SCHENECTADY — Even the goalie had an assist.
In the wake of a sweep by then-winless rival RPI last weekend, the Union men’s hockey team put together a complete game in dismantling St. Lawrence 4-1 at Messa Rink on Friday night.
Sophomore Jack Adams finished nice feeds to score the first two goals, senior goalie Jake Kupsky was sharp and the Dutchmen outshot the Saints 49-20 to get their first ECAC Hockey points of the season and improve to 5-2-1 overall.
The only goal for the Saints (0-1-0, 1-6-0) came when Union was leading 3-0 in the second period and at a 5-on-3 disadvantage due to penalties.
“I think that was our most consistent effort,” head coach Rick Bennett said. “I wish we had brought a little more in the third, but that’s just me being a coach.
“Monday through Thursday, the practices were, let’s just say, not easy. But they had a great attitude with it. They were attentive, and I thought they were plugged in from the get-go.”
Union led 1-0 after the first period and 4-1 after two, with a whopping 40-12 advantage in shots on goal at that point.
Adams redirected a centering pass from Sebastian Vidmar after a Brett Supinski faceoff win on the first one.
Then defenseman Vas Kolias served up a perfect cross-ice feed from left wing while the Dutchmen were skating 5-on-3 at 9:54 of the second. Adams made no mistake on that one, either. Kupsky got an assist for shoveling it behind the net to Kolias to start his rush all the way up the wing.
“Good set-ups,” Adams said. “The first one was something we work on in practice, faceoff plays. Good faceoff win by Brett, and Viddy has good size and reach and made a great pass to me. It was an easy tap-in.
“The second one, Vas was using his speed and his hockey IQ and found me in the slot. So, two great passes, and big goals to get us ahead.”
After Brandon Estes gave the Dutchmen a 3-0 lead 1:03 later, St. Lawrence head coach Mark Morris pulled goalie Arthur Brey for Daniel Mannella.
The Saints got one back with Vidmar and Ryan Sidorski in the penalty box, as Michael Ederer shoved a second rebound past Kupsky at 14:10.
The Dutchmen needed just 37 seconds to regain the three-goal lead, despite being short-handed.
Cole Maier chipped a loose puck off the left boards and got around defenseman Philip Alftberg for a break down left wing, and he found Ryan Walker skating down the middle of the ice to set him up for a sharp wrist shot past Mannella.
“Some lines that don’t show up on the stat sheet with points were doing pretty good for us,” Bennett said. “They just didn’t put up points. But that’s fine with us. There was a lot of unselfish back-checking. That’s what this team needs to be about.”
The Dutchmen needed this one, after losing two games to RPI last weekend.
“Really eager. That’s one of the tougher tastes I’ve had since being here, getting swept by RPI,” Kupsky said. “I think that juice was in the room, and we wanted to go out and prove that that was a fluke and we’re a better team than we showed last weekend.”
St. Lawrence 0 1 0 — 1
Union 1 3 0 — 4
First period — 1, Union, Adams 3 (Vidmar, Supinski), 17:42. Penalties — Emelifeonwu, U (boarding), 4:54; Sutherds, SLU (kneeing), 7:56; Woolf, SLU (slashing), 13:34; Fineman, U (kneeing), 18:01.
Second period — 2, Union, Adams 4 (Kolias, Kupsky), 9:54 (pp). 3, Union, Estes 1 (Supinski, Vidmar), 10:57 (pp). 4, St. Lawrence, Ederer 2 (Gicewicz, Alftberg), 14:10 (pp). 5, Union, Walker 2 (Maier), 14:47 (sh). Penalties — Gilmour, SLU (tripping), 8:21; Garvey, SLU (interference), 8:50; B. Hanson, SLU (cross-checking), 10:23; Vidmar, U (hooking), 12:55; Sidorski, U (hitting from behind), 13:33; White, SLU (boarding), 16:34.
Third period — None. Penalties — McIntyre, SLU (roughing), 10:04; Kosack, U (double minor, charging-roughing), 10:04.
Shots on goal — St. Lawrence 4-8-8 — 20. Union 17-23-9 — 49.
Power-play opportunities — St. Lawrence 1 of 5. Union 2 of 6.
Goaltenders — St. Lawrence, Brey 1-6-0 (30:57, 34 shots-31 saves), Mannella (29:03, 15-14). Union Kupsky 3-1-1 (20-19).
A — 1,825. T — 2:15.
Referees — Tory Carissimo, Joe Carusone. Linesmen — Luke Salogar, Jordan Patarino.