About the only thing Union did wrong this weekend was break the Capital Skates Trophy. Of course, no one was owning up to it in the joyous Dutchmen locker room Saturday at Houston Field House.
“That’s the rumor I heard,” Dutchmen forward Josh Coyle said. “I’m not verifying that. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Coyle’s tongue was firmly planted in cheek. He and his Dutchmen have every right to be happy.
The red-hot Dutchmen ended a perfect weekend against slumping Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, posting a 4-1 ECAC Hockey victory and taking the Capital Skates Trophy for winning the two league games.
The Dutchmen (5-3-2 ECACH 10-8-3 overall), who got a 2-1 victory over the Engineers in Friday’s game at Messa Rink, tied a team record with their sixth straight win.
Union also moved into a tie for fourth place with Cornell and Harvard, which were both idle.
“Right now, we’re finding ways to win games,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “Early in the year, we were finding ways to lose games a little bit.”
The opposite can be said about the Engineers (3-6-2, 8-14-3). After being ranked in the national polls for two months, and playing some of the top teams in the country, RPI lost its ninth straight game.
Desperate to wake up his team, RPI coach Seth Appert made some lineup changes. Appert scratched Andrei Uryadov, the team’s second-leading scorer, and Seth Klerer. Taking their places were Paul Kerins, who didn’t play Friday, and Tyler Eaves, who was making his season debut. Eaves sat out the first half of the year for personal reasons.
Also returning to the RPI lineup was defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer, who was suspended two games for a major hit-from-behind penalty against Cornell last Friday. And Mathias Lange started in goal instead of Jordan Alford, who made 41 saves Friday.
It didn’t help, nor did scoring the first goal of the game for the second straight night. And not even killing off Dan Peace’s major fighting penalty early in the second could spark the Engineers.
“Our young men have to be accountable to how hard they’re competing,” Appert said. “We can’t control our skill level. We can work on it, and we do in practice. We can control our effort and our intensity on a shift-to-shift basis.”
Jonathan Ornelas gave RPI a 1-0 lead 6:47 into the game. Just like Friday, Union got that one back quickly. John Simpson skated down the left wing and fired a shot over Lange’s left shoulder 55 seconds later.
Stephane Boileau got a power-play goal with 7:35 left in the first. He was cutting through the slot when he redirected Lane Caffaro’s pass past Lange’s left pad.
Any momentum RPI could have generated after Peace’s penalty expired ended when Josh Coyle scored at 4:27 of the second, converting a Matt Cook pass on a two-on-one break.
“In between periods, we talked about that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we didn’t score [on the power play],” Coyle said. “We just had to work on the basics.”
Mario Valery-Trabucco got Union’s final goal with 5:20 left in the second, ripping a wrist shot from the slot past Lange after Boileau fanned on the inital shot.
“We had a little puck luck,” Leaman said.
Union 220 — 4
RPI 100 — 1
First Period — 1, RPI, Ornelas 7 (Kerins), 6:47. 2, Union, Simpson 3 (Pallos), 7:42. 3, Union, Boileau 4 (Caffaro, Simpson), 12:25 (pp). Penalties —Helfrich, RPI (contact to head-elbowing), 3:28 ; Peace, RPI (charging goalie), 11:08; Milnamow, Uni (tripping), 13:04; Ornelas, RPI (high-sticking), 14:54; RPI bench, served by Contini (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:14; Peace, RPI, major-game disqualification (fighting), 17:56.
Second Period — 4, Union, Coyle 7 (Cook, Caffaro), 4:27. 5, Union, Valery-Trabucco 7 (Boileau, Presizniuk), 14:40. Penalties — Burgdoerfer, RPI (tripping), 5:42; Beynon, Uni (interference), 11:57; Foss, RPI (hooking), 12:06; Kerins, RPI (cross-checking), 20:00.
Third Period — None. Penalties — Beynon, Uni (holding), :46; Walters, Uni (boarding), 7:19; Milnamow, Uni (slashing), 8:55; Kennedy, RPI (holding), 13:47; Simpson, Uni (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:21; Eaves, RPI (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:21.
Shots on Goal — Union 15-9-4 — 28. RPI 4-13-8 — 25.
Power-play opportunities — Union 1 of 9; RPI 0 of 5.
Goalies — Union, Mrazek 6-3-0 (25 shots-24 saves). RPI, Lange 4-8-2 (28-24).
A — 3,650. T — 2:13.
Referees — Mike Baker, John Murphy. Assistant referees — BJ Ringrose, Andy Petrus.
DAY STYMIES PIONEERS
SCHENECTADY — Suzanne Ostrow had two goals and an assist, and junior goaltender Lundy Day stopped 23 shots as the Union College women’s hockey team blanked Sacred Heart, 4-0, in a non-conference game at Messa Rink.
Courtney Chais and Stephanie Gilbert also tallied for the Dutchwomen (2-17-2), who also beat the Pioneers, 7-1, in November. Sacred Heart fell to 6-11-1.
Sacred Heart 0 0 0 — 0
Union 1 2 1 — 4
First Period — 1, Union, Chais (Ostrow), 19:37. Penalties — Maduri, Union (hooking), 7:14; Gentile, Union (tripping), 8:25.
Second Period — 2, Union, Ostrow (Koetteritz), 3:40; 3, Union, Gilbert (Wintner, Perushek), 3:58. Penalties — Pentimone, SH (cross-checking), 8:53; Maduri, Union (hooking), 11:25.
Third Period — 4, Union, Ostrow (Fleming), 14:24.
Shots on Goal — Sacred Heart 6-12-5 — 23. Union 8-15-12 — 35.
Power-play opportunities — Sacred Heart 0 of 3; Union 0 of 1.
Goalies — Sacred Heart, Perry 7-13-11 (35 shots-31 saves). Union, Day 6-12-5 (23-23).
A — 142. T — 1:50.
Referee — Randy Zaritsky. Assistant referees — Meghan Hismeh, Jim Trumpfheller.
RPI SWEEPS COLONIALS
TROY — Melanie Guillemette and Melissa Boik each had a goal and an assist as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute defeated Robert Morris, 3-1, for the second straight day in a women’s non-conference game.
Guillemette scored the only goal of the game in the Engineers (11-8-4)
1-0 victory on Friday night. RPI goalie Sonja van der Bliek allowed just the one goal while registering 51 saves between the two games.
Robert Morris 0 1 0 — 1
RPI 2 1 0 — 3
First Period — 1, RPI, Guillemette (Gersten, Boik), :22; 2, RPI, Aho (Guillemette, Chace), 19:24. Penalties — Picinic, RM (cross-checking), 14:30.
Second Period — 3, RM, Miles (Ullrich), 7:21; 4, RPI, Boik (Wright, Gersten), 17:11. Penalties — Stewart, RPI (interference), 6:59; Rossler, RM (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:31; Giambra, RM (slashing), 16:45.
Third Period — None. Penalties — Aho, RPI (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:29.
Shots on Goal — Robert Morris 3-3-15 — 21. RPI 11-13-11 — 35.
Power-play opportunities — Robert Morris 1 of 2; RPI 1 of 3.
Goalies — Robert Morris, McLaughlin 9-12-11 (35 shots-32 saves). RPI, van der Bliek 3-2-15 (21-20).
A — 275. T — 1:52.
Referee — Robert Melanson. Assistant referees — Glenn Cadman, Kate Connolly.
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