No. 8/7 Union Knocks Off No. 14/13 Men's Hockey, 6-2

Photo courtesy Justine Agaloos
Photo courtesy Justine Agaloos

Patrick McNally netted his first goal of the season Friday night against Union (Photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - In a game where penalties were a central theme, the No. 14/13 Harvard men's hockey team fell behind early and never caught up as No. 8/7 Union toppled the Crimson, 6-2, Friday night at Bright Hockey Center.

The two teams combined for 47 penalty minutes on the night, including 33 in the final frame, and the Dutchmen scored two goals in the first three minutes of the contest to race out to a quick lead to drop the Crimson to 2-2-0 overall and 1-2-0 in the ECAC. Union improves to 6-1-1 overall and 3-0-0 in conference.

Jimmy Vesey notched his third goal of his career for the Crimson, while Patrick McNally picked up his first of the season. Luke Greiner, Tommy O'Regan and Brian Hart all had assists for the Crimson.

The Dutchmen struck less than a minute into the game as Charlie Vasaturo's blast through a screen from the point found the back of the net to give the Dutchmen the advantage 41 seconds into the contest.

At the 17-minute mark, Union struck again on a Greg Coburn power play goal to extend its advantage to two. The Dutchmen worked the puck around the zone before Daniel Ciampani's centering pass found Coburn's stick, and he slid it into the goal.

Harvard broke through 1:32 in the second period as the Crimson capitalized on a three-on-two break. Greiner dropped the puck off to Vesey, who wristed a shot from in front of the net into the lower left corner to cut the deficit to one.

Troy Grosenick, Union's top goaltender, would exit the game just over a minute later after a violent collision just outside the crease, which put both teams on edge for the remainder of the contest.

Union answered with a pair of goals. The first coming just over four minutes later on Matt Hatch's third goal of the year from an almost identical spot on the ice as Vasaturo's goal. The Dutchmen extended their lead further with 3:10 to go in the second as goaltender Ralphael Girard strayed too far from the net and couldn't make it back in time to stop Ciampini's shot from the right side of the crease.

In the third, Union continued to extend the advantage, tallying two goals 1:08 seconds apart. Wayne Simpson struck at the 9:28 mark after a fortuitous ricochet careened in front of the net. Hatch added his second tally at 8:20 to push the Union lead to five.

Down the stretch, the Dutchmen were called for six penalties, while the Crimson was booked for five.

Harvard was able to take advantage in the waning moments of the contest, as McNally slipped a give-and-go feed from O'Regan past back-up netminder Colin Stevens to make the final margin of the game four.

The Crimson returns to action Saturday night at 7 p.m. against Rensselaer.