Union’s offense fizzles

Union’s defensive effort against 15th-ranked Yale on Friday was much better than last Saturday’s per
Eli Lichtenwald of Union College tries to get the puck past Mike Doherty of Yale at Messa Rink Friday, February 13, 2015.
Eli Lichtenwald of Union College tries to get the puck past Mike Doherty of Yale at Messa Rink Friday, February 13, 2015.

Union’s defensive effort against 15th-ranked Yale on Friday was much better than last Saturday’s performance against St. Lawrence, but the Dutchmen’s offense was nowhere to be found.

And, with that, a scoring streak ended.

Union made life easy for Yale goalie Alex Lyon, who had 23 saves in the Bulldogs’ 2-0 ECAC Hockey win at Messa Rink.

The Dutchmen (6-10-1 ECACH, 14-13-2 overall) saw their nation-leading 98-game scoring streak snapped. The last time Union was blanked was against Quinnipiac on Nov. 30, 2012, when Eric Hartzell made 20 saves in a 4-0 win at Messa.

The aggressive offensive style that the Dutchmen like to play was non-existent against the Bulldogs (9-6-2, 14-7-3). Nearly all of Union’s shots came from the outside. There was rarely traffic in front of Lyon, and the Dutchmen had just 12 shots through two periods.

Yale blocked 15 shots, including nine in the third.

“That’s a credit to Yale and how they kind of kept us from the net,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “We’ve got to keep at it, keep bearing down at it. Was it that absolute pack-of-wolves mentality that we need? Probably not. Anybody who was here at the game saw that.”

Yale coach Keith Allain didn’t think the shutout was a piece of cake.

“On one of their power plays, there was a shot to my left that the guy got a nice shot,” Allain said. “Alex had a really strong game. There are no easy shutouts, if that’s what you’re trying to get to.”

But the Dutchmen needed to be better, and they knew that.

“It’s something that we talked about, getting in the goalie’s eyes,” Dutchmen leading scorer Daniel Ciampini said. “We struggled to do that today. I think we got some shots from where we wanted to, from the outside and driving to the net. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the bounces. The rebounds were there. We just didn’t have guys driving the net with the stick on the ice.”

The lack of offense ruined a solid effort by goalie Colin Stevens, as well as the Dutchmen’s defense. Stevens, the senior from Niskayuna, made 31 saves, including some key ones in the third period when Yale was leading, 1-0. He stopped Matt Killian on a two-on-one break early in the period. A little later, Stevens made a glove save on a one-timer by Chris Izmirlian from the right wing.

“I thought he played well,” Bennett said. “We’re going to have to feed off of that. Did he save the world? No. But, again, that’s what a goalie’s supposed to do.”

Union allowed seven goals against St. Lawrence, including five in the second period. Stevens gave up three goals, two of which came early in the second before he was pulled. His effort was much better against Yale.

“There’s always more you can do,” Stevens said. “I thought the guys played two really good periods. I think everyone knows that they can be better. Tomorrow’s a new day.”

The only goal Stevens allowed came late in the first period, and it was the result of a fortunate bounce for the Bulldogs.

Mitch Witek fired a shot from the high slot that went wide to Stevens’ left. The puck caromed off the backboards and right back in front of the net. Mike Doherty was there, and he put the puck into the net.

“That’s kind of a tough play,” Stevens said. “But I’ve got to do a better job of tracking pucks. That’s a save I expect myself to make.”


John Hayden scored an empty-net, power-play goal with 33.6 seconds left. A Matt Wilkins tripping penalty with 54 seconds left led to the power play. . . .

Union senior forward Sam Coatta returned to the lineup after a six-game absence because of an upper-body injury. …

Dutchmen sophomore defenseman and Clifton Park native Jeff Taylor suffered a cut above his left eye late in the game after he was checked into the right-wing boards in the Union zone. . . .

Union hosts Brown tonight at 7.

Yale 1 0 1 — 2

Union 0 0 0 — 0

First Period — 1, Yale, Doherty 10 (Witek, Hitchcock), 16:16. Penalty — Izmirlian, Yale (interference), 9:39.

Second Period — None. Penalties — Obuchowski, Yale (holding), 4:39; Foo, Uni (interference), 14:15.

Third Period — 2, Yale, Hayden 6 (Ruffolo, Witek), 19:26 (pp-en). Penalty — Wilkins, Uni (tripping), 19:06.

Shots on Goal — Yale 17-7-9 — 33. Union 4-8-11 — 23.

Power-play opportunities — Yale 1 of 2; Union 0 of 2.

Goalies — Yale, Lyon 13-7-3 (23 shots-23 saves). Union, Stevens 11-10-0 (32-31).

A — 2,049. T — 2:10.

Referees — Robert St. Lawrence, Kyle Allen. Linesmen — Mike Emanatian, Adam Wood.

Categories: College Sports

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