Harvard takes on Boston College on Friday afternoon as it continues an eight-game stretch away from Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
The Opening Faceoff
Harvard men's hockey continues a stretch of nine straight games away from Bright-Landry Hockey Center with its closest road contest this Friday (Nov. 24) against No. 13/14 Boston College. In a series that dates back to 1919, Harvard won the last meeting between the two teams, a 5-2 win at Bright-Landry last season (Nov. 18, 2016). Harvard and BC last met at Kelley Rink on Nov. 11, 2014, with the Crimson earning a 6-3 win in that contest.
The First Line
• Among the four Beanpot schools, Harvard and BU are now tied for most consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament (3) after BC missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
• The Crimson has won the last two non-Beanpot regular season matchups against Boston College. Last year, Harvard snapped BC's 10-game unbeaten streak with a 5-2 win on Nov. 18, 2016 at Bright-Landry Hockey Center with Merrick Madsen making 33 saves in the game. BC enters Friday's contest with a seven-game winning streak.
• Harvard last played at Kelley Rink on Nov. 11, 2014, as Alexander Kerfoot had a hat trick as part of a five point night (three goals, two assists) to lead the Crimson to a 6-3 win over BC.
• Junior forward Ryan Donato has a seven-game point streak (four goals, five assists) to open the season, the longest of his collegiate career...Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made a career high 48 saves in Harvard's 2-1 (ot) loss at Minnesota on Saturday. Madsen had the most saves in a game by a Harvard goaltender since Raphael Girard made 48 saves in a win against Yale on March 10, 2012 (4th most in a game all-time).
Scouting Boston College
After a slow start, Boston College has the nation's longest winning streak with seven wins in a row. They've done it in large part with excellent defensive play, allowing two goals or less in six of those seven wins. Sophomore Joseph Woll (6-4-1, 2.45 GAA, .909 Save%) has started five of those seven games and has been excellent in net. Freshmen forwards Logan Hutsko (three goals, eight assists) and Christopher Grando (five goals, five assists) have made an immediate impact. BC is one of the youngest teams in the country, with no seniors and one graduate student (defenseman Kevin Lohan).
The Boston College Series
Series Record: BC Leads 74-46-5
Last Five Meetings:
Nov. 11, 2014 – W, 6-3
Feb. 23, 2015 – L, 3-2 (ot)
Feb. 1, 2016 – L, 3-2
Mar. 25, 2016 – L, 4-1
Nov. 18, 2016 – W, 5-2
The Last Meeting - Boston College
Using a trio of power play goals, Harvard snapped Boston College's 10-game unbeaten streak with a 5-2 triumph at a sold-out Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Nov. 18, 2016. Tyler Moy led the Crimson with a pair of goals, while linemate Sean Malone scored once and dished out a pair of helpers. Merrick Madsen stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced from the Boston College offense. Harvard's power play went 3-for-7, while the Eagles were just 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
The Last Time Out
Last Saturday, an outstanding effort from senior goaltender Merrick Madsen was not enough to lift Harvard past Minnesota, as the Crimson fell to the Gophers, 2-1, in overtime. Freshman forward and Minnesota native Henry Bowlby scored in the second period to put Harvard ahead, but the Gophers scored late in the third period, and then on the power play in overtime to earn the victory. Madsen made a career high 48 saves in the game.
Oh Captains, My Captains
Seniors Eddie Ellis, Jake Horton, and Merrick Madsen will lead the squad this season as captains. All Harvard varsity captains are elected by their teammates. This marks the first time in program history that Harvard has elected three men's hockey captains.
Dominant on Draws
Freshman forward Jack Badini leads Harvard and is 8th in ECAC Hockey with a 56.8% on faceoffs. Junior forward Ryan Donato has a 56.1% rate on draws through seven games this season. Harvard as a team is No. 19 in the country with a 51.5% mark on draws this season.
Senior co-captain Merrick Madsen has been selected as one of the 20 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. 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.
NHL In The Family
Ryan Donato, Jack Donato, Ty Pelton-Byce, and Reilly Walsh are sons of former NHLers. Ted Donato, Harvard's current head coach, played 13 years in the NHL, while John Byce played parts of two seasons with the Bruins and a decade playing professionally. Mike Walsh played parts of two seasons wth the New York Islanders and had a nine-year pro career.
The class of 2018 has 70 wins in three-plus seasons at Harvard and could surpass the most wins for a senior group since the class of 2006 had 82, and the most in the last 20 years of any senior class.
While Harvard lost its top three scorers from 2016-17, four of its top eight scorers are back. Leading the group is junior Ryan Donato who was fourth on the team with 40 points (21-19--40) and second in goal-scoring last year and sophomore defenseman Adam Fox (6-34-40), who led all blueliners in the nation in scoring.
Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen has etched his name in the Harvard record books. Madsen has two shutouts (Dartmouth, Brown) in seven games this season bringing his career total to nine (T-2nd in Harvard history). With 28 wins last season, he had the most wins by a Harvard goaltender in a single season, passing Grant Blair '86, who had 24 in 1985-86. Madsen will leave Harvard as one of the program's greatest goaltenders. He is currently tied for fourth on the all-time wins list (48), and entered the year second on the career goals-against average list (2.04), and first on the career save percentage list (.927).
Donato A High Volume Shooter
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis. Donato leads the team with 35 shots on net in seven games (5.00 per game/2nd NCAA) The junior forward was second in the country with a 5.14 shots per game average last year. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union Feb. 10, when he became the first Harvard skater since Connor Morrison on Nov. 24, 2009 to score four goals in a game. That number was the highest since Jimmy Vesey '16 had 13 against Rensselaer Feb. 12, 2016.
Three former Harvard men's hockey players are now general managers in the NHL, the most of any college program. Don Sweeney '88 (Boston), Peter Chiarelli '87 (Edmonton) and Chuck Fletcher '90 (Minnesota) all skated for the Crimson. Only one other college program is represented more than once, Bowling Green: George McPhee (Las Vegas) and Brian MacLellan (Washington).
Harvard boasts seven players on its 2017-18 roster that were selected in the NHL Entry Draft:
• Jack Badini (2017, Anaheim, 3rd rd.)
• Ryan Donato (2014, Boston, 2nd rd.)
• Adam Fox (2016, Calgary, 3rd rd.)
• Merrick Madsen (2013, Philadelphia, 6th rd.)
• John Marino (2015, Edmonton, 6th rd.)
• Wiley Sherman (2013, Boston, 5th rd.)
• Reilly Walsh (2017, New Jersey, 3rd rd.)
Harvard adds eight freshmen to the roster in 2017-18. Among them are drafted defenseman Reilly Walsh (New Jersey) and forward Jack Badini (Anaheim). Up front, Harvard will also add Henry Bowlby, Jack Donato, Mitchell Perrault and Benjamin Solin. The additional new defensemen are Nick Azar and Benjamin Foley.
Strong on the PK
Harvard's penalty kill has been excellent through seven games this season. Currently, Harvard ranks ninth in the nation at 87.5% (28-for-32) on the kill, including four games this season where the Crimson has not allowed a power play goal.
Through seven games, Harvard has established itself as one of the top shot-blocking teams in the nation. Harvard is seventh in the country with an average of 14.86 blocks per game. Senior forward leads the team with 14 blocks, while senior defenseman Wiley Sherman, junior defenseman Jacob Olson and sophomore defenseman Adam Fox each have 13 blocked shots this season.
Harvard placed 27 student-athletes on the ECAC Hockey All-Academic team, the most of any school in the conference. Harvard was led by senior Thomas Aiken, who earned a spot on the Commissioner's List as the top scholar for Harvard in 2016-17.
Senior defenseman Wiley Sherman is one of nine players in college hockey standing at least 6'7", and the tallest D1 defensemen. Stephen Mundinger of Maine and Keenan Suthers of St. Lawrence, both forwards are the tallest players in the nation at 6'8".
Harvard is 19-1-3 in its last 23 games at Bright-Landry Hockey Center, a run that dates back to Feb. 12, 2016. The Crimson was unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center last season, going 13-0-2. The last time Harvard finished a season unbeaten at home was 1993-94 when it went 10-0-3. Since extensive renovations were completed prior to the start of the 2014-15 season, the Crimson is 31-8-6 on its home ice.
Harvard Hockey is no stranger to the Winter Olympics, with 26 men's hockey alumni selected as a coach, player, or member of team personnel of their respective national teams, including Ted Donato '91, who represented the U.S. at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
The men's hockey competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be comprised of players currently on college rosters, those with AHL only contracts and those playing professionally in Europe. Harvard has several strong candidates for the U.S. squad. USA Hockey will evaluate 30 players (none from college hockey ranks) on a preliminary team at the Deutschland Cup in Germany from Nov. 10-12. USA Hockey expects to announce the 25 players that will make-up the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team by Jan. 1. Team USA will gather for its first practice in South Korea approximately a week before competition begins on Feb. 10.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth 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 Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
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).