Saturday, October 24, 2015

UNB vs. Harvard

The Varsity Reds continue their trip to the United States tonight with a match-up against the NCAA's Harvard Crimson in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Game time is scheduled for 8PM AST at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.

This will mark only the 5th time these two schools have faced each other, and the first time since Gardiner MacDougall's first season in 2000-2001. UNB has never defeated Harvard, losing 6-2 in 1994, 3-2 in 1999, 4-1 in 2000, and 4-1 again in 2001.

The 9th ranked Crimson, coached by former NHLer Ted Donato, should prove to be a tougher opponent than Maine was last night. Harvard is coming off of a 2014-2015 season in which they went 21-13-3, won the ECAC hockey tournament, and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament. They feature 8 NHL draft picks on their roster, including Hobey Baker finalist Jimmy Vesey (Nashville, 66th overall, 2012). Vesey posted 32 goals and 26 assists in 37 games last year. He was a member of the United States gold medal winning team at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship as well as their bronze medal team at the 2015 World Championships.

However, one thing that might be working in UNB's favour is that unlike Maine, who already had a handful of non-conference games under their belt going into last night, Harvard is just beginning their season. The Ivy League teams, who are part of the ECAC conference, start their season later than the other teams so Harvard will be playing just their second game of the season tonight. The Crimson defeated UPEI 3-1 in a scrimmage last night. The Varsity Reds will no doubt look to take advantage of a team that is still figuring out line combinations and chemistry.

- Harvard has a game preview posted.

- You can watch the game on the Ivy league Digital Network, but it will cost $9.95 US for a Harvard "School Day Pass".

- The UPEI Panthers are the only other AUS team in action tonight as they travel to Hanover, New Hampshire for an exhibition game against the NCAA's Dartmouth Big Green.