Men's Hockey Opens 2013-14 Campaign Against Bentley Saturday

Men's Hockey Opens 2013-14 Campaign Against Bentley Saturday

Dan Ford will serve as team captain for the 2013-14 campaign (Gil Talbot).

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

Video: 2013-14 Men's Hockey Season Preview

Boston Globe: Jimmy Vesey Making His Mark at Harvard

The Storyline

The Harvard men's hockey team drops the puck on its 114th season as it welcomes the Bentley Falcons to the Bright-Landry Hockey Center for a non-conference showdown. This marks the second straight season the Crimson has opened against Bentley, and just the second time the two teams have faced off.

• The Crimson boasts an 81-29-3 all-time record in official season opening games, including a team-record 18 straight opening wins from 1922-39. Since the opening of Bright Hockey Center in 1979, the Crimson has compiled a 21-12-1 record in home openers and a 5-4-0 mark under head coach Ted Donato.

• This is Harvard's third consecutive season opening its season at home. The Crimson topped Bentley last season, 5-0, and fell, 2-1, to Union in 2010-11.

• Former Crimson captain, NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and NHL veteran Ted Donato '91, the Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey, begins his 10th season behind the Crimson bench. Senior defenseman Dan Ford is the 121st captain of Harvard men's ice hockey.

• Harvard ended the 2012-13 campaign with a 10-19-3 overall record and a 6-14-2 mark in ECAC Hockey action.

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New Look, New Name
The 2013-14 Harvard men's and women's hockey teams will be playing home games at the re-named Bright-Landry Hockey Center, thanks to a generous gift from C. Kevin Landry '66. The facility will be getting a major upgrade during the 2013-14 season, and construction will be completed prior to the 2014-15 season. A new 20,000 square foot addition will be located between the current hockey facility and the Albert H. Gordon Track. Upgraded spectator amenities will include new concession, souvenir and hospitality areas plus additional family friendly restrooms. Enhancements to the Hockey Center will include new team locker rooms for the men's and women's ice hockey programs, sports medicine and workout facilities, coach's offices and a facility operations center.

Welcome Freshmen
The Crimson brings in nine freshmen to the men's hockey roster for the 2013-14 season. The freshman class hails from eight different states and provinces, and boasts two players drafted the NHL Entry Draft.

Sean Malone was selected in the sixth round (No. 159 overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft while classmate Alexander Kerfoot was taken in the fifth round (No. 150 overall) by the New Jersey Devils a year earlier. Clay Anderson, Kevin Guiltinan and Victor Newell look to bolster the Harvard blue line, while Luke Esposito, Tyler Moy, Devin Tringale and Phil Zielonka will add depth up front for Harvard.

More New Faces
The men's hockey staff has a bit of a new look to it for the 2013-14 season as well. Rob Rassey joins the program as an assistant coach after spending the past two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. Rassey was a four-year letterman at nearby Northeastern from 2005-09, and served as a volunteer assistant for the Huskies immediately upon graduation. Also joining the team is Brendan Flemming, Harvard hockey's newest Director of Hockey Operations. Flemming will be working with both the men's and women's teams and comes to Cambridge from Division III Babson, where he was an assistant coach for the past two seasons.

A Look Back
The 2012-13 campaign was not without its highlights, as the Crimson showed a penchant for strong performances in big games. A 4-1 victory over then-No. 10 Cornell in front of a national television audience got Harvard off to a strong start in its first road contest, after winning three of its first five games at home.

The NBC Sports Network audience was treated to another gem Jan. 9 when Harvard bested then-No. 9 Boston University, 6-5, in overtime on its home ice. A second win over a nationally-ranked B.U. team came in the Beanpot consolation game Feb. 11, and in its final weekend of regular-season play, Harvard upended the No. 1 team in the nation in Quinnipiac, 2-1 in overtime.

The roller-coaster season came to an end in Hanover, N.H., where Dartmouth took a 2-1 series win in the first round of the ECAC Championship, despite Harvard earning a 2-1 win in game one of the series.

Last Year vs. Bentley
It was a total team effort to open the 2012-13 season almost exactly a year ago, as the Crimson blanked Bentley, 5-0, Oct. 27, 2012 at Bright Hockey Center. Luke Greiner '13 got Harvard on the board just over four minutes into the game and classmate Alex Fallstrom '13 doubled the lead at the 16:22 mark. Then-rookie Jimmy Vesey notched his first collegiate score with a second-period tally and potted his second of the night 9:13 into the final frame. Marshall Everson '13 capped the scoring on the night with 35 seconds to play in the game. Goalie Raphael Girard stopped all 31 shots he faced for his first collegiate shutout.

Who's Returning?
The Crimson welcomes back five of its top eight scorers from last season, including three sophomores and two juniors. Sophomores Jimmy Vesey and Brian Hart tied for third on the team with 18 points apiece last season, while junior Tommy O'Regan was close behind with 15. Colin Blackwell (14 points) and Kyle Criscuolo (13) round out the top eight scorers from last season.

The Vesey File
Sophomore forward Jimmy Vesey has plenty of buzz heading into the 2013-14 campaign. The 2012-13 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Vesey tied for the team lead with 12 goals in his freshman campaign and received three ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week honors and a Rookie of the Month honor in his first season with the Crimson. He also competed for team USA in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia and helped the U.S. squad capture gold, working his way up to the first line by the end of the tournament.

NHL Caliber
Harvard boasts nine players on its 2013-14 roster that were selected in the NHL Entry Draft:

• Colin Blackwell (2011, San Jose, 7th rd.)
Max Everson (2011, Toronto, 7th rd.)
• Brian Hart (2012, Tampa Bay, 2nd rd.)
• Alexander Kerfoot (2012, New Jersey, 5th rd.)
• Sean Malone (2013, Buffalo, 6th rd.)
• Pat McNally (2010, Vancouver, 4th rd.)
Steve Michalek (2011, Minnesota, 6th rd.)
Petr Placek (2011, Philadelphia, 6th rd.)
• Jimmy Vesey (2012, Nashville, 3rd rd.)

Where It Ranks
The nine drafted players on the Harvard roster is the most of any team in the ECAC. Cornell is the next closest conference team with seven drafted players, followed by Quinnipiac and Yale, both with five. Here's how Harvard's roster stacks up nationally:

NHL Draft Picks By Team:
1. North Dakota    15
2. Minnesota    14
3. Michigan    12
4. Boston College    11
    Notre Dame    11
6. Harvard      9
    Wisconsin      9
8. Boston University      8

Scouting the Falcons
Bentley nears the end of a lengthy season-opening road trip when it comes to Cambridge, as the matchup against the Crimson is the Falcons' sixth consecutive road game.

Junior defenseman Steve Weinstein leads all Bentley players with 0-5-5 points on the season, and also holds the team assists lead. Rookie Max French is next in line with 2-2-4 points, and junior forward Alex Grieve holds the team lead in goals with three on the year. As a team, the Falcons have killed 83% of penalties this season and have scored on 17% of their power plays.

Senior Branden Komm has played every minute in goal so far this season for the Falcons, posting a 1-4-0 record through five games. He holds a .911 save percentage and a 3.24 goals-against average. He is also averaging over 32 saves per game.

Against The Atlantic
Harvard will be facing a team from Atlantic Hockey for just the second time since the 2010-11season. Before last season's bout with Bentley, the Crimson's last game against an Atlantic Hockey opponent came against Army Jan. 1 2011 in the first round of the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup. Army scored a pair of goals in the first period but Harvard responded with two each in the second and third to earn a 4-2 win. Alex Killorn '12 netted the game-winner for Harvard and Luke Greiner '13 added the insurance goal.

About Bentley
The Falcons come to Cambridge with a 1-4-0 overall record, but have competed well in all of their games this season. Bentley opened the season with a two-game series at Nebraska Omaha, and poured in six goals in the opener in a 6-4 victory. Bentley dropped the next game by a 4-2 final, and went on to fall in games at Sacred Heart (3-1) and Maine (2-1). In its most recent action, the Falcons hung with a talented Quinnipiac team Tuesday night, unable to complete a comeback in a 4-3 defeat in Hamden, Conn.

Bentley will play its first eight games of the season on the road before hosting American International in its home opener Nov. 8.

Last To Go
For the third straight season, Harvard is the last team in the nation to begin its season. The six Ivy League schools are all playing their first games this weekend due to league schedule restrictions. The other five Ivy schools are in action Friday.

Between The Pipes
The Crimson boasts three experienced goaltenders on its 2013-14 roster. Senior Raphael Girard carried the load for Harvard last season, logging 1,675 minutes of action and posting a 3.01 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and 8-18-3 overall record. Sophomore Peter Traber saw action in eight games for the Crimson last year, compiling a 2-1-0 record to go along with a 3.20 GAA and .918 save percentage. Junior Steve Michalek slots into the rotation after spending the 2012-13 campaign with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL, posting a 7-6-3 record.