Dutchmen will stay home for the playoffs, 2-1

Union sen­ior defenseman Mike Harr didn’t want to go away next weekend. He wanted to play one more w

Union sen­ior defenseman Mike Harr didn’t want to go away next weekend. He wanted to play one more weekend at Messa Rink.

Thanks to him, the Dutchmen will be doing just that.

Harr picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season — on Senior Night. He beat Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich with 8:57 left in the third period, snapping a tie and giving the Dutchmen a 2-1 victory in the regular-season finale Saturday at Messa Rink and earning home ice in the first round of the ECAC Hockey tournament.

The Dutchmen (9-11-2 ECACH, 16-15-3 overall) will face the Golden Knights (8-10-4, 10-17-7) in the best-of-three series, starting Friday. The teams finished tied for eighth and split the season series, but Union won the second tiebreaker, most league wins.

“I just think it’s going to be a war,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “I was looking at their record, and in their last 10, I think they only have two losses. This is a team that’s been playing very well down the stretch. We’re going to have to have our ‘A’ game.”

It’s the third time the two teams will meet in the postseason. The Knights won both times, sweeping the Dutchmen in 2004, and then winning, two games to one, the following year in a series in which all three games were decided in overtime.

Moments before Harr’s goal, Quinnipiac beat Dartmouth, 4-1, to move into seventh place. That meant the Dutchmen needed to beat the Knights to earn home ice for the sixth time in seven years. A tie or loss would have meant a trip to Clarkson for the playoffs.

The Dutchmen took a 1-0 lead into the third period, thanks to Mario Valery Trabucco’s first-period goal. But five minutes into the third, Matt Beca tipped a Shea Guthrie shot past goalie Corey Milan to tie it.

“We knew we had to come back,” Harr said. “We weren’t going to go up to Clarkson for the playoffs. That wasn’t going to be my last home game.”

Kelly Zajac set up Harr with the game-winner. He sent a pass from Clarkson’s right-wing boards to Harr at the top of the right circle. Harr didn’t waste any time, firing a shot under goalie Paul Karpowich’s glove for just his second career goal.

“I only remember getting the puck from Zajac, and it was kind of rolling,” Harr said. “I just put it on net, and it found a hole.”

Milan, who gave up two goals on 14 shots Friday against St. Lawrence, mad 29 saves against the Knights. He was particularly strong in the first period in making 13 saves. Eight of those stops came during three Clarkson power plays.

“It was huge,” Milan said. “I felt like I let one slip away [Friday] night. I let the guys know that I’m going to be there for them every game. [Saturday] was just a big team win. The guys laid it all on the line.”

Said Clarkson coach George Roll: “He deserved to win. I thought he was the difference in the game.”


Tickets for the series will be on sale from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 9 a.m. until game time Friday. Tickets for games Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday, will go on sale starting at 4 p.m. All-session passes are $30 for box seats, $25 for the bleachers and $15 for students. Individual game tickets are $12 (box seats), $10 (bleachers) and $6 (students).

Tickets can be purchased at the alumni gym box office, by phone (388-6020), fax (388-6695) or on line at www.unionathletics.com. The online purchasing will be available later in the day Monday.

Clarkson 001 — 1

Union 101 — 2

First Period — 1, Union, Valery-Trabucco 11 (Walters, Presizniuk), 11:18. Penalties — Potts, Uni (interference), :25; Boileau, Uni (holding), 8:15; Matheson, Uni (interference), 12:12; DeFazio, Cla (high-sticking), 19:20.

Second Period — None. Penalties — Boileau, Uni (hitting from behind), 4:29; Buote, Uni (cross-checking), 8:21; Guthrie, Cla (closing hand on puck). 11:42; Morley, Cla (hooking), 14:32.

Third Period — 2, Clarkson, Beca 11 (Guthrie), 5:00. 3, Union, Harr 1 (Zajac, Boileau), 11:42. Penalties — Simpson, Uni (hooking), 11:42; Beca, Cla (hooking), 19:17.

Missed Penalty Shot — Union, Valery-Trabucco, 11:42 second.

Shots on Goal — Clarkson 13-11-6 — 30. Union 10-8-5 — 23.

Power-play opportunities — Clarkson 0 of 6; Union 0 of 3.

Goalies — Clarkson, Karpowich 7-13-4 (23 shots-21 saves). Union, Milan 16-15-4 (30-29).

A — 2,129. T — 2:24.

Referees — Eric Ernst, John Murphy. Linesmen — Justin Prusakm Andy Petrus.

Categories: College Sports

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