Kyle Criscuolo leads the Crimson into South Bend to compete in the sixth Shillelagh Tournament hosted by Notre Dame Nov. 27-28 (Gil Talbot).
Harvard (4-1-1) at Notre Dame (5-3-4)
The Opening Faceoff
No. 8/8 Harvard men's hockey embarks on its first tournament of the season Thanksgiving weekend, traveling to South Bend, Indiana to compete in the Shillelagh Tournament hosted by No. 18/- Notre Dame. The Crimson takes on the host the Fighting Irish in the first round Friday, Nov. 27 and then will take on either Western Michigan or Rensselaer the following afternoon.
The First Line
• The Shillelagh Tournament is the first of three regular season tournaments for the Crimson in 2015-16. Harvard will play in the 25th Annual Mariucci Classic Jan. 1-2 at Minnesota and also the 64th Annual Beanpot at TD Garden in February.
• It has been almost 40 years since the Crimson played Notre Dame on its home ice. The squads played to a 9-7 scoring extravaganza Dec. 21, 1975 in South Bend, with the Fighting Irish coming out on top. Harvard, though, played in South Bend in the regional round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
• Sophomore netminder Merrick Madsen set a new career-high with 38 saves Saturday, Nov. 14, shutting out Princeton on the road in a 3-0 victory. The win moved Harvard to 4-1-1, and was Madsen's second shutout in three starts this year.
Last Time Out
Harvard last played the weekend of Nov. 13-14, visiting Quinnipiac and Princeton. The Crimson suffered its first loss Nov. 13 at then-No. 4/3 Quinnipiac, falling to the Bobcats, 4-1, in Hamden, Conn. A bright spot for the Crimson, sophomore defenseman Wiley Sherman netted his first career goal for Harvard's tally.
The Crimson bounced back the next night out, blanking ECAC and Ivy rival Princeton, 3-0. Sophomore Merrick Madsen stopped a career-high 38 shots for his second shutout of the year, while Jimmy Vesey's first period goal stood as the only score until Clay Anderson and Alexander Kerfoot netted empty netters in the final minute.
Shillelagh Tournament History
Notre Dame is hosting the Shillelagh Tournament for the sixth time since 2009, and third time at Compton Family Ice Arena.
2009 - Notre Dame
2010 - Notre Dame (Shootout, 5 rounds)
2011 - Minnesota State
2013 – Northeastern
2014 - Western Michigan
Scouting Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish return home to host the Shillelagh Tournament after going 0-1-1 on a road trip to UMass Lowell last weekend. Following a 2-2 tie in the opener Friday, the Riverhawks posted a 3-1 victory to serve Notre Dame its first Hockey East loss of the season. The Fighting Irish stands at 5-3-4, 3-1-2 HE on the year.
A trio of Fighting Irish skaters enters the Shillelagh Tournament with five goals. Thomas DiPauli, Jordan Gross and Dylan Malmquist are tied for the team scoring lead, with DiPauli tying with Jake Evans for the team lead in points with 12. Cal Petersen has started all 12 games for ND, allowing 31 goals for a 2.53 average, supported by a .914 save percentage.
Series History vs. Notre Dame
Harvard and Notre Dame are meeting for the first time since Dec. 23, 1978, a 9-5 win for the Crimson. The Crimson and Fighting Irish met six times in the 1970's, with Harvard going 4-2-0 in those meetings. The very first matchup came Jan. 7, 1927, with Harvard posting a 7-0 shutout in a home game.
Scouting Western Michigan
The defending Shillelagh Tournament champs are seventh (out of eight teams) in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, with a 2-4-0 mark and a 4-6-1 overall record. Similar to Harvard, Western Michigan had last weekend off from competition, but enter Shillelagh riding a four-game losing streak after being swept by No. 19 Miami (Ohio) and No. 9 St. Cloud State. The Broncos last wins came Oct. 30-31 when it swept then-ranked No. 2/1 Nebraska-Omaha at home.
Sheldon Dries leads WMU with five goals and eight points. Colt Conrad paces the team with six helpers and is even with Griffen Molino for second in points with 7.
Goaltending duties have been split between Lukas Hafner and Collin Olson, each playing in six contests. Hafner leads in both save percentage (.913) and GAA (2.82). Each has two wins and three losses, while Hafner also has a tie.
Series History vs. Western Michigan
Harvard and Western Michigan have met just four times previously, most recently in the quarterfinals of the 1986 NCAA Tournament. Harvard hosted the Broncos for that series at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, sweeping WMU in two games, 4-2 and 7-2, to advance to the semifinals. The only other two meetings occurred in 1981 in Kalamazoo, Michigan on WMU's home ice, with Harvard dropping both games to give the series a 2-2 all-time record.
Rensselaer sports an overall record of 6-4-2 as of Nov. 23, with a meeting Tuesday against New Hampshire at home. In ECAC action, the Engineers are yet to lose, posting a 4-0-2 mark, good for 10 points and a tie with Quinnipiac for the conference lead over Cornell and Harvard by one point.
After losing four of its first five contests, RPI has turned around its season with a 5-0-2 since Oct. 30.
Junior Riley Bourbonnais is leading the Engineers with 10 points and six goals. He is among six players with four assists who trail team-leaders Evan Tironese and Parker Reno with six helpers. In net, senior Jason Kasdorf and freshman Cam Hackett have played eight and five games, respectively. Hackett has a slight edge in save percentage, .931-.927, while Kasdorf has a 2.46-2.48 edge in GAA.
Series History vs. Rensselaer
Fellow ECAC Hockey member Rensselaer and Harvard have been meeting on the ice since 1951. The Engineers got the better of the Crimson in that meeting, 6-2, Dec. 27, 1951, but since, Harvard has accumulated a 50-36-6 record. The Crimson has not lost to Rensselaer in the last four meetings, going 3-0-1 with two shutouts.
Five or More
Harvard scored five or more goals in three of its first four games for the first time since 1993-94. Harvard has scored seven and five goals against Dartmouth and five vs. Brown this year. In November 1993, Harvard scored five at Brown, seven vs. Princeton and five at Cornell.
60 is Elite
With his second goal against Brown Nov. 7, Jimmy Vesey joined the upper echelon of Harvard scorers. The goal gave him 60 for his career, becoming just the 15th player in program history to reach that plateau, tying Joe Cavanagh '71. With a tally at Princeton Nov. 7, Vesey now has 61 and is tied with Gene Kinasewich '64 for 13th all-time.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Harvard is proud to announce the addition of closed captioning for men's and women's hockey to make its Ivy League Digital Network broadcasts of those two teams accessible to all.
Closed captioning for the Crimson's hockey programs will be available on desktop and mobile devices. The service is provided by Vitac (vitac.com).