Dutchmen alive and kicking

Adam Presizniuk bounces back from 150 minutes of hockey, and Corey Milan gives Union fresh legs in t

Union forward Adam Presizniuk went to bed around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, two hours after the Dutchmen dropped a 3-2 decision to Quin­nipiac in five overtimes. Goalie Corey Milan sat on the bench the entire game while Keith Kinkaid played.

Presizniuk said he felt a little tired after playing nearly six hours of hockey. Milan was well rested.

The Dutchmen pair saved Union’s season Saturday night.

Presizniuk snapped a seven-game goalless drought, scoring twice, and Milan made 27 saves to help the Dutchmen to a 3-1 victory over the Bobcats in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey tournament quarterfinal series at Messa Rink.

The third-seeded Dutchmen (19-11-6) evened the best-of-three series at a game apiece. Game 3 will be tonight at 7 at Messa, with the winner advancing to the champ­ionship round at the Times Union Center.

Less than 24 hours after playing 150 minutes, 22 seconds of hockey, the longest game in NCAA hockey history, the Dutchmen needed to find a spark and win to live another day. Presizniuk gave them the boost.

“I feel pretty good right now,” Presizniuk said. “Last night, I was pretty tired after eight [periods]. I got a little bit of sleep, and got some fluids in us. I thought we had pretty good energy tonight.”

Union caught a break 3:43 into the game. The Bobcats (20-17-2) thought they had taken a 1-0 lead on a Spencer Heichman goal. But with the game being televised by Time Warner Cable, the goal was reviewed. The replay showed Heichman directing the puck in with his skate, and the goal was waved off.

“I was looking at the kid’s stick because they’re a great team shooting off the net and looking for tips,” Milan said. “When I saw the puck didn’t go off of his stick and ended up behind me, I was really confused by it, so I knew there was something else going on.”

Milan was sharp in his first start since Feb. 13 at Harvard. He found out late Saturday morning that he was starting.

“I felt great,” Milan said. “I knew that I had eight periods of rest [Friday] night. I was excited to get in [Saturday]. I felt good throughout the game.”

Union coach Nate Leaman knew Milan was well rested, so that is why he gave him the start.

“I feel we’ve got a 1-2 punch, and I wouldn’t say they’re 1-2, I’d say they’re 1A and 1B,” Leaman said. “It was all about being fresh.

A Scott Zurevinski tripping penalty shortly after the disallowed goal gave Union a power play. Pres­i­zniuk, whose last goal came Feb. 6 against St. Lawrence, was screening goalie Dan Clarke when he tipped a Mario Valery-Trabucco right-point shot into the net.

“I knew pucks would have to start going in for me if I just kept shooting the puck and going hard to the net,” said Presizniuk, who has 12 goals this season.

Brandon Wong tied it for the Bobcats with a power-play goal at 17:15 of the first. But Justin Pallos, one of three forwards who didn’t play Friday, helped Union regain the lead just over a minute later. Pallos, who last played Jan. 2 against Army, sent a pass from the left circle to Luke Cain in the slot. Cain fired it between Clarke’s pads.

“I was just glad to help out,” Pallos said. “Those guys were in a battle [Friday] night. It felt good to give energy and contribute.”

Clarke, who made 73 saves Friday, gave up another five-hole goal, this time to Presizniuk early in the third period. Brock Matheson sprung Presizniuk on a breakaway with a pass from the Union zone to center ice.

“We had a number of breakaways, and we had a number of chances there,” Leaman said. “Clarke’s play well so far in the series. It was good just to get him. We got him five-hole twice. It was good just to make him look human a little bit.”

Tickets for Game 3 will go on sale at 3 p.m. today at the Messa Rink box office. You can also call to reserve tickets at 388-6020.

Quinnipiac 1 0 0 — 1

Union 2 0 1 — 3

First Period — 1, Union, Presizniuk 11 (Valery-Trabucco, Zajac), 5:01 (pp). 2, Quinnipiac, Wong 19 (Holt, Davies), 17:15 (pp). 3, Union, Cain 6 (Pallos, Julseth-White), 18:27. Penalties — Zurevinski, Qui (tripping), 4:36; Atkinson, Qui (high-sticking), 9:55; Cain, Uni (hooking), 10:05; Wakita, Uni (cross-checking), 16:58; Lampe, Qui (contact to head-roughing), 18:58.

Second Period — None. Penalties — Cain, Uni (interference), 6:40; Beaudoin, Qui (hooking), 14:30; Walters, Uni (tripping), 15:46.

Third Period — 4, Union, Presizniuk 12 (Matheson), 1:17. Penalties — Glaicar, Qui (boarding), 6:32; Shaffer, Uni (contact to head-roughing), 15:32; Matheson, Uni (cross-checking), 18:07.

Shots on Goal — Quinnipiac 10-6-12 — 28. Union 14-7-11 — 32.

Power-play opportunities — Quinnipiac 1 of 6; Union 1 of 5.

Goalies — Quinnipiac, Clarke 15-14-2 (32 shots-29 saves). Union, Milan 8-4-3 (28-27).

A — 2,014. T — 2:27.

Referees — Bryan Hicks, Derek Wahl. Linesmen — Mike Emanatian, Chris Piti.

Categories: College Sports


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