Yale at Harvard
The Harvard men's hockey team returns to the friendly confines of the Bright-Landry Hockey Center for a pair of games against ECAC and Ivy League rivals, Brown and Yale. The Bears visit first looking for their first conference victory, with the Bulldogs visiting on Saturday evening in a game that will be broadcast live on NESN. Puck drop for each contest is set for 7 p.m.
Inside the Glass
• Heading into the weekend, Harvard remains one of just three NCAA Division I men's hockey teams with an unbeaten record at 2-0-2. No. 17 Robert Morris is 7-0-1 and No. 5 Michigan Tech stands at 8-0-0.
• Harvard enters play this weekend in a tie for second in the ECAC standings with four points. Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence also have four points, while Rensselaer is leading the conference with six points. Brown is 0-2-0 in conference matchups, tied for 11th with Cornell in the ECAC standings.
• The Crimson's top line of Alexander Kerfoot, Kyle Criscuolo and Jimmy Vesey have combined for 20 of Harvard's 37 points through the first four games of the season.
• Each member of the Kerfoot, Criscuolo, Vesey line is riding a four-game point streak, career-highs for each. At No. 8/8 Boston College Tuesday evening, each had a multi-point game, highlighted by Kerfoot's five-point effort (3G, 2A). Criscuolo had three points (1G, 2A) and Vesey had two (1G, 1A).
• Senior goaltender Steve Michalek holds a 1.92 goals-against average, the third lowest in the ECAC, while his .750 winning percentage entering the weekend is tops.
The Crimson's top line of Kerfoot, Criscuolo and Vesey have made an impression in each of the first four games this season. All four have four-game point streaks, which matches Kerfoot and Vesey's longest such streak and sets a new standard for Criscuolo. The trio also has four multi-point games between them with each accomplishing that against Boston College on November 11, 2014, while Vesey also had two goals in the 4-0 shutout at Rensselaer on November, 7, 2014.
Kerfoot Breaks Out
Sophomore forward Alexander Kerfoot had a breakout game on Tuesday, Nov. 11, recording a hat trick and five total points for the Crimson.
The first hat trick of his career was the first for a Harvard skater since Luke Greiner '13 scored three times in the Beanpot consolation game against Boston University on February 11, 2013.
In reaching five points in a single game, Kerfoot became the first Harvard student-athlete to do so since March 14, 2008 when Dave Watters '08 recorded a hat trick and two goals in the ECAC playoffs against Quinnipiac.
Holding Strong A Man Down
The Crimson's penalty kill has been outstanding thus far. On Tuesday, Nov. 11 it stymied Boston College on its seven power play attempts, improving to a perfect 15-for-15 on the penalty kill in 2014-15.
The 15-straight penalty kills is the longest for Harvard since it killed off 19 conseuctive from Jan. 7-24 last season.
Last Year vs. Brown
Harvard suffered a pair of defeats to the Bears, dropping a 2-1 decision on the road on December 6 before suffering a 2-0 loss at home on February 22. Jimmy Vesey scored the lone goal for Harvard against Brown, with Brian Hart assisting.
Series History: Brown
In what is considered the oldest rivalry in college hockey, the Crimson boasts a 106-45-13 advantage in the all-time series against the Bears. Brown won the very first meeting in the series, 6-0, back on Jan. 19, 1898. Brown has been victorious in the last three meetings, but prior to that, Harvard went 3-0-1 against the Bears from Feb. 22, 2011 - Nov. 2, 2012.
Scouting the Bears
Sophomore forward Davey Middleton is the lone Brown skater with more than one goal this year, leading the team with two. Freshmen Charlie Corcoran (1G, 1A) and Sam Lafferty (2A) also have two points on the season. The trio trails senior forward Massimo Lamacchia who has three points on a goal and two helpers.
Of those four players, only Middleton has a positive plus-minus at +1. Kyle Kramer (+1) and Dane Cooper (+2) are the only other Bears in the positive.
The goaltending duties have fallen on sophomore Tyler Steel. In three starts, Steel has a 3.03 GAA and a .899 save percentage, going 1-2-0.
As all Ivy League school do at this point in the season, Brown trails most of the country in games played, going 1-2-0 in its first three games. Following a 4-2 season-opening win at Army, The Bears returned home and dropped ECAC bouts to St. Lawrence and Clarkson.
Six of Brown's eight games before the New Year are against ECAC competition, with its two out-of-conference matchups coming at home against UConn and at Holy Cross at the end of November. Brown will also see Boston College, Denver and Providence twice in January to wrap up its out-of-league action.
Last Year vs. Yale
The fiercest of rivals in the Ivy League became well acquainted last season, facing off five times. Yale, a year removed from winning the national championship, posted a 4-0-1 mark against the Crimson. In the first-ever Rivalry on Ice at Madison Square Garden, Yale notched a 5-1 victory. In the ECAC playoffs in March, the Elis knocked the Crimson out of the postseason with consecutive wins in New Haven, Conn.
Series History: Yale
Yale got the best of the Crimson in the first meeting of the series on Feb. 26, 1900, edging its Ancient Eight rival, 5-4. Over the 114 years in which the schools have competed on the ice, Harvard has gotten the better of Yale, holding a 140-85-19 lead in the all-time series.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Sophomore John Hayden, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, paces Yale's offense with four points on one goal and three assists. Hayden, along with Frankie DiChiara, Mike Doherty, Anthony Day, Matt Killian and Cody Learned each account for one of the six goals the Bulldogs have scored in 2014-15.
Sophomore Alex Lyon has been the primary netminder for the Elis, holding a 2.29 GAA, .918 save percentage and a 1-1-2 record.
Coming off a 17-11-5 season and an appearance in the ECAC Championship quarterfinals last season, Yale has been slow out of the gate this year, going 1-1-2 overall and 0-1-1 in ECAC action. The Bulldogs opened the year at the Liberty Invitational at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, tying Princeton, 2-2, and topping UConn, 2-1.
In what counted as its first ECAC games, Yale tied Clarkson, 2-2, and lost to St. Lawrence, 4-0. The Bulldogs will be in Hanover, New Hampshire to take on Dartmouth Friday evening before the matchup in Cambridge Saturday.
Yale will play four more ECAC opponents before the calendar turns, while also taking on R.I.T and Holy Cross. The Bulldogs have two more tune-ups in January before the Rivalry on Ice, going up against Vermont and Northeastern on January 3 and 6, respectively.