Men's Hockey Takes on Third Straight Ranked Opponent in No. 12 Dartmouth Saturday

Men's Hockey Takes on Third Straight Ranked Opponent in No. 12 Dartmouth Saturday

Harvard is 2-2-0 against ranked opponents this season, and will face its fifth ranked team in No. 12 Dartmouth Saturday (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (pdf)

Highlights: Harvard's Overtime Thriller at No. 8 Boston University

Hobey Baker Fan Balloting: Vote for Danny Biega

The Matchup
On the heels of its second victory over a top-10 team this season, the Harvard men's hockey team takes on its third ranked opponent in as many games when it faces travel partner No. 12 Dartmouth Saturday at Thompson Arena. Harvard is in search of its first ECAC Hockey victory of the 2013 slate.      

Harvard vs. Dartmouth Series History
As its third-most frequent opponent, the Crimson has seen plenty of the Big Green through the years. The two teams first faced off Feb. 7, 1907 when Harvard skated to a 12-3 victory. In fact, the Crimson captured the first eight meetings between the two teams, and 13 of the first 14, to help claim a 126-60-11 edge in the all-time series. The tide has started to turn recently, however, as Dartmouth has picked up five wins in the last nine meetings and is unbeaten in the last four matchups.     

Last Season Against The Big Green
Harvard and Dartmouth squared off twice last season and both games ended in ties.  

In the first meeting of the 2011-12 season in Hanover, Harvard drew first blood when Mike Seward scored just 5:47 into the game. Tyler Sikura answered for the hosts and the period ended in a 1-1 draw. Eric Robinson put Dartmouth ahead 36 seconds into the second, but a power-play goal from Alex Fallstrom brought the Crimson even once again. Doug Jones scored what he hoped was the game-winner at 12:20 of the middle stanza, but Luke Greiner leveled the score one final time, as neither team scored the rest of the way in the 3-3 draw.

Later that season at Bright Hockey Center, Dartmouth took a two-goal lead with markers 18 seconds apart in the second period by Brandon McNally and Alex Goodship. Greiner got the Crimson on the board before the period closed and Colin Blackwell netted a power-play strike at 13:36 of the third to force overtime and the eventual tie.   

Scouting The Big Green
Dartmouth has come back to earth a bit after a stellar start to the 2012-13 campaign, bringing an 8-5-2 overall mark and 4-3-1 conference record in the Harvard matchup. After winning the Ivy Shootout tournament Oct. 26-27 in Providence, R.I., Dartmouth swept a four-game homestand that included a 3-2 win over then-No. 8/7 Union, and a 7-4 slugfest over Yale, which was receiving votes in the national polls. Dartmouth picked up wins in December over Bentley, Vermont and New Hampshire at home, but is still in search of its first road victory of the season. Dartmouth has only lost once at home this season, Dec. 31 to Massachusetts.

Averaging 1.40 points per game, good for seventh in the nation, sophomore forward Tyler Sikura comes in as Dartmouth's most dangerous weapon on offense, leading the team in goals (8) assists (13) and points (21). Junior forward Matt Linblad isn't far behind with 6-11-17 points and classmate Eric Robinson is third on the scoring list with 8-5-13 points. Senior Dustin Walsh, Dartmouth's lone draft pick (Montreal) rounds out the double digit scorers at 5-5-10 points, and classmate Mike Keenan is the team's top blueliner with two goals and six assists this year.

Dartmouth has utilized goalies Cab Morris and Charles Grant evenly through 15 games this season, with Morris seeing action in eight and Grant in seven. Morris enters the Harvard game with better number, sporting a .922 save percentage to go along with a 1.98 goals against average and 5-2-1 record.    

Last Time Out
In its biggest win of the 2012-13 campaign, Harvard erased a three-goal third-period deficit and came back to upset the No. 8 Boston University Terriers, 6-5, Wednesday at Agganis Arena. The game was broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.

It was an inauspicious start for Harvard as BU struck first 5:37 into the first and closed the opening period with another goal to make it 2-0 after one. Only 56 seconds into the second frame, BU scored again, putting Harvard in a 3-0 hole. Tommy O'Regan got the Crimson on the board with a strong individual effort at 2:29 and a power-play goal from Brian Hart brought the Crimson to within one six minutes later.

The Terriers rallied for two more scores, extending their lead back to three goals with 18:33 to play in the game. From that point on, it was all Harvard, beginning with a Marshall Everson strike at 6:38 and followed by a power-play gola from Luke Greiner less than two minutes later. Harvard stood within one goal of tying the game for almost eight minutes, until Colin Blackwell put home his own rebound on a chipped puck towards the net, tying the score at 5-5 and forcing overtime.

Both teams had good chances in the first two minutes of the extra frame, but it was senior Conor Morrison who played the role of hero, collecting a pass from O'Regan and burying the shot to seal the comeback victory with only 48 seconds left to play.   

Quite a Comeback
The 6-5 comeback victory over Boston University is Harvard's largest comeback since early last season, when it erased a four-goal, first-period deficit against New Hampshire Nov. 22, 2011. Harvard earned a 7-6 victory over the Wildcats.  

The O'Regan Show
Tommy O'Regan faced off against his younger brother, Danny, for the first time ever in the Harvard-BU matchup. The brothers received attention prior to the clash as the featured subjects of a Boston Herald article, and both O'Regans put on a show in the game. Tommy finished with a goal and two assists, including the primary helper on Conor Morrison's game-winning goal in overtime. Danny netted a pair of scores in the game and had one assist to match his brother's point output on the evening.

Their father, Tom O'Regan, was a four-year player and team captain at Boston University from 1979-83.

Camera Ready
Harvard has played its best hockey this season when the game is being broadcast on national television. In two games broadcast by NBC Sports Network this season, Harvard is 2-0-0 with a pair of wins over top-10 teams. The Crimson topped then-No. 10 Cornell, 4-1, Nov. 16 at Lynah Rink before edging out the Terriers, 6-5 in overtime, Jan. 9 at Agganis Arena.

Four Score
Four was the magic number for the Crimson last season, as Harvard was unbeaten (9-0-2) when scoring four or more goals in a game. Harvard is 4-0-0 in such contests this season and 5-0-0 in games where it scores at least three goals.

When Trailing After Two...
The victory over Boston University marked the first time this season Harvard won a game when trailing heading into the third period. Harvard accomplished the feat three times last season, the most recent being a 3-2 win over Clarkson Feb. 25, 2012 at Bright Hockey Center. The Golden Knights took a 2-1 lead into the third.  

Fallstrom Force
After an injury sidelined Alex Fallstrom for the Northeastern game Dec. 29, the senior has scored at least one point in three games since. Fallstrom dished out two assists Jan. 4 at Princeton and collected a goal and an assist at Quinnipiac a day later. The senior also picked up an assist in the 6-5 overtime win over BU.

Vote For Danny
Senior captain Danny Biega is on the 2013 Hobey Baker fan ballot, which college hockey fans can use to cast their vote for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award. The fan balloting portion of the award process will last from Jan. 7-March 10 and will account for one percent of the final Hobey Baker Award vote. Biega is one of 77 players on the fan ballot. More information about the process and the award can be found at   

Red, White, Blue and Gold
Freshman forward Jimmy Vesey was one of three ECAC Hockey players to help the United States capture the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Vesey joined fellow ECAC Hockey players Shayne Gostisbehere (D, Union) and Cole Bardreau (F, Cornell) on the U.S. squad. Team USA captured its first gold medal since 2010 with a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the tournament final Jan. 5.

Vesey skated in all seven tournament games for the U.S., and after starting the tournament dressing as the 13th forward, Vesey moved up to the top line for the final three games. The North Reading, Mass., native finished the event with five points on a goal and four assists. His best game came in the final contest of pool play, as he dished out three assists in a 9-3 rout of Slovakia, helping the U.S. advance in the tournament. He scored his lone goal of the tournament in a 5-1 defeat of Canada in the semifinal, and added an assist in the contest as well.

Team USA's last gold at the World Juniors came in 2010 in Saskatoon, Sask., when the Red, White and Blue edged Canada, 6-5 in overtime to capture the tournament crown. The U.S. took bronze in 2011 in Buffalo, N.Y., and failed to medal in last year's tournament.  

World Junior Crew
With his experience in Ufa, Russia, Jimmy Vesey becomes the third player on the current Harvard roster with World Junior Championship experience. Conor Morrison skated for Germany in 2009 and Ryan McGregor (Ebmatingen, Switzerland) represented Switzerland in 2010 and 2011.

Welcome Back!
After struggling to score on the power play earlier this season, the Crimson has now scored a power-play goal in its last four contests.