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Third-Period Goal Boosts Men’s Hockey Over No. 16/15 Colgate, 2-1

Danny Fick logged his first collegiate goal in the 2-1 win over the Raiders Friday (Gil Talbot).

Danny Fick's First Collegiate Goal

Phil Zielonka's Game-Winning Goal

HAMILTON, N.Y. –
Looking to grab valuable league points in its final weekend of regular-season action, the Harvard men's hockey team got off to a great start, riding a third-period goal to a 2-1 victory over No. 16/15 Colgate Friday at Starr Rink. Harvard improves to 10-14-4 overall and 6-11-4 in ECAC action, while Colgate drops to 16-12-5 and 12-6-3 in league play.

The win is Harvard's first at Starr Rink since 2006 when the Crimson posted a 4-1 win over the Raiders Nov. 11. It is also Harvard's second straight win over a ranked opponent on the road.

The Raiders made a point of possessing the puck early and looked controlled in the early minutes, sending a few pucks on Harvard goalie Steve Michalek. The first penalty of the night proved costly when Luke Esposito was tagged for a boarding call 6:39 into the first period, and Darcy Murphy fired a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle through traffic that nicked the pipe and went in for the power-play goal. Harvard had a great chance to answer back in the 14th minute, when consecutive Colgate penalties gave Harvard nearly 90 seconds of 5-on-3. The Crimson possessed the puck well, but couldn't beat Charlie Finn with any of its four shots.

The guests were finally able to level the score with less than five minutes to play in the first on the tail end of a penalty kill. Tyler Moy shoveled an outlet pass to Luke Esposito in the Harvard zone, and Esposito bolted up the right side of the ice. Just after crossing the Colgate blue line, Esposito lofted the puck towards the cage and senior Danny Fick swatted the puck out of the air and past Finn for the equalizer and his first ever goal as a member of the Crimson. The score stayed 1-1 through the remainder of the period, despite a late penalty on Harvard.

Both goalies stepped up their games in the second stanza, making a number of excellent saves to keep the game tied 1-1. One Harvard penalty and two Colgate infractions went by without incident, but the Raiders had their best chances late in the period at full strength. Raider forward Kyle Baun had a look at what appeared to be a wide open net in the final two minutes of the second, but Michalek swung his left pad out to stuff the put-back and smother the loose puck in the crease. The junior goalie totaled 24 saves through 40 minutes of action.

Colgate had the better chances through the first 10 minutes of the final period, but it was Harvard that took the lead just before the midway point of the period. A great hustle play by Greg Gozzo allowed him to disrupt a Colgate clearing attempt and flick the puck to a hard-charging Phil Zielonka. The rookie came right down the middle a fired a shot past Finn for his third goal of the season, giving the guests a 2-1 edge.  

Michalek continued to frustrate the Raiders until the final buzzer, finishing the game with 33 saves and picking up his fifth win of the season in net.