Jimmy Vesey will be taking his final exams in the Czech Republic next month.
The No. 17/15 Harvard men’s hockey team was placed in the Midwest Region seed in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament and will take on No. 10/10 Nebraska-Omaha in the first round of the tournament on Saturday. The Crimson will take the ice in South Bend in a sudden-death matchup against the Mavericks.
Harvard (21-12-3, 11-8-3 ECAC) enters the tournament hot, having gone 6-1 in the ECAC Tournament that spanned the last three weekends. Junior Jimmy Vesey set a tournament record with nine goals in the team’s seven games en route to being named the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player. The Crimson outscored its opponents 25-15 in its run for the team’s first conference championship since 2006.
Nebraska-Omaha (18-12-6, 12-8-4 NCHC) was swept in the first round of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament by No. 18/- St. Cloud State, who would go on to upset No. 1/1 North Dakota in the semifinals before losing to No. 6/5 Miami in the finals.
Minnesota State Mankato, the number one overall seed in the tournament, is also in the Midwest Region. They will take on the Rochester Institute of Technology in the first-round, with the victory taking on the winner of the Harvard-Omaha matchup on Sunday.
Two teams from the ECAC earned at-large bids. Regular season champion Quinnipiac and Yale made it into the tournament.
—Staff writer Kurt Bullard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With just one game of ECAC hockey left to be played, the Harvard men’s ice hockey team has the NCAA tournament in its sights. Having beaten top-seeded Quinnipiac, 5-2, on Friday to advance to the conference championship game, the Crimson has an 81 percent chance of advancing past this weekend according to College Hockey News. Here, The Back Page takes a look at some of the possible scenarios where Harvard can advance.
All listed rankings reflect the latest Pairwise rankings, a highly predictive method of determining which 16 teams will advance to the NCAA tournament. The 16-team field officially will be announced on Sunday at noon. All times are listed in EST.
If the Crimson can pull out a win on Saturday, it can put its calculators away. With a victory over No. 13 Colgate in the ECAC title game tonight, Harvard will secure an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Crimson currently ranks 11th in the Pairwise but could move up to as high as 8th, which would likely give Harvard a two-seed in the tournament next weekend.
If the Crimson loses, Colgate will instead punch its ticket to the tournament. However, Harvard’s season still has a good chance of continuing. But the Crimson’s fate will lie in the hands of several teams around college hockey.
In Jimmy Vesey's freshman season, he saw the Crimson rank last in goals in the ECAC. The next year, Harvard jumped only one spot.
That changed this season in dramatic fashion, in large part due to the efforts of the junior forward. Those outside of Cambridge have taken notice.
Before taking the ice for the ECAC Men’s Hockey Tournament semifinal matchup against No. 7/7 Quinnipiac, Vesey was named the ECAC Media Association Player of the Year.
The Nashville Predators’ draft pick has been the moving force for the No. 18/- Crimson offense this season. The junior has accounted for 28 goals and 26 assists through the first period of the team’s semifinal matchup against the Bobcats, leading the conference in goals and points. The output of the first-line—which matched him with junior co-captain Kyle Criscuolo and, when healthy, sophomore Alexander Kerfoot—is a large reason why Harvard boasts the highest-scoring offense in the conference with an average of more than three-and-a-quarter goals per contest.
The forward started off the year with a 21-game point streak, which was only broken when the Crimson was shut out in its third matchup against No. 19/- Yale. He registered a point in all but three games this season.
Vesey’s output was not only large in quantity, but also timely, providing clutch goals for his team. He notched both game-winners in the ECAC quarterfinals against Yale, including the game-deciding goal in double overtime of the rubber match that sent the Crimson to Lake Placid. He also added six points in the two-game sweep of Brown in the first-round series.
This year’s campaign for the North Reading, Mass. native came after he was named to the All-Ivy League second team his sophomore season where he registered 13 goals and nine assists.
Vesey was earlier named Ivy League Player of the Year and to the All-Ivy first team for his efforts this season.
Vesey was not the only member of the Crimson to garner accolades. Fellow classmates and linemate Kyle Criscuolo was named Student-Athlete of the Year, recognizing his off-the-ice accomplishments in conjunction with his performance on the ice. The co-captain ranks fifth in goals in the conference and third in assists, many of which led to Vesey goals.
Despite his prolonged absence during the season, junior defenseman Patrick McNally was named to the second All-ECAC team for the second consecutive season. The Milton Academy graduate has averaged exactly a point per game in the 18 contests for which he has dressed this year.
—Staff writer Kurt T. Bullard can be reached at email@example.com.
Danny Biega ’13 made his NHL debut for the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night in Montreal.
The former Harvard defenseman, captain, and third-round draft pick was called up from the Charlotte Checkers to play his first NHL game, in which the Hurricane’s lost, 4-0, to the Montreal Canadiens, Biega’s hometown team.
Biega recorded 14:26 minutes of ice time and a minus-2 rating. He is the third Harvard men’s hockey alum to make an NHL debut this year.
His brother, former Harvard captain and defenseman Alex Biega ’10, played seven games with the Vancouver Canucks in late February and early March, recording the game-winning goal in his first appearance on Feb. 16.
On Feb. 24, former Harvard captain and defenseman Dylan Reese ’07 played in a road game for the Arizona Coyotes.
Biega is the 28th Harvard hockey alum to play in an NHL Game. As a junior, he earned first-team All-America honors while placing second nationally among defensemen in points per game. Since turning professional, he has recorded 32 points in 130 games with Charlotte in the American Hockey League.
—Staff writer Michael D. Ledecky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org