Gophers Take Series Finale from Crimson, 3-1

Harvard took the lead within eight minutes of the opening faceoff (photo courtesy Jim Rosvold).

MINNEAPOLIS—Minnesota scored once in each period to come back from a one-goal deficit and defeat the Harvard men’s hockey team, 3-1, in the finale of a two-game series Saturday night in front of a crowd of 9,876 at Mariucci Arena.

Colin Moore scored to give Harvard (2-10-2) an early lead, but Cade Fairfield scored late in the period and Nick Larson scored twice to put the Golden Gophers (11-10-1) ahead. Kyle Richter made 40 saves for the second straight night, while Kent Patterson stopped 21 shots for Minnesota, which held a 43-22 shots advantage.

Harvard jumped on top eight minutes into the game. David Valek won a loose puck at center ice and banked a pass off the right boards to Moore. The sophomore belted a slap shot from the blue line that snuck through Patterson and over the goal line for Moore’s first goal of the season. The Gophers evened the score in the final minute in the frame, when Fairchild scored from the point on the game’s first power play. Minnesota outshot Harvard, 13-9, in the period.

Larson gave the Gophers the lead as the second period neared its midpoint. He skated down the left side and behind the goal line and shoveled the puck into the Harvard crease, where it bounced off a skate and into the net. Harvard created good chances on power plays early in the period and right after Larson’s goal, but Patterson and Minnesota took a 2-1 advantage to the locker room after holding a 14-7 edge in second-period shots.

Larson doubled his goal total and his team’s lead 11 seconds into the third period, bringing puck through the left side of the zone and tucking it past Richter on the rush. The Gophers thought they had added another goal at 6:18, but video review showed a Minnesota player lying on top of Richter in the crease when the shot was taken. The Crimson, however, could not take advantage, and the Gophers held on for the series sweep.