Third Period Rally Not Enough, as No. 11/13 Harvard Falls 4-2 at No. 6/7 Minnesota

Junior forward Ryan Donato helped Harvard earn a 2-2 tie against Quinnipiac on Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
Junior forward Ryan Donato helped Harvard earn a 2-2 tie against Quinnipiac on Saturday. (Gil Talbot)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A spirited third period was not enough to lift No. 11/13 Harvard men's ice hockey past No. 6/7 Minnesota, as the Crimson fell 4-2 to the Gophers on Friday night (Nov. 17) at Mariucci Arena.

Freshman forward Jack Badini scored his first collegiate goal, and junior forward Ryan Donato extended his point streak to six games with his fourth goal of the season, as Harvard scored twice in the third period to cut into the Gopher lead.

Badini scored on a rush up the ice, as classmate Reilly Walsh found him as the trailer on a 3-on-2 rush for a one-timer that beat Minnesota goaltender Eric Schierhorn (26 saves) between the pad at :52.

Donato made it a two-goal game at 9:50 of the third period, putting in a rebound on the short side after a great rush by freshman Henry Bowlby.

But Harvard could not convert on two power plays in the final 10:00 of the third period, and the Gophers hung on for the victory.

Brent Gates Jr. put Minnesota ahead 1-0, cutting out in front of the net and beating senior goaltender Merrick Madsen (23 saves) high at 13:22.

Rem Pitlick made it 2-0 Gophers, putting in a diagonal pass from Mittelstadt off the half-wall at 18:17.

Harvard had two great scoring chances in the second period off a Gopher defensive zone turnover, as junior forward Michael Floodstrand's chance from in close was kicked away by Schierhorn, and senior forward Eddie Ellis' follow up didn't get through.

But against the run of play, Steve Johnson took a long rebound of the back boards and tucked the puck into an open net on a wrap around.

Middelstadt made it 4-0 Gophers on a wrist shot from the high slot at 16:44 of the second period to give Minnesota a commanding lead.

Harvard Highlights:

  • Jack Badini became the third freshman to score in a game for Harvard this season, joining Henry Bowlby(2g) and Reilly Walsh (2g).
  • Sophomore defenseman Adam Fox (assist) has points in five of six games this season
  • Junior forward Ryan Donato (goal) has points in six straight games to start the season. He leads the team with eight points (four goals, four assists).

Game Notes:

  • The Crimson penalty kill went 4-for-4 on the night and is now 27-for-30 (90.0%) on the season
  • Minnesota now leads the all-time series against Harvard 23-7-0, as the Crimson sought its second straight win against the Gophers, two years after beating Minnesota, 4-3 (ot), at the Mariucci Classic in 2016.

What's Next:
Harvard takes on Minnesota tomorrow night with puck drop scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET).