Men's Hockey Game Against No. 17 Dartmouth Moved To Sunday at 4 p.m.

Gil Talbot
Gil Talbot

Raphael Girard made 42 saves against Boston College in Monday's Beanpot semifinal (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (pdf)

Vesey Named Walter Brown Award Semifinalist

The Matchup
After a hard-fought 4-1 defeat to No. 5 Boston College in Monday's Beanpot semifinal, the Harvard men's hockey team turns its attention back to conference play when it hosts No. 17 Dartmouth at Bright Hockey Center.

Game's On!
Harvard's game against Dartmouth will be broadcast on WBIN-TV and Fox College Sports.

Series History: Dartmouth

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 126-61-11 edge in the all-time series. The tide has started to turn recently, however, as Dartmouth has picked up six wins in the last 10 meetings and is unbeaten in the last five matchups.     

Jan. 12, 2013 In Hanover, N.H.
Riding high after a 6-5 overtime defeat of No. 8 Boston University three days earlier, the Crimson looked to ride the momentum into a road contest against the Big Green. Things started well for the Crimson as Jimmy Vesey scored a highlight-reel goal in the first period, weaving between three Dartmouth defenders to put Harvard up 1-0 at the first intermission.

The hosts fought back with two in the second as Matt Lindblad tied it up at 1-1 and Nick Bligh scored on the power-play to make it 2-1 after 40 minutes of action. Harvard answered 4:03 into the final frame when Petr Placek converted feeds from Dan Ford and Greg Gozzo to tie the score at 2-2. Dartmouth had the last laugh, however, as Jesse Beamish's shot through traffic found the back of the goal with 7:29 to play in the game.   

Scouting The Big Green
Dartmouth has come back to earth a bit after a stellar start to the 2012-13 campaign, bringing an 11-8-3 overall mark and 7-6-2 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 has just one road victory to its credit this season, a 4-2 win over Brown Jan. 18.

Sophomore Tyler Sikura and junior Matt Lindblad have had the helping hands this season, leading the team with 17 and 14 assists, respectively. Sikura also has the team points lead with 26 and Linblad is close behind with 23. Junior forward Eric Robinson leads all Big Green skaters with 10 goals on the year and stands third with 16 total points. Senior Mike Keenan is Dartmouth's top-scoring defenseman with 2-9-11 points.

While both Cab Morris and Charles Grant have seen significant time in goal this year for Dartmouth, Morris has played about two-thirds of the minutes, starting 14 of the 22 games. He also holds the better numbers with a 2.05 goals-against average and .921 save percentage, along with an 8-4-2 record.  

Last Time Out
It was a tall task for the Crimson in the semifinal round of the 61st annual Beanpot, as the fifth-ranked Boston College Eagles stood between them and the championship game. Harvard, led by junior goalie Raphael Girard, withstood a barrage of shots from the Eagles, but had trouble finishing periods defensively. Quinn Smith scored the game's first goal with 29 seconds left in the first period, and struck again with 1:42 to play in the second. Michael Matheson made it 3-0 with 51 ticks left in the second frame before Danny Biega netted his first goal of the season midway through the third. Danny Fick and Luke Greiner earned assists on the play.

BC's Steven Whitney made it 4-1 with an unassisted goal at 5:02 of the third. Girard finished the game with 42 saves.

Walter Brown Watch
The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Monday that freshman forward Jimmy Vesey is a semifinalist for the 2013 Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best United States-born college hockey player in New England. Vesey is one of 16 players to be named a semifinalist for the prestigious award and one of seven skaters from ECAC Hockey.

Dov Grumet-Morris '05 was Harvard's last Walter Brown Award winner in 2005. The Crimson's previous winners are Lane MacDonald '88-89 (1989), Scott Fusco '85-86 (1986), Mark Fusco '83 (1983), Bob McManama '73 (1972), Joe Cavanagh '71 (1971), Dave Grannis '62 (1962), Bob Cleary '58 (1957 and 1958) and Bill Cleary '56 (1955).

The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 61st Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Tournament play. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers' Dinner in April.    

Stockpiling Saves
Raphael Girard has played nearly 90% of the minutes in goal this year, and enters the Dartmouth contest with 594 saves on the season. His 42- save performance in the Beanpot semifinal against B.C. was his second-highest saves total this season, behind only a 44-save outing against Yale Nov. 3. The junior has stopped over 30 shots in four of his last five contests.  

Girard is averaging over 28 saves per contest, and is on pace to become just the seventh Harvard goalie to eclipse 800 saves in a single season.

A Staple In The Lineup
Senior captain Danny Biega has played in 121 games in his career, the most of any active Harvard player. He has skated in all 21 games for the Crimson this season as well. With at least 10 games remaining this year, Biega has a chance to break into the all-time top-10 for games played in team history. Danny's brother Alex '10 skated in 131 career games (eighth all-time), and Danny would reach that mark if he stays healthy down the stretch. Tom Cavanagh '05 is the all-time leader in games played with 138 in his career

It's All Too Vesey
For the third time this season, freshman Jimmy Vesey received ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week honors. It is also the fourth such honor for a Harvard player this season.

Vesey has been Harvard's biggest offensive threat in the 2013 portion of the schedule, and his finishing touch was on display in three games last week. Vesey netted Harvard's only goal at No. 19 Union Jan. 22, slipping home a quick shot off a Colin Blackwell faceoff win. The rookie struck again in his next game, giving Harvard a 1-0 lead at home against Clarkson Friday. A night later, Vesey collected a pair of goals against St. Lawrence, including a power-play tally and a goal just 11 seconds into the second period.

The North Reading, Mass., native leads the team with 10 goals and 14 points. His 0.56 goals-per-game average is second among freshmen nationally, and he also ranks 14th nationally in points per game among rookies with 0.78. He is the leading rookie scorer in ECAC contests with 11 points (8g, 3a) in league games.

Tough Stretch
Harvard has faced eight ranked opponents this season, which included a stretch of four straight ranked foes from Jan. 5-18. The Crimson has squared off against five top-10 teams this year, posting a 2-3-0 record in those games.   

Staying Positive
Tommy O'Regan and Luke Greiner lead the team in plus/minus, as both players are rated +3 on the season.

Block Party
The defensive unit for the Crimson has recorded 76 more blocks than its opponents through 21 games this season with a 387-311 edge in the category. Harvard has had more blocks than its opponent in 14 games this season including nine of its last 11 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). Harvard has eclipsed the 20-block benchmark in 10 games this season, including its last five contests.  

Senior captain Danny Biega holds the team lead in blocks with 53 on the season. Dan Ford is close behind with 44 and Brendan Rempel has picked up 41 on the season.

Rockin' Rookies
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 8-3-11 points and classmate Brian Hart is in third with 2-7-9 points in league contests. Kyle Criscuolo, who played in his first game since Dec. 10 against Rensselaer because of an injury, is tied for 20th among league rookies with 3-1-4 league points.      

Young Blood
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.

Century Club
Four members of the class of 2013 have eclipsed the 100-games played mark in their careers. Danny Biega leads the way with 121, followed by Luke Greiner with 112 and Marshall Everson with 108. Alex Fallstrom is the most recent member of the 100-games played club, as the game against the Saints was his 100th in a Harvard uniform. Conor Morrison also has a good chance to reach 100 games played as he currently sits at 94 for his career.

The last time Harvard had five seniors eclipse the 100-game mark was during the 2007-08 season, led by Jon Pelle '08 with 135 for his career.