The Union men’s hockey team will start the homestretch of the ECAC Hockey season on Friday at 7 p.m. when it hosts St. Lawrence at Messa Rink.
With the conference series against RPI complete (the two teams meet in next Saturday’s Capital District Mayor’s Cup game at MVP Arena), the Dutchmen will get to face the other 10 teams for the second time during the second half of the schedule. Union is 3-8-1 for 11 points in conference play and 8-13-2 overall. Its conference wins came against RPI, Clarkson and Dartmouth. Union played to a 0-0 tie at Yale last Saturday, but got the extra point for winning the shootout.
The Dutchmen are in ninth place, two points behind Brown for the eighth and final home-ice slot for the ECACH tournament’s single-game elimination round. They trail seventh-place Clarkson, Saturday’s opponent, by three points. Earning at least a point would give Union the season series, the first tiebreaker.
Union is six points behind sixth-place St. Lawrence. The Dutchmen could be tied with the Saints at the end of the weekend if they win both Friday and Saturday, and RPI beats St. Lawrence on Saturday.
The Dutchmen can’t worry about a top-four spot and a first-round bye right now. They are nine points behind Princeton for the fourth and final bye.
All Union should be worried about is this weekend is taking care of business against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. The Dutchmen have been good at home, going 7-3, so it’s important for them to make Messa a difficult place for St. Lawrence and Clarkson to play.
“We’ve clearly been a you know, a better home team,” Union head coach Josh Hauge said. “Trying to get in a spot where we’re playing as many games at home is important. With that being said, I think it’s just a day-to-day process for us to get better. I think our ceiling is still a lot higher than other teams that we’re chasing just because we’re young, and we’re growing. And we’re growing together.
“I think it’s important to get as many points as you can. But for us to say we have to have six this weekend, if we get five, I’d be excited if as long as we just keep getting better.”
MIC THE REFS
Referees certainly have plenty of responsibilities in officiating a game. They have to keep control of the game and deal with upset players, coaches and fans.
I think there is another responsibility they need — wearing microphones to explain why they are going to video review.
A prime example of refs needed to wear microphones came late in the third period of the Union-Yale game at Ingalls Rink.
When I saw Union’s Liam Robertson score late to break a scoreless tie against, I thought that was a big goal. But then, referees Tom Dellafranco and Anthony Dapuuzo skated off the ice after Yale requested a video review.
What could they be reviewing? The fans didn’t know. I didn’t know. The Yale announcers on ESPN+ were speculating that maybe there was goalie interference (replays showed no interference), or there was an offsides (they didn’t go back that far).
When Dellafranco and Dapuzzo returned, not only did they wave off the goal, they assessed Robertson a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.
What? Apparently, the play took place about 15 seconds before the goal.
The reversal caught me by surprise. The game goes from Union having a 1-0 lead to Yale getting a five-minute power play and a chance to win the game. Fortunately for the Dutchmen, they killed it off.
The only people who knew what was going on were the coaches and players.
“The refs and linesmen will come over and let us know,” Union senior captain Owen Farris said. “What’s going to happen is going to happen. Either we’ve got to kill off a five and win it in overtime, or we’ve got to hold on to this lead. It’s just a mentality of you’ve got to take what’s given to you. “Unfortunately for Robbie, and for us, [the goal taken away and ejection was] not what we wanted to happen. But we found a way.”
At Messa, the referees let public address announcer Rich Becker know what’s going on, and he alerts the fans. That’s good. But it’s time for the ECACH to have its referees wearing mics. The fans deserve to know what is going on with video reviews.
PIPES EARNS SCHOLARSHIP
Union senior goalie Merek Pipes was named a recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace and Electronic Systems Engineering Scholarship on Tuesday.
In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students must be studying electrical or electronics engineering at the undergraduate level or first professional degree, and systems engineering at the graduate level, from an accredited university, with no scholarships, and a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or above.
“I am honored to receive an IEEE AESS Engineering Scholarship for my and [Union] Professor Chandra Pappu’s work in the field of joint radar and communication,” Pipes, a computer engineering major with a minor in economics, said in a press release. “The work will help provide a new technology to an environment bloated with radio waves and could have innumerous transportation, communication, and military applications. This scholarship will help support my way through school and athletics, and allow continued work on a project that has developed into such a deep passion. I am incredibly grateful to the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society for their generosity and support.”
Pipes is a three-time recipient of the Thomas Van Arden Dukehart Academic Award, which is presented to the Union men’s hockey player with the highest grade-point average.
DUTCHWOMEN IN SLUMP
After posting its Division I program-record 10th win on Jan. 2, the Union women’s hockey team has lost four straight.
The scoring has dried up. The Dutchwomen have been shut out in three straight games. Their scoreless streak is at 180:05. They have been outscored 27-2 during their slump.
Two key offensive players missed last Saturday’s 7-0 loss to Clarkson because of injury. Freshman forward Riley Walsh leads the team with 11 goals and six assists. Junior forward Celeste Beaudoin is third with four goals and 11 assists.
“Celeste is injured right now, just taking it day by day for her,” Union head coach Josh Sciba said Tuesday. “I think Riley should be back in the lineup, hopefully this weekend.”
The Dutchwomen head to Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend. They take on the Big Green at 6 p.m. Friday, and visit the Crimson at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The last time Union faced Dartmouth, it erased a 4-1 third-period deficit to win 5-4 in overtime on Nov. 5 at Messa. The Dutchwomen want to avoid falling behind the Big Green again.
“I think it’s going to be a really fun weekend,” Dutchwomen senior captain Emily King said. “I know that Dartmouth is really mad that we ended up coming back and beating them. “There’s been a lot of chirping so far, and that riles our team up. At the end of day, we just have to be better. We have to score, we have to follow our systems and just like play the game that we know we can play.”
RPI WOMEN’S HOCKEY
A pair of RPI women’s hockey players were recognized this week.
Senior defenseman Hannah Price is one of 15 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which is presented annually to a college hockey student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.
It’s the second straight year Price has been nominated.
Union’s Josh Kosack won the award last year.
Amanda Rampado was named ECACH Goalie of the Week for the third time this season. She stopped a combined 48 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss to Clarkson last Friday, and made 30 saves in a 2-0 victory over St. Lawrence the next day.
Time for my latest ECAC Hockey men’s power rankings.
1) Quinnipiac — No. 1 in ECAC Hockey, and No. 1 in the USCHO.com and USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today polls.
2) Harvard — Took care of business against Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
3) Princeton — Big upset of 12th-ranked Providence on Tuesday.
4) Cornell — Blows 3-2 lead against Boston University last Saturday, losing 4-3 on a goal with 3.8 seconds left in the third period.
5) Brown — The Bears keep getting better.
6) Colgate — Had last weekend off.
7) Clarkson — The Golden Knights split the Harvard-Dartmouth trip.
8) St. Lawrence — The Saints split the Dartmouth-Harvard trip.
9) Union — After an awful game against Brown last Friday, the Dutchmen looked much better against Yale.
10) RPI — Rough 0-2 weekend last week.
11) Yale — Went 1-0-1 last weekend.
12) Dartmouth — Have lost four straight. The Big Green is 1-13-1 in their last 15 games.
Contact Ken Schott by email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @slapschotts.
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