Harvard takes on No. 2/4 Cornell and Colgate at Bright-Landry Hockey Center this weekend. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard men's ice hockey returns to Bright-Landry Hockey Center this weekend to take on No. 2/4 Cornell and Colgate this weekend, with both games airing on ESPN3. This will mark the 152nd meeting on the ice between Harvard and Cornell in one of college hockey's great rivalries. Both teams share the nation's longest unbeaten streak (8 games) with Cornell 7-0-1 in that span, and Harvard with a 5-0-3 mark over its last eight contests.
Donato For Hobey
The accolades are rolling in for junior forward Ryan Donato (20 goals, nine assists), Harvard's nominee for the 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Donato had a career high 14-game point streak (14 goals, eight assists) to open the season, and is currently second in the nation with an average of 1.53 points per game and No. 1 in the country with a 1.05 goals per game average. No player in Divison I college hockey has averaged a goal per game since Ryan Carter (Iona) in 1998-99. Donato was named the HCA National Player of the Month for December and was also named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month.
The First Line
• Harvard is unbeaten in its last five games (4-0-1) at Bright-Landry Hockey Center, and unbeaten in its last nine games (6-0-3) against ECAC Hockey competition.
• Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Harvard is 47-21-12 in ECAC Hockey play overall.
• Freshman forward Jack Badini scored the game-winner in overtime last Saturday at St. Lawrence in a 4-3 win, and now has points in four straight games (3G, A). Sophomore forward Nathan Krusko (four assists) and junior forward Ryan Donato (6G, A) also have 4-game streaks.
The top defensive team in the nation, Cornell is allowing just 1.53 goals per game, and comes to Cambridge unbeaten in its last eight games (7-0-1). Freshman goaltender Matthew Galajda has been fantastic in net. He is second in the country with a 1.66 goals-against average, and fifth with a .930 save percentage. Galajda has not allowed a goal in 160:34 of game action. Senior Trevor Yates leads the team in scoring (11 goals, six assists).
The Cornell Series
Series Record vs. Cornell: 65-75-11
Last Five Meetings: 3-1-1
Nov. 11, 2017 - L, 2-3
Jan. 27, 2017 - W, 4-1
Nov. 5, 2016 - W, 4-3
Feb. 19, 2016 - T, 2-2 (ot)
Jan. 23, 2016 - W, 6-2
The Last Meeting, Cornell
On Nov. 11, Cornell's Alec McCrea scored a power play goal with 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation to lift Cornell to a 3-2 win at Lynah Rink. In a game fitting for the rivalry, Harvard controlled possession and chances for long stretches of the game, and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on first period goals from Henry Bowlby and Ty Pelton-Byce, only to see Cornell rally for the victory.
Colgate, which was shutout twice last weekend in a home-and-home series against Cornell, has managed just three goals in its last four games. The Raiders are 52nd in the country with an average of 2.25 goals per game. Sophomore goaltender Colton Point is one of top netminders in the country, with a 1.88 goals-against average, and .940 save percentage entering the weekend. Sophomore forward Bobby McCann leads the team in scoring with 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 24 games.
The Colgate Series
Series Record vs. Colgate: 54-24-8
Last Five Meetings: 3-1-1
Nov. 10, 2017 - L, 1-2
Jan. 28, 2017 - W, 3-1
Nov. 4, 2016 - T, 1-1 (ot)
Feb. 20, 2016 - W, 7-4
Jan. 22, 2016 - W, 4-2
The Last Meeting, Colgate
On Nov. 10, 2017, despite a power play goal from Ryan Donato, Colgate earned a 2-1 win over Harvard at Class of 1965 Rink. Colton Point made 30 saves to earn the win in net for the Raiders, while senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made 19 saves for the Crimson.
Donato, Welch '05 Receive Olympic Call
Junior forward Ryan Donato and former Harvard standout Noah Welch '05 will represent the United States in men's ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, USA Hockey announced on Jan. 1. Donato and Welch were selected to the 25-man roster that will make-up the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, released during the NHL Winter Classic. Donato, a native of Scituate, Mass., is in the midst of his best individual season with the Crimson, recording a point in all 12 games to start the season and leading the team with 20 points (12 goals, eight assists). Welch, a two-time All-American and standout defenseman at Harvard, captained the Crimson as a senior in 2004-05. The Brighton, Mass., native registered 76 points (23 goals, 53 assists) in 129 career games. Team USA will gather for its first practice in South Korea approximately a week before competition begins on Feb. 10. Harvard men's hockey is no stranger to the Winter Olympics, with 28 men's hockey alumni selected as a coach, player, or member of team personnel of their respective national teams, including current head coach Ted Donato '91, who represented the U.S. at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
ECAC Does It
Harvard has been at its best this season in ECAC Hockey play, including a nine-game unbeaten streak (6-0-3) in league play entering the weekend. Junior forward Ryan Donato has 15 goals in 14 conference games, and senior goaltender Merrick Madsen (5-3-2, 2.12 goals-against average, .924 save percentage, three shutouts) has been at his best against ECAC Hockey opponents. Harvard is averaging 3.43 goals per game (.23 higher than overall) and allowing 2.21 goals per game (.26 lower than overall) in league play.
The class of 2018 has 77 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.
Harvard is 22-1-4 in its last 27 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 34-8-7 on its home ice.
Several of Harvard's freshmen have made an immediate impact. Forward Henry Bowlby leads the team with a +11 rating and has 10 points (five goals, five assists). Forward Jack Badini has 13 points (seven goals, five assists) and is Harvard's top faceoff man (59.3%), and defenseman Reilly Walsh leads all Harvard blueliners with 12 points (three goals, nine assists) including three power play goals.
Dominant on Draws
Freshman center Jack Badini leads the team and is fourth in ECAC Hockey at 59.3% on faceoffs this season. Badini is No. 14 in the nation on draws. Junior forward Ryan Donato, who made the switch to center this season, has also been solid in the faceoff circle with a 52.3% win rate on draws through 19 games this year.
Strong on the PK
Harvard's penalty kill has been excellent through 19 games this season. Currently, Harvard ranks 12th in the nation at 84.3% (59-for-70) on the kill, including 11 games this season where the Crimson has not allowed a power play goal.
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.
Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen has etched his name in the Harvard record books. Madsen has three shutouts (Dartmouth, Brown, Rensselaer) in 14 starts this season bringing his career total to 10 (Second 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 third on the all-time wins list (52), moving into sole possession of third with his 50th career win against Rensselaer on Jan. 5, and entered the year second on the career goals-against average list (2.04), and first on the career save percentage list (.927).
Madsen in Minny
Madsen made a career high 48 saves in Harvard's 2-1 (ot) loss at Minnesota on Nov. 18, He 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).
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 104 shots on net in 19 games (5.47 per game/1st 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 last season on Feb. 10, 2017 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.
Harvard hosted One Summit for a learn to skate and play hockey event on Jan. 14 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. One Summit is an organization that helps children battling cancer build confidence and courage through a partnership with a Navy SEAL.
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.)
Fox at World Juniors
Sophomore forward Adam Fox won a bronze medal at the IIHF World Junior Championships, one year after winning goals with Team USA. Fox, who competed a the tournament in Buffalo from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, was the team's top socring defensemen with five points (goal, four assists), including the game-winning goal in Team USA's 5-4 win against Finland on Dec. 31. Fox was named one of the team's most valuable players.
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 19 games, senior defenseman Wiley Sherman leads the team with 34 blocked shots, while senior captain Jake Horton is tops among Harvard forwards with 30 blocked shots. Sophomore defenseman Adam Fox is third on the team with 26 blocked shots.
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.
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.
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.