Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's the Big Green Harvard Crimson!

Today's Video: In honor of Halloween, it's the football scene from "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" (note link should NOW be working.)

The Ivy League football season is coming up on its halfway point. Last week saw the first week of all Ivy vs. Ivy games, which continues until the end of the season. This week, the Harvard Crimson look to end a three game homestand on a high note as they face the Dartmouth Big Green.

Let's look back at last week, starting with the Harvard Crimson (4-2, 3-0 Ivy), who took on the Princeton Tigers (1-5, 0-3 Ivy). The Crimson started off with a bang as less than 3 minutes in, Collier Winters found Chris Lorditch for a 77 yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0. After Princeton's lone points of the day, a Ben Bologna field goal, it was all Johnnies, who were up 24-3 at the half. Geno Gordon than made it 31-3 with a run in the third quarter, while third stringer Cheng Ho took advantage of the playing time to add a touchdown in the fourth that made it 37-3 for the final score. The best pass of the day may have come from WR Mike Cook, who threw a touchdown pass to Matt Luft only to see it negated by an ineligible receiver down field penalty.

Meanwhile, there was much to celebrate for the Hanover crowd as the Dartmouth Big Green (1-5, 1-2 Ivy) snapped a seventeen game losing streak by beating the Columbia Lions (2-4, 1-2 Ivy). Nick Schweiger ran for a school record 244 yards and a touchdown, earning him both Ivy League and National recognition. Connor Kempe was 8 for 22 for 75 yards. Dartmouth's defense grabbed three turnovers, included a fumble returned 39 yards for a touchdown, in a game that also wasn't in doubt, as that score put Dartmouth up at 21-0 in the fourth quarter, grabbing a 28-6 win.

Now Dartmouth comes to Harvard Stadium looking to get their first winning streak in six years. Speaking of six years ago, that was the last time Dartmouth bested the Crimson, with a 30-16 win at Harvard Stadium. Are the Big Green poised to get the win? Or is last week's win over Columbia just a signed (but un-noterized) written promise to convince Dartmouth to come running up to the ball only for the Harvard Crimson to quickly pull it away, leading to a loud "AAAUUUGH!" from the Hanover faithful? WHRB will be here to answer that question, starting with our pregame coverage at 11:30 AM with Scott Reed and James Yoon, and then live from Harvard Stadium at 12 PM with Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan, and Kara Hollis.

Leaving you in the able hands of the on-air folks to break down this game further, let's look at the rest of the Ivy League and see how many more Halloween/"Peanuts" references I can cram into this post, after the jump.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rivalry Week with Dartmouth Kicks off Tonight

Do something great with all you’ve got. Be ambitious. Aspire to change the world. If you’re an engineer – take on climate change and move us toward a more sustainable future. If you’re a musician – play or write something that truly moves people. And if you play football – beat Harvard! Please! This year!- Dartmouth College President, and former Harvard administrator, Jim Yong Kim. (emphasis mine)

The Harvard Crimson are going to be seeing green all weekend as they face the Dartmouth Big Green in five sports this weekend.

The first game of the Harvard-Dartmouth rivalry is tonight, as the Crimson men's hockey team travels to Hanover to begin Ancient Eight and ECAC play. The drop of the puck is scheduled for 7 PM, and WHRB will begin its coverage with a pregame from Thompson Arena at 6:45 PM, as Tom Brennan and Brendan Roche will have the call.

Then on Saturday, four sports are in action against the Big Green on Halloween. At 11 AM, the women's soccer team takes on Dartmouth at Ohiri Field, and the No. 14 men's soccer team takes on No. 21 Dartmouth. Both the men's and women's teams are looking to recover from losses to Princeton at Ohiri Field and to remain near the top of the Ivy League standings.

At 1 PM over on Jordan Field, the field hockey team also face the Big Green. The Crimson are coming off two big losses to ranked opponents (9-0 to No. 4 Princeton, 9-1 to No. 9 Boston College) and will be looking to turn it around against Dartmouth.

Last, but certainly not least, the football team is slated to kickoff against Dartmouth at 12 PM. WHRB will have coverage of that game, beginning with pregame coverage at 11:30 AM with Scott Reed and James Yoon, before the 12 PM broadcast with Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan and Kara Hollis.

Both schools will be looking to win this weekend rivalry series- and Dartmouth's new president knows he will be razzed by his former colleagues at Harvard if his school doesn't.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harvard Men's Hockey Preview Part IV: Schedule and Season Predictions

In the final edition of our blog preview, we'll take a look at the ECAC at large, as well as some highlights of the Crimson's regular season schedule. Click through to get our ECAC season predictions and schedule thoughts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Harvard Men's Hockey Preview Part III: Positional Breakdown, continued

With the forwards previewed earlier this week, it's time to look at the Crimson's defensemen and goaltenders. Harvard returns four D-men who skated in 30+ games last season, so the Crimson defensive corps has a wealth of veteran experience to build on, as well as a couple freshmen who will be in the mix. After a jump you'll find a look at each defenseman with the Crimson and some possible pairings, as well as the Crimson's goaltending.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Harvard Men's Hockey Season Preview Part III: Positional Breakdown

With the Crimson's lone exhibition game under their belt, it's time to take a look at the Crimson across the roster and break down the team by position. We'll tackle every positional group for the Crimson - and tell you what each skater could bring to the Harvard Crimson in 2009-10. After the jump, you'll find a breakdown of the Crimson's forward corps. Tomorrow will bring a look at defense, goaltending, and special teams.

Breaking Down the ECAC: Week 0

The ECAC season officially opens when the Crimson travel to Hanover, NH to face Ivy League rival the Dartmouth Big Green, but just about every team has gotten some exhibition work, and for non-Ivy League teams, some substantial games in, so let's take a look around the ECAC.

Edit: Sorry for any confusion, but I was confused in regards to Brown, Princeton, and Yale's schedule. I thought they were participating in a tournament at Princeton, but am mistaken. Princeton's schedule remains correct, but the Brown and Yale games against the Ontario Institute of Technology are at Brown and at Yale, not in New Jersey as I originally thought.

1. Brown (0-0) - The only time Bruno saw the ice was in the exhibition against the Crimson in Providence, a 7-2 "loss" after two regular periods and a special teams period.
Key Player: None this week.
Next Up: Brown will face Princeton (non-conference) at Princeton before playing at home against the Ontario Institute of Technology.

2. Clarkson (3-2) - The Golden Knights kicked off their season with an exhibition against Toronto, which they won easily, with a 6-1 victory. They then traveled out west and were swept in a two game series by Michigan State, 6-1 and 4-3. They are now on a three game winning streak after a 4-3 OT win over Niagara, a 5-3 win over RIT, and a 4-3 non-conference win over North Country rival St. Lawrence.
Key Player: Senior Matt Beca has five goals in five games, including a game winner.
Next Up: The Knights will have a tough road trip as they travel to Minnesota-Duluth for a two game series.

3. Colgate (1-2-2) - Colgate opened up their season against Waterloo in an exhibition match, and they won 6-3. They then tied Niagara 4-4 before beating RIT 3-2 in a neutral site game. A trip west saw them tie Nebraska-Omaha 1-1 on the first night before losing 4-1 the second night, followed by a loss to UMass-Lowell 5-3. Colgate then had another exhibition, this time against the US U-18 team, which won 4-1.
Key Player: Brian Day has three goals in five games.
Next Up: The Raiders will face two New York teams with a game at home versus Army and a rematch with Niagara, this time at home.

4. Cornell (0-0) - Cornell only has two exhibition games on the year, a 7-0 win over Windsor and a 3-2 loss to the US U-18 team.
Key Player: Michael Garman opened up the season with a shutout, stopping 20 shots in 60 minutes of play against Windsor.
Next Up: The Big Red only have a Friday game, versus Niagara.

5. Dartmouth (0-0) - Dartmouth's lone exhibition game did not go quite as planned, as they fell 7-4 to the #8 McGill Redmen on Saturday. Dartmouth was leading 2-1 when starting goaltender Jody O'Neill was pulled in favor of the backup. His one goal against came on six shots.
Key Player: Adam Estoclet scored two for the Big Green.
Next Up: Dartmouth opens ECAC play at home against Harvard.

6. Harvard (0-0) - Harvard faced the same #8 McGill squad on Friday night, and fell behind 3-1 before coming back to tie the game 3-3.
Key Player: Doug Rogers had the game tying goal for the Crimson on Friday.
Next Up: The Johnnies begin the new season by traveling to Dartmouth to face the Big Green.

After the jump, we'll look at the rest of the ECAC, and give our three stars of the week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reminder- Sportstalk Today at 1pm

Another Sunday, so it's time for another Crimson Sportstalk on WHRB.

Today's our big hockey preview show as our men's hockey booth looks back at the exhibition from Friday night as well as ahead to the first ECAC clash next week against Dartmouth.

We'll also have an interview with coach Ted Donato.

Other Highlights: Alasdair Wilkins will be in to talk with us about yesterday's convincing win for the Crimson against the Princeton Tigers on the gridiron.
We will have another installment of our national media interview series.
And of course, Harvard Headlines, wrapping up all of this week's action in the fall sports.

That's all today at 1pm on 95.3 FM WHRB and online at

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Harvard Hopes to Fiercely Fight Princeton on Homecoming Day

Today's Video: Tom Lehrer's Fight Fiercely Harvard

It's an Ivy League rivalry weekend between the Harvard Crimson and the Princeton Tigers, as the two Ancient Eight foes face off in field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and, of course, football. The football game also marks a new tradition for the Johnnies, as today is the first Harvard "Homecoming" Game.

Last week for the Crimson, (3-2, 2-0 Ivy) was a disappointing loss against the Lafayette Leopards (5-1) as they could not get anything going in the 35-18 loss. Harvard fell behind early on two turnovers which Lafayette converted for touchdowns, and they were down 21-3 at the half. Collier Winters added two late consolation scores for the Crimson in the fourth quarter with a 14 yard pass to Marco Iannuzzi and a 47 pass to Chris Lorditch. Lafayette rushed for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, while QB Rob Curley went 21 for 31 with 210 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Things weren't much better last week for the Princeton Tigers (1-4, 0-2 Ivy) as they fell to Ivy League rival Brown 34-17. The Tigers passing defense was torched by Kyle Newhall, who put up 309 yards en route to two touchdowns and an interception. Princeton only was able to rush for 52 yards on the day. QB Tommy Wornham had both touchdowns, one through the air and another on the ground.

We'll have more on this game in just over an hour (at 11:30 am) during the Harvard pre-game show with Scott Reed and James Yoon on 95.3 FM and, before kickoff at 12:00 pm brought to you by Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan, and Kara Hollis.

After the jump, we'll look around the Ivies in the first week where no team has out of conference play, something which will continue for the rest of the year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Postgame: Harvard 3 McGill 3 OT F

Well, some technical problems (not on WHRB's end) tonight meant the game could not be heard, so I figure some quick post-game stats are in order, following the brief analysis.

Coach Donato talked about the importance of this game for the Crimson because it is their one and only chance to work out the kinks before starting ECAC Hockey play. Harvard, at times, looked like a team playing their first game. Passes weren't connecting, players were falling or running into each other, and they had trouble at times getting out of the zone. Still, the Crimson did a great job of hanging around a McGill team that, while officially 2-0 on the year, has already played 7 games coming into tonight, and which is ranked #8 in the CIS standings. It was also a great job of not letting up despite being down early 2-0, and later 3-1. Both of these things were seen the most in the third period, a period spent almost entirely in McGill's zone. It should also be important to not let the scoreline leave a false impression of the game: Harvard had plenty more opportunities, but faced a quality goaltender in Hubert Morin.

From what we've seen so far, the Crimson will be playing a very aggressive, fast-paced, physical game. All four lines tonight were speedy, and any turnover, anywhere on the ice, could be and was quickly converted into opportunities in the McGill end. Certainly there's some things, particularly defensively, that need to be worked on, but this was a great start for the 09-10 Crimson campaign.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
09:18 McGill EV goal by Guillaume Doucet, assisted by Simon Legare-Marcotte and Ben Gazdic to make it 1-0.
17:31 McGill PP goal by Francis Varreault-Paul, assisted by Andrew Wright and Alex Picard-Hooper to make it 2-0.
19:42 Harvard EV goal by Michael Biega, assisted by Louis Leblanc and Alex Killorn to make it 2-1.

2nd Period
10:37 McGill EV goal by Guillaume Doucet, his second on the night, assisted by Stephen Valente and Simon Legare-Marcotte to make it 3-1.

3rd Period
10:49 Harvard PP goal by Alex Biega, assisted by Conor Morrison to make it 3-2.
17:55 Harvard EV goal by Doug Rogers, unassisted to make it 3-3.

After the jump, we'll look at some more stats and our three stars of the game.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harvard Hockey Scrimmage and Exhibition News

The men's hockey team scrimmaged Brown Tuesday night at Meehan Auditorium, and handily defeated the Bears by a cumulative score of 7-2 over three separate periods of play. The two teams skated for three long periods - two regular strength periods and one special teams period. Sophomore defenseman Ryan Grimshaw, now fully recovered from a preseason wrist injury, potted two man-advantage goals, and freshman Alex Fallstrom added two more goals. The Crimson outscored the Brunos 4-1 in special teams play, including one short-handed goal for each squad.

Although we at WHRB Sports were unable to attend the scrimmage, it is particularly encouraging to hear that the Crimson special teams shows early signs of promise. Former assistant coach Sean McCann had run very effective Crimson special teams units in previous seasons, so to hear that the transition from McCann to new assistant coach Bobby Jay has not diminished one of the team's strengths is a positive.

It's a long road from a good scrimmage against Brown to consistent success in the regular season and in the ECAC tournament - however Tuesday night the Crimson started on the right note.

Friday night at 7 p.m. Harvard meets McGill University at the Bright Hockey Center in their only exhibition tuneup for the regular season, and you can catch the action live on

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crimson Football Hopes to "Give Her Ten" on Head of the Charles Weekend

This Week's Video: Fan-made Head of the Charles (2007) Celebration

Tomorrow afternoon marks the third and final non-conference game for the Harvard Crimson (3-1, 1-0 Ivy), as they look to build on a three game winning streak in their game against the Lafayette Leopards (4-1, 1-0 Patriot). The game marks the beginning of a three game homestand for the Johnnies, after two straight on the road. The Leopards are playing their fourth Ivy League opponent in a row and are undefeated against the Ancient Eight, having beaten Penn (20-17 OT), Yale (31-14), and Columbia (24-21). The weather report is that it will be chilly and there's the possibility of rain, so conditions might favor the run for these two teams.

Last week for the Harvard Crimson, it was the odyssey to Ithaca, as the team traveled to upstate New York to take on Ancient Eight foe Cornell (2-2, 1-1 Ivy) in a battle of Ivy League unbeatens. The Crimson got off to a fast start, forcing a three and out on the Big Red's opening drive, before converting on excellent field position to get out to a 7-0 lead. After a second successful stop, it seemed like the Crimson were about to run away with it, but sloppy execution followed by a missed field goal left the Crimson with no points. The offense continued to struggle, particularly through the air, and they had only a tenuous 14-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. But good teams know how to close out games, and the Crimson did so in style, adding two touchdowns, including a Collier Winters draw with nine seconds left that saw the Crimson escape with a 28-10 victory, coach Tim Murphy's 100th career win. The ground game and the defense both had huge days for Harvard. The rushing game claimed 254 yards and all 4 touchdowns, while the stout defense limited Cornell to only 182 yards, 62 of which came on the ground.

Last week, it was game number three of four straight against Ivy League opponents for the Leopards, as they were home against Columbia (2-2, 1-0 Ivy). Lafayette racked up a ton of yards on the day, 405, a number helped by the 287 yards and a touchdown from quarterback Rob Curley. It wasn't all rosy for Curley, however, as he was forced into throwing three interceptions on the day, which helped give the Lions a lead late in the game. But Maurice White ran in a touchdown with 13 seconds left in the game to complete a rally for Lafayette, giving them a 24-21 victory.

That ends the blog's look at tomorrow's Harvard game. Scott Reed and James Yoon will have much more in-depth coverage on tomorrow's pregame show (airing at 11:30 AM) and of course the game itself with Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan, and Kara Hollis will be live in the booth from Harvard Stadium beginning at 12:00 PM. That can all be heard on 95.3 FM and

After the jump, we'll look at the rest of the games in the Ivy League.

Harvard Men's Hockey Season Preview Part II: The Class of 2013

Looking at the class of 2013 as a whole, the Crimson are bringing in one of the most talented recruiting classes to ever skate into Cambridge. The result has been some strong rankings for the Crimson frosh from the national media. Inside College Hockey has the Crimson recruiting class at fifth in the nation, behind some big names in the hockey landscape, including Notre Dame, Denver, and Harvard opponents Boston College and Minnesota. The Crimson rank above a lot of top programs too, beating out the defending champion Boston University Terriers, as well as North Dakota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Around the ECAC, the closest incoming class is RPI's, who were ranked 9th, while Cornell and Yale were ranked 13th and 14th respectively.

Meanwhile, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News added in a "hurrah for the smart kids," in his blog article on the most intriguing collegiate recruiting classes. Harvard represented the ECAC, while St. Cloud State, Boston College, and Michigan made the list for their respective league.

After the jump, we'll profile all of the new Harvard skaters.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harvard Men's Hockey Season Preview Part I: 2008-09 Recap

With 15 days until the regular season opens in Hanover, N.H., it's time to start our 2009-10 Harvard Men's Hockey preview here on the WHRB Sports Blog. First up is a recap of last year and after the jump you'll find an analysis of 2008-09 along with last year's pluses and minuses, and a look at last year's seniors.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Top Shelf returns for Season Six

Top Shelf, the Harvard men's hockey intermission show that airs on WHRB, returns for its sixth season with the first episode of the 2009-10 season, and the first episode is available exclusively on iTunes and at the online home of Top Shelf.

With the beginning of the season less than three weeks away, it's time to begin getting ready for the 2009-10 campaign, and what better way than a brand new episode of Top Shelf?

Here's the summary of Season 6, Episode 1:

It’s a full booth for the inaugural episode of the sixth season of Top Shelf, as Jimmy Fraser swung by campus for one more taping before heading off to begin his professional hockey career. Jimmy joins Alex Biega and Tom Brennan, and Kyle Richter returns to the studio for the first time since 2007-08. Hear Jimmy’s professional plans, some discussion of foreign languages, a lengthy discussion of Mark Messier’s visit with the Crimson, possible professional endorsement opportunities for Jimmy, and plenty more about the upcoming season.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hockey Headlines - October 12

For 52 of 58 of the D-I men's college hockey programs, the season has just begun. But all Ivy League icers are still a couple weeks away from beginning exhibition play because of Ivy League restrictions.

That said, nearly all prominent college hockey news sources have posted a ECAC/Harvard season preview of some kind in the last week. After the jump, you'll find our breakdown of those previews, plus a few more bits of Harvard hockey news.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Early Edition- Harvard Clashes with Big Red on Saturday

This Week's Video- Last Year's Halftime Show at the Harvard-Cornell Game

What if you got tomorrow's newspaper, today? I don't know, and that's not what we're offering by this early edition of our weekly Harvard and Ivy League preview- we (well, mostly I) mean that this is getting posted a few hours earlier, because I will be without Internet access as I begin the odyssey toward Ithaca. Since we don't have Gary Hobson-like powers to tell you the results of this week's game, we'll head back toward last week to get a taste of this weekend's Ivy League match-up between the Harvard Crimson (2-1, 1-0 Ivy) and the Cornell Big Red (2-1, 1-0 Ivy).

Harvard was back on the road last Saturday as they traveled to another Patriot League opponent, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-4, 0-0 Patriot). Lehigh got in front with a touchdown pass from Chris Lum to Alex Wojdowski, but the Johnnies put up 28 straight points to put the game out of reach and take the win 28-14. It was a big day for the Crimson defense, as they picked off the inexperience Lum four times, including John Takamura's 60 yard interception return for a touchdown. Collier Winters had 15 completions for 152 yards, two touchdowns, and his first career interception. The Crimson run game, a question mark entering the game with Gino Gordon out injured and Treavor Scales out with a family emergence, but the run game became an exclamation point as Cheng Ho rumbled to 132 yards and a touchdown, adding a touchdown reception.

Cornell was also playing a Patriot League opponent, but one at the opposite side of the standings as they faced the Colgate Raiders (6-0, 1-0 Patriot) in a battle of undefeated teams. Colgate jumped out in front 14-0 thanks to running back Nate Eachus running into the endzone for two of his three touchdowns on the day. The game got as close as 21-10 before Colgate put the game away with 17 unanswered points. The passing game for both teams was pretty equal, as both teams grabbed 217 yards through the air, but the discrepancy was the run game, as Colgate had 344 yards on the ground while holding the Big Red to 63 yards. 84 of Colgate's running yards came from quarterback Greg Sullivan. Both teams tallied an interception in the game, as Colgate won 45-23.

That's about it for the blog spiel on the Harvard-Cornell game. As always, Scott Reed and James Yoon will have more in-depth coverage of this Ancient Eight contest on the pregame show beginning at 12pm, while Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan, and (for this week only) myself have the call live from Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca beginning at 12:30. And as always, both of those can be heard on 95.3 FM and here at

After the jump, we'll take a look around the Ivy League, including a game that has already been played this week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Reminder- Sportstalk Today at 1pm EST

Another week of Crimson Sportstalk is here on 95.3 FM and

We'll have recaps of all the Harvard action with our Harvard Headlines.
Color commentator Tom Brennan will be there to give us some postgame analysis of yesterday's football game.
We'll have the highlights of Coach Murphy's postgame press conference.
And we'll have a whole lot more.

Alasdair Wilkins will be jumping in to host it all this week, filling in for me since I'm not feeling 100%.

So tune in at 1pm for the best source for Harvard sports news, Crimson Sportstalk, 1pm at 95.3 FM and

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Harvard Looks For First Non-Conference Win

This Week's Video: Harvard University Band Performance

Harvard football (1-1, 1-0 Ivy) returns to non-conference play this weekend with a trip down to Bethlehem, PA, where the Crimson will take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-3, 0-0 Patriot) in what could be a rainy affair.

Last time out for the Johnnies was the "Friday Night, Under the Lights" game against Ivy League opponent Brown. The Bears got off to a good start, but the Crimson trimmed the deficit to 14-10 at the half, and a dominant start to the second half saw Harvard take the lead to 24-14. With three minutes remaining, things got tense for the Crimson as Brown began a drive that would lead to a touchdown, followed by an onside kick recovery with 30 secs. left. After electing to not go for the 42 yard field goal that would have tied the game, Brown sent the offense out, and QB Kyle Newhall had his pass to the endzone batted down to seal the win for Harvard.

Lehigh is playing their second straight Ivy opponent, as they faced the Princeton Tigers (1-1) last weekend and lost 17-14. It was two big plays that hurt the Hawks- a 77 yard interception return and a 68-yard run for touchdowns put Princeton ahead 14-0. Lehigh had 332 yards rushing last week, compared to Princeton's 162 yards. The other interesting note will be to see who takes the majority of the snaps for Lehigh. Junior J.B. Clark threw for 89 yards and a touchdown, but also two interceptions, while Sophomore Chris Lum threw for 135 yards. Lum has been getting more playing time as the week's have passed, while Clark has more touchdowns (3) and interceptions (5).

The pregame, with Scott Reed and James Yoon, will have much more in-depth coverage of this game starting at 12pm on 95.3 FM and WHRB, so let's turn to the rest of the Ivy League.