CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Coming off a successful return to play in 2021-22, No. 15/15 Harvard men’s ice hockey will kick off the 2022-23 campaign this week when it hosts the University of Guelph in an exhibition contest on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. on ESPN+. Harvard returns four of its top five scorers, four of its top five defensemen (games played), and starting goaltender Mitchell Gibson (18-10-1, 2.17 GAA, .918 Save %). from a team that finished 21-11-3 (14-6-2 ECAC Hockey), earning an NCAA Tournament bid (26th in program history) and winning the program’s 11th Whitelaw Cup as ECAC Hockey Tournament champions. Harvard also won its 24th Ivy League title, finishing 8-1-1 against Ivy competition.
WHAT TO KNOW
- Harvard returned to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2022) in its last six completed seasons (discounting 2019-20 and 2020-21), and the seventh time under head coach Ted Donato (in 18 seasons since 2004-05). The Crimson reached 20 wins for the fifth time in the Ted Donato era, and it was one of the hottest teams in the nation over the second half of the year. Harvard went 12-4-2 over the final 18 games of the regular season, which included a five-game stretch (3-1-1) in which Harvard was without U.S. Olympians Nick Abruzzese and Sean Farrell. In the ECAC Hockey Tournament, Harvard defeated RPI in the quarterfinal round in three games, including a Game 1 victory in which the Crimson scored three 6-on-5 goals in the final. Harvard defeated No. 6/6 Quinnipiac, 3-2, in overtime of the ECAC Hockey Championship game in Lake Placid to clinch an NCAA bid before falling to No. 1/1 Minnesota State, 4-3, in the Albany Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
- Harvard returns 74% of its point production from 2021-22 (10th in college hockey), a group headlined by senior captain and 2nd Team AHCA All-American defenseman Henry Thrun (seven goals, 25 assists) and sophomore forward Matthew Coronato (18 goals, 18 assists). ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year Alex Laferriere (14 goals, 17 assists) is back for his junior campaign, and junior forward Sean Farrell (10 goals, 18 assists in 24 games) also returns, as does senior captain John Farinacci (10 goals, nine assists). In net, senior goaltender Mitchell Gibson (29 career wins, fourth most among all returning NCAA goaltenders) is back.
- Harvard was the youngest team in college hockey in 2021-22, and will be the fourth youngest team in the nation entering 2022-23 (average age 21.0 as of Oct. 1). However, the Crimson returns the fourth-most points (240) of any team in the nation, and sixth-most goals (85) of any team in the country.
- Seniors John Farinacci, Baker Shoreand Henry Thrun were elected by their teammates as the 134th, 135th, and 136th captains in the 124-year history of Harvard men’s hockey. Farinacci, a standout on the 2020 gold-medal winning U.S. World Junior Team and at Harvard, has 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 59 games over two seasons in Cambridge. Shore has been a steady presence at center for the Crimson (.513 career faceoff percentage), and is one of two seniors on the team that have played three years of college hockey (began careers in 2018-19) along with Wyllum Deveaux. Thrun, one of 10 returning All-Americans in college hockey, has 53 points (10 goals, 43 assists) and a plus-29 rating in 66 career games.
- Senior defenseman Henry Thrun became the 11th blue-liner in program history to earn All-America honors, as he was named a Second Team AHCA All-American after totaling a 7-25-32 line with a plus-12 rating. A skilled two-way defenseman, Thrun has the ninth most assists (43) among all returning d-men in college hockey and the 12th-most points (53).
- Harvard had a potent offensive attack (3.31 goals per game (11th in NCAA) and a solid defensive corps (2.34 goals allowed per game, 14th in NCAA). Harvard allowed more than 3 goals in a game just six times all season, while scoring 4 or more goals in a game on 14 occasions (14-0-0).
- Harvard was picked to finish second in ECAC Hockey by the league coaches, four of which tabbed Harvard to win the league. In addition, senior defenseman Henry Thrunjunior forward Alex Laferriereand sophomore forward Matthew Coronato were named to the Preseason All-ECAC Hockey Team, with the Crimson the only team with three selections.
- Senior goaltender Mitchell Gibson is one of the most experienced returning goaltenders in the nation, with a career 29-18-4 mark in 53 games played, including a 2.35 GAA and .917 Save %. Gibson was at the heart of Harvard’s late season run in 2021-22, including a 47-save performance in the ECACH title game against Quinnipiac.
- Harvard leads all teams in college hockey with 15 NHL Draft Picks on its roster. This marks the most picks that Harvard has had on one roster in the Ted Donato era (2004-present).
Harvard will open up the regular season at Bright-Landry Hockey Center next weekend with games against Dartmouth and Princeton on Oct. 28-29. Harvard’s game on Friday night will air at 7 pm and be streamed on ESPN+. Harvard’s game against Princeton on Oct. 29 starts at 8 p.m. and will air on NESN.