ALBANY — Union hockey men’s senior goalie Connor Murphy stymied RPI once again in the Capital District Mayor’s Cup.
This time, Murphy didn’t have to make pressure save after pressure save like he did in last year’s game.
The Dutchmen’s offense carried Murphy to a 6-0 victory over the Engineers before 5,883 fans at MVP Arena.
It’s the second straight year that Union (10-14-2) has won the Mayor’s Cup. The Dutchmen have won the Cup seven times in 10 tries.
In last year’s game, Murphy stopped all 33 shots he faced. Liam Robertson scored early in the first period, and then the Dutchmen held on for dear life before Brandon Estes’ empty-net goal sealed a 2-0 win.
On Saturday, Murphy stopped 28 shots, while 14 of his teammates registered at least one point. Four players had two points each. Ville Immonen and Carter Korpi had a goal and an assist each. Owen Farris and Nic Petruolo had two assists apiece. Petruolo got into a fight with RPI’s James McIsaac late in the game. Both players received game disqualifications, meaning they are suspended for a game. The suspensions will be served Friday when Union visits Colgate and RPI is at Cornell.
Murphy was pleased to get the offensive support as he recorded his third career shutout against RPI (10-15-1).
“Playing with the lead makes everything a lot easier,” said Murphy, who blanked RPI 6-0 Oct. 29 at Messa Rink. “It makes me a little more comfortable back there. I can kind of play with more confidence and knowing that we’re already up in the game. The effort that our guys gave is everything for this game. It takes a lot of the pressure off. It was really nice to see.”
Murphy’s teammates were happy to provide him the support.
“He’s a fantastic goaltender,” Farris said. “So anytime we can make his life easier, it’s always a plus.”
It was Farris who got things started offensively just past the midway point of the first period.
@dgazette Offense supports Murphy as Union men’s hockey routs RPI in Capital District Mayor’s Cup – 1/28/23 – Daily Gazette
Farris was in front of the net when his shot was stopped by goalie Jack Watson. Farris got the rebound and slid a backhand pass between his legs to Villegas on the right side, and he buried it.
Earlier in the period, Watson stopped Villegas on the doorstep.
“Playing with ‘Farrie’ and Ben [Tupker] was great,” Villegas said. “They were working hard down low, they made my life easy. Got a pass from [Farris], and he looked like [Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor] McDavid out there.”
Late in the first, Tupker tipped a Petruolo shot past Watson to give Union a two-goal lead.
Immonen made a three-goal cushion 2:09 into the second period when he got a pass from Nathan Kelly along the RPI left-wing boards and put it past Watson.
The Dutchmen turned the game into a rout thanks to two power-play goals during a five-minute major penalty.
With 48.6 seconds left in the second period, Altti Nykanen was called for a major penalty for contact to the head to Nick Young and a game misconduct. Tyler Watkins ripped a wrist shot from the right circle over Watson’s right shoulder with 2.4 seconds left. Josh Nixon tipped a Nate Hanley shot at 2:24 of the third period past Brett Miller, who replaced Watson to start the period.
“If they’re able to kill that, now they have some momentum and who knows what could happen,” said Union head coach Josh Hauge, who earned his first Mayor’s Cup win. “It was big-time for us to get those two and finish the game off.”
RPI head coach Dave Smith gave Union credit for playing an all-around game.
“Their team was better than us tonight, and good on Connor Murphy to play well and get a shutout and get the Mayor’s Cup,” Smith said. “This team has some peaks and has some valleys, and tonight was a valley.”
Union 2 2 2 — 6
RPI 0 0 0 — 0
First Period — 1, Union, Villegas 5 (Farris, Petruolo), 12:17. 2, Union, Tupker 5 (Petruolo, Farris), 16:46. Penalties — Korpi, Uni (high-sticking), 12:52.
Second Period — 3, Union, Immonen 2 (Kelly, Korpi), 2:09. 4, Union, Watkins 8 (Smedsrud, Mell), 19:58 (pp). Penalties — Evans, RPI (slashing), 3:03; Korpi, Uni (cross-checking), 6:31; Smolinski, RPI (cross-checking), 6:31; Watkins, Uni (tripping), 9:47; Farris, Uni (hooking), 13:50; Nykanen, RPI, major-game misconduct (contact to the head), 19:14.
Third Period — 5, Union, Nixon 7 (Hanley, Theodore), 2:24 (pp). 6, Union, Korpi 6 (Immonen, Young), 9:58. Penalties — Korpi, Uni (holding), 7:49; Hallbauer, RPI (slashing), 7:49; Young, Uni (holding), 11:19; Petruolo, Uni, major-game disqualification (fighting), 18:31; McIsaac, RPI, major-game disqualification (fighting), 18:31.
Shots on Goal — Union 8-8-6 — 22. RPI 9-7-12 — 28.
Power-play opportunities — Union 2 of 4; RPI 0 of 4.
Goalies — Union, Murphy 8-12-1 (28 shots-28 saves). RPI, Watson 9-12-1 (16-12), Miller (0:00 third, 6-4).
A — 5,883. T — 2:30.
Referees — Adam Tobias, Anthony Kenney. Linesmen — Dan Barreca, Rick Lembo.
Contact Ken Schott by email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @slapschotts.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: College Sports, Sports, Sports, Union College