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Saturday, March 17, 2012
ECAC: Harvard rolls; faces Union for title

By Brion O'Connor

With an NCAA bid on the line, Harvard will take on 6th-ranked Union in the ECAC Hockey title game on Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J., after the Crimson dispatched 13th-ranked Cornell, 6-1, in semifinal play on Friday.

The No. 3 seed Crimson (13-9-11) scored the game’s first six goals, including two tallies each from Alex Killorn and Marshall Everson, to deny the No. 2 seed Big Red a fourth consecutive appearance in the ECAC finals. Instead, Harvard will be appearing in its seventh championship game in the past 11 years, with the hopes of securing the school’s ninth league title.

Cornell, which had beaten and tied Harvard during the regular season, had no answer for Ted Donato’s squad on Friday. Crimson goaltender Raphael Girard had 18 saves and came within 66 seconds of recording his first playoff shutout, when Cornell’s Joel Lowry finally got a puck past the sophomore at 18:54.

In its last two games, which included a 8-2 quarterfinal win over Yale, Harvard has outscored its opponents 14-3. Union, meanwhile, also won handily on Friday, ousting Colgate by a 6-2 score. The Dutchmen and the Crimson will meet at 7:30 Saturday at Boardwalk Hall, with Harvard needing to win to get the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.