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Minnesota Scores Four in Third, Tops Harvard

Morin scored the fourth and fifth goals of his career and notched his first two-goal game (photo courtesy Patrick Shanahan).

MINNEAPOLIS—Minnesota scored four goals in the third period to overcome two goals by Crimson senior Chad Morin and pull away to a 5-2 win against the Harvard men’s hockey team Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

Kyle Richter made 40 saves and Daniel Moriarty had two assists for Harvard (2-9-2) in a game that was tied at 1-1 after two periods. Luke Greiner and Matt McCollem also had assists. Greiner, from Faribault, Minn., and Edina native Marshall Everson were played their first collegiate game in their home state in front of a crowd of 9,787. It was also the first game against Minnesota for Ted Donato ’91, the Robert D. Ziff Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey, since he scored twice to help the Crimson win the 1989 NCAA title game.

Tony Lucia and Nico Sacchetti each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Gophers (10-10-1), who held a 45-22 shots edge and got 20 saves from Alex Kangas. Lucia’s goal was an empty-netter with two seconds remaining in the game.

Michael Biega got Harvard off to a good start with a huge center-ice hit on Cade Fairchild about a minute into the action, leading to a scoring chance by Alex Killorn, but Kangas was there to deny Killorn’s backhand shot and rebound bid. It was the Gophers got on the board first at 2:05. Sacchetti caused a turnover in the Harvard defensive zone and got the puck to Jake Hansen for a backhand shot and goal. Minnesota took the 1-0 lead and a 13-8 shots advantage to the first intermission.

Richter was the star of the second period, keeping Minnesota off the scoreboard despite a 13-5 edge in shots. He kept Harvard within a goal until Morin, known more for his strong defensive play, put in his first tally since Jan. 4, 2008. Rushing up the right side Moriarty got the puck from McCollem, waited for Kangas to commit and slid a smooth backdoor pass to Morin for the finish on the post.

Minnesota applied more pressure following the goal and drew a penalty just before the end of the second period. Jacob Cepis capilalized just 53 seconds into the third, finding the puck in a crowd in front of Richter and scoring. Sacchetti made it 3-1 with a shot into the top corner as he was being knocked to the ice by a Ryan Grimshaw body check.

Zach Budish added a rebound goal at 11:06 before each team scored during the game’s final 83 seconds. Harvard briefly cut the lead to two goals on Morin’s second tally. Luke Greiner won the puck to Moriarty, who dropped it off to Morin skating into the left corner. He centered the puck toward Greiner, who was charging to the net, and it slid past Kangas after hitting a skate. The Gophers then survived some more Harvard pressure before sealing the win with an empty-net goal from Lucia.