No. 4/5 Harvard (17-5-2, 12-4-2 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
The No. 4/5 Harvard men's hockey team will carry a seven-game unbeaten streak into Monday's Beanpot championship game against No. 3/3 Boston University. Harvard is 6-0-1 since Jan. 20 and have outscored opponents 26-10 in that span. In its most recent outing, Harvard rolled past No. 6/6 Union, 6-2, while the Terriers enter the title game coming off a 3-2 loss to No. 9/10 UMass Lowell.
The First Line
• Harvard advanced to its first title game since 2008, and the 26th in program history, with a 4-3 victory over Northeastern last Monday. Boston University earned its spot in the title game with a 3-1 victory over Boston College in the second semifinal matchup.
• Harvard is seeking the 11th Beanpot championship in program history and first since 1993. That year, the Crimson topped the Terriers, 4-2. Harvard has topped Boston University for eight of its 10 Beanpot titles, while the other two came via wins over Boston College.
• The Crimson and Terriers are meeting with the Beanpot title on the line for the 17th time in the 65-year history of the tournament. Boston University holds a slight margin in those meetings, 9-8. Overall, Harvard is 16-28 against Boston University in all Beanpot matchups.
• The last time Harvard and Boston University met in the Beanpot, two Crimson records fell. The teams skated into double overtime, going 82:18, marking the longest game in Harvard Beanpot history. Steve Michalek also broke the Beanpot and Harvard record for saves in a game, turning away 63 shots. The Terriers would edge the Crimson, 4-3.
Last Time Out
Sparked by four goals by sophomore Ryan Donato, the Crimson topple No. 6/6 Union, 6-2, Friday at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Viktor Dombrovskiy and Sean Malone also tallied goals, while Merrick Madsen stopped 32 shots, extending Harvard's win streak to five games.
Scouting Boston University
The Terriers had a three-game win streak snapped Friday evening at UMass Lowell, falling to the Riverhawks, 3-2.
Freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger has been a catalyst for the Terriers success this season, ranking in the top-five nationally in save percentage and goals-against. His GAA of 1.80 ranks third, while his .935 save mark is good for fourth.
Fellow rookie Clayton Keller is pacing the Terriers offense with 14 goals and 30 points. Another first-year Boston University skater, Patrick Harper leads his team with 18 helpers, supporting nine goals.
Series Record vs. Boston Univ: 68-79-6
Last Five Meetings: 2-3-0
Nov. 22, 2016 - L, 3-5
Jan. 7, 2016 - L, 5-6
Feb. 3, 2015 - L, 3-4 (2ot)
Nov. 25, 2014 - W, 3-2 (ot)
Feb. 10, 2014 - W, 6-2
Sights and Sounds from the Beanpot Semifinal
Sophomore Ryan Donato became the first Harvard skater since Connor Morrison on Nov. 24, 2009 to score four goals in a game. Donato scored the first two goals and the last two goals of a 6-2 triumph over Union Feb. 10, 2017 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. It marked the second hat trick of his career, with both coming against Union (Feb. 13, 2016).
Three times this season a Harvard skater has scored at least three times in a single game. Ryan Donato became the most recent with his four-goal outburst Feb. 10 against Union. Back on Jan. 6, freshman Nathan Krusko potted three against Quinnipiac and sophomore Lewis Zerter-Gossage recorded his first career hat trick in Harvard's 4-3 win over Cornell Nov. 5.
The trio join senior Alexander Kerfoot as active skaters with hat tricks in their careers. Kerfoot earned his Nov. 11, 2014 at Boston College, when he also provided two assists. That five-point mark is the highest single-game point mark of current Crimson. Head coach Ted Donato recorded the lone hat trick of his career vs. Dartmouth in an 8-1 win Nov. 27, 1990.
Harvard has tallied nine short-handed goals this season, its most since it had 10 in 2000-01. Nine shorthanded goals is tied for the most in the nation this year with Omaha and Boston University. Harvard's most recent short-handed goal came from Ryan Donato in the third period of the 6-2 win over Union in which he scored four times. It was the second game in a row Harvard had a shorthanded tally, as Luke Esposito scored a man down against Northeastern in the Beanpot semifinals. Donato's three shorthanded tallies is tied for fourth-most in the country this season.
Twice this season, Harvard has netted two man-down goals in the same game. The first came in the season-opener at Arizona by Ryan Donato and John Marino. On Dec. 3, Donato and Sean Malone both scored short-handed goals on an empty net at Clarkson.
Prior to this season, the last time Harvard scored twice a man down in a single game was Jan. 4, 2014 in a 7-4 win versus Boston University. Malone accounted for both goals.
The chase for the Ivy League championship is down to two teams, Harvard and Yale. The Crimson sit atop the Ancient Eight standings with 13 points, with games at Yale and Brown next weekend remaining. A win or tie Friday night against the Bulldogs would give Harvard the title outright.
Stat Sheet Success
Harvard is yet to lose a game this season when either Ryan Donato or Jake Horton scores, dishes an assist or has a plus rating in a game.
When Donato Has a:
Goal: 9-0-0; Assist: 6-0-0; Plus: 9-0-0
When Horton Has a:
Goal: 5-0-0; Assist: 4-0-0; Plus: 7-0-0
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis.
the sophomore forward is second in the country with a 4.96 shots per game average. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union Feb. 10. That number was the highest since Jimmy Vesey '16 had 13 against Rensselaer Feb. 12, 2016.
Walter Brown Semifinalists
On Monday, Feb. 6, The Gridiron Club of Boston announced the 23 finalists for the Walter Brown Award, which honors the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Freshman Adam Fox, junior Merrick Madsen and senior Sean Malone were honored as the Crimson's semifinalists. The trio represent three of the five selections from ECAC Hockey schools.
One year after Jimmy Vesey '16 won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player, the Crimson has three new candidates for the 2017 season. Seniors Alexander Kerfoot and Sean Malone, as well as freshman Adam Fox, have each been named a candidate this year. Fan voting is open on the Hobey Baker fan page through February.
Senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot has been selected as one of the 15 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. The announcement was made by the organization Jan. 13. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
The Crimson is unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center this season, going 9-0-2.
Power Play Power
The Crimson has converted on 25.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season. It's 26-for-102 success rate is the fifth-best in the nation.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 124
Sacred Heart - 115
Boston College - 111
Harvard ranks third in the nation in scoring. The Crimson is averaging 3.96 goals each time out. Harvard has scored at least five goals in 11 games this season. Last season, Harvard averaged 3.41 goals per game which was its best mark since posting 3.91 in 2002-03.
Harvard is boasting a 1.67 scoring margin through 24 games this season, the best mark in Division I. Harvard's offense is averaging 3.96 goals, while the defense has surrendered just 2.29, the 12th-lowest in the nation.
Harvard's 17 game-winning goals this season have come from the sticks of 11 different skaters. Tyler Moy and Luke Esposito have three; Sean Malone and Alexander Kerfoot have two, while Clay Anderson, Ryan Donato, Viktor Dombrovskiy, Frédéric Grégoire, Jake Horton, Devin Tringale and Lewis Zerter-Gossage each has one game-winner to his credit this year.