Harvard men's ice hockey returns to league play this weekend with games at Quinnipiac and Princeton.
The Opening Faceoff
Harvard men's ice hockey continues the longest stretch of games away from Bright-Landry Hockey Center in program history (nine games), with a return to ECAC Hockey play, as the Crimson takes on Quinnipiac and Princeton this weekend. Harvard will first take on Quinnipiac on Friday night (Dec. 1) with puck drop at 7 p.m.. Harvard has won eight in a row in the series against Princeton, a streak that dates back to the start of the 2013-14 season.
The First Line
• Harvard snapped a four-game losing streak last Friday (Nov. 24) in a 4-4 tie at No. 15 Boston College, with freshman Jack Badini (goal, two assists) scoring the game-tying goal with 2:42 to play in regulation. Sophomore forward Nathan Krusko had three assists in the game, and Badini's output was the first three-point game by Harvard freshman since Krusko had three points (2G, A) last Feb. 13 in Harvard's 6-3 Beanpot final win over BU.
• Harvard's last five games have come against teams currently ranked in the USCHO.com poll (No. 15 Boston College, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 5 Cornell, No. 17 Colgate).
• Junior forward Ryan Donato has an eight game point streak (four goals, six 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 Nov. 18...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).
A streak of four straight NCAA Tournament appearances was snapped last season, but Quinnipiac returns with a formidable roster, including preseason All-ECAC Hockey selection, junior defenseman Chase Priskie (five goals, five assists). Freshman Odeen Tufto (three goals, 12 assists) is off to a fast start, as is sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge (5-5-1, 1.89 GAA, .924 Save %).
The Quinnipiac Series
Series Record: Series tied, 13-13-4
Last Five Meetings:
Jan. 9, 2016 – L, 5-4 (ot)
Mar. 19, 2016 – L, 4-1
Nov. 12, 2016 – L, 4-2
Jan. 6, 2017 – W, 5-2
Mar. 17, 2017 – W, 4-1
The Last Meeting, Quinnipiac
On Mar. 17, 2017, in the ECAC Hockey Semifinals in Lake Placid, Harvard's Sean Malone recorded his first career hat trick. to help the Crimson to a 4-1 win over Quinnipiac. Merrick Madsen finished the contest with 25 saves, but faced only 11 attempts by the Bobcats through the first two periods due to the stifling Harvard defense. Luke Esposito added an empty net goal for the Crimson.
After a 10-win improvement last season, Princeton looks to continue its upward trend under fourth-year head coach Ron Fogarty. The Tigers are led by preseason All-ECAC Hockey selection, junior forward Max Verroneau, who has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 10 games so far this season. Junior forward Ryan Kuffner (five goals five assists), who led the team in goals and points last year, is also a force up front. Harvard has won eight in a row in the series against the Tigers.
The Princeton Series
Series Record: Harvard leads, 155-58-11
Last Five Meetings:
Feb. 28, 2015 – W, 5-0
Nov. 14, 2016 – W, 3-0
Jan. 29, 2016 – W, 4-1
Nov. 11, 2016 – W, 5-2
Jan. 7, 2017 – W, 5-2
The Last Meeting, Princeton
On Jan. 7, 2017, senior Alexander Kerfoot had three points (goal, two assists) in a 5-2 win over Princeton at Bright-Landry. Harvard racked up 51 shots, a season-high, with Princeton netminder Colton Phinney stopping 46 of the 49 he faced. On the other end, junior Merrick Madsen made 31 stops for the Crimson.
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
Junior forward Ryan Donato, who made the switch to center this season, leads Harvard and is eighth in ECAC Hockey with a 56.6% win rate on faceoffs through eight games this season. Right behind Donato is freshman center Jack Badini, who is at 56.1% on draws this season.
Strong on the PK
Harvard's penalty kill has been excellent through seven games this season. Currently, Harvard ranks fourth in the nation at 88.6% (31-for-35) on the kill, including five games this season where the Crimson has not allowed a power play goal.
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 eight 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 37 shots on net in eight games (4.62 per game/3rd 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.
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".
Through eight games, Harvard has established itself as one of the top shot-blocking teams in the nation. Harvard is 14th in the country with an average of 14.00 blocked shots per game. Sophomore defenseman Adam Fox leads the team with 15 blocks, while junior defenseman Wiley Sherman and senior forward Jake Horton each have 14 blocked shots this season.
2016-17: A Year To Remember
• Harvard had a 28-6-2 overall record, the most wins since the 1988-89 season (31) and the fewest losses in Division I college hockey. The Crimson earned its 13th Frozen Four appearance and first since 1994.
• 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 won a share of its 14th ECAC regular season title, the most in the conference, hoisting its first Cleary Cup (named for legendary student-athlete, coach and administrator William J. Cleary, Jr. '56) since 1993-94.
• The Crimson earned its first outright Ivy League title since 2006. Harvard has 23 Ivy League titles to its credit since the league began recognizing an official conference champion in ice hockey in 1956.
• Harvard snapped a 24-year Beanpot drought (1993) with its 6-3 victory over Boston University on Feb. 13, 2017 at TD Garden. The championship marked the 11th in the storied history of the tournament for Harvard. Nathan Krusko earned tournament MVP honors, scoring twice and dishing out an assist in the championship game.
• The Crimson was unbeaten at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center last season, going 13-0-2.
• Adam Fox was named 2016-17 CCM/AHCA first team East All-American and Alexander Kerfoot was selected to the second team.
• Fox was named the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year. Fox and Alexander Kerfoot were selected to the All-ECAC Hockey first team, forward Ryan Donato was tabbed to the second team and goaltender Merrick Madsen earned a spot on the third team.
• Goaltender Merrick Madsen etched his name in the Harvard record books. With 28 wins on the season, Madsen recorded the most wins by a Harvard goaltender in a single season, passing Grant Blair '86, who had 24 in 1985-86.
• Harvard had an 18-game unbeaten streak (17-0-1) dating from Jan. 20 to its Frozen Four appearance. It was the longest such streak in program history and the longest in the nation during the 2016-17 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.
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 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 Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight conference's eight institutions.