First-year defenseman Jack Rathbone recorded two assists against Union. (Matt Woolverton)
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A late season push for the Cleary Cup fell just short on Saturday night (March 2) as No. 15/16 Harvard men's ice hockey (17-9-3, 13-7-2 ECAC Hockey) fell 4-3, to Union (17-11-6, 10-10-2 ECAC Hockey) at Messa Rink in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Crimson clinched the No. 4 seed and a bye in the ECAC Hockey playoffs and will host the highest seed to advance from the first round of the playoffs on March 15-17 in a best-of-three series.
The Crimson got off to a quick start, as Walsh took a pass from sophomore forward Jack Donato and beat Kupsky over the shoulder with a hard wrist shot at 2:44 to put the Crimson ahead 1-0.
Harvard had two power play chances in the opening frame but could not extend its lead. On the other end of the ice, Gornet was excellent, stopping Anthony Rinaldi's breakaway chance at 12:44, the best of his 11 saves in the first period.
Union's Brandon Estes tied the game at 6:15 of the second period with a shot through traffic from the point. Then the Dutchmen took the lead on Sebastian Vidmar's goal from just outside the crease at 10:48.
Union jumped out to two-goal leads twice in the third period, but Harvard battled back. First Zerter-Gossage jammed in a rebound at 6:57 to make it 3-2.
Harvard had a 5-on-3 power play opportunity minutes later but could not convert. After a deflection by Union's Ryan Walker at 14:12 made it 4-2, Deveaux scored with 18 seconds left to cut the lead to one. But Harvard could not find the tying goal in the closing seconds.
- Sophomore defenseman Reilly Walsh (goal) has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 13 games, and four goals in his last five contests.
- First-year defenseman Jack Rathbone (two assists) has points in four straight games and eight points (2-6-8) in his last eight games overall.
- Junior defenseman Adam Fox (two assists) recorded his team leading 11th multiple-point game. He has 40 points (eight goals, 32 assists) on the year.
- Harvard ended the regular season winning 13 of its last 18 ECAC Hockey contests (13-5-0).
- The Crimson scored three or more goals for the eighth consecutive game and has 30 goals (3.75/game) in that span.