Union hockey to open 2016-17 season at Michigan

Union College hockey fans won’t see much of the Dutchmen in October, nor will they see very many non
Brett Supinski and the Union College Dutchmen will open the 2016-17 season Oct. 7 at Michigan.
Brett Supinski and the Union College Dutchmen will open the 2016-17 season Oct. 7 at Michigan.

Union College hockey fans won’t see much of the Dutchmen in October, nor will they see very many non-league home games this season.

The Dutchmen announced their 2016-17 schedule Thursday. They will open it with two games at Michigan Oct. 7-8. Union will play its Messa Rink opener Oct. 21 against Rochester Institute of Technology.

Union will play 14 of its 34 games at Messa, its fewest at home since 2011-12. There will only be three non-league contests at Messa.

“It’s kind of the way it played out,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “There were some reciprocations. Sometimes it works in your favor, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

The Dutchmen are coming off a 13-14-9 season, their first losing campaign since 2006-07.

Here are some things you need to know about the schedule.


Union’s two games at Michigan mark the first time the Dutchmen have started the season on the road since playing at Army in 2011-12, Bennett’s first season as head coach. In fact, the Dutchmen will play their first four games away from Messa. They will be at American International College Oct. 14 and Sacred Heart Oct. 15.

“That’s just the way it worked out,” Bennett said. “I’m definitely happy with that in the fact that it gives us a chance to bond as a group. We can get on the road and bond. It’s kind of a nice change.”

Michigan played at Messa last October; the teams tied 5-5.


Union will face two western New York teams it hasn’t seen since the 2011-12 season.

The Dutchmen last played RIT Oct. 22, 2011, in Rochester. Union won 5-0. RIT’s last visit to Messa was Oct. 23, 2010. The Dutchmen won that 7-2.

Niagara will be Union’s opponent at Messa Oct. 22. The two teams last faced off Oct. 21, 2011, at Niagara, playing to a 3-3 tie. The Purple Eagles’ last game at Messa Rink was a 7-2 win for the Dutchmen on Oct. 22, 2010.

“It’s a New York feel for both programs,” Bennett said. “I know the games we’ve had with Niagara and RIT were very good games. We’re looking forward to it.”

Another team Union will face for the first time in a while is Holy Cross. The Dutchmen visit the Crusaders Nov. 1. The last time the teams met was Feb. 4, 2005, a 4-2 Union win at Messa.


Union will start ECAC Hockey play Oct. 28 when it takes on Capital Region rival Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Houston Field House. The two teams meet the next night at Messa.

Those two contests will start a six-game stretch of league home games for the Dutchmen. Union will host Yale Nov. 4, Brown Nov. 5, St. Lawrence Nov. 11 and Clarkson Nov. 12.

Last season, the Dutchmen lost both games to RPI and were 1-5 in their first six league games.

“We want to come out an establish a good record from the get-go,” Bennett said. “We also want to get that home cooking back as well. I think we’ve lost a little bit of that. We want to recapture that home feel that we’ve had here in the past.”


As was announced earlier this year, Union will host NCAA champion North Dakota on New Year’s Eve. Game time is 4 p.m.

This will be the first time Union and North Dakota have met. The Dutchmen will visit North Dakota for two games in 2017-18.

Home games in CAPS

e-ECAC Hockey game


7 — at Michigan, 7:30; 8 — at Michigan, 7:30; 14 — at American International, 7; 15 — at Sacred Heart, 7; 21 — RIT, 7; 22 — NIAGARA, 4; e-28 — at RPI, 7; e-29 — RPI, 7.


1 — at Holy Cross, 7; e-4 — YALE, 7; e-5 — BROWN, 7; e-11 — ST. LAWRENCE, 7; e-12 — CLARKSON, 7.


e-2 at Princeton, 7; e-3 — at Quinnipiac, 7; 17 — at Vermont, 7; 18 — at Vermont, 7; 31 — NORTH DAKOTA, 4.


5 — at Boston U., 7; e-13 — DARTMOUTH, 7; e-14 — HARVARD, 7; 19 — vs. RPI in Mayor’s Cup at Times Union Center, 7; e-27 — at Clarkson, 7; e-28 — at St. Lawrence, 7.


CORNELL, 7; e-4 — COLGATE, 7; e-10 — at Harvard, 7; e-11 — at Dartmouth, 7; e-17 — QUINNIPIAC, 7; e-18 — PRINCETON, 7; e-24 — at Colgate, 7; e-25 — at Cornell, 7.


Bennett said that sophomore forward Roman Ammirato won’t be returning to the team. Ammirato played in 51 games in his two years with the Dutchmen and had three goals and five assists.

“It was a coach’s decision,” Bennett said. “We appreciate the time that he gave us.”

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