SCHENECTADY — Union College hockey freshman forward Collin Graf had the game-winning goal on his stick with five seconds left in overtime after he took a pass from defenseman Brandon Estes at the right point.
Graf, who had just come off the bench, skated in alone on Colorado College goalie Dominic Basse. But Graf’s backhand attempt was stopped as Basse stuck out his right pad.
In the Dutchmen’s first-ever 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime, they earned a 3-3 tie against the Tigers on Saturday night at Messa Rink to go 1-0-1 over the weekend.
The 3-on-3 overtime rule was implemented by the NCAA last season. Union (1-2-1) didn’t play last season because of the coronavirus pandemic. There was no shootout used to determine a winner, but that will be used in ECAC Hockey play.
“We drew up a play for me to get open in OT,” said Graf, who scored a goal in Friday’s 2-1 win over Colorado College. “I got the chance. That’s on me. I’ve just got to execute at that time of the game.”
Graf wasn’t sure if the puck started rolling on him as he got closer to the net.
“I’ll have to look at it on video, and I’ll see what I can do better,” Graf said.
Union head coach Rick Bennett watched a little bit of the replay before his postgame press conference.
“I think it’s a combination of a rolling puck [plus a] 6-6 goalie who’s a very good goalie,” Bennett said.
The Dutchmen seemed to enjoy their first collegiate 3-on-3 overtime experience.
“It’s kind of like playing at UNH again, but with less guys on the ice,” said Union sophomore forward Liam Robertson, who referred to New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center, which is 200 feet long by 100 feet wide. Messa is 201 by 86. “There’s more space, more time to create and you just don’t want to give the puck up. It’s like playing pond hockey. It’s fun.”
“It was a blast,” Union junior forward Chad Smedsrud said. “The arena was bumping. It was awesome out there.”
Robertson gave Union a 1-0 lead late in the first period when he tipped an Estes shot past Basse.
The teams combined for five goals in the second period. Colorado College (0-2-2) tied it 33 seconds into the period on a Patrick Cozzi goal. Jordan Biro gave the Tigers the lead 2:12 later.
The Dutchmen tied it at 7:03 on the power play as Smedsrud redirected an Estes pass past Basse. Josh Kosack gave Union the lead with 5:38 left when he put in the rebound of a Ville Immonen bad-angle shot from the left-wing corner.
But 1:35 later, Stanley Cooley tied it on the power play for the Tigers.
The Dutchmen were happy with their unbeaten weekend.
“We grew as a team immensely,” Robertson said.
Colorado College 0 3 0 0 — 3
Union 1 2 0 0 — 3
First Period — 1, Union, Robertson 2 (Estes, Hodge), 17:04 (pp). Penalties — Phillips, Uni (tripping), :44; McKown, CC (boarding), 9:29; Blixt, CC (cross-checking), 10:48; Middleton, CC (interference), 15:42.
Second Period — 2, Colorado College, Cozzi 1 (Weight, Will), :33. 3, Colorado College, Biro 1 (Will, Foley), 2:45 (pp). 4, Union, Smedsrud 1 (Estes, Allen), 7:04 (pp). 5, Union, Kosack 1 (Immonen), 14:22. 6, Colorado College, Cooley 1 (Yoon), 15:57 (pp). Penalties — Phillips, Uni (tripping), 2:13; Foley, CC (cross-checking), 6:34; Middleton, (CC), (boarding), 9:00; Estes, Uni (cross-checking), 15:50.
Third Period — None. Penalties — McKown, CC (tripping), 11:15; Foley, CC (holding), 16:06.
Overtime — None. Penalties — None.
Shots on Goal — Colorado College 17-13-7-1 — 38. Union 7-10-5-3 — 25.
Power-play opportunities — Colorado College 2 of 3; Union 2 of 7.
Goalies — Colorado College, Basse 0-2-2 (17 shots-14 saves). Union, Murphy 1-2-1 (30-27).
A — 1,590. T — 2:27.
Referees — Matt Wyld, William Brennan III. Linesmen — Adam Wood, Patrick Woodward.
UNION WOMEN TIE
Celeste Beaudoin scored midway through the third period to help Union to a 2-2 women’s hockey non-conference tie against Mercyhurst at Messa.
Maddie Suitor also scored for the Dutchwomen (2-4-1), who are winless in their last five games. Alexa Vasko and Chantal Ste-Croix scored for the Lakers (6-2-1).
Mercyhurst 1 0 1 0 — 2
Union 1 0 1 0 — 2
First Period — 1, Union, Suitor 2 (King, Heiting), 2:03. 2, Mercyhurst, Vasko 5 (Pidgeon, Perreualt), 11:41. Penalties — Nelles, Mer (hooking), 2:03; Cole, Mer (hooking), 18:13.
Second Period — None. Penalties — Union bench (too many players), 2:31.
Third Period — 3, Mercyhurst, Ste-Croix 2 (Pinto, Weiss), 2:07. 4, Union, Beaudoin 2 (McLeod, Adams), 9:57. Penalties — None.
Overtime — None. Penalties — Vasko, Mer (hooking), :33; Pedersen, Mer (hooking), 1:23; Suitor, Uni (cross-checking), 3:08
Shots on Goal — Mercyhurst 8-8-8-3 — 27. Union 6-13-2-2 — 23.
Power-play opportunities — Mercyhurst 0 of 2; Union 0 of 4.
Goalies — Silvonen, Nystrom 3-1-1 (23 shots-21 saves). Union, Rinzel 2-2-1 (27-25).
A — 125. T — 2:20
Referees — Zachary Dupree, Jason Engelhart. Linesmen — Alex Walsh, Mike Verminski.
RPI FALLS IN OT
TROY — Keaton Mastrodonato scored with 44.9 seconds left in overtime to lift the Canisius past RPI 3-2 in a men’s college hockey non-conference game at Houston Field House.
Randy Hernandez scored twice for the Golden Griffins (2-2), who split the weekend series with the Engineers (1-2-1).
Ryan Mahshie and Ottoville Leppanen scored for RPI.
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