No. 2 Harvard (28-5-2, 16-4-2 ECAC)
The Opening Faceoff
The No. 2/2 Harvard men's hockey team will head west to Chicago for the 2017 Frozen Four at the United Center, April 6-8, after winning the NCAA East Regional in Providence last week. The Crimson will face No. 3/3 Minnesota-Duluth Thursday evening at 6 p.m. ET in the first semifinal game of the night. The winner will advance to the finals Saturday evening at 8 p.m. ET, facing the winner of the No. 1/1 Denver vs. No. 12/4 Notre Dame matchup. Both semifinal games will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and the championship will be shown on ESPN.
The First Line
• Harvard advanced to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1994 after defeating Providence, 3-0, and Air Force, 3-2, last weekend at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
• Thursday's Frozen Four game against the Bulldogs will mark the 13th appearance in the national semifinals for the Crimson and first since 1994. Harvard has advanced to the championship game on three occasions (1983, 1986, 1989) and won the 1989 national title, the first NCAA team championship by any varsity team at Harvard.
• Harvard is participating in its 24th NCAA Tournament and fifth under current head coach Ted Donato '91.
• Junior goaltender Merrick Madsen was named the East Region's Most Outstanding Player in leading the Crimson to victories over the Friars and Falcons. Against Providence, Madsen stopped all 41 shots he faced, a new career-high, marking his third shutout of the year. He then turned away 27 of 29 shots the next night against Air Force, with both goals allowed coming in extra-man situations for the Falcons. The weekend prior, Madsen was the ECAC Hockey Tournament MOP, stopping 50-of-52 shots he faced in Lake Placid over championship weekend.
Last Time Out
Harvard punched its ticket to the Frozen Four with wins over Providence and Air Force in the East Regional at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence. Goaltender Merrick Madsen was named the region's Most Outstanding Performer and was joined on the all-region team by Ryan Donato, Tyler Moy and Adam Fox. Moy scored twice in the 3-0 victory over the Friars and then potted another in the triumph over Air Force.
The wins were the first in the national tournament for the Crimson since a 1994 victory over New Hampshire in the quarterfinals.
Minnesota-Duluth advanced from the West Region in Fargo, North Dakota with matching 3-2 victories over Ohio State (opt)and Boston University. This marks the fifth Frozen Four appearance for the Bulldogs and first since 2011. Duluth has reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times.
The Bulldogs are 27-6-7 this season and have won their last seven games. They captured the NCHC title with a 4-3 victory over North Dakota March 18.
Senior Alex Iafallo is the main source of offense for Minnesota-Duluth, leading the team with 19 goals and 30 assists. He ranks 20th nationally with a 1.23 points per game mark. A rookie has manned the Bulldogs' cage for much of the season, as freshman Hunter Miska has 27 starts and a 2.12 GAA and .918 save mark.
Series Record vs. Duluth: 4-9-0
Last Five Meetings: 1-4-0
Dec. 21, 1996 - L, 2-4
Dec. 20, 1996 - L, 1-3
Dec. 18, 1993 - W, 9-4
Dec. 17, 1993 - L, 0-3
Dec. 28, 1987 - L, 3-6
NCAA Tournament Capsules
• Harvard is competing in its 24th NCAA Tournament and fifth under head coach Ted Donato '91. The Crimson has skated in 13 Frozen Fours and three title games (1983, 1986, 1989).
• Harvard's win over Providence was its first NCAA Tournament win since defeating New Hampshire, 7-1, in the quarterfinals of the 1994 tournament.
• The Crimson is 16-31-1 overall in NCAA Tournament games.
• Harvard is 3-9-0 in Frozen Four games. Its last win came in 1989, a 6-3 victory over Michigan State on its way to the national title over Minnesota. Harvard won that championship game, 4-3 (ot).
• The 1989 national championship was the first team NCAA title for any Harvard varsity team. Harvard has won three NCAA team championships since: 1990 women's lacrosse, 2003 women's rowing and 2006 fencing. Harvard has 143 total national titles in its history.
• Ted Donato '91 is coaching his first Frozen Four. Donato is 2-4 as a coach in the NCAA Tournament. Donato played on the Crimson's 1988 and 1989 NCAA Tournament teams, earning Tournament MVP honors in 1989, scoring three goals and dishing out two assists. Two of his scores came in the national title game versus Minnesota.
• Harvard is the only Frozen Four team with two 100+ point scorers. Alexander Kerfoot leads all scorers with 122 points (14th nationally) and Tyler Moy tallied his 100th point against Air Force. Sean Malone is one point away with 99.
• The Crimson's 18-game unbeaten streak is the longest for a team entering the Frozen Four since Northern Michigan's in 1991 (22-0-2); its 16-game winning streak is the longest for a team entering the Frozen Four since Boston College in 2012 (17).
• Harvard and Duluth have the four-highest career goal scorers in the Frozen Four. Dominic Toninato leads the way with 54, Alex Iafallo has 46, while Moy and Malone have 44 and 42 respectively.
• Alexander Kerfoot has 86 career assists, the most of any Frozen Four player and the fourth-most across Division I college hockey.
• Kerfoot and Moy have made teams pay for penalties during their careers. Moy has 14 power play goals and Kerfoot has 12, those figures trail only Denver's Will Butcher (15) for most in the Frozen Four.
• Of the eight players skating in the Frozen Four that have a hat trick during their career, five of them dress for the Crimson. Ryan Donato is the only player with two, while Alexander Kerfoot, Nathan Krusko, Sean Malone and Lewis Zerter-Gossage each have one.
• Merrick Madsen's .947 save percentage and 1.70 GAA are the best marks in those categories in NCAA Tournament games among each of the team's starting netminders.
• Harvard's 24 NCAA Tournament appearances trails only Denver's 27 for the most among Frozen Four participants. Duluth has played in 11 and Notre Dame nine. Minnesota has the most with 37.
• The Crimson's 13 Frozen Four appearances are second to Denver's 15 among this year's participants. Duluth has reached five and Notre Dame three. Boston College has the most with 25.
• Three of the four Frozen Four teams have won at least one national title. Duluth is the most recent winner in 2011. Denver (seven) won its most recent in 2005 and Harvard won its championship in 1989.
• Ted Donato and Denver head coach Jim Montgomery each won an NCAA title as a player. Donato with the 1989 Harvard team and Montgomery in 1993 with Maine. Each was the Most Outstanding Player.
• During the regular season, Harvard was 7-2-0 against NCAA Tournament teams this year. It did not play any of the Frozen Four teams this season.
• Harvard will travel 980 miles to reach the United Center in Chicago. Denver has the longest trek at 1,007 miles.
• Harvard is playing its first game in the state of Illinois and the United Center is hosting its first Frozen Four.
• The Crimson and Notre Dame have the most NHL draft picks of the Frozen teams with eight. Denver has six and Duluth has five.
• Ryan Donato and Ty Pelton-Byce are both sons of former NHLers. Ted Donato, Harvard's current head coach played 13 years in the NHL, while John Byce played parts of two season with the Bruins, but spent over a decade playing professionally.
• Including Harvard this season, eight of the last 10 Beanpot champions have reached the Frozen Four.
ECAC Hockey Tourney Recap
• Harvard won its 10th ECAC Hockey Tournament title and second in the last three years (2015, 2017).
• The title was the third under head coach Ted Donato '91 (2006, 2015, 2017).
• Harvard swept Yale in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 4-3. It went on to beat Quinnipiac in the semis, 4-1, and then Cornell by an identical score in the finals.
• Merrick Madsen was named Tournament MOP, stopping 50-of-52 shots he faced championship weekend.
• The Malone-Esposito-Tyler Moy line had 24 points during the four games of the ECAC playoffs.
Spencer Penrose Award
Head coach Ted Donato '91 was named a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, which recognizes the CCM/AHCA Men's Hockey Coach of the Year.
Harvard was the No. 1 seed in the East Region, marking the first time since 1983 the Crimson was a top-seed for a regional. It finished as the national runner-up to Wisconsin that year. Each of the last two seasons, Harvard was a No. 3 seed.
Junior goaltender Merrick Madsen has etched his name in the Harvard record books. With 28 wins this season, he has the most wins by a Harvard goaltender in a single season, passing Grant Blair '86, who had 24 in 1985-86. Madsen's current 16-game win streak is also a program record.
His GAA of 2.11 this year would be the fifth-best in program lore and his .922 save percentage would be eighth-best. Those figures rank him 12th and 13th, respectively, in the nation. His 2,044 minutes played ranks second in program history.
The East Region and ECAC Hockey Tournament MOP, Madsen was also a finalist for the Ken Dryden ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year Award. He was previously named to the All-Ivy League first team and was chosen as a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award, honoring college hockey's top netminder. The ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Month for February is 28-5-2, giving him the nation's best win percentage at .829.
In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament against Providence, Madsen stopped 41-of-41 shots, a new career-best.
Power Play Power
Harvard's power play was fantastic in the ECAC playoffs, going 7-for-20 over the four games. The Crimson has converted on 26.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season. Its 41-for-155 success rate is the fourth-best in the nation.
Harvard's series sweep against Yale in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals gave head coach Ted Donato '91 the two wins he needed to reach 200 for his career. Donato is just the third Harvard coach to reach 200 wins during their career, joining Bill Cleary, Jr. (324) and Ralph "Cooney" Weiland (315). Donato has a 202-185-48 record during his 13 years at the helm of the Crimson.
Wins on Wins
Harvard leads the nation in team winning percentage at .829 with a record of 28-5-2. Its five losses are the fewest in Division I hockey this season and fewest since 1993-94. Harvard is riding an 18-game unbeaten streak (17-0-1) dating back to a Jan. 20 win over Brown. It is the longest such streak in program history and the longest in the nation. Its last loss was Jan. 17 versus Dartmouth. Harvard has also won its last 16 games, the longest such streak since streak in program history, besting the 15-game mark the 1988-89 team set.
Three times this season, Harvard has overcome a deficit heading into the third period, rallying past Cornell Jan. 27, and then in each game of the ECAC quarterfinals vs. Yale. In each of the comeback wins, sophomore Lewis Zerter-Gossage scored a goal in the third period. The last time Harvard won three games when trailing heading into the third frame was 2011-12.
The senior-laden line of Luke Esposito, Sean Malone and Tyler Moy has been tremendous all season for the Crimson, but stole the spotlight during the ECAC quarterfinals. The trio racked up 15 points during the two-game sweep of Yale, six from Malone (1g, 5a), five by Moy (2g, 3a) and four by Esposito (3g, 1a).
For the year, the Crimson is 24-5-2 when the three seniors skate on the same line. Collectively, they have a points line of 53-65-118.
Ancient Eight's Best
Harvard took home all three major awards distributed by the Ivy League March 2. Sophomore Ryan Donato was named the Player of the Year, Adam Fox was selected Rookie of the Year and Ted Donato earned Coach of the Year honors.
Ryan Donato is the 12th Harvard skater to earn Player of the Year, with Harvard earning the honor each of the last three seasons (Jimmy Vesey '16 - 2015, 2016). Fox is the 14th skater to earn Rookie accolades and Ted Donato is the first Harvard leader to earn Coach of the Year honors.
Goaltender Merrick Madsen and forward Alexander Kerfoot joined Donato and Fox on the All-Ivy first team. Freshman defenseman John Marino was named to the second team and senior forward Tyler Moy was honorable mention.
One year after Jimmy Vesey '16 won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player, senior Alexander Kerfoot has been selected as a Hobey Baker Top-10 finalist. Kerfoot is a first team All-ECAC and All-Ivy selection, as well as a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award and Senior CLASS Award.
Freshman Adam Fox has made a name for himself on the Harvard blue line. The Jericho, New York native, and Calgary Flames prospect leads the team with 33 assists. His 1.15 points per game mark ranks first among all defensemen in the country and fourth among all rookies. It is also a statistic that places Fox among the top-20 all-time of U19 defensemen in Division-I history.
He was honored as the ECAC Rookie of Year prior to the semifinal game vs. Quinnipiac. He is the sixth Harvard player to receive the award and first since J.R. Prestifilippo won it in 1997. His 22 points in conference games led all defensemen and was second among all freshmen.
The class of 2017 has amassed 78 wins during its career, the most for a senior group since the class of 2006 notched 82, the most over the last 20 years of any senior class.
Harvard's seniors have combined for the most points of any senior class in the nation.
Harvard - 191
Minnesota Duluth - 152
Boston College - 146
Stat Sheet Success
Harvard is yet to lose a game this season when Jake Horton scores, dishes an assist or has a plus rating in a game.
When Horton Has a:
Goal: 6-0-0; Assist: 7-0-0; Plus: 9-0-0
Harvard is boasting a 2.00 scoring margin this season, the best mark in Division I. Harvard's offense is averaging 4.14 goals, while the defense has surrendered just 2.4, the fourth-lowest in the nation.
Harvard boasts eight players on its 2016-17 roster that were selected in the NHL Entry Draft:
• Ryan Donato (2014, Boston, 2nd rd.)
• Adam Fox (2016, Calgary, 3rd rd.)
• Alexander Kerfoot (2012, New Jersey, 5th rd.)
• Merrick Madsen (2013, Philadelphia, 6th rd.)
• Sean Malone (2013, Buffalo, 6th rd.)
• John Marino (2015, Edmonton, 6th rd.)
• Tyler Moy (2015, Nashville, 6th rd.)
• Wiley Sherman (2013, Boston, 5th rd.)
Seniors Alexander Kerfoot and Devin Tringale were elected the captains of the Crimson by their teammates for the 2016-17 season. They are the 126th and 127th captains in the 119-year history of the program. This is also the third-straight season Harvard has dual captains.