Harvard finding great success while playing a man up

 (Tim Brule)
Harvard celebrates a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Cornell on Nov. 5 (photo: Melissa Wade).
Working on the power play, Harvard has been one of the best in the nation so far this season, converting 23.8 percent of the time.One of the keys to the Crimson’s success has been two freshmen defensemen in Adam Fox and John Marino.Fox, who’s out of the U.S. National Team Development Program, has contributed five of his eight assists this season on the man advantage. A third-round pick of the Calgary Flames in this past summer’s NHL Draft, Fox still looking for for his first collegiate goal, but has put up a point in six of the eight games so far.Harvard coach Ted Donato praised Fox after the 5-2 victory over Boston College last Friday night where he had two assists, both on the power play.”Give (BC) credit, I thought they their goalie made some big saves and did a nice job taking away some things we are trying to do,” Donato said. “Quite frankly, I thought the pass by Fox on (Alexander) Kerfoot’s goal was a really outstanding play. You need a guy to make an outstanding play. It kind of changed the momentum, it gave us some life on the bench.”Kerfoot’s goal tied the game at one with 6:08 remaining in the second period. His second assist came on Harvard’s fourth goal of the contest when Tyler Moy notched his second goal of the game and fifth of the season.Marino, the North Easton, Mass., native and seventh-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2015, has been more quiet offensively, but that doesn’t mean his impact hasn’t been felt.”(Fox) is a talented guy, we are excited he’s on our team,” Donato said. “He’s a guy that makes others around him better. He got a lot of poise with the puck. I though both he and John Marino, who’s also a freshman playing against Boston College, a big game for a local kid. We have a lot of reason to be excited on well they performed [last Friday] night.”Marino has a goal and two assists in eight games.The Crimson has spread the wealth around when it comes to scoring on the man advantage. Luke Esposito, Lewis Zerter-Gossage and Kerfoot each have a pair of goals. Rounding out the scoring is Ryan Donato and Seb Lloyd.After Fox, Moy has the second most assists on the power play with three, followed by Viktor Dombrovskiy, who had his only two assists so far this season in the 6-2 victory over Arizona State.

RPI still trying to get the engines running

Rensselaer is currently on a six-game losing streak, which is its third losing streak of the season. The Engineers are 2-11-1 on the season.What has been the problem as they approach the midway point of their season? Trying to find confidence.”We are young and immature,” RPI coach Seth Appert said after the 5-0 loss to New Hampshire on Tuesday night. “We are trying to work through that and I am trying to help our guys. Our seniors haven’t been go-to guys in their career. Riley Bourbonnais, a little bit towards the end of last year. We’ve had older guys above them. We’ve had the Jason Kasdorf’s, the Zach Schroeder’s and Chris Bradley.”We’ve had a lot of guys that logged a lot of minutes, but the pressure of leading. We are struggling with that right now. It’s just the reality.”Seventeen of the 27 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores with only four seniors this season.”We lost some games late in the first month of the season in the third period,” Appert said. “That shook our confidence a little bit. Right now, we are coming out a little tentative mentally. It’s almost like you are waiting for something bad to happen before you get start playing a little bit. We have to fight through that, I have to help my guys through that. Our staff hasn’t done a good enough job, I haven’t done a good enough job figuring that out yet to help this group finding their identity, finding their way to play the way we need to be successful.”In that first month, RPI had a 2-1 lead going into the third period on Oct. 8 against Maine before losing 4-2. On Oct. 21, RPI took a 3-2 lead in the third period against Niagara before the Purple Eagles tied it with 3:14 remaining. The game ended in a tie. Then on Nov. 5, the Engineers had a 2-0 in the third period before Yale scored twice and then in overtime for the 3-2 victory.RPI is looking to stop the losing skid this weekend, heading to the Valley of the Sun to take on the Sun Devils. If the Engineers do pick up a victory this weekend, it will be their first away from the Houston Field House.

Players of the Week

On Tuesday night, the ECAC announced the three players of the week for this past weekend.Mike Marnell, a junior forward for St. Lawrence, was named the Player of the Week with his four goals in the 7-2 victory over Brown. He has now surpassed his point total from last season where he had 13 points. This year, he has 15 points, including seven goals, which matches his total from 2015-16.Clarkson’s Devin Brosseau picked up his second and third goals of his NCAA career against Brown on Friday night. That was good enough to pick up the Rookie of the Week honors. He now sits second on the team in points with 12, one behind Jordan Boucher.Harvard’s Merrick Madsen won the Goaltender of the Week honor with the 5-2 victory over BC. On the year, he’s 5-2-1 with a 2.18 GAA and a .915 save percentage.