Union sophomore goalie Keith Kinkaid did everything he could to put the Dutchmen in a position to advance in the NCAA hockey tournament East Regional on Friday against Minnesota Duluth.
But will Kinkaid be back for another run at an NCAA tournament berth? That was the question asked of Kinkaid after he made 26 saves in the Dutchmen’s season-ending 2-0 loss to the Bulldogs in the semifinals at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.
“Yes,” Kinkaid said about coming back for his junior year. “Right now, I’m with the Dutchmen, and that is all that’s on my mind.”
Kinkaid, who had 15 saves in the third period, won the ECAC Hockey’s Ken Dryden Award as the league’s top goalie with a 1.90 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and a 17-3-2 record. His overall record is 25-10-3 with a 1.99 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
It’s no secret that NHL teams are looking at Kinkaid. Scouts from at least two teams, the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks, have been watching Kinkaid. Earlier this month, CBCSports.ca hockey writer Tim Wharnsby listed Kinkaid as one of 14 college players who could be signed to an NHL contract once the college season ends.
Union coach Nate Leaman is happy to hear that Kinkaid is coming back.
“He’s our rock,” Leaman said. “He was terrific in the third
period. I thought he was terrific in the game. I think it’s the right
decision. I haven’t spoken with him yet. If that’s his decision, that’s the right decision. I think it’s going to be a tough decision, to be honest, because I think there’s going to be a lot of people pulling him in different directions.”
Union was blanked for the third time this season, and the second time in the state of Connecticut. Yale shut out the Dutchmen, 5-0, Dec. 5 in New Haven.
The other shutout came in a scoreless tie at Dartmouth Nov. 6.
Minnesota Duluth assistant Bill Watson still has vivid memories of the 1984-85 college hockey season.
Most of the memories are great. But there is one that isn’t.
Watson was an outstanding forward for the Bulldogs that season. But his team lost to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 6-5, in triple overtime in the NCAA hockey tournament Frozen Four semifinal at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Watson scored a then-NCAA record 109 points for the Bulldogs in leading them to a second straight Frozen Four appearance, and also captured the Hobey Baker Award as the top college hockey player on the country.
The Bulldogs and the Engineers played a memorable game. But the outcome wasn’t to Watson’s liking.
“I like to say they were fond [memories], but they aren’t that fond,” Watson said with a laugh. “It was, obviously, a great game. For us, it was frustrating in the sense that we were there the year before, and we lost to Bowling Green in four overtimes [in the championship game].
“The RPI team, I can honestly say was as good a team as we played in my three years of college hockey. From top to bottom, the record shows that they had great players, and so did we. We honestly thought we were the two best teams in the country playing that night. We felt the winner of that game would go on and win the national championship.”
RPI took the title, beating Providence, 2-1.
For the 12th straight game, Leaman started forwards Adam Prezisniuk, Kelly Zajac and Matt Hatch and defensemen Mat Bode and Brock Matheson. That combination started 19 of the last 20 games.
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Categories: College Sports