CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Good evening and welcome inside Bright-Landry Hockey Center where fourth-ranked Harvard drops the puck for the final time in 2014 at 7 p.m., playing host to ECAC foe Rensselaer in the 92nd installment of a series that dates back to 1951.
Harvard was a 4-0 winner over the Russian Red Stars in a Sunday night exhibition game that did not count towards its 9-1-2 record, but holds the nation's longest current winning streak at six games. Its overall .833 winning percentage tops the Division 1 ranks.
Before holiday break, the Crimson swept a conference road weekend Dec. 5-6 at Princeton (4-3) and Quinnipiac (5-2) and haven't lost since Nov. 15 against Yale.
Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey has scored a point in all 12 games so far in his junior season for Harvard and leads the team with nine goals and 17 points. Senior Patrick McNally (Vancouver Canucks) leads the nation's defensemen with 1.25 points per-game on a 4-11--15 line.
On the flip side, RPI has lost its last five games and is 1-6-1 over eight. Freshman Drew Melanson, the team's second leading scorer to sophomore Riley Bourbonnais, has missed three consecutive games. After being absent for five straight games, junior goaltender Jason Kasdorf (Winnipeg Jets) is set to return between the pipes tonight.
The Engineers spotted Boston University three goals in the second after a scoreless first in a 5-1 loss in Troy, N.Y. in their last game on Dec. 13. Slovakian junior Milos Bubela, who has missed five games this year, scored the lone goal in that contest.
The Crimson hold a 49-36-6 advantage in the all-time series, including a 11-6-4 mark under 11th-year head coach Ted Donato. Senior Steve Michalek (Minnesota Wild) needed to make just 14 saves and Vesey scored twice in a 4-0 win at RPI on Nov. 7, Harvard's fourth consecutive shutout in as many victories over the Engineers.
Here are tonight's lines:
Mark McGowan - Milos Bubela - Jimmy DeVito
Jake Wood - Matt Neal - Riley Bourbonnais
Drew Melanson - Zach Schroeder - Jacob Laliberte
Travis Fulton - XX - Kenny Gillespie
Curtis Leonard - Chris Bradley
Luke Curadi - Parker Reno
Michael Prapavessis - Jared Wilson
(extra) Bradley Bell
Jimmy Vesey - Tyler Moy - Kyle Criscuolo
Greg Gozzo - Luke Esposito - Brian Hart
Seb Lloyd - Sean Malone - Jake Horton
Devin Tringale - Eddie Ellis - Phil Zielonka
Patrick McNally - Desmond Bergin
Max Everson - Kevin Guiltinan
Wiley Sherman - Clay Anderson