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November 26. 2013 11:50PM

Third-period outburst lifts Harvard past UNH

DURHAM — Back to even.

Harvard struck for a pair of quick goals late in the third period to take command on the way to a 6-3 win over No. 20-ranked New Hampshire in front of 4,661 on Tuesday night at the Whittemore Center.

“It was very, very disappointing, the way we played, especially after we got it tied up,” said UNH coach Dick Umile. “We came back in the third period and tied it up and from that point on we gave up two horrendous goals. It wasn’t one particular person. Bad effort.”

Former Boston Bruin and Manchester Monarch Ted Donato, now in his 10th season as Harvard coach, has won three straight games against the Wildcats.

The Wildcats, who had a six-game win streak snapped at Providence on Saturday night, evened up their record at 7-7-1. Harvard improved to 4-5-1.

A pair of goals 41 seconds apart with less than seven minutes to play broke open.

Sophomore Kyle Criscuolo put the puck toward the crease from behind the red line and it deflected off UNH goalie Jeff Wyer and into the net to make it 4-3 with 6:52 to play.

It was Criscuolo’s second goal of the night.

Tommy O’Regan blasted a shot past Wyer from close range with 6:11 left for 5-3.

“The fifth one was pathetic coverage on our part,” Umile said. “Guy out front, by himself.”

Raphael Girard made 33 saves for the win. Wyer had 15 saves.

Patrick McNally’s shorthanded, empty-net goal finished the scoring.

The Wildcats move on to a series at Colorado College. They play the Tigers, who are 1-8-2, on Friday and Saturday nights.

UNH follows Colorado with a pair of games against Boston College. They are at BC on Dec. 6 and play the Eagles at the Whittemore Center the next night.

Down 3-2 to open the third period, the Wildcats tied it on a power play goal by senior forward Dalton Speelman. Speelman poked away during a scramble in front of the net and eventually got the puck past Girard.

Grayson Downing and Tyson Kelleher had assists.

Harvard jumped in front with a pair of goals in the first half of the second period.

Freshman Luke Esposito opened the scoring at 3:36 of the period and Criscuolo converted a pass from McNally for 2-0 at 9:23.

UNH got things even with a couple of quick ones.

Sophomore Dan Correale scored the first with a highlight-film move to get around a defender, move in tight on Girard and lift a shot over him and under the crossbar with 4:01 left in the second period.

Downing tied it a minute and a half later. Kevin Goumas and Justin Agosta had assists.

Harvard took the lead right back just over a minute later. Freshman Alexander Kerfoot broke through the middle and got in alone on Wyer and took a shot that broke through the goalie’s pads and into the net.

UNH tied it once more, before the Crimson pulled away.

______

Harvard’s Esposito comes from a long line of hockey players. Perhaps not the line that first comes to mind, though. His uncle is Mark Messier, the former Oiler, Ranger and Canuck standout who won six Stanley Cups. . . . Colorado College has struggled to score goals. The Tigers have just 15 goals in their 11 games. They have given up 31.

Last weekend, CC tied at St. Cloud State 2-2 on Friday night and lost on Saturday, 6-2.


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