harvard matchup.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Yale traveled to Rhode Island to start its season at the Ivy Showcase last weekend and emerged from the tournament with three out of a possible four points. Against Dartmouth in its season opener, Yale's Antoine Laganiere scored twice off assists from Clinton Bourbonais in the secon period, but a late power-play goal by the Big Green forced the game to end in a 2-2 tie.The following day against Princeton, a first-period power play goal gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead after one and two more tallies in the second helped Yale clinch a 3-2 victory when the third period went by without a score.
Laganiere has shown he has the finishing touch early in the season, leading the team with three goals, while fellow forward Bourbonais has a team-high three assists through two games. Junior forward Jesse Root has a goal and an assist heading into this weekend. Senior goalies Nick Maricic and Jeff Malcolm both got a start last weekend, with Malcolm earning the victory and Maricic holding the better numbers with a 1.85 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.
Poised Power Play
Last season, Harvard boasted the No. 1 power play in the nation, converting on 38 of 139 chances for a 27.3% success rate. The Crimson returns five of its top six power-play scorers from last season, led by Danny Biega who notched 23 points on four goals and 19 assists.
Against Bentley, the Crimson converted on one of its two power-play chances, with Biega picking up the first assist on a Jimmy Vesey goal.
Consider It Killed
The Harvard penalty kill unit, which ended the 2011-12 season on a hot streak, was also equal to the challenge posed by Bentley, killing all five power-play chances the Falcons earned in the game. In the quarterfinal series against Yale last season, Harvard killed 17 of 18 penalties, including an 11-for-11 showing in Game 2 of the series. Harvard went on to hold Cornell (0-for-2) and Union (0-for-3) without a power-play goal in the ECAC Tournament semifinal and final rounds. Harvard has killed 27 of its last 28 penalties, and held four of its last five opponents without a power-play goal, dating back to last season.
The Bright Stuff
Harvard is 68-38-7 (.633) at Bright Hockey Center under Ted Donato and 290-131‑32 (.676) all-time at Bright, which opened in 1979‑80. Last season, Harvard posted an 8-5-3 home record.
With both major national polls placing Harvard at No. 13 this week, it marks the highest the Crimson has been ranked since March 20, 2006, when Harvard appeared at No. 7 in the USCHO.com poll.
This week's national hockey polls feature a quartet of ECAC Hockey teams. Cornell appears as the highest ranked ECAC squad, coming in at No. 5/6, with Union right on its tail at No. 9/10. Harvard is ranked 13th in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and St. Lawrence is the final ranked team, occupying No. 15/16.