Saturday, February 21, 2015

Harvard Men's Hockey vs. St. Lawrence Recap

By: Savanna Arral

In a must-win game at St. Lawrence Friday night, Harvard men’s hockey came up short, disappointing the few fans that made the trek up to Canton, NY to watch them play. Essentially repeating their previous game this season against the Saints, the Crimson fell 5-1 at Appleton Arena and dropped to fifth in the ECAC rankings, tied with the Colgate Raiders.

The sole goal came from co-captain Kyle Criscuolo, who tipped in a slapshot from Tyler Moy on the powerplay. The scoring play began with New Jersey Devils prospect Alexander Kerfoot feeding Moy on the blue line after holding onto the puck in the circle to St. Lawrence goaltender Kyle Hayton’s left. In a game short on flashes of brilliance from Harvard, the Criscuolo goal was a reminder of what the Crimson can do when they play to their strengths.

Goaltender Steve Michalek saved 22 shots, but was pulled in the third period for backup Peter Traber. Traber, in his first game of the season, stopped 4 shots, including one sprawling save on one of the many Harvard defensive breakdowns of the night.

The rest of the game was all Saints hockey, as they controlled the play through all three zones and continuously prevented Harvard from carrying the puck for any stretch of time. St. Lawrence goals were scored by Gunnar Hughes, Tommy Thompson, Joe Sullivan, and Mike Marnell. Hughes and Thompson each had 3-point nights, Patrick Doherty, Marnell, and Brian Ward each had 2 a piece.

Harvard is now tied for 19th in the pairwise rankings with none other than the Saints themselves, and looks to be swiftly losing hold on an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Crimson play at Clarkson Saturday at 7PM on WHRB.org, looking to split the weekend and keep themselves in contention for a top-4 ECAC slot and a very necessary week one bye.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ivy League Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Pre-Conference Play

By Ben Zauzmer

Ivy League play tips off on Saturday night with a double-header: Penn and Princeton get the show underway at 5:00, followed by Harvard and Dartmouth at 7:00. The latter game will be broadcast live on www.whrb.org, and the first half will also be on 95.3 FM WHRB (the airwaves will then switch to coverage of #3 Harvard men’s hockey vs. #19 Yale at the Madison Square Garden).

Thanks to some not-so-great non-conference losses from all eight Ivy League teams, it has become quite clear that, as always, only one Ivy league team will represent the conference in March Madness. Furthermore, that conference champion will almost surely get a low seed, probably between 12 and 14, regardless of how conference play turns out.

And so, given that information, the season truly starts on Saturday night. Let’s see how the teams rank heading into those crucial 14 games:

1. Harvard (9-3)

Yes, the Crimson have struggled mightily away from home, with a neutral-court loss to Holy Cross, a loss at Arizona State, an embarrassing blowout at #3 Virginia, and requiring overtime to win at Vermont. But at the very least, they beat UMass, who is barely a top-100 team, and they’ve taken care of business against lesser competition at Lavietes. There is also a whole lot more talent and experience on this team than any other in the list, starting with the guard pair of Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders that is legitimately one of the top 30 backcourt combos in the nation. The Crimson have offensive struggles, but the defense is one of the 15 best in America. I’m not saying they’re as good as the Crimson teams from any of the past three years (they’re not), but I am saying they’re still the favorites to win the Ivy League.

2. Yale (10-6)

That said, the most impressive victory on the season has to go to Yale. The Bulldogs managed to stun the Connecticut Huskies 45-44 on a buzzer-beater three-pointer. It was only the second time an Ivy school beat a defending champion, the other being Princeton’s legendary upset of UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament. Yale is led by Javier Duren and Justin Sears, both of whom have experience beating Harvard and have Ivy League Player of the Week honors already this year. But Yale has also shown vulnerabilities: the losses to Providence, Vanderbilt, and even the blowout at Florida are excusable; falling at Quinnipiac and NJIT and at home against Albany is not. In fairness, Harvard does have an even worse loss in Holy Cross, but the Crimson haven’t looked that bad since (other than the UVa game), whereas NJIT was just yesterday.

3. Columbia (7-6)

I still maintain that with Alex Rosenberg, the first-team All-Ivy forward taking a year off due to injury, the Lions are the best team in the Ivy League. But that’s all academic now, as it’s up to Maodo Lo and impressive freshman Kyle Castlin to lead the team heading into conference play. Strangely enough, the high point of Columbia’s resume came in a loss, but it was a 56-46 loss on the road to undefeated #1 Kentucky, a game that the Lions actually led in the second half. And trust me, if you can play with Kentucky, you can certainly play with Harvard and Yale. But since then, the Lions have stumbled, losing to UConn by 15, St. Francis (NY) by 8, and Stony Brook by 9. They need to pick things up immediately, since their first conference match – on the road at Cornell – won’t be the cakewalk it has been in recent years.

4. Dartmouth (6-6)

Every year, it seems Dartmouth has finally found its stride. And then they play Harvard twice to start of conference play, fall to 0-2, and are never able to seriously reenter the race. Having fallen to the Crimson 10 times in a row, is this the year? I think there’s a chance, though a long shot. Alex Mitola is shooting lights-out, Gabas Maldunas is healthy again, and the Big Green could easily be 8-4 if a couple more buzzer-beaters had fallen in. They really only have one truly bad loss, a 79-67 stumble against a weak Jacksonville State team, though on the other hand they don’t have any top-150 wins either.

5. Princeton (6-9)

The Tigers’ season started off disastrously. After an opening-day victory over Rider, Princeton lost its next five games in a row. But they seem to have picked up a little steam recently, winning three of their last four, and the lone loss came to borderline top-100 team Wake Forest. Now, I know the wins weren’t anything spectacular (Lipscomb, Liberty, and Norfolk State), but they did beat each of those teams handily. They don’t have the resume of a usual top-five Ivy League team, but that’s because I think there’s a very large gap between the top three and everyone else on this list.

6. Brown (8-8)           

Cedric Kuakumensah and Leland King have really come into their own this season, and along with Rafael Maia they could make an argument for having the best frontcourt in the conference. Among them, only Maia is graduating, and both guards (Steven Speith and Tavon Blackmon) are sophomores. This team could be scary next year, with legitimate Ivy title hopes. And that core managed to come together and beat top-50 team Providence earlier this year in one of the season’s biggest upsets, right up there with Yale over UConn. But among their other 14 games, they’ve really just beat some bad teams and lost to some not-that-great teams, and it’s not enough to convince me to rank them any higher.

7. Cornell (7-8)

The Big Red have definitely taken a step forward with the return of injured star Shonn Miller. But frankly, he’s the entire team, and it’s really showed in losses against the likes of Buffalo, St. Peter’s, Radford, Drexel, and Loyola (MD). They did manage to come within one point of an impressive Penn State team, thanks to double-figures from Galal Cancer, Robert Hatter, and Devin Cherry, and if they see more teamwork like that, this team could still be competitive for a surprising Ivy title.

8. Penn (3-7)

While 1-3 could all be rearranged, as could 4-7, #8 is unquestionably Penn. They have yet to beat a top-250 team, and there are only 351 teams in Division I. Navy is their best victory, and with all due respect, that’s not much to write home about. It’s not just that they scheduled harder – one of their losses was to Wagner, a team that even Penn should beat. But there is a core that could emerge here, just not quite yet this season: Penn has four Ivy Freshman of the Week awards this year … and all four went to different players. That’s a recipe for success in 2018, maybe even 2017, but not 2015.

Friday, March 7, 2014

ECAC All-Name Team and ECAC First Round Predictions

By Anton Khodakov

Last year, we at WHRB had a lot of fun putting together a team of the best names in the conference. So we’re going to do it again! Last year’s selections are obviously ineligible. Presenting our 2014 ECAC All-Name Team:

Emilio Audi, F, Union
Matt Buckles, F, Cornell
Gunnar Hughes, F, St. Lawrence
Guy Leboeuf, D, RPI
Joey de Concilys, D, Brown
Tyler Steel, G, Brown

Now we return to more analytical fare with our predictions for the first round of the ECAC playoffs this weekend. Given how close the finishes for the five seed and eight seed were, there’s already not much separating teams, and that’s before you account for the inherent wildness of a best-of-three hockey series…. so what we’re saying is that it won’t be a huge surprise if all of these are wrong.

#9 Brown at #8 St. Lawrence
The Bears have been playing awful hockey, failing to score a goal in the last weekend of the season. However, the Saints are a perfect opponent for a team struggling to score, sporting arguably the worst defense in the conference. In fact, St. Lawrence has managed to give up eight goals to Brown in a loss and a tie this year. To make matters more confusing, the Saints have been considerably worse at home this year. But we see the Carey brothers and company putting it together at Appleton this weekend and edging a demoralized Bears team. St. Lawrence in two.

#10 Dartmouth at #7 RPI
This series hinges on Charles Grant, who earned ECAC goalie of the month honors as he carried the Big Green on a late-season surge. The Engineers, meanwhile, alternated strong and disappointing performances on a weekly basis for the entire season. RPI won both meetings this year by a combined 11-3 tally, but they both came before Dartmouth caught fire. We’re going with the hot goalie. Dartmouth in three.

#11 Harvard at #6 Yale (#16/15)
The Crimson could not have drawn a worse first-round opponent. Yale ran circles around Harvard in three meetings this year, with the Cantabrigians lucky to emerge with even the one tie from those games. Yale also has a lot on the line, as they’ll need a deep ECAC run to secure a trip back to the national tournament. So despite Harvard’s typically strong February, we see the Bulldogs taking the series in front of a crazy Ingalls crowd. Yale in two.

#12 Princeton at #5 Clarkson
Princeton is the worst hockey team the ECAC has seen in a long time. Clarkson in two.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 All-ECAC and All-Rookie Teams

By Anton Khodakov

The regular season is over and Harvard has drawn Yale in the first round. But before the playoffs begin, it’s time for a week’s worth of blog posts looking back at the season.

First, our 2014 WHRB All-ECAC Team.


Greg Carey (STL) – Jesse Root (YAL) – Ryan Haggerty (RPI)
Sam Anas (QUI) – Connor Jones (QUI) – Kellen Jones (QUI)
Daniel Carr (UNI) – Matt Carey (STL) – Kenny Agostino (YAL)
Tyson Spink (COL) – Tylor Spink (COL) – Brock Higgs (RPI)

We apologize to Brown’s top line and Matthew Peca, but we couldn’t resist throwing three pairs of brothers on the team. Returning from last year’s squad are the elder Carey, Haggerty, Carr and Agostino. In a major improvement over last year, we’re proud to say that only one player is slotted out of position here: Higgs, a center.


Mat Bodie (UNI) – Joakim Ryan (COR)
Dennis Robertson (BRN) – Shayne Gostisbehere (UNI)
Dan Federico (QUI) – Spiro Goulakos (COL)

With the exception of Goulakos, everyone here naturally plays the left side. But you just can’t argue against that top four. The two Dutchmen earn repeat nominations and Federico deserves more appreciation than he gets.


Colin Stevens (UNI)
Andy Iles (COR)

Stevens is the surprise of the season in net for the league’s best team. Twenty wins and the top save percentage in the ECAC? Not too shabby. No justification needed for Andy Iles, even in the season that he sees his consecutive starts streak end.

As an added bonus, here’s our 2014 ECAC All-Rookie Team.

Sam Anas (QUI) – Mike Vecchione (UNI) – Matt Carey (STL)
Gavin Bayreuther (STL) – Devon Toews (QUI)
Charlie Finn (COL)

Vecchione sneaks in just above his teammate Eli Lichtenwald on account of missing fewer games to injury. The other five should come as no shock. They all have monster numbers and should dominate the conference in the years to come.