Men's Hockey Hosts North Country Foes Clarkson, St. Lawrence This Weekend on WBIN-TV
Tommy O'Regan shares the team lead in points with 11 on the season (Gil Talbot).
Complete Game Notes (pdf)
After a seven-game road swing that nearly spanned the entire month of January, the Harvard men's hockey team returns home to take on North Country foes Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
On The Air
Both Harvard men's hockey games this weekend will be broadcast on WBIN-TV. Information on the TV network can be found by clicking here.
Series History: Clarkson
After 111 meetings between Harvard and Clarkson, the teams have each claimed 50 wins and played to 11 draws. The teams first played in 1935; a three-game series leading up to New Years that resulted in the teams splitting the first two and tying the rubber match. Recent history has favored the Crimson, with Harvard collecting five victories in the last five meetings. Harvard hasn't lost to Clarkson at Bright Hockey Center since 2008.
Last Season Against The Golden Knights
Harvard had a solid 2011-12 run against Clarkson, sweeping the Golden Knights with a pair of 3-2 scores.
Nov. 18, 2011 at Cheel Arena saw the Crimson jump on the board first as Eric Kroshus '12 scored on the power play six minutes in. Nick Tremblay had a swift response to tie the score after one period, but Tommy O'Regan's unassisted effort gave Harvard a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Matt Zarbo leveled the score at 2-2 with a power-play marker in the third, but Danny Biega's goal with 6:55 to play served as the game-winner for the guests.
The Crimson had a first-round playoff bye at stake when the teams met again in the regular-season finale at Bright. Kevin Tansey started the scoring at the tail end of the first and Louke Oakley gave the Knights a 2-0 lead 5:20 into the second. A power-play strike from Alex Fallstrom cut the deficit to 2-1 heading into the third and a pair of David Valek tallies propelled the Crimson to a comeback victory and a first-round bye in the 2012 ECAC Tournament.
While Clarkson's overall record (4-12-6) isn't stellar, the Knights have held their ground in the ECAC standings with a 3-5-2 conference mark. Even though it took Clarkson eight games to collect its first win, the Knights took down Yale, 1-0 on the road, to earn two key conference points. Clarkson has also picked up wins over Princeton (7-2) and two against travel partner St. Lawrence, even though only one of those victories counts in the conference standings. Clarkson played St. Lawrence to a 3-3 tie in its last outing.
The junior class has been the driving force in terms of point production, headed by forward Allan McPherson who leads the team with 4-13-17 points. Rookie Pat Megannety is having a strong first year with 7-7-14 points and juniors Jarret Burton (7-6-13), Will Frederick (5-6-11) and Ben Sexton (4-7-11) round out the double-digit scorers. The defensive tandem of Paul Geiger and Sam Labrecque lead all blueliners with seven points apiece.
Freshman Greg Lewis has been the top choice in goal this season for Clarkson, starting 19 of 22 games. He has a 2.80 goals-against average and .903 save percentage, playing 85% of the minutes for the Knights.
Series History: St. Lawrence
The Crimson and Saints have met 98 times with Harvard holding a 53-39-6 lead in the all-time series. 1954 was the inaugural year of the Harvard-St. Lawrence series and the Crimson won the first two matchups, the first being a 3-2 overtime victory at Boston Arena. Harvard has claimed wins in three of the last four meetings, scoring four goals in each of the victories. The Saints haven't won a game at Bright Hockey Center since 2009.
Last Season Against The Saints
Both teams successfully defended their home ice in 2011-12 as the squads split the season series.
The meeting in Canton, N.Y., featured four power play goals, two for each team, in a 4-3 Saints victory. Patrick McNally started the scoring at 5:06 into the first on a power play, but man-up strikes from Chris Martin and Jacob Drewiske gave St. Lawrence a 2-1 lead after one. Danny Biega knotted the score at 2-2 with a power-play strike but Martin made it 3-2 after two with his second goal of the game. Dan Ford tied it once again midway through the third but Gunnar Hughes potted the game-winner with 8:08 to play in the game.
The Saints struck first in the rematch at Bright, but the early goal would be their only tally. David Valek knotted the score at 1-1 and Eric Kroshus made it 2-1 to close the first period. The score stayed at 2-1 through the second period, but Valek picked up another goal and Patrick McNally put home an empty-net score to cap the 4-1 final.
Scouting St. Lawrence
A hot start saw the Saints hold firm in the national rankings through the first few weeks of the season, but a tough November-December stretch served to level out the Saints. St. Lawrence is 2-1-1 in its last four games, picking up wins over RIT and Brown and skating to a 3-3 tie with Clarkson in its most recent action.
Veteran forwards Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan both rank within the top 10 nationally in points per game. Carey has the team lead in points with 14-16-30 on the year, while Flanagan is right behind with 11-18-29, and the team lead in assists. Senior defenseman George Hughes is third on the list, leading all blueliners with 3-14-17 points on the year.
Junior Matt Weninger has played 97% of the minutes in goal this season, boasting a .910 save percentage and 2.82 goals-against average heading into the weekend.
Last Time Out
The ECAC slide continued for the Crimson in its last game action, as it dropped a 4-1 decision to Union Tuesday night at Messa Rink. Union broke a lengthy scoreless tie with a marker at the end of the second period, and then poured in three scores in the third to seal the win. Jimmy Vesey scored Harvard's lone goal in the game, cutting the third period deficit to 2-1 with 9:06 to play in the contest.
Vesey Does It
Freshman Jimmy Vesey has been one of Harvard's most consistent players as of late and enters the weekend with team lead in goals (7) and tied for the team lead in points (11). He has logged points in three of his last four games, scoring a pair of goals and handing out an assist.
Defenseman Dan Ford has dished out assists in three of his last five contests. All four of his assists on the season have come on the road, and three of the four have come against ranked teams.
The Clarkson games have been a time for sophomore Tommy O'Regan to shine. In two career games against the Golden Knights, O'Regan has three points on a goal and two helpers.
The Harvard class of 2016 is leading the way for first year players in ECAC Hockey. Jimmy Vesey is the top-scoring freshman in league games with 5-3-8 points and classmate Brian Hart is tied for third with 2-4-6 points in league contests. Kyle Criscuolo, who hasn't played since Dec. 10 due to injury, is tied for ninth among league rookies with 3-1-4 league points.
The underclassmen on the Crimson have stepped up in terms of point scoring this season. Four of Harvard's top five scorers are either freshmen or sophomores.
I Wanna Block
The defensive unit for the Crimson has recorded 42 more blocks than its opponents through 17 games this season with a 299-257 edge in the category. Harvard has had more blocks than its opponent in 10 games this season including five of its last seven contests. The Crimson recorded a season-high 27 blocks against Boston University Jan. 9, and has posted two games with a block differential of +16 (23-7).
Danny Biega holds the team lead in blocks with 36 on the season. Brendan Rempel is close behind with 35 and Dan Ford is next in line with 33.