SCHENECTADY — Michael Beynon picked a good time to get into a fight.
The Union College senior defenseman mixed it up with the University of New Brunswick’s Joshua Hepditch in the second period of the Dutchmen’s 8-3 loss in Sunday’s Pete Kelly Tournament championship game. Had the contest been played in the United States under NCAA rules, Beynon would have received a game disqualification and a one-game suspension.
But since the game was played in Fredericton, New Brunswick, under Canadian Interuniversity League rules, Beynon got a game misconduct. That means he will be eligible to play in the Dutchmen’s non-league game against Connecticut tonight at 7 at Messa Rink.
“Fighting’s a little bit more a part of the game up there,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “We knew that going in. Unfortunately, it was a situation where they were taking a liberty, and Mike stood up for the team. There were things going on after the whistle with our goalie [Corey Milan].”
Beynon, who picked up 17 penalty minutes in the game — he was also issued a two-minute minor for roughing — laughed at the suggestion it was better for him to get into a fight in Canada than in the U.S.
“I’m happy to be able to play this weekend, for sure,” Beynon said. “I didn’t really plan it. It’s one of those things that happened. Now that it’s over with, I’m glad that I can play.”
Leaman believes Beynon’s fight was good for the team.
“That was the best thing about the weekend,” Leaman said. “It
really brought our team together very well because we were up there representing U.S. college hockey, and I told our guys that beforehand, and not to mention representing Union. I think they all took a little pride in that, and they all wanted to play and win that championship. When ‘Beyno’ stepped up, it was another kind of signal that the guys are coming together well.”
Beynon doesn’t want to read too much into whether or not his fight brought the team closer.
“I don’t really think it did any more than just a fight,” Beynon said. “That’s all it was.”
The game against UConn (5-11-1)
and Saturday’s contest at Army are the last two non-league games for Union (4-8-3). Leaman would like to see the Dutchmen continue to play as well as they did in the first two games of their Canadian trip. They beat UNB, 7-5, prior to the tournament, and then took a 3-1 decision against St. Thomas in the first round.
“I was happy with the way the team played in Canada,” Leaman said. “We ran out of gas the last night. In the first two games, we took two big steps in our development, as far as playing poised, with composure, as far as our work ethic. The big thing is we have to match these two teams’ work ethics, at least, if not outwork them. The big challenge this weekend is to bring our work ethic back-to-back nights like we did up there on the first two nights.”
Dutchmen forwards Sam Bowles and Torren Delforte are questionable this weekend. Delforte was injured in the first UNB game, and Bowles was hurt in the second
one. . . .
Union won last year’s meeting with UConn, 7-2, in Storrs, Conn. In the last meeting between the two teams at Messa, the Huskies rallied for a 4-4 tie Oct. 15, 2005. . . .
The Huskies are coming off a 9-1 loss to Yale on Wednesday. . . .
The Dutchmen last visited Army on Nov. 19, 1999, taking a 7-1 victory. Union is 8-0-1 in the last nine meetings with Army, including last season’s 4-1 win.
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