Harvard men's ice hockey returns home to take on No. 18 Arizona State in a pair of games this weekend. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard men's hockey returns home to play its first non-conference games of the season, as the Crimson will host No. 18 Arizona State (9-3-0) this weekend (Nov. 16-17; ESPN+) at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. Harvard is coming off its best weekend of the season, taking three of four points in road contests at Yale (T, 3-3 OT), and Brown (W, 5-2). Through five games, Harvard has been one of the top offensive teams in the nation, averaging 4.2 goals per game (2nd, NCAA). Junior defenseman Adam Fox has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists), leading the country with 2.4 points per game. The Sun Devils have been the talk of college hockey, ranked for the first time in program history this week. Arizona State has won three games in a row and seven of eight overall.
What to Know
• Harvard had its most complete game of the season on Saturday (Nov. 10), a 5-2 win at Brown. Sophomore Jack Badini and junior Adam Fox each had a goal and an assist to lead the Crimson. Senior goaltender Michael Lackey stopped 23 of 25 shots to earn the win in net.
• The Crimson features the most dangerous group of offensive defensemen in the nation. Harvard defensemen lead the country with an average of five (5) points per game, recording 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in five games. Three of Harvard's top five scorers are blue liners - Adam Fox (two goals, 10 assists), Jack Rathbone (two goals, five assists) and Reilly Walsh (four goals, assist).
• Harvard has the No. 2 power play in the nation through five games (9-for-22, 40.9%). Harvard has scored on the man advantage in all but one contest this year, potting two on the man advantage against Brown on Saturday (Nov. 10). The Crimson scored five power play goals in its season opener at Dartmouth (10/27), the most in a single game by a Harvard team since 2006.
• Harvard is one of college hockey's best teams in the faceoff circle, ranked No. 5 in the country with a 57.9% win rate. Sophomore forward Jack Badini is No. 1 in the nation on draws, winning 76.6% (36-for-47) of faceoffs through five games this season.
• The nation's leading scorer comes to town with the Sun Devils, as sophomore Johnny Walker has 17 points (11 goals, six assist) in 12 games. Junior Tyler Busch (four goals, seven assists) has also been dangerous up front for ASU. Junior goaltender Joey Daccord has been impressive, starting all 12 games (9-3-0, 2.09 GAA, .930 Save%). The Sun Devils are eighth in the country with a scoring average of 3.83 goals per game. ASU has the No. 1 penalty killing unit in the country at 92.7% (51-for-55).
Ted Donato '91, The Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey
Following success as a player at the collegiate, professional and international levels, Ted Donato has begun piling up a long list of accomplishments as head coach at his alma mater. The former Crimson captain has guided Harvard to four 20-win seasons, captured ECAC Hockey and Ivy League championships, claimed five NCAA tournament berths, a Frozen Four appearance, led his team to six ECAC Hockey championship games, and coached 10 All-Americans and 12 National Hockey Leaguers. As a player at Harvard he was named the 1989 MVP of the Frozen Four during the Crimson's national title run. Drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1987, Donato played 796 games over 13 NHL seasons. His career in the NHL commenced after he competed on the 1992 USA Olympic team where he scored four goals and three assists in eight games.
Harvard will travel to New York City to take on Cornell in the Frozen Apple game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (Nov. 24) at 8 p.m. The game will air on ESPN+.