Union-Yale ECAC Hockey semifinals postgame report (with 3 videos)
Union didn’t play a perfect game against Yale in their ECAC Hockey tournament semifinal game Friday night.
But it was very close to perfection.
Goalie Troy Grosenick stopped all 34 he faced, the penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5 and first-period goals by Wayne Simpson and Daniel Carr ignited the fourth-seeded Dutchmen to a 5-0 victory over the third-seeded Bulldogs at Boardwalk Hall.
“I wouldn’t say it was a perfect game,” Union center Max Novak said, “but it’s not one that we’d be too upset about.”
Except for a couple of stretches, Union dominated Yale. The Dutchmen scored the game’s first goal less than three minutes in when Simpson fired a twister wrister from the left circle over goalie Jeff Malcolm’s glove.
Carr scored late in the first when his wrister found its way through Malcolm’s pads. It looked like a stoppable shot.
If Yale had any hopes of a comeback, they were quickly dashed in the first five minutes of the second period.
Max Novak scored on a 2-on-1 break, roofing a shot over Malcolm’s left shoulder. Then, with 15:00 left in the period, Josh Jooris tipped a Matt Wilkins shot past Malcolm. Game, set and match.
Grosenick was outstanding. He was able to see a lot of Yale’s shots
“Your D-men and your forwards were blocking shots and letting [me] see the puck,” Grosenick said. “That’s a team win, and that’s what it takes to win in the playoffs.”
And now, Union gets Brown in the championship games. Yes, the old nemesis.
The seventh-seeded Bears shocked top-seeded Quinnipiac, 4-0. Brown dominated the Bobcats in every aspect of the game.
If Union wants to become the first team to win consecutive tournament titles since St. Lawrence in 2000 and 2001, it will need to play like it did against Yale.
One thing on Union’s side: The experience of playing in a title game.
“That’s going to be big,” Jooris said. “We’ve been here before, so we’re going to use that to our advantage.”
Union is 14th. It looks like it will need to win in order to make the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.
I have three postgame videos.
To see Union press conference, click here.
To see my interview with Jooris, click here.
To my interview with Novak, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Troy Grosenick, Union goalie — Made 34 saves.
2) Matt Wilkins, Union right winger— Had two assists.
3) Wayne Simpson, Union right winger — Open the scoring with a goal less than three minutes into the game.
That’s all from Boardwalk Hall. I’ll be back with you Saturday night for the championship game.
Good Night! Good Hockey!