Union Takes Over 1st Place in ECAC with 4th Straight Win

Posted at: 01/24/2014 11:33 PM
Updated at: 01/24/2014 11:43 PM
By: Union Athletics & WNYT Sports

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Third-ranked Union moved back into sole possession of first place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 4-3 victory over Harvard before a sellout crowd of 2,169 on White Out Night at Messa Rink.  With the win, Union swept the season series from Harvard (5-11-3/2-9-3), while also improving to 7-0 against Ivy League competition.

The Dutchmen (16-4-3/10-2-0) have won four straight games, and earned 20 of a possible 24 points in the chase for the Cleary Cup, which is awarded to the league's regular season champion.

Harvard opened a 1-0 lead behind Alexander Kerfoot's goal at 4:30 of the first period, before Union responded with three straight tallies.  Mike Vecchione, returning after missing four games to injury, notched his sixth goal of the season at 13:28 to make it a 1-1 contest after the first period.

Kevin Sullivan and Matt Hatch added second period goals to put Union up, 3-1. Union finished with a 14-7 shot advantage in the second period.

After Brian Hart drew the Crimson to 3-2 midway through the third period, Union answered back quickly, striking just two minutes later.  Hatch buried his second goal of the night on a one-timer after Michael Pontarelli provided a pass across the slot.  Hatch's three points matched a career-high while Pontarelli finished with a pair of assists.

The Crimson added a late goal at 13:42, but couldn't find the equalizer despite pulling their goaltender Steve Michalek with 1:12 left in regulation.  At the other end, Colin Stevens made 23 stops to improve his record to 13-2-1.

Union will meet arch-rival Rensselaer tomorrow night in the second annual Capital District Mayor's Cup at the Times Union Center in Albany.  Faceoff is 7:30 p.m.