After video review, Union men’s hockey knows it must play better

Union's Ville Immonen handles the puck next to Quinnipiac's Marcus Chorney last Saturday at Messa Rink.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Union's Ville Immonen handles the puck next to Quinnipiac's Marcus Chorney last Saturday at Messa Rink.

SCHENECTADY — The tape never lies.

On Monday, the Union men’s hockey team got to watch the video of its 4-0 loss to ECAC Hockey rival Quinnipiac two days earlier at Messa Rink. The footage confirmed what the Dutchmen knew. Except for goalie Connor Murphy’s valiant effort in keeping the team in the game with his 32-save effort, the Dutchmen performed at a subpar level in just about every other aspect of the game.

They have vowed that they won’t play that way this weekend when they play their final two games before a break in their schedule. The Dutchmen (5-8-2) take on Maine (1-11-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine.

“We had the chance to watch it [Monday] as a team,” Union senior captain Josh Kosack said. “I think it was really good for us; the kind of game we played and the effort we put out, it’s just not where we want to be, especially against a team like Quinnipiac. We took some positives out of it and are just looking forward to Maine now.

“If we want to compete with the top teams in the country, we can’t play like that. We didn’t have any energy. I thought we were slow on pucks, [and] didn’t really establish any offensive zone time. We saw a 4-0 loss because of it.”

Union head coach Rick Bennett believed it was imperative to show extensive footage from the game.

“We felt you could break the game down in any different ways and show them about 15 minutes of it, or you can show them two hours of it and have coaches’ commentary,” Bennett said. “So we went with two hours and coaches’ commentary. Everyone watched it [Monday] and made notes of their game. We felt that was the best way to learn from that game because sometimes you hear coaches say, ‘Ah, we’ll just burn that video.’ We just didn’t feel, with a youthful team, that was wise. Everyone watched it and, hopefully, learned from it.”

It’s about a seven-hour bus ride from Schenectady to Orono. There will be plenty of time for the Dutchmen to talk hockey and bond.

“There’s only so many movies you can watch, I guess,” Bennett said. “Eventually, you’ve got to talk to each other. It’s kind of nice in that regard. Hockey players are pretty sarcastic, so I’m sure there will be some lines tossed around. That’s what it’s all about.”

These games are Union’s last for nearly three full weeks. While the players are looking forward to getting home to their families for a few days before they prepare to face defending NCAA champion UMass on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at Messa Rink, they can’t lose focus on the task at hand this weekend.

“That’s something we’ve been emphasizing all week,” Union junior defenseman Dylan Anhorn said. “We don’t want to get complacent here, knowing that Christmas is around the corner. We’re just making sure we keep each other accountable in practices, making sure execution’s up, energy’s up. The most important thing in our lives is Friday night’s game.”

REUNION TIME

Bennett and Maine head coach Ben Barr were assistant coaches together for three seasons under then-Dutchmen head coach Nate Leaman. Bennett had been on Leaman’s staff since the 2005-06 season. Barr joined prior to the 2008-09 season. When Leaman was named Providence College’s new head coach shortly after the Union’s 2010-11 season ended, Barr joined Leaman while Bennett was named Union’s head coach.

Barr, who played at RPI from 2000-04, was an assistant coach on UMass’ national championship team last season. He was named Maine’s new head coach on May 12, replacing Red Gendron, who died April 9.

“First of all, it will be fun to see him, obviously, in a different role,” Bennett said of Barr. “It seems like yesterday we were downstairs and talking about should we recruit this guy Shayne Gostisbehere or not.

“I learned a lot from Ben. It will be fun to catch up. It will be fun to battle against him, just like it was fun to battle against Nate and the other coaches I’ve come across with.”

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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