Merrick Madsen recorded the fifth shutout of his career last Friday at ASU (Eric Classen).
No. 12/12 Harvard (2-0-0,
Harvard (2-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
Coming off a season-opening sweep in the desert over Arizona State, No. 12/12 Harvard men's hockey plays its first two home games of the season this weekend, welcoming ECAC foes Colgate and Cornell to the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Both games will be broadcast nationally, with Friday's matchup against the Raiders slated for ONE World Sports and Saturday's rivalry clash with the Big Red to be shown on ESPN3. Both games will drop the puck at 7 p.m. and be simulcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.
The First Line
• This weekend's games are the first two of 13 to be played at Bright-Landry during the regular season this year. The Crimson has won each of its last four home openers and is 18-10-2 over the last 30 seasons in its first game of the season in Cambridge.
• Luke Esposito, Sean Malone and Tyler Moy, skating as the Crimson's second line in both games at ASU, were almost unstoppable, accounting for 15 of Harvard's 27 points against the Sun Devils. Esposito led the way with a goal and two helpers in each game, while Malone had five points (2-3--5) and Moy had four (2-2--4). The trio occupies the top three spots nationally in points per game after two games.
• Harvard has now recorded shutouts in four of its last five season-openers. The Crimson matched its impressive 7-0 season-opening triumph at Dartmouth from last season, besting ASU by an identical score October 28 at Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes.
Last Time Out
Harvard's offense got off to a torrid start over the weekend, dismantling Arizona State by scores of 7-0 and 6-2. Junior netminder Merrick Madsen was splendid for the Crimson, posting a 23-save shutout in the season opener, and then stopping 24 saves the following night for a .959 save percentage. Harvard's second line of Luke Esposito, Sean Malone and Tyler Moy accumulated 15 points over the weekend to pace the offense.
The Raiders have had a slow start to the 2016-17 season, entering the first conference weekend with a 1-3-3 record. Bouncing back from consecutive losses to Merrimack, Colgate went 1-0-1 at home against Maine last weekend. In the Saturday contest, the Raiders earned a 5-3 win for its first victory at the new Class of 1965 Arena.
Sophomore Adam Dauda leads the team in goals, assists and points (3-4--7), with all three of his tallies coming on the power play. Charlie Finn has been the primary goaltender for Colgate, starting five games and holding a 3.42 GAA and .876 save mark.
Series Record vs. Colgate: 53-23-7
Last Five Meetings: 5-0
Feb. 20, 2016 - W, 7-4
Jan. 22, 2016 - W, 4-2
March 21, 2015 - W, 4-2
Feb. 13, 2015 - W, 4-1
Jan. 24, 2015 - W, 6-1
As with all Ivy schools, the Big Red began its season last weekend, dropping its only game to Merrimack, 3-2. Cornell trailed 3-0 midway through the contest and was unable to overcome the deficit, despite goals from Matt Buckles and Mitch Vanderlaan.
Mitch Gillam gave up all three goals before being pulled for Hayden Stewart who stopped all 15 shots he faced. Cornell will play at Dartmouth Friday night, facing a Big Green team that topped then-No. 11 Michigan last Saturday, 3-2.
Series Record vs. Cornell: 62-74-11
Last Five Meetings: 1-2-2
Feb. 19, 2016 - T, 2-2 (ot)
Jan. 23, 2016 - W, 6-2
Feb. 13, 2015 - T, 3-3 (ot)
Jan. 23, 2015 - L, 3-2
March 1, 2014 - L, 3-2 (ot)
The Crimson's offense picked up right where it left off last season. After finishing ninth in the country with a 3.41 goals per game average in 2015-16, Harvard is leading the nation with a 6.50 mark after two games. The 3.41 average from a season ago was the highest for Harvard since 2002-03 when it put up 3.91 per contest.
Harvard's defense also did its job over the first weekend of the season. With a shutout in the opener and a 6-2 showing in the second game at ASU, the Crimson is averaging just one goal allowed. That is good for a 5.50 scoring margin, which leads the nation by 2.50. Yale is second with a 3.00 scoring margin.
Special Teams Success
After finishing last season fifth in power play conversion, the Crimson showed it will be just as lethal this year with the man advantage. In eight opportunities last weekend, Harvard converted four PP chances. The penalty kill unit imposed its will on the Sun Devils, shutting down the home team on all 11 of its power play chances.
Sophomore Ryan Donato and freshman John Marino each scored shorthanded goals in the season opener at ASU. The last time Harvard scored twice a man down was Jan. 4, 2014 in a 7-4 win versus Boston University. Sean Malone accounted for both goals.
Esposito On Fire
Prior to his senior season, Luke Esposito had three games in which he posted three points. Last weekend, the Greenwich, Connecticut native reached that mark in both games, scoring once and dishing out two assists.
Harvard's 13 goals over opening weekend this year are its most since the 1991-92 season. Harvard beat Union, 7-5, and Rensselaer, 6-0, that year.
Two recent Crimson are having great starts to their NHL seasons this year. Rookie New York Ranger Jimmy Vesey '16 and Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn '12 each have six goals, tied for the second-most in the NHL (as of Nov. 2). Vesey signed with the Rangers over the summer and his six goals is the most by a NYR rookie in the first 10 games since 1989-90 (Darren Turcotte). Killorn re-signed with the Lightning over the summer on a seven-year deal. Dominic Moore '03, is also having a strong start in his first year as a Boston Bruin, scoring three goals, third-most on the team.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth 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.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.