CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts— Best start since the 1988-89 NCAA championship season (when the season started 15-0-0), No. 10/11 Harvard Men’s Hockey (7-0-0, 6-0-0 ECAC Hockey). ) travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan to face No. 3/3 Michigan (9-5-0, 2-4-1 Big Ten) at Yost Ice Arena. Harvard and Michigan meet in men’s hockey for the first time in 21 years. On December 15, 2001, on Harvard’s only other visit to Ann Arbor, the Crimson earned a 3-3 draw with the Wolverines. This weekend’s series will feature two programs that have a combined roster of 27 NHL draft picks, the most of any college hockey matchup this season.
WHAT TO KNOW
- Fresh from a trip to the 2022 Frozen Four in Boston, Michigan, has loaded his roster with talent, most notably first-year Adam Fantilli, who is second in the nation in points per game (1.92) and could be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL draft. Michigan has four first-round NHL draft picks on its list, including forward Mackie Samoskevich (11-9-0) and defenseman Luke Hughes (2-12-14). Michigan returns experience at the net in junior goaltender Erik Portillo (8-4-0, 2.99, .900). Both Harvard and Michigan are national leaders with an average of 4.1 goals per game.
- Harvard’s special teams were a strength earlier this season. Harvard has the No. 5 power play unit in the nation (9 to 31, 29.0%) and the No. 1 penalty shootout unit in the nation (22 to 23, 95.3%). Harvard has four shorthanded (No. 3, NCAA) goals in its first seven games Sean Farrell scored two of them.
- Harvard’s defensive play was a highlight of their first seven games as the team has not conceded more than two goals in a game and is the No. 1 goalscorer in the country early on (1.4 goals allowed per game). Goalkeeper Michell Gibson (4-0-0, 1.24, 0.937), Derek Mullahy (2-0-0, 1.50, 0.929) and Aku Koskenvuo (1-0-0, 2.00, .913) were all excellent on the net.
- Sophomore forward Matthew Coronato and youngsters Sean Farrell combined with First-Year Forward Joe Miller to form a dynamic top line for the Crimson. Coronato leads Harvard with 11 points (5-6-11) in seven games, while Farrell has 10 points (4-6-10) in that span and leads the team with a plus-9 rating. Miller leads all Harvard first-graders by five points (2-3-5) in seven games.
- Harvard’s centers helped the Crimson become one of the top faceoff teams in the nation early on, currently ranked #3 (56.1%) in the nation. Senior Captain Baker Shore (41-23, 64.1%), second year Zakary Karpa (60-42, 58.8%) and in the second year Matthew Coronato (86-66, 56.6%) were all excellent at draws.
- Senior goalkeeper Mitchell Gibson is one of the most experienced returning goaltenders in the nation, with a career streak of 33-18-4 in 56 games played, including a 2.27 GAA and .918 save%. Gibson led Harvard’s late-season 2021-22 run, making 47 saves in the ECAC hockey title game against Quinnipiac.
- Harvard has opened the game in five of their first seven games and outscored teams in the third period of their first seven games with a 12-3 aggregate score. Harvard has also outperformed teams in six of its first seven games this season.
Harvard returns to the league next weekend with a trip to central New York to take on Cornell (Dec. 2) and Colgate (Dec. 3).