Colin Blackwell and the Crimson roll into Providence and New Haven this weekend (Gil Talbot).
No. 7/7 Harvard (12-5-3, 8-3-3 ECAC) at Brown (4-14-4, 2-10-3 ECAC)
Harvard at No. 11/11 Yale (12-5-4, 7-4-3)
The Opening Faceoff
Sandwiched between its two games in the 64th Annual Beanpot, the No. 7/7 Harvard men's hockey team hits the road for a pair of crucial games in the ECAC and Ivy League. On Friday, Feb. 5, the Crimson will visit Providence to take on Brown and then take the ice Saturday, Feb. 6 in New Haven, Connecticut to challenge rival No. 11/11 Yale. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. starts and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.
The First Line
• Harvard enters the weekend with a three-point lead (13-10) in the Ivy League standings over Yale. Both squads have four Ancient Eight games remaining, with two of those being played this weekend. If Harvard were to sweep Brown and Yale it would lock up the Ivy League title, the 22nd in program history and first since the 2005-06 season.
• The Crimson is returning to Ingalls Rink for the first time since its dramatic double-overtime win to lock up the quarterfinal series in last season's ECAC playoffs. The game was the longest in Harvard history, lasting 96:46, before Jimmy Vesey potted the game-winner to send Harvard to the semifinals in Lake Placid.
• Harvard versus Brown is considered the oldest collegiate hockey series in the country with the first meeting occurring Jan. 19, 1898.
Last Time Out
Harvard held a 2-1 lead after the opening period of its semifinals matchup of the Beanpot Monday against No. 4/4 Boston College, but two power play goals in the second frame sealed a 3-2 victory for the Eagles. Ryan Donato and Kyle Criscuolo scored Harvard's goals against the Eagles, while Merrick Madsen made 30 saves in net.
The Bears have struggled this season with a 4-14-4 overall record, while sitting in last place in the ECAC and Ivy League standings. Brown is winless since a 4-3 overtime victory over No. 6/6 Providence in the Mayor's Cup Jan. 3. Since that game, the Bears are 0-6-1 including a 3-1 road loss Tuesday at UConn.
Despite the record, senior Nick Lappin has stood out for the Bears, posting a team-high 28 points, 13 goals and 15 assists to rank fourth in the ECAC in scoring. Freshman Tommy Marchin ranks second with 21 points and 11 goals. Junior netminder Tim Ernst has played in 19 games, registering a 3.08 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage.
Series History vs. Brown
Brown vs. Harvard is the oldest continuing college hockey series in the nation dating back to Jan. 19, 1898. The Bears won the first two meetings before the turn of the century, but Harvard responded by winning the next 19 meetings by a scoring margin of 155-24. Harvard's dominance has continued in recent years, with the Crimson winning four of the last five matchups.
Previous Meeting vs. Brown
In the fourth game of the season for the Crimson, Harvard topped the Bears, 5-2, at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Jimmy Vesey scored twice, including a shorthanded effort, and Ryan Donato netted two goals.
The Bulldogs are clinging to the fourth position in the ECAC Hockey standings heading into the final month of the regular season. With a 2-1 loss to Union and a 3-0 shutout of Rensselaer last weekend at Ingalls, Yale is 12-5-4 overall and 7-4-3 against the ECAC.
A combination of youth and experience has been at the forefront of the scoring for Yale, as freshman Joe Snively and senior Stu Wilson each has 16 points. Wilson has a team-best 13 helpers, while junior John Hayden is the only Yale skater in double-figures in goals with 10. Alex Lyon has been steadfast in goal for Yale with a 12-4-4 record, 1.56 GAA and a .940 save percentage.
Series History vs. Yale
Another series that spans more than a century, Harvard and Yale first met Feb. 26, 1900 with the Bulldogs earning a 5-4 decision. The all-time series record, though, favors the Crimson, 142-88-20, highlighted by two wins at Ingalls in last year's ECAC quarterfinals series.
Previous Meeting vs. Yale
Tyler Moy scored with less than six minutes to play to give Harvard a 2-1 lead on Yale back in November, but an extra-skater goal by Yale's Joe Snively sent the game to overtime before the final horn signaled a 2-2 draw at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
On Jan. 29, senior Kyle Criscuolo and Jimmy Vesey were recognized as two of the 20 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. The honor highlights student-athletes that remained in school for four years, while showing excellence in the community, the classroom, character and competition. The winner will be announced during the NCAA Men's Frozen Four in April.
Senior Kyle Criscuolo was among the 18 student-athletes in college hockey named a candidate for the 2016 Hockey Humanitarian Award. The HHA is presented annually to college hockey's finest citizen – a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.
Trio for Walter Brown
The Crimson trio of Kyle Criscuolo, Jimmy Vesey and Merrick Madsen were named semifinalists for the 2016 Walter Brown Award. The oldest nationally-recognized hockey honor, the Walter Brown Award honors the top American-born college hockey player in New England. Vesey is the reigning award winner and a four-time semifinalist. Criscuolo is a semifinalist for the second-straight season, while Madsen earned his first semifinalist honor.
Best of the Month
On Feb. 3, Jimmy Vesey was honored as the January Player of the Month in the ECAC. He also earned the award for the month of November. He is the only skater to earn two Player of the Month honors this season. In January, Vesey scored eight goals and had eight assists in nine games leading Harvard to a 6-3 record.
Over the last two seasons, senior forward Jimmy Vesey has led the nation in scoring.
Most Goals, Last Two Seasons
48 – Jimmy Vesey, Harvard (NSH)
40 – Sam Anas, Quinnipiac
39 – Ahti Oksanen, Boston University
39 – Ralph Cuddemi, Canisius
38 – Austin Ortega, Omaha
Games on Games
Friday, Jan. 29's game at home against Princeton began a 10-day stretch in which the Crimson is scheduled to play five games. After the Princeton matchup, Harvard has the Beanpot each of the next two Mondays, with road games at Brown and Yale sandwiched in between.
70 is Elite
Senior forward Jimmy Vesey joined a list of the most prolific scorers to wear a Harvard jersey Friday, Jan. 22 when he netted the 70th goal of his career. He is just the seventh Harvard player to reach that plateau. He enters the weekend with 72 career goals.
In addition to joining the top-10 ranks among Harvard's all-time goal scorers, Vesey also entered the top-20 of all-time point scorers this season. With 130 points, he ranks 20th on Harvard's all-time list.
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).