First-year Colorado College coach and former Union goalie Kris Mayotte returns to Messa Rink this weekend when he leads his Tigers against the Dutchmen for a two-game series. Game time is 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Mayotte played for the Dutchmen from 2002-06. He had a 46-52-13 career record with a 2.69 goals-against average, a .907 save percentage and 10 shutouts. His best season came in senior year in 2005-06 when he posted a 16-15-5 record with a 2.33 GAA, a .918 save percentage and five shutouts.
Mayotte made his head coaching debut last weekend against St. Lawrence, where he served as an assistant coach from 2012-14 before joining former Union College head coach Nate Leaman’s staff at Providence. The Tigers dropped a 2-1 decision on Friday and played to a 1-1 tie on Saturday.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Mayotte said he is looking forward to returning to the Union campus.
“This one for me, personally, is obviously bigger,” Mayotte said. “It’s not one of those things where you’re coming back and you’re saying, ‘Aw, we have to beat Union’ or anything like that. That rink and that campus, that’s where college hockey started for me.
“We were really a naive family. I committed to Union without seeing it. It’s a place that, quite honestly, changed my life. I have fond memories of Union. I owe much of what I do to Union. Those types of emotions are the ones I have to keep in check.”
Here is a look at some of Mayotte’s most memorable games in chronological order.
OCT. 18, 2002: UNION VS. NIAGARA
Mayotte recorded his first collegiate victory in the Dutchmen’s 5-2 win over the Purple Eagles. He made 30 saves.
OCT. 26, 2002: UNION VS.BEMIDJI STATE
Mayotte was tested early and often in a 5-5 tie against the Beavers in Bemidji, Minnesota. He made 58 saves. He stopped 22 in the first period, and all eight in sudden-death overtime.
MARCH 8, 2003: UNION VS. RPI
The Dutchmen were looking to even their best-of-three ECAC Hockey tournament first-round series against the Engineers at Messa Rink. Union had a 2-1 lead, and were going on a power play with 8:29 left in the third period when Blake Pickett was called for roughing. It was a chance for Union to extend the lead.
Instead, Ben Barr scored not one, but two shorthanded goals against Mayotte, basically the same way in a 50-second span. Twice, Mayotte came out of his net to get the puck at the Union right-wing circle. On the first one, Nick Economakis beat Mayotte to the puck and passed it to Barr for the tying goal. On the second one, Economakis cleared the puck out of the RPI zone. Mayotte got to it in the right circle, but his clearing attempt hit Barr, who then put the puck in the net.
The Engineers won the game 3-2 and the series 2-0.
JAN. 13, 2006. UNION VS. CLARKSON
Friday the 13th was good to Mayotte and the Dutchmen as Union cruised to a 5-0 win over the Golden Knights at Messa Rink. Mayotte made 33 saves to record his fifth and final shutout of the season. It was his 10th career shutout.
MARCH 4, 2006: UNION VS. YALE
A memorable game because, at the time, it became the longest game in NCAA hockey history, going five overtimes and lasting 141 minutes, 35 seconds. This was Game 2 of the best-of-three ECAC Hockey tournament first-round, and the Dutchmen were down in the series 1-0 after losing 2-1 in one overtime the night before.
The Dutchmen were going on the power play 1:15 into the fifth overtime when Joe Zappala was called for hooking. It was Union’s 12th power play of the game. Instead, David Meckler scored 20 seconds later to give Yale the series-clinching win. It was the final game of Mayotte’s college career.