The 2019-20 Harvard men's ice hockey team will play its season opener on Friday night (7:30 p.m.) against Dartmouth at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard men's hockey begins the 2019-20 regular season by hosting Dartmouth at Bright-Landry Hockey Center (Nov. 1). The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ with a start time of 7:30 p.m. The Crimson returns 21 letterwinners and eight of its top 10 scorers from the 2018-19 team. In 2018-19, Harvard (19-11-3, 13-7-2 ECAC Hockey) earned its 25th NCAA Tournament bid (eighth among all Division I programs) and made its fifth consecutive trip to Lake Placid and the ECAC semifinals.
What to Know
• Senior Nathan Krusko will captain the Crimson in 2019-20. All Harvard varsity captains are elected by their teammates. A three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic selection, Krusko has missed just one game in his three seasons at Harvard, notching 47 points (15 goals, 32 assists) in 101 contests. The 2017 Beanpot Most Valuable Player, Krusko is one of the Crimson's top returning two-way forwards.
• Harvard's top returning scorer, junior defenseman Reilly Walsh, was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Hockey team by the league's coaches and media. Walsh, a Third Team All-ECAC Hockey selection in 2019, had his best offensive season last year as one of the nation's top puck-moving defensemen. He finished the year with 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 33 games, finishing second in ECAC Hockey with nine power play goals (8th in NCAA), and eighth in the country among blueliners in points per game (.94).
• The Crimson landed three players on the league's All-Rookie Team in 2018-19. All return in 2019-20 and will play key roles for Harvard. Sophomore forward Casey Dornbach - the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year - led all league first-years with 29 points (7-22-29). Forward Jack Drury (9-15-24) and defenseman Jack Rathbone (7-15-22) also had excellent debut seasons.
• On Oct. 19, Harvard and Dartmouth played an exhibition contest at Thompson Arena, with the Crimson picking up a 4-2 win over the Big Green. In that contest, sophomore defenseman Jack Rathbone had a goal and three assists, first-year forward Nick Abruzzese added two goals and an assist, and Harvard's power play finished the night 3-for-5. Senior Cameron Gornet (13 saves), first-year Mitchell Gibson (14 saves), and sophomore Derek Schaedig split time in net.
• Harvard is 15-6-0 in its last 21 games against league opponents (including playoffs). In ECAC Hockey games last season, Harvard led the league with an average of 3.50 goals per game, and a power play clicking at 33.3% (25-for-75) in conference 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 six NCAA tournament berths, a Frozen Four appearance, led his team to six ECAC Hockey championship games, and coached 11 All-Americans and 15 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 host Princeton and Quinnipiac next weekend (Nov. 8-9) at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Tickets are available at GoCrimson.com. Both games will be streamed on ESPN+.