Union-Princeton postgame report (with 3 videos)
A look back at 11th-ranked Union’s 3-0 victory over Princeton on Friday.
Pedal to the medal
The scoreboard may have read 3-0 in Union’s favor, but the Dutchmen dominated an depleted Princeton team.
The Dutchmen outshot the Tigers, 34-20. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Kevin Sullivan and Daniel Ciampini, the Dutchmen continued to apply the pressure. If it wasn’t for Tigers goalie Colton Phinney, who made 31 saves, the score could have been much worse.
Union also had four shots hit the post, three of which came in the second period. Michael Vecchione was a victim of one of those shots, and he hit the crossbar in the third period, too.
After blowing a lead in last Saturday’s game at Penn State, the fifth time that had happened this season, the Dutchmen may be finally realizing the importance of playing hard with the lead.
“That’s something we learned from this past weekend at Penn State in the first game, when we were up, 3-0, and gave up the lead,” Sullivan said. “We’re learning a little bit to star putting teams away, and stick to our game and get shots on net.”
The Tigers were missing eight players because of injuries, including their top two scorers from last season, Andrew Calof and Tyler Maugeri. Princeton dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen. It lost left winger Andrew Ammon to a major penalty and game misconduct for hitting Dutchmen defenseman Charlie Vasaturo from behind late in the second period.
The Dutchmen didn’t feel sorry for them. They just kept on pressing the issue. Mat Bodie sealed the deal with an historic goal for him (more on that below).
“We’re going to look back and see some things that we need to correct, and the guys are pretty sharp,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “But all in all, I thought they did what we asked. You’re not going to have a perfect game, we understand that. We’re going to keep striving for it. They did some great things. It was nice to finish it that off at the end of the game. Matt Wilkins made a heck of a play, and Mat Bodie just had a great play and a good shot off of the rush.”
It seems like when goalie Colin Stevens has an off game, he bounces back the next time.
That was the case again Friday. After getting pulled midway through the second period from last Sunday’s game against Penn State, when he allowed four goals on 12 shots, Stevens stopped all 20 shots he faced against Princeton.
“It was a big game,” Stevens said. “All the boys played really well in front of me.”
Stevens, the Niskayuna native, faced only four shots in the second period. No save was bigger than the one he made while Union was on the power play with 13:36 left.
Dutchmen defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere lost control of the puck at the right point in the Princeton zone. Jonathan Liau scooped it up and went in on a breakaway. Stevens came out on top of his crease, waited for Liau to make the first move and then make a glove save on a wrist shot.
“I just tried to get out of my net and challenge as much as possible, and then match his speed coming back in,” Stevens said. “I was able to make the save, which was nice.”
Stevens earned his second shutout of the season, and fifth of his career.
“It was great to Colin Stevens rebound,” Bennett said. “That’s what good goaltenders do, and he did a great job of that. I thought he created a sense of calm for us when it got a little scramblely out there.”
Bodie hits 100 points
Bodie had a goal and an assist in the game to reach 100 career points. Bodie became the first Union defenseman, and 11th player overall in the program’s Division I history, to reach 100 points. He got his 99th point assisting on Sullivan’s goal, a power-play tally.
The milestone point came on Bodie’s first goal of the season, a soft wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat a screened Phinney with 1:06 left in the game.
“It was great to land Mat Bodie at the time because he could have [gone] anywhere in the country,” Bennett said. “He wanted to be part of this building process. He’s become almost a catalyst of it. It’s great to see him get 100 points here, and to do some great things here. But if you ask him, he’s far from finished.”
Bodie has 21 goals and 79 assists in 128 career games.
“It’s pretty cool,” Bodie said. “There’s a lot of people for me to thank for reaching that. We had some very good goal scorers where you just put it on their stick and they do the rest. It’s a cool achievement, but later in life, I’ll be able to look back on it. Tonight, I’m just happy with the two points and looking ahead to tomorrow [against Quinnipiac].”
Carr in, Ikkala out
After missing the first two games of his Union career last weekend, left winger Daniel Carr returned to the lineup. He had an assist on Sullivan’s goal giving him 122 career points. Carr is 10 points away from surpassing Adam Presizniuk as the Dutchmen’s all-time leading scorer at the Division I level.
Carr also had a tripping penalty in the game.
“I thought Dan, for the ice time that he had, did a great job,” Bennett said. “I’m sure he wanted to take one of those penalties back. But, hey, when you’re aggressive, that’s stuff’s going to happen.”
Carr took Cole Ikkala’s spot on the line with center David Roy and right winger Sam Coatta. Bennett said Ikkala is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
— Union won 42 of 72 faceoffs. David Roy was 9-for-12. Eli Lichtenwald was 13-for-25.
— Gostisbehere led all players in shots on goal with six. However, his point-scoring streak ended at five games.
— Ciampini extended his point-scoring streak to five games.
— There was a bit of a mix-up at the beginning of the game. Phinney was supposed to start, but Princeton coach Bob Prier circled Sean Bonar instead. Bonar had to start the game. Otherwise, Princeton would have been penalized for an illegal starting lineup.
Bonar played the first 53 seconds before Phinney came in.
I have three postgame videos.
To see Bennett’s press conference, click here.
To see Stevens’ and Bodie’s press conference, click here.
To see Sullivan’s press conference, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Colin Stevens, Union goalie — Made 20 saves and earned second shutout of the season.
2) Mat Bodie, Union defenseman — Had a goal and an assist to reach 100 points.
3) Colton Phinney, Princeton goalie — Made 31 saves in solid effort.
That is all from Messa Rink. I’ll be back with you Saturday night for the game against Quinnipiac.
Good Night! Good Hockey!