Union men’s hockey outsmarted at Harvard

College hockey

Photo provided by Union Athletics

BOSTON, Mass. –- The sixth-ranked Union College hockey team found itself in a 4-0 hole and it could not battle its way back, falling 6-2 against No. 4/5 Harvard, Friday night at the Bright-Landry Center. The Dutchmen go to 19-8-2 overall and 12-4-1 in ECAC Hockey, while the Crimson moves to 17-5-2 overall and 12-4-2 in league play.

Mike Vecchione produced his Division I-leading 23 goal and 17th multi-point game for Union, also adding an assist. Sebastian Vidmar contributed a goal and an assist and Brett Supinski chipped in with a pair of helpers. In goal, Jake Kupsky made 13 saves over the first 32:01, while Joe Young turned away all 13 shots he faced in 26:17 of relief.

Ryan Donato led Harvard with four goals, including two empty-net tallies. Crimson goaltender Merrick Madsen made 32 saves, including 15 in the final frame.

Harvard jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:02 into the first when Donato jammed home a backhand after forcing a turnover in front of the Union net.

The Crimson added three goals in the second period to build a four-goal cushion. Donato doubled the lead at 7:44, burying a wrist shot high on the glove side from the top of the right circle. Viktor Dombrovskiy extended the advantage at 11:38, beating a screened Kupsky with a shot from the point, and Sean Malone made it 4-0 23 seconds later, scoring from in tight after a behind-the-net pass from Luke Esposito.

Vecchione finally got Union on the board at 2:59 of the third with his fourth goal in the last three games. Vidmar won a battle for the puck along the endboards and fed Vecchione, who fired a one-timer past Madsen from the bottom of the right circle. Vidmar cut the deficit to 4-2 at 8:59 with his 12th goal of the season, batting a rebound out of mid-air after Madsen turned away Vecchione’s initial shot, but that’s as close as it would get.

Donato completed the hat trick at 17:45 with an empty net goal and added another at 19:46 to cap the 6-2 win.

Union finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Harvard, which entered the game with the fourth-ranked power play in the nation (26.5%) was 0-for-3.

The Dutchmen return to action tomorrow night, taking on Dartmouth at 7 p.m.