Union Dutchman lose 4-1 against 9th ranked Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (NEWS10) – The Union College men’s ice hockey team was knocked off by ninth-ranked Harvard, 4-1, in an ECAC Hockey contest on Saturday night at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The Dutchmen go to 11-11-8 overall and 4-9-5 in ECAC Hockey, while the Crimson, which snapped a 12-game winless drought against Union, moves to 14-8-3 overall and 10-5-3 in league play.

Matt Wilkins provided the lone goal for Union, netting his fifth of the season. Mike Vecchione recorded his fourth point of the weekend with an assist, extending his point streak to four games, and Nick DeSimone added a helper. In goal, Alex Sakellaropoulos made 17 saves on 20 shots over the first 39:55, while Jake Kupsky turned away all eight shots he faced over the final 20:05.

Ryan Donato tallied his first career hat trick to lead Harvard. Sean Malone added a goal and Kyle Criscuolo and Brayden Jaw each had a pair of assists. In goal, Merrick Madsen made 24 saves on 25 shots.

Wilkins looked to have put Union in front at 6:32 of the first, redirecting Jeff Taylor’s shot from the point past Madsen, but the goal was waved off for a high stick.

Harvard pulled in front at 17:50 of the opening period, as Donato got the slightest of touches on a Jaw point shot after it caromed off the body of Criscuolo.

The Crimson took advantage of two power plays in the closing minutes of the second, extending its lead to 3-0 heading into final stanza.

Malone roofed a wrist shot from the slot, beating Sakellaropoulos on the blocker side at 16:49 and Donato potted the team’s third of the night, jamming in his own rebound at 19:55.

Wilkins finally provided the break through for Union 31 seconds into the third, tipping home a DeSimone blast to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Dutchmen nearly found their second of the night on a power play midway through the frame, but Gingras’ backhand rang off the post, and that’s as close as they would get.

Donato sealed the win for the Crimson late in the third, potting an empty-net goal at 19:21 to make it 4-1.

Harvard outshot Union 29-25 and finished 2-for-4 with the man advantage while holding the Dutchmen scoreless on their three power-play opportunities.

Union returns to Messa Rink for it final regular season homestand next weekend, hosting Princeton at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19 before taking on #1/1 Quinnipiac at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20.

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