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Friday, January 13, 2012

Harvard Hockey Heads to Fenway

Harvard's Alex Fallstrom and Union's Kelly Zajac at the faceoff dot during the two teams' 3-3 tie at Messa Rink last Friday. Photo courtesy Noel Roche. 
Hockey returns where it began for the Harvard Crimson and the Union College Dutchmen as the teams get set to meet outdoors at historic Fenway Park as part of the 2012 Sun Life Frozen Fenway Series. Harvard's program played outdoors from its founding in 1898 through 1910, while Union played outdoors from 1904 until 1949. Harvard rallied twice last week at Messa Rink against Union, first from a 1-0 deficit, followed by erasing a 3-1 deficit in the 3rd period.

Gametime Forecast: There's a chance of precipitation all day (depending on the weather site, between 15 and 40% at various times) but that should hopefully be over with by noon. Last night's rain and any today could be detrimental to the ice surface. Players will also have to deal with the wind - it will be blowing in from the SW at around 25 mph and gusts could get near the 50 mph mark. One forecast has it as 36 degrees F at puck drop (wind chill making it feel like 24 degrees) while another has the low being around 27 degrees. (Information based on a composite from weather.com and NOAA.gov.)

Comeback Kids: Including last weekend, Harvard has trailed in ten contests entering the third period, but has come back to rally in six of those games for either a win or a tie. 

Sweet Home Massachusetts: Harvard returns to the Boston area for the first time since before Thanksgiving, a 7-6 win over New Hampshire that saw the Crimson erase a 4-0 deficit. Harvard has played 7 games on the road in that span, visiting UMass, Princeton, North Dakota, Union, and RPI. In those seven games, the Crimson went 1-1-5, with the lone win coming against Princeton and the lone loss coming in the second game against North Dakota. The Crimson are 2-2-2 in the Bay State and 2-2-1 at home.

Power Surge: Tonight's game will see a showdown of two of the best power plays in the nation. Harvard has the nation's top power play at 34.9% while Union is 5th in the nation at 26.9%. In ECAC play, Harvard is converting on 36.2% of its PPs while Union is converting on 24.4%. Last weekend's game featured four PPGs in a row, two for each team.

Can't Make It?: Here are the particulars for tonight's broadcast.
Game Time: 7pm
Pregame Coverage: 6:45pm
Listen Live: 95.3 WHRB-FM and whrb.org
Broadcasters: Brendan Roche and Anton Khodakov (potentially to be joined in progress by Raafi Alidina)

Rain Plan: If, due to weather, the game is cancelled for tonight, we will try to bring you women's hockey vs. Union College. In the event that the game is cancelled too late for us to change our plans, WHRB will have its regularly scheduled classical music program. 

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