Junior forward Ryan Donato recorded his third career hat trick in Harvard's 4-1 win at Vermont. (Gil Talbot)
BURLINGTON, VT - Junior forward Ryan Donato had a four-point night including his third career hat trick, and senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made 27 saves to lead Harvard men's ice hockey (5-6-1) to a 4-1 win over Vermont (4-12-3) at the Catamount Cup.
For the second straight night, Harvard got off to a quick start, this time using the man advantage to take a one goal lead in the opening minutes.
Donato found Pelton-Byce in the slot, and the sophomore hit the top corner for his second goal of the season at 1:21. Vermont responded minutes later, as Ross Colton scored on a wrap-around at 3:35 to even the game.
Donato gave Harvard the lead after some good work along the side boards by freshman forward Henry Bowlby (two assists) led to a 1-on-1 rush. After corralling the puck, Donato cut to the middle of the ice and beat Tyler Harmon low at 8:42 of the opening period.
Then with under a minute to play in the opening period, Donato added his second goal of the frame, deflecting a Zerter-Gossage shot past Harmon at 19:43 to give Harvard a 3-1 lead.
Madsen was at his best in the second period, making all 14 stops and helping the Crimson kill off three second period power plays for Vermont.
The Crimson killed off two more Vermont power plays in the third, and Donato sealed the win for Harvard with an empty netter at 19:24.
- Junior forward Ryan Donato (three goals, assist) has points in 12 straight games to start the season. He leads the team with 20 points (12 goals, eight assists).
- Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made 27 saves on 28 shots to earn the win in net.
- Harvard's penalty kill finished the night 5-for-5, marking the eighth time that the Crimson has been perfect on the penalty kill in a game this season.
- Harvard held a 29-28 shot advantage for the game with Donato registering a game-high seven shots on net.
Harvard host Rensselaer and Union next weekend at Bright-Landry Hockey Center, with the Crimson taking on RPI on Friday night at 7 p.m. in a game that will air on NESN.