Harvard men's ice hockey will take on Cornell at Madison Square Garden for the first time ever. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard men's hockey is set to take on No. 15 Cornell in The Frozen Apple game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (Nov. 24). The game will mark the 153rd meeting between Harvard and Cornell in men's ice hockey and the first ever meeting between the two teams at Madison Square Garden. Harvard has played at Madison Square Garden three times in the last five seasons, taking on Yale in 2014 and 2015, and Quinnipiac in 2016. For the Crimson and Big Red, this game will be a third, non-conference game, in addition to two ECAC Hockey contests.
What to Know
• Harvard is coming off a weekend split in a home series against No. 18 Arizona State. The Crimson won the Friday night (Nov. 16) contest, 4-1, with four different players recording multiple-point efforts, and senior goaltender Michael Lackey stopping 30 of 31 shots to earn the win. On Saturday, Harvard fell, 3-2 (OT), with senior captain Lewis Zerter-Gossage scoring both goals for the Crimson.
• Harvard has the No. 1 power play in the nation through seven games (12-for-33, 36.4%). Harvard has scored on the man advantage in all but one contest this year, potting three on the man advantage in two games against No. 18 Arizona State last weekend. 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.
• The Crimson features one of the most dangerous group of offensive defensemen in the nation. Harvard defensemen are second in the country with an average of 4.29 points per game, recording 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in seven games. Three of Harvard's top six scorers are blue liners - Adam Fox (three goals, 12 assists), Jack Rathbone (two goals, five assists) and Reilly Walsh (four goals, three assists).
• Harvard is one of college hockey's best teams in the faceoff circle, ranked No. 3 in the country with a 57.5% win rate. Sophomore forward Jack Badini is No. 1 in the nation on draws, winning 74.3% (52-for-70) of faceoffs through seven games this season.
• No. 15 Cornell (5-3-0, 3-1-0 ECAC Hockey), which won the Cleary Cup last season, enters the weekend having won five of its last six games. Junior defenseman Yanni Kaldis (4-5-9; 2 PPG), a two-time All-Ivy League first-team defenseman, leads the team in scoring. Senior forward and two-time captain Mitch Vanderlaan (1-7-8) leads the team in assists. Sophomore goaltender Matthew Galajda (5-3, 2.52, .885), a first-team All-American as a freshman last year, has a 1.84 goals against average and .910 save percentage while leading ECAC Hockey with five victories in six November games.
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 returns to Bright-Landry Hockey Center next weekend (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) and will host Colgate and Cornell. Both games will air on ESPN+.